The Long Road Down - Chapter III [I know, it's dead!]

Discussion in 'GT5 Race Reports' started by Daniel, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    In case anyone's been here long enough to remember (probably not since I hardly post in the GT5 section, let along come here :p), I've already made a fanfic that transitioned from GT4 to 5 in the past. It didn't work out so well since the 'home' track I used in GT4 was El Captain. So the story kinda took a turn for the worse, with bad plot holes and an even worse plot. If you do have the courage to read it (good luck :scared:) have a look in my sig for The Captain, my old race report. Anyhow, I've really wanted to make a fanfic as close to an actual book as possible (i.e. no coloured text, more like a story than a dialogue etc etc.)

    And constructive criticism PLEASE. I want to be able keep this going, and comments/tips on what I should do will help it greatly! Now without further ado, I present to you:
    The Long Road Down

    Chapter 1 - Post #1
    Chapter 2 - Post #9
    Chapter 3 - Post #22


    « ...Pour conclure, c’est pourquoi je çrois que des villes fantômes devraient être protégées. »
    Writing a French essay about ghost towns isn’t always the best way to pass the time, but it’s certainly better than what we’re given in History and English. I finished the essay conclusion and before heading down to the kitchen to grab a drink. Dad stumbled in through the front door just as I opened up a bottle of flat Mountain Dew. He smelt of stale alcohol and bad memories as he hobbled in through the front hallway with cane in one hand and a beer bottle in the other. Our kitchen and stairs are hidden from the hallway so I ducked up the stairs with the soda. I try to avoid him when drunk. he becomes a cocky, arrogant prick who talks so highly of himself about his old racing days (even though he was the one who caused the crash taking his leg and most of his dignity).

    “Janet! Where the hell’s dinner? I’m starving!” Dad’s brash voice came from the ground floor.

    Mom was watching a movie in the lounge when Dad came home and I’m certain that she wants to get rid of him as much as I do. She’s told me in the past that the Earl she married was another man, not the one that we see today with permanent alcohol breath. She paused the movie on TV and yelled back.

    “It’s in the microwave as always! I called and said dinner was at eight. Was your phone out of battery or were you too hammered to bother checking it?”

    Dad didn’t bother to respond. Mom already knew the answer to it. I went back to my music and it probably was around 5 minutes before I heard them yelling again. I took one ear-bud out so I was able to listen into my parents. They were at it like seagulls fighting over bread scraps.

    “You can’t leave me!” Dad banged the kitchen bench to emphasise each word.

    Mom retorted quickly. “Too bad, Earl! Ever since the crash you’ve taken up booze and haven’t even bothered to get help!” She paused. “Your brother of all people would be a better husband.”

    Ouch...

    Dad’s brother, my uncle Pete, wasn't exactly popular on Dad’s side of the family. Originating from Idaho meant a few things, and supporting marriage equality wasn't one of them. I found myself on the landing of the stairs to eavesdrop a bit better.

    Dad tried sounding logical and educated, which didn't help considering he was still drunk. “Please, that’s not even a real marriage - some civil union bullcrap.”

    “More of a marriage than this one ever was!” Mom retorted. “Forget it Earl, I’ve wanted to say this for a long time: we’rethrough. I’ve applied for a job in Sacramento and I got the acceptance email today. I’m taking Jake with me.”

    Whoa. This is news.

    “Sacramento?” Dad asked, “Why the hell are you going to Sacramento?”

    “Pete said that Jerry was looking for a new dentist at his practice.”

    Dad fumed, “And you took up the offer?”

    I didn't want to listen to any more of the bickering, so I did what I do best and avoided it. I crept out of the back door with my keys and went down to the garage.

    I hopped into my car and drove....
    [​IMG]

    Apologies for the large line breaks, for some reason I'm not able to put in 'tabs' like you would in Word or Google Docs :indiff:
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  2. DK

    DK Premium

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    Great start, I hope you don't drop this. :tup:
     
  3. RCKakashi14

    RCKakashi14

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    Nice start! :)
     
  4. Apok

    Apok Premium

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    Pretty good. I'm interested in a more book-like story.
    Do you have the story planned out already or are you intending to make it up as you go?
     
  5. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    :tup:

    Why a Focus?
     
  6. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    I do have the main plot set out. I'll might make up a few plot arcs here and there as the story goes on though :tup:
    Next chapter. I don't like having to explain things outside of the story :tup:
     
  7. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    Lookin' good! :tup:
     
  8. Skython

    Skython

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    I see you do have it up now... What you should really do, is write the NEXT chapter. :sly: No really, do it now! Keep it up.
     
