Pace+, 60 Seconds of Combat... 643-words

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
Hi folks, what follows is a 643-word excerpt from chapter-26 of my current work. This is the reader's first encounter (of two) with the protagonist involved in her profession's type of combat. After a critique of a @Joshua Jones competition entry, I realized my own work meant to read as 'very fast action' had too many preemptive pauses which slowed down the pace. Something akin to, 'However, Kae raised...' So, I've tried to clean those up. What I'm looking for, is input on two aspects:

1. Pace...
This excerpt between the red, is no more than sixty seconds of combat.
2. Balance... There is description of the scene which can slow combat, and perhaps out of place (you tell me), I have some phrases of middle-conscious thought. Those thoughts are meant to break up the shoot-kill-explode-kill-reload-kill hooha, since she works off reflex.

What I mean by that is, as I describe earlier in the text, the protagonist becomes indifferent to detach and choke down her emotions (she's not a homicidal maniac). When she does this, pure reflex rules her actions, her subconscious does what it does, but she shifts her 'self' to a middle-consciousness (I'm calling it). That middle consciousness to occupy her mind and keep her detached might sing, mention technical points, make up prose, whatever. None of these thoughts are direct-conscious thoughts of the protagonist.

3. Optional... Feel free to beat this up as you see fit, although I will be reworking it after it simmers a while (still reads poorly to me, but I need away from it).
You might notice a couple missing commas. That is actually intentional to make it read faster (to me), though their exclusion might not be proper, so I'll be considering those choices as well later.

This takes place in South Philadelphia, U.S., on this exact street: Google Maps
Facing east:
St1.JPG


Facing west:
St2.JPG


* There are NO trees, plants or automobiles on the street.
* The street and walks are 40'/12m wide, 300'/91m long.
* The east end is sealed off by contamination, as is behind the buildings and cannot be bypassed. Non-gang members are blocked from entering buildings.
* The west end has a crowd of thousands who will kill anyone trying to leave the area.
* There are exactly: 2,187 people on the street--packed tight, 306 in the buildings.
* 90% of the people are unarmed. Only half of those armed have firearms, and they're scattered throughout.
* The vast majority of the 90% are high on various forms of intense drugs...so their minds are far from clear.
* Gang members--weeds, 10%--are the only ones who understand what is happening. The rest (yowlees and breaders) are oblivious.

* Kae/protagonist, is halfway up the street (image viewpoints).
* The crowd has been drawn to her packing tighter, but backed away leaving a 5' gap around her when this starts.
* Her two pistols on half-speed fire 1,333 rounds per minute (22.2/sec), and each magazine holds 150 rounds, and they travel at 3,500 ft./sec. penetrating through multiple people dependent upon what they hit.
* The sirens are ear-piercing loud and induce panic. The 'debilitating shriek' is a digital version of a reaper horn (which is much deeper), akin to an LRAD so it forces people to freeze and cover their ears.

* She is suicidal and hopes someone kills her last.


from: Chapter-26, A Just Harvest, Liberty Stumbled-G8
643 words, of 3,000, 500 of which follow the excerpt.
60-seconds of combat.

“Who remembers music? Well I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck four feet above her and dropped to the ground curling tight.

Weeds that watched her screamed, “Reepa!” It wouldn’t save them.


Exploding at its apex, projectiles raced out from the gyroscopic mine. Everyone in a twenty-foot radius abruptly dropped. Simultaneously her audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.

Kae rose, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers. Weeds tried to bolt, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their way. The gangs’ panicked shouts of “reepa,” meant nothing to the outsiders.

Thrusting out her guns toward each end of the street’s axis, Kae pulled the triggers and twisted, painting the crowd from one side of the street to the other. Her guns emitted deep hums and grating roars on half-speed. The sustained burst compressed Kae’s shoulders as her body shuddered violently and clenched teeth chattered.

Upon reaching the buildings after one second of twist, Kae paused for two, waiting for the first swath of bodies to fall, before she twisted back sweeping the crowd again. Calculated efficiency increases harvest, the voice callously murmured.

