Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."


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Post June 06, 2016, 10:01:44 PM

Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

Hi, everybody. "Mahatma" Randy Schanze here.

First up, I'd once again like to thank Aphelion for publishing my story. Thank you, guys.

Secondly, I'd love to hear what the readers think of if. What worked? What didn't? What did you like? What didn't you like? You know, the usual stuff. I'm needy like that. It's a failing. Sorry. :?

If you take the time to read it, and you feel like sounding off here about it, well, I thank you in advance for both of those.
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Post June 07, 2016, 12:00:34 AM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

I like the way you write fiction like one talks in everyday life. I read some on your website and you have a conversational flow that is engaging to the reader. It makes it an easy to follow storyline and makes me as a reader want more.

I enjoyed the 1940's detective references and the amusing antidotes woven throughout the writing. The humor and style reminded me of Steve Martin in the movie, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" where he would talk to the audience as an aside.

This passage is very good.

""Thank you," he said, and laid the hat gingerly on my desk. "Fe-doh-rah," he said again, smiling. "Such a lovely word. Three trips to the tip of the tongue to say it!"

"Mister dolo-"

"The next loveliest word is 'Impetigo.'"

I have a Concealed Cary license. I was suddenly glad of that. I've dealt with more than one paranoid schizophrenic in my life. It wasn't so much his crazy talk that was putting me off. It was the look in his eyes. I rested my hand real casual-like on the handle of the drawer where I kept my gun."


Nice sound to your story's language.

I really liked this passage as well.

"I had him sign a contract so it was all nice and legal-like. Eventually his beekeeper would show up with a butterfly net and haul him off to Anclote Manor, or whatever nuthatch he'd escaped from. In the meantime, however, I intended to bleed him. Not dry, mind you, I'm not an evil man. Of course, I'm not a very good one either. I'd bleed him a little bit."

Overall, you've got a winner!

I hope this review and selected passages will encourage others to read and comment on this story.

David
I am a minister. If you are burdened or in despair, send me a private message and we'll pray together.

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Post June 07, 2016, 08:52:03 AM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

Spirit Driven wrote:I like the way you write fiction like one talks in everyday life. I read some on your website and you have a conversational flow that is engaging to the reader. It makes it an easy to follow storyline and makes me as a reader want more.

I enjoyed the 1940's detective references and the amusing antidotes woven throughout the writing. The humor and style reminded me of Steve Martin in the movie, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" where he would talk to the audience as an aside.


Spirit Driven wrote:Overall, you've got a winner!


Wow! Thank you David! That's way better than I was expecting, and very kind of you.

I'm strongly influenced by Philip K. Dick, who notoriously had his character go off on tangents for no particularly good reason, and I liked how they fleshed out the character. Vonnegut is an influence for the more comedic moments, too. And of course since in a detective story, I had to have the noir narration feel going. I never would have thought of the Steve Martin thing, but you're right, a couple of the lines do feel like that.

I'm a sucker for the whole "Comedy that makes you accept the ludicrous premise, then goes dark on you in the end, after you've been sucked in," thing. I learned that trick from "The Frighteners." I also like unnamed protagonists for some reason. I'm not sure why.

This particular one I call "The Unnamed Detective," and I intend to use him again, though I haven't so far.
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Post June 07, 2016, 06:46:45 PM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

Really enjoyed this one, a fun read once I got into the whole 'Sam Spade' thing, towards the end I could nearly picture Bogart and Bacall playing it out.

Also enjoyed the nice twist at the end, didn't see that one coming.

Ciao

Andrew

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Post June 08, 2016, 01:56:54 PM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

Thank you, Andrew! I was really happy with this one. I've written a ton of short stories, but this one felt special, and I'm really glad to hear that some others did, too. Thanks for taking the time to sound off about it.
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Post June 15, 2016, 01:20:33 PM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

You know, normally I don't like noir detective stories. But this was spectacular. You have this great attention to detail and it was funny and the ending came out of nowhere. I loved the bit about the secretary's legs--that really helped set the tone, and the bit about Comi-con was creative and funny.

I hesitate to say it was flawless (I hesitate to say anything is flawless), but it was pretty darn close.
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Post June 16, 2016, 01:32:51 AM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

Spirit Driven wrote:I hope this review and selected passages will encourage others to read and comment on this story.

David

I think it did, and welcome to our little community.
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Post June 16, 2016, 02:07:47 AM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

A classical opening to a detective story! Yes, and one that didn’t disappoint me from beginning to end. I liked the feel of an old detective story, enjoyed the comments and dialogue throughout the read. The ending was clever with the serial killer getting away by traveling to the future!

Good job.
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Post June 17, 2016, 09:12:47 PM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

Nice job, Randy. The future will never be the same.
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Post July 01, 2016, 06:59:21 AM

Re: Discussion of "An Unguarded Moment."

I would like to ask the writer of this very entertaining piece if he intentionally named Oobleck Stifism after the title of the Dr. Seuss story "Bartholmew and the Oobleck".

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