  9. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    See? Told ya I wouldn't abandon it :sly:
    Chapter II

    After realising that I’ll be moving over 600 miles from semi-rural Utah to Sacramento, the shock wore down a bit after driving for an hour or so. I contemplated the future while driving along route 112. It’s a rural, two-lane highway running just outside of Salt Lake and it runs past where the Motorsports Park is being renovated. On a lucky night, when there isn’t much light pollution, the stars are pretty bright and it’s almost surreal. I usually drive around here to cool off; to clear my head. Driving out here when they’re at their brightest is always awesome in the original sense of the word. It’s just you, the road, and the sky. Nothing else.

    I pulled into theThis Is Gasoline station a few hundred yards from the Motorsports Park. I parked the Golf around back and hopped out. The intoxicating (and slightly nauseating) mix of gasoline, oil and waste coming from the graffiti-ridden dumpster filled my nose. Brett was at the register watching a B-Movie and turned around, giving a nod in my direction when I walked in through the back office of the TIG.

    “What horrible drivel are you watching now” I asked, pointing at his laptop.

    Brett paused the movie “Armageddon Van.” Oh god, I remember watching that movie as a child when it came out. The only thing I remembered were the hot women and the entire destruction of Tokyo with explosions that would make Michael Bay eat his heart out.. Everything else was crap though.

    “So, Jake.” Brett turned around to look at me, “What’s your reason for being here at this ungodly hour?”

    I checked my phone. Brett was right. It was twenty past midnight.

    “Did your parents have another late-night row again?” he asked. Brett was one of the select few that had the misfortune of knowing the situation between my parents: a cocky, alcoholic, religiously-fanatical father and a mother that got tired of it all. During their racing days, Brett and Dad were almost inseparable. Brett would be over at our house almost every weekend with a beer in hand, discussing strategies for next week’s race or watching the game while yelling at the referee through the TV about quarterbacks, Hail Marys and oh-my-god-who-the-hell-cares. Brett raced with Dad until he retired due to arthritis and opened up the truck stop and garage. He’s stopped racing seriously since then. But he still speeds around the park once in a blue moon. Dad suggested he hired me when I was old enough for a bit of extra help around the truck stop. After all, I knew my way around the engine bay thanks to Dad and his racing, and I’d get a bit of extra allowance after school and during summer vacation. The years passed, and as Dad got more alcoholic and full-of-himself, the more friends he lost. This, of course included Brett. They’re not at each other’s throats, but Brett’s certainly hasn’t come over to watch the game recently.

    I walked over to the drinks section to grab a Mountain Dew, I’m addicted to it.

    “Mom and Dad are ending it,” I told him, unsure of what to feel. I put the bottle on the counter.

    Brett scratched his beard, “Well, aren’t you happy? You and Janet have obviously grown sick of him ever since he took to the drink. Janet’s offered to get him help. The guys down at the track tried helping. It just didn’t work....” He took a gulp from my bottle. “And to be honest with you, I’m quite surprised they lasted that long together.”

    I didn’t know whether to be offended or to agree. On one hand, he’s talking about two parents that just don’t see eye to eye anymore. One the other, it’smy parents he’s talking about.

    “So where are you and your Mom moving to?” Brett asked. “I hope it’s still close, I’m gonna need some more help since my knees are starting to go, and a crapton of people will be showing up because of the autocross regionals next month.”

    I shyly looked down, “out of state. California.”

    “****, son,” Brett sighed. “When?”

    I tried to remember when Mom said we were moving - I must have left before she told Dad. I guess it could be sometime during summer vacation. School’s almost out for the year, anyway.

    “I don’t remember her saying so,” I answered. “I wasn’t supposed to be hearing the whole thing anyway.”

    Brett laughed, “It’s impossible not to hear anything in your house now.” I smiled meekly. “How about a short run together?” He asked. “It’ll clear your head, and it might be one of our last.”

    I looked towards his the picture of his 1970s Challenger on the wall.

    [​IMG]
    It was taken a few hours after his first podium finish, and the car’s still in the same immaculate condition as it was 30 years ago. After retiring, he tuned the car down a bit and used it as his daily driver - although it’s still an immensely powerful piece of machinery. Ever since I first bought the Golf, we’ve raced in the small hours of the morning (mind you, we never went too fast) during the summer vacations.

    The thought of another drive cheered me up. “Sure,” I said. Brett told me to go through the back office and get my car ready while he’d lock up and put the “Be back in 15” on the counter. Yes, it’s a bit ironic since it’s the middle of the night and nobody should turn up, but Brett put it there just in case someone were to turn up with an empty tank or a full bladder.

    I finished the rest of the Mountain Dew, crushed the bottle and biffed it towards the dumpster (I missed, by the way). I pushed the button on the key fob and heard thebeep beep of the car unlocking. I climbed in and was fumbling with the seat belt when Brett walked over.