Three deep people fell in a wave as though Kae wielded an invisible scythe; each pass netted a hundred people or more. Thin, heavy projectiles streaked deep into the crowd. They tore through flesh and shattered bone, shedding sanguine dew with their vapor trail winnow.

A loud tone sounded upon her forth pivot when her right-hand pistol neared empty. Pogue upset Kae so badly, she forgot to swap out magazines, Dumont and the wall guards recipients of its previous carnage. Without thinking, Kae swapped out mags methodically as her slaughter.

Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine, thrust her pistol into its holster, and in a fluid motion pulled a fresh mag from her waist, slamming it into her gun. Two-seconds later her other pistol sounded its tone. Mimicking her moves for that gun she had with the first, Kae’s right hand reached behind to her belt, and she spun.

Throwing a gyroscopic mine deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, it barely cleared their heads and exploded. A thirty-foot ring of people fell away from center, forming a crop circle. A second mine heaved toward the street’s head yielded the same. A layer of acrid smog filled the gauntlet; buildings peppered with shot and painted red.

Fury conjoined with grief boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the voice flooded her consciousness with morbid prose.

Harvest the crops, lest they wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time. Our lives now forfeit. Reap the harvest.

Straining to lift her heavy pistols, Kae crouched and aimed toward the street’s ends and fired. Back and forth sweeping the crowd repeatedly, five passes later her guns’ tones sounded. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine and walked toward the street’s tail end, accessing her harvest.

For the most part, the short street was already cleared. Bodies covered most of it, stacked where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying, where she didn’t, each step raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything including Kae painted in cherry sweat.

With the calm came the horror (sounds/wounded/most and smells)... Etc.


Thanks for your input!

K2
 
Last edited:

sule

This Space for Lease
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Messages
133
I think the pace of this is good; I never felt like the action was lagging or that things were happening too slowly or too quickly. I have a few nitpicks, otherwise I thought this was well-written.
Kae rose, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers.
This description seemed strange; her hands being "filled with" her pistols is not the way I would normally expect to see it described and it bucked me slightly when I read it. Something like "Kae rose, tightly gripping her Lukdai Enforcers" sounds much more natural to me (and draws less attention to itself).
A loud tone sounded upon her forth pivot when her right-hand pistol neared empty. Pogue upset Kae so badly, she forgot to swap out magazines, Dumont and the wall guards recipients of its previous carnage. Without thinking, Kae swapped out mags methodically as her slaughter.
The second sentence of this paragraph seemed like it was setting up a small conflict, or inconvenience at least, for the character as she might have to pause and then make herself vulnerable to make up for her oversight. Instead, she immediately resolves it without much effort. I think if you just want to have her continue with her reaping, I would consider cutting that second sentence so it just rolls from "her clip nears to empty" to "she replaces it without thinking and continues with her carnage."

And personally, that is my biggest issue with this section: I just didn't get a feel for any sort of conflict--is there supposed to be character conflict inherent in this scene? Additionally, I didn't understand her goal in this (of course, that's probably because I haven't read the previous parts that lead up to this). You said that she was distancing herself from everything. Is there a chance you could layer in moments where she almost slips out of the distance and has to fight away her revulsion or horror? But this is all just my personal feelings on this; you should take everything I've said with a grain of salt.
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
Thanks for the response @sule ;

'Filled' might be too cowboy I suspect. It's a classic (fill your hand=draw your gun), though might not be clear to many as you state.

The second comment about setting up a conflict is a good one. That whole line of: Pogue upset Kae so badly, she forgot to swap out magazines, Dumont and the wall guards recipients of its previous carnage... contains a lot of extraneous information. And I tend to agree with you, that sentence perked my ears too, but I decided to see if it did others.

This whole scene started when Pogue upset her...so what I guess, reader knows that. Forgot to swap out magazines speaks more to her typical thoroughness and the degree of upset. Yes, it sets up primary conflict next chapter...but so what? It doesn't mean a lot (Kae won't be mad about the mag but the other point). Finally, the reader would know from chapters 1 & 6 where the ammo went...although, this much later I'm not sure what the value is in reminding them.

So I agree! hehe.

So goal in this (I assume you mean combat in general, this excerpt).
1. It's her job (which she never does) to kill 500 people/day and terrorize the populace.
2. Here it's different, and personal. The 10% are a gang of dope dealers (ehh), cannibals (grr), slavers-in the worst ways (which she can't walk away from as a former slave). Which is all hypocritical considering that's what the government does.
3. The 90% are people from MUCH better off areas enjoying what the gang offers.
4 So, Kae decides to "rot dem bote," kill them all out of rage. Which is a win-win for everyone except Kae and the folks down this street.

Throughout the chapter I have her slip in and out of her indifferent state...choking up, almost sobbing, rage, fury, all of it...and the voice fights it back. This section you'll note I had one portion: Fury conjoined with grief boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the voice flooded her consciousness with morbid prose. However, even that line and the associated rambling by the voice feels a little long...but...

Thanks for your great points. They both answer specific questions about specific parts. :)

K2
 

Wayne Mack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
66
Location
Chantilly, Virginia, US
The pacing was up tempo, but I think I would have liked a little more sense of panic and chaos in the crowd. I didn't see the crowd move at all while being attacked. Give me a little more carnage, people yelling, screaming, running away, rolling on the ground dying. Some direct sights, smells, sounds. I also wonder if the inner voice dialogs would not work better and sound colder if the first was pushed to the lead in red section and the second to the trailing red section. This might help keep the pacing high.

There was one line that confused me,
"Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine, thrust her pistol into its holster, and in a fluid motion pulled a fresh mag from her waist, slamming it into her gun."
It sounds like the right magazine was empty. Either Kae would reload it or she would put it in the holster.

Of course, it is possible to tweak an action sequence forever. Except for the one sentence, it may be sufficient as is to convey your plot points.
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,642
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
I enjoyed it.

I think with a bit more trimming this could work quite well.
I also think that it would serve the purpose by jamming it all into 60 sec by pushing it all into one paragraph and where possible make longer sentences removing some adverbs and adjectives and(as I said)trim it a bit.

For an example of what I mean- Ill send you a message.
This also includes sentences where I wasn't clear on a few things.

Also not sure of Pogue meaning here--though I'm assuming that Dumont and the wall guards might fall into the category of non-combatant soldiers, which would fit one definition.
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
The pacing was up tempo, but I think I would have liked a little more sense of panic and chaos in the crowd. I didn't see the crowd move at all while being attacked. Give me a little more carnage, people yelling, screaming, running away, rolling on the ground dying. Some direct sights, smells, sounds. I also wonder if the inner voice dialogs would not work better and sound colder if the first was pushed to the lead in red section and the second to the trailing red section. This might help keep the pacing high.

There was one line that confused me,
"Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine, thrust her pistol into its holster, and in a fluid motion pulled a fresh mag from her waist, slamming it into her gun."
It sounds like the right magazine was empty. Either Kae would reload it or she would put it in the holster.
Working backward... In prepared combat situations (where here she was rattled before hand), she has a slick way of reloading, with the pistol never leaving her hand. Here--using both hands--her left hand is occupied firing to keep the chaos going. She can eject the mag with her gun hand, but she can't hold the gun--grasp a mag--and put the mag in the gun with the same hand. So, she sticks it in her holster after ejection to hold it.

That said, I'll see if I can make it more clear.

As to the inner-voice, I agree 100% that long passage needs to be before hand. Just as an example, just before she heaves the first mine she might hesitate, debating doing this. Anywho, you're right, that needs to move to keep the pace going. What if anything I replace it with I'll think on.

Lastly, help me hash this last part out a bit if you will.
* This is sixty seconds (actually a few less).
* There is NOT a single pause from the noise from her guns or mines--except perhaps when she reloads a second time for 3-4 seconds.
* The sirens are screaming throughout, as is the shrill horn.

So noise wise (note my last line), I'm not sure she would hear anything past the initial screams of 'reaper.' More so, in that this is a close-3rd, and considering she is working off of pure reflexive habit...more so, crowds like this are constant--and there are no innocents--I'm not so sure she'd pay attention (at this point) to what the crowd is doing past falling so she can shoot the next.