    “Would you care,” Brett said with a fake butler’s voice, “for a walkie-talkie, kind sir?” He handed me the small radio. I put the key in the ignition, turned and sat in the Golf, idling; waiting to hear the Challenger’s Hemi engine roar into life, the moonlight reflecting off its maroon body. Normally, we try to stay at 80MPH (the speed limit for Route 112). But tonight Brett put his foot down and the car tore down the highway, like a bird happy to be flying after a day in its cage. I followed, eager to catch up with him.
    [​IMG]
    The radio blipped and Brett’s voice crackled through the walkie-talkie’s earpiece. “Can your littlesauerkraut engine do that?” He laughed.
    I simply responded by changing gears and gunning it. This first part of the highway’s all high speed and long, sweeping turns. It’ll be a while until I catch up. Luckily the twisty section was about to come up and by then I'd catch up with Brett.
    [​IMG]
    We fought over the lead like two dogs fighting over territory. I can't actually remember the last time Brett's gone this fast off the track. On one corner he started to power-slide and smoke came billowing from his tyres.
    [​IMG]
    "Oops, did I do that?" he said cheekily.

    Luckily, I was able to take the lead due to his loss in grip and I maintained it for a while.
    [​IMG]
    Not.[​IMG]

    We kept on racing along the highway until we were about 20 miles from the Nevada border, so we turned around and headed back to the TIG. To my surprise it was almost half-one in the morning. We'd been racing for almost an hour. Once we were back at the station, I handed Brett his walkie-talkie and took another Mountain Dew from the coolers.

    "Well that was certainly fun, Jake," Brett said. "I knew you were good with cars, notthat good."

    I nodded, "I guess it's genetic. Although I hope that's the only thing genetic I got of Dad. Anything else personality-wise wouldn't be nice." I made a show at looking at the time on my phone. "I really should go, I've got a bed that's calling my name."

    Brett put his arm around my shoulder, "you're a good kid - nothing like your dad."

    I thanked him and left through the front doors, unlocked the Golf and hopped in. I looked back in my rear view mirror on the way home from what seemed the last time I'd race on Route 112.


    Constructive Criticism please, don't just say "zomg cool".
    Also, I changed the Focus into a Golf because a Golf is less rare than a Focus ST in America. And if you don't get the Armageddon Van reference... shame on you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  10. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    Nice work man; Brett sure does know how to drive. ;)

    Nice pictures BTW. :)

    FIFY. :p
     
  11. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    Whoops, edited :p. I'd also like to thank SVX for driving as Brett.

    So thank :p:tup:
     
  12. Rykon Zero

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    That must be an awesome movie. I heard they broke the Combo gauge in it. ;)

    Again, I'd love to crawl back behind the keyboard for an insane write-off again, but I still don't have a PS3. But boy, the Armageddon Van would get so much love...
     
  13. Skython

    Skython

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    ZOMG cool! :sly: I honestly have no real feedback to give, though just as I'm not sure I said when you showed me the start of the chapter awhile ago, I like the Armageddon Van reference.
     
  14. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    I'm just asking if it's easy to follow, entertaining, are the characters fleshed out.. stuff like that. Especially since I'm not using coloured text or the whole 'dialogue' type of race reports. IMO they're actually hard to read.
     
  15. Skython

    Skython

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    Well at times I sort of felt like I wanted to skip bits... :odd: Not sure if that was your writing or my lack of attention span at the time of reading (more likely the latter, as I've been busy most of today, so I'm generally rather impatient). May have been a problem with the way you've laid it out though. Changing colours tend to bring life to reading and makes you keep your attention, hence why I suck at reading. :p
     
  16. DK

    DK Premium

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    Nice chapter. :tup:
     
  17. Turtle

    Turtle

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    ZOMG Cool, I mean, this is a very good story and you shouldn't drop this. If you do I'll..... I'll.......... probably do nothing at all. But seriously, more please. :D

    ~Turtle [​IMG]
     
  18. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    Haha, thanks :lol:. As of now I'm stuck in a bit of a writer's block. To make things worse I just bought Most Wanted and Far Cry :p
     
  19. Rykon Zero

    Rykon Zero Premium

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    I wouldn't worry too much about writer's block. All you really have to do is sit at a keyboard and spout out verbal diarrhea until you get a good (or horribly bad) idea going.
     
  20. Turtle

    Turtle

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    Ugh, writers block, the only thing that kills more fanfics is loss of interest. I'm thinking of getting Most Wanted, I've heard it's similar to Burnout Paradise, I loved that game to death.

    ~Turtle [​IMG]
     
  21. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Good, fine German engineering.
     