But, let's talk about the crowd.

They're packed so tight with nowhere to run I'm not sure they'd do much past writhe. People hit are dropping, I suppose others not hit are dropping to cover (though would not look different to her), no one will rush her, and finally if they turn to run they're only flailing against a solid wall of people--who are all flailing.

My point being, considering the time-frame, her mindset, and their options...I suppose I could mention something about the 'writhing wall of flailing people,' but the question is, would she even notice since a couple seconds later she's shot them and they're falling (already noted).

What do you think?

Thanks for your help in hashing this out!

K2
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
I enjoyed it.

I think with a bit more trimming this could work quite well.
I also think that it would serve the purpose by jamming it all into 60 sec by pushing it all into one paragraph and where possible make longer sentences removing some adverbs and adjectives and(as I said)trim it a bit.

For an example of what I mean- Ill send you a message.
This also includes sentences where I wasn't clear on a few things.

Also not sure of Pogue meaning here--though I'm assuming that Dumont and the wall guards might fall into the category of non-combatant soldiers, which would fit one definition.
Thank you!

Would you believe I've already cut half of it? :confused::LOL: Anywho, you may have noted where I had some 4+ clause sentences. Although, I do see a couple other places I could do that as well. Into a single paragraph? Hmmm, maybe some longer blocks with short breaks, I'll see what I can combine to make things like the reaper aspect comparison or changing mags as separators, combining the other parts .

Pogue, was a gal she formed a strong emotional attachment to and is the person who tricked her into coming here. So, Kae feels used by Pogue just like the government tries to use her. Kae wants out of all this...and sees only one out, her own death. The morning just before this she was for the first time happy. Turns out it was all a ploy to get her here...at this point.

The wall guards were government/RCFG guards that brought her here. When they started slaughtering residents to get her to harvest...she had a minor fit of temper and killed them instead. Dumont was Reaper-068. He was doing his psycho-killer stuff when she tried to pass, and her own vice (wrath) kicked in and she had another whoops...no more Dumont :whistle:

Anywho, I look forward to your PM. Don't worry about public correction with me though. I'm a lay it all out there sort of person ;)

Thanks for the help.

K2
 

BT Jones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
327
Location
Australia
I like quite a lot of this, @-K2-, and the setting sounds very interesting.

I think it could been sharper and more fluid in places. Generally speaking, I think the fewer words, syllables and full stops, the better. You've got to almost be out of breath just reading it back to yourself. Example / suggestions:

Exploding at its apex, projectiles raced out from the gyroscopic mine, dropping every living thing inside twenty-feet as her alerts blared.

Arms outstretched, guns trained east & west,
Kae pulled the triggers and twisted, painting the crowd from one side of the street to the other. Guns buzzing and snarling, shoulders tearing, Kaes clenched her teeth as her body convulsed.

Her foes dropped, row after row, as if by an invisible scythe. Dense projectiles fizzed into the crowd, shredding flesh, shattering bone.

A loud tone signaled an imminent empty clip, but Kae just brought her right pistol to her hip, spat it out and sucked a fresh one from her holster in one fluid manoeuvre, spinning at twice the speed to compensate for five seconds of single wield.

I think the more poetic / abstract / artistic the carnage & action is, the better. Details like what she did beforehand or how she was feeling are probably better left to the build up to the scene.

But I really like this. Good luck with it!
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
@BT Jones that's a good suggestion to compress it and make it more exciting as to the read. I'll consider it as i do my edits...although, since this is the first introduction to her style of combat, her weapons used throughout (and eventually another), and granting the reader more insight into how her mind works, I don't want to make it so flowery that info the reader gains here is lost.

It's a balance I guess...I'll see how it can improve it without losing too much.

Thanks for your help!

K2
 

Wayne Mack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
66
Location
Chantilly, Virginia, US
Working backward... In prepared combat situations (where here she was rattled before hand), she has a slick way of reloading, with the pistol never leaving her hand. Here--using both hands--her left hand is occupied firing to keep the chaos going. She can eject the mag with her gun hand, but she can't hold the gun--grasp a mag--and put the mag in the gun with the same hand. So, she sticks it in her holster after ejection to hold it.

That said, I'll see if I can make it more clear.
Perhaps the reload sequence could be covered in detail in a prior training sequence. Then it could be a simple reference to the reader and maintain the tempo. Just a thought.
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
3,066
from: Chapter-26, A Just Harvest, Liberty Stumbled-G8
643 words, of 3,000, 500 of which follow the excerpt.
60-seconds of combat.

“Who remembers music? Well I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck four feet above her and dropped to the ground curling tight.

Weeds that watched her screamed, “Reepa!” It wouldn’t save them.

Remove

Comment
Suggest

I've been very picky - please forgive.
All just my opinions - You have every right to call me an idiot.

Exploding at its apex, (singular plural?) projectiles (they're not projectiles they're munitions/functional devices since at the very least they explode. To me projectiles are shrapnel like) raced out from the gyroscopic (hopefully explained earlier) mine. Everyone in a twenty-foot radius abruptly dropped. Simultaneously her audible-alerts activated. Digital (what's a digital siren as oposed to a... siren) sirens screamed from each, the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.

Kae rose, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers. Weeds tried to bolt, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their way. The gangs’ panicked shouts of “reepa,” meant nothing to the outsiders. (Or to me - but I get it's explained earlier:). However why are they outsiders. They're there in the street. Presumably they haven't just happened to take a stroll in some wierd guided tourist trip)

Thrusting out her guns toward each end of the street’s axis, Kae pulled the triggers and twisted, painting (water pistols?) the crowd from one side of the street to the other. Her guns emitted deep hums and grating roars on half-speed. The sustained burst compressed Kae’s shoulders as her body shuddered violently and clenched teeth chattered. (This left me confused as to how these guns work - It maybe explained earlier but the painting implies continuous stream of "bullets?" but the shuddering suggests individual large impact events. The painting also sugests a stream of small devices (no shuddering) and a reload would be needed plus the weight of the guns would be extensive. If energy pulses then again no shuddering)

Upon reaching the buildings after one second of twist, Kae paused for two, waiting for the first swath of bodies to fall, before she twisted back sweeping the crowd again. Calculated efficiency increases harvest, the voice callously murmured. (an aside that stops the action)

Three deep people fell in a wave(s) as though Kae wielded an invisible scythe; each pass netted a hundred people or more. Thin, heavy projectiles streaked deep into the crowd. They tore through flesh and shattered bone, shedding sanguine dew with their vapor trail winnow.

(A loud tone sounded upon her forth pivot when her right-hand pistol neared empty. Pogue upset Kae so badly, she forgot to swap out magazines, Dumont and the wall guards recipients of its previous carnage. Without thinking, Kae swapped out mags methodically as her slaughter.)
confusing/clumsy


Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine, (just done this above) thrust her pistol into its holster, and in a fluid motion pulled a fresh mag from her waist, slamming it into her gun. Two-seconds later her other pistol sounded its tone. Mimicking her moves for that gun she had with the first, Kae’s right hand reached behind to her belt, and she spun.

Throwing a gyroscopic (?) mine deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, it barely cleared their heads and exploded. A thirty-foot ring of people fell away from center, forming a crop circle. (the street in the pictures isn't wide enough, plus from his position he wouldn't be able to see a circle - so magically he's been lifted in the air to look down on a circle. An explosion in these confined spaces would tend to be rectangular as the forces were directed along the road) A second mine heaved toward the street’s head yielded the same. A layer of acrid smog filled the gauntlet; buildings peppered with shot and painted red.

Fury conjoined with grief boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the (the voice?) voice flooded her consciousness with morbid prose.

Harvest the crops, lest they wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time. Our lives now forfeit. Reap the harvest.

Straining to lift her heavy pistols, Kae crouched and aimed toward the street’s ends and fired. Back and forth sweeping the crowd repeatedly, five passes later her guns’ tones sounded. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine and walked (walked? clambered maybe) toward the street’s tail end, accessing her harvest.