  22. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    Yes, it's horrible. Yes, there aren't any pictures. Yes, I haven't actually abandoned this :p
    Chapter III​

    The world was asleep by the time I arrived home. I checked the dashboard clock before removing the key from the ignition, the red digits flashed 02:16. I got out and surveyed the night. Everything was silent apart from the odd car driving past or the yowling of cats fighting. I walked up to the front porch, quietly letting myself in. In the luminance of the streetlight outside, Dad was visible on the couch, his heavy build rising and falling under a blanket. I padded up the carpeted stairs, hoping not to break the silence of the night and awaken him.

    Walking into my bedroom left me realising I’d left it the same state before Mom and Dad’s fight - untidy and uninhabitable. Books were strewn across the desk, the wastebasket full of crushed Red Bull and Mountain Dew cans. A small stack of plates piled under my bed. Screw it, I thought. I’ll clean it tomorrow. I shoved my unfinished French homework into my bag and closed my laptop lid. No point in changing. I was too tired and I had school tomorrow - or should I say today? Shrugging off the thought, I slipped off my shoes and shirt before climbing into bed. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

    Okay, not really. It just sounds better than “It took me a few minutes to go to sleep.” Shut up.
    ______________________________

    “-mptence can be an embarrasing event but with these new pills you’ll get up - and stay up! Call 1-800 STAY UP, that’s 1-800 78...
    Not a great thing to wake up to
    , I thought as I slammed my hand onto the radio, turning it off. I tried looking around in the darkness to realise my eyelids were still glued shut from the dried sleep, so I rubbed it off and tried again. My eyes squinted as I gazed upon the bright bedroom, the sun creeping in through the curtains I forgot to close last night. I let my mind wander for a bit, reminiscing about last night, my race with Brett; Mom’s loud decision that made me go to Brett’s gas station in the first place.

    “Honey?” I heard Mom call from downstairs. “You up yet? It’s almost 6 o’clock!”

    Oh crap. That’s late. “Yeah! I’ll be down in a few minutes!” I blindly grabbed a t-shirt (30 Seconds to Mars) and some shorts before hopping into the shower for what seemed like a second. I dried off in a hurry and raced down to wolf down some eggs and toast while Mom unloaded the dishwasher. Dad was nowhere to be seen. He was probably at the garage working on his car or - more likely - sleeping off a hangover. I stopped mid-bite to ask Mom a question.

    “Could you have at least asked me if I wanted to move to California?”

    She paused and turned around, facing me.

    “Who told you that? Did you hear Dad and I talking last night?” She asked.

    “More like yelling,” I said sorely.

    Mom sighed and closed the dishwasher before leaning against it. “Ever since his crash, your Dad and I began to fall out. He spent more and more time in the bar, in the garage. There were some nights he wouldn’t come home until the next afternoon. I confronted him about it and he got angry. ‘I’m not addicted, I can easily stop,’ but he never did. I was guessing it was PTSD, so I told him he needed help. All he did was grumble about stupid therapists asking how you feel.

    “Then about a month ago your Uncle Peter called to catch up with us, and he said that Jerry was opening a new dentistry in Sacramento. He asked me if I’d like to switch jobs and I said that I’d consider it.”

    “Then why tell Dad that you did take it? And why bring me into this?”

    She shook her head, her dark hair quivering. “Pete called me last Tuesday. And after thinking about it for a few days, I really did want to move. So I told Earl that I was gonna take it. Pete and Jerry adore it there and they said that we’d both love it.”

    She continued. “In a few days, school will be ending for summer, and you’ll only have two more years of it left. I’d rather you go to a better school than Thurman High for those last two years. Isn’t Matt moving to Santa Cruz, anyway? That’s only 2 hours’ drive from Sacramento.”

    I corrected her, “San Francisco.”

    “Even closer!” Mom said. “You can visit him during the weekends. Anyway, that school is a dump and you know it. The only reason you went it because your father wanted you to go there.”

    She had a point. While it was apparently a secular school, walk into the school grounds and you were treated to the sight of Mormons, hicks or a combination of the two. Thurman High School had intelligence; it was just hidden deep within. However, you needed a large flashlight, search and rescue dogs and thermal imagery to find it. Bible quotes were plastered on every visible piece of wall, and I recall someone getting detention for talking positively about Darwinism.

    “It’s almost twenty-to,” Mom said. “So we need to get going if you want me to drop you off.”

    I shrugged her off before dangling my keys. “I’ll drive myself.”

    Mom nodded understandably. “Look, honey. Just promise me this: When you go to school today, think of all the stuff you’ll honestly miss if we were to move. And then consider if you’d like to go to Sacramento or not.”

    _________________________________

    Moving cities is a huge deal, but Mom was right. There’