For the most part, the short street was already cleared. Bodies covered most of it, stacked where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying, where she didn’t, each step raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything including Kae painted in cherry sweat.

With the calm came the horror (sounds/wounded/most and smells)... Etc.


Thanks for your input!

K2
Sorry K2, but for me it didn't work. The action doesn't seem realistic and the drifting away from the action to poetic extracts slows the pace and often causes confusion IMO. I appreciate some of the terms may have been described in earlier passages ( e.g. gyroscopic mine) but why confuse the reader with a new name for what is basically a grenade. When I read it I had to go back and think why a gyroscope would cause any more damage than a plain old stick of C4, not to mention the difficulty in throwing a gyro in an arc.

This level of carnage would be very difficult to achieve with a hand held device (a chain gun maybe could). Think of the opening to "Saving Private Ryan". It's horrific, but even a heavy caliber machine gun doesn't kill everyone on the beach. Also given the number of kills the weight of these guns would need a small tank to carry the bullets alone.

To me you're rushing the killing/carnage and slowing it down with the asides. Also, there are times when she's firing with both hands, reloading and throwing the gyro thingymabobs.

Again, as I said, these are just my opinions. I have no justification for asserting them and I could certainly be wrong.

Hope I helped.


Tein.
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
Thanks for the input @TheEndIsNigh ; Sorry it didn't read well for you. Already I'm reworking this to address comments made by others, perhaps it might help, but I don't think it will address most of your dislikes (except for the drifting away parts and asides). Perhaps once it's rewritten it will read better to you...but, I'm actually very comfortable with the weapons which are developed to extensive detail, the rate of carnage and outcomes, and most of all, all that she's doing (although, if you're not seeing it, then it's something for me to look at).

If you'd like for me to explain any part of that, please let me know, I'd be glad to. However, I'm trying to correct what has been mentioned as a flaw of mine in these critiques, of explaining.

Thanks again for taking the time to read it.

K2
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
So, let's see if I understood and addressed the issues you all mentioned. Those being:

1. Eliminate the 'Pogue, Dumont, wall guard' line which didn't add anything and threw off the pace.
2. Move the long passage by 'the voice' out of the action sequence (I've shifted the passage up appropriately).
3. After review, 'the voice' passages were all wrong and poorly placed. I initially thought by blending them into action would make it seem like background noise. Instead, they seemed to confuse the action, so outside they went. More importantly, they were dark or brooding which they're not supposed to be when she's thick in the action. They're meant to distract her mind from what's happening.
4. I leaned up the text, removed some descriptions, adjectives and adverbs.
5. I re-ordered clauses and sentences...more importantly, regrouped them.
6. I added a little more regarding the people, but not too much. Kae at such a time detaches and disconnects so she can do what she must. People become targets...until after.
7. I tried to clean up the magazine swap paragraph. It's important she does it like she does (in this instance), but it wasn't clear as to what each hand was doing.

8. I tried making large blocks/paragraphs of action, those of description, tried making them shorter, grouping them all together, etc., but as I'm presenting it worked best.
9. What I didn't do was trim out description/purple prose to the point that it was just shoot-kill-shoot-kill. When I did that, less than sixty seconds of combat read like fifteen.
10. I addressed other issues, but if I missed something, please remind me.

from: Chapter-26, A Just Harvest, Liberty Stumbled-G8
<60-seconds of combat (between red sections).
After another cheer, Kae waited as their vile comments and shouts for her to spend her money here reached a fevered pitch. Fury muddied by despair boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the voice refocused her with morbid prose.

Harvest the crops, lest they wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time. Our lives now forfeit. Reap the harvest.

With everyone yelling as they packed even tighter, Kae withdrew two small pucks, selected her preferences on each, threw up another visual-alert, and shouted, “Who remembers music? Well I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck five feet above her and dropped to the ground curling tight.

Weeds who watched drove against the static crowd screaming, “Reepa,” but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their escape.


Exploding at its apex, shrapnel raced out from the gyroscopic mine and everyone within twenty feet of Kae abruptly dropped. Simultaneously her audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, with the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.

Kae surged up extending her Lukdai Enforcers toward each end of the street, pulled their triggers, and twisted. Deep hums and grating roars drowned out the rabble’s clamor, her shoulders compressed and body shuddered. Three deep people fell in a wave as though Kae wielded a scythe, as she swept the crowd from one side of the street to the other.

After one second of twist, Kae paused for two, allowing the first swath of bodies to fall, before she twisted back painting the swarm again. Thin, heavy projectiles tore through flesh, shattered bone, and shed sanguine dew each vapor trail winnow. People flailed against the writhing mass behind them when those in front collapsed away, exposing them to Kae’s onslaught as she continued to rake the crowd.

Conservative distributions during bear markets, ensure optimal investment returns….

Upon her forth pivot, a loud tone warned her right-hand gun neared empty. Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine and thrust her gun into its holster. Withdrawing a mag from her waist, she slammed it into her holstered pistol just as her left gun sounded its tone. Mimicking the steps for her left gun she had with the other, Kae’s right hand reached behind to her belt, and she spun.

Throwing a mine deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, it barely cleared their heads and exploded. A thirty-foot circle of people fell away from center, as a second mine heaved toward the street’s head, yielded another grisly crop circle. A layer of acrid smog filled the gauntlet; its buildings peppered with shrapnel and painted red.

To three ounces each of tequila, grapefruit and pineapple juice, and one jigger of apricot brandy, spiced rum, and vodka. Add ice, stir, and garnish with….

Straining to draw her heavy pistols, Kae crouched and aimed toward the street’s ends, and fired. Back and forth, she swept the crowd with the same methodical precision until five passes later, her guns’ tones sounded again. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine as she walked toward the street’s tail end, assessing her harvest.

For the most part, the short street was already cleared. Bodies covered most of it, heaped where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying, each step down onto pavement raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything including Kae drenched in cherry sweat.

With the calm came the horror (sounds/most-wounded and smells).



So there is the revised version. Any thoughts you care to share whether negative or positive, please do. If you have any questions, please ask. I'm more than happy to present information on weapons, the hows and whys, I even have a diagram which shows her attack down to each sweep, time, and morbidly, the estimated count. JFTR, though she means to kill them, in this world wounded is just as good for reasons I'll explain if you're curious.

Thanks for all your help! I hope I caught all of your concerns.

K2
 
Last edited:

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
As a P.S.: I seem to have used 'crowd' too often and I'll alter that in subsequent edits. I don't know about you folks, yet i can read through it twenty times, and it's only once i post it I see things that need to change :cautious:

K2
 

Wayne Mack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
66
Location
Chantilly, Virginia, US
For me, the rewrite definitely increased the tension level in the action.

In the lead in, consider moving the final 'Reepa' sentence a paragraph or so earlier. I felt it interrupted the flow in its current location.

I am still unclear as to the purpose of the injected thoughts in the latter half. These seemed so out of context that they brought my focus onto the writing rather than the story telling and could possibly be omitted. They seemed disconnected from the internal voice in the intro section and are so divergent they cry out for speaker tags if they remain. In the intro, the internal voice seems to be inciting the violence while in the body, it seems oblivious to it. Either could work in character development, but I am not sure both fit in. I, of course, have not seen the lead up to this, so the ramblings of the internal voice may be well established and would make my comments moot.

All in all, the sequence strongly reads as an action sequence. It brings a feeling of intensity to the reader.
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
Thank @Wayne Mack ; great catch! A simple fix is this:
“Reepa!” nearby weeds drove back against the static crowd screaming, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their escape.

How's that? I'm not sure about the 'need' for the word static, but even the thought of how it is to get a crowd moving, makes it so everyone is trapped.

So, as to the inner voice...It's exactly the same as your voice you use when speaking to yourself in your head. When you're working out a problem, you'll debate solutions. When you're mad in an argument (unless you speak rashly), or a disagreement you'll consider things to say. In danger you'll tell yourself to run, this that and the other. In the cases we see here, the first dark, malevolent voice is not different than when you're trying to work yourself up and justify doing something you normally wouldn't. The last ones you see, you likely do as well.

If you have ever bowhunted--sitting for hours perfectly still and quiet--worked at a monotonous job like a factory press operator, dug a ditch...whatever, where you don't need your conscious mind (controlling physical action) to do anything except the simple task at hand, after a while you occupy your mind by daydreaming, working out unrelated problems, make plans, whatever...

Kae is doing exactly the same. What she is physically doing takes no more thought than continue the repetetive action, and at certain points respond to specific conditions mechanically, then go back to what she was doing. So, she's occupying her mind.

More importantly, she has a LOT of rage issues. So, by keeping those sorts of emotions under control, she can mechanically do this instead of say dropping her guns and pummeling them with her bare fists like she'd like to. IOW, it makes her deadlier.

Most importantly, she does this to detach from what she's doing, otherwise she wouldn't do it. Yes, these people deserve to be killed, but she understands/empathizes with how they have been forced to devolve to this point. And, they're still people (just not humans, if that difference means something to you), and she regrets killing, but sees no other way to stop it. By having these background thoughts she keeps those emotions in check so she can do this terrible thing--now--and will put off facing her own self-condemnation till later.

Finally, you even likely do what she is doing (in her head). Have you ever out of the blue openly voiced something you were thinking? Like when just walking along, or performing a menial task? For her, she's constantly running these thoughts just below the physical activities consciousness, though instead of speaking a brief blurb, the thought pushed up into her consciousness for just a moment.

We end this excerpt with Kae observing the results...from this point on, that running jumbled monologue ceases, and she thinks about things openly and subjectively...Cue cursing, rage, and crying.

That answer it for you?

K2
 

tinkerdan

∞<Q-Satis
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,642
Location
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
It definitely reads better as in more urgent; maybe more focused.

Three deep people...
As to this I still think you need a pause after deep.
It seems you are saying that people are dropping, three deep.
However it could be strangely taken as written that three deep people, are dropping.
Maybe thinkers, or perhaps street philosophers.
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
1,940
Location
'Merica
It definitely reads better as in more urgent; maybe more focused.


As to this I still think you need a pause after deep.
It seems you are saying that people are dropping, three deep.
However it could be strangely taken as written that three deep people, are dropping.
Maybe thinkers, or perhaps street philosophers.
Yeah, that's been troubling me too and i specifically recall your comma as I flip-flopped on it. What would you think about eliminating it from that line entirely, and shifting it down to where I discuss the projectiles and their damage (which I initially had 'penetrated deep in the crowd' and earlier still, "two to four people fell dependent upon what it hit'...too wordy). IOW, thin, heavy, penetrates (3) deep...I'd need to work on it, but perhaps there is better?

Or Does it need to remain in that 'wave' area to properly describe the result?

Maybe; Three people deep, they fell in a wave...?

Thanks for the feedback!

K2
 

Matchu

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
28
Hi @K2

I spent a while on the earlier draft. It was a little 'crammed' with detail - and then I see version 2 - great.
...

After another cheer, Kae waited as their vile comments and shouts for her to spend her money here reached a fevered pitch.


For me, a sentence like this is tiring.

On the first sweep of the eye I am unable to condense so much information in one swallow. It is, or it was, a 'wash.' Of course, reading the sentence now it seems perfectly acceptable, but only because I can now understand it. The scheme, the method of density is repeated throughout the draft.

We have 'after'...I have to understand this takes place 'after' ...but she 'waited'...and also 'as' ...so it is actually taking place in the moment. Combine such terms with imprecise 'vile comments AND shouts...' and 'here' and for me to have to think about another thing, 'spending money,' and throw in 'fevered pitch' it becomes a soup.

Write one thing, and allow the reader to digest, and see the picture, and then move along to the next thing. One thing at a time, with visual precision: write 'boots' rather than 'at her feet.'

This was my issue with the first draft, and particularly repetition: 'the bomb exploded, the bomb blew up - which we all do before our edits.

The crowd cheered.

Sweat bubbled on Kae's brow.

'Spend your money!' they bayed. 'Show us your b**bs,' they cried.

...

I hope my comments assist you to publish a fantastic story. It will be brilliant. All best.
 
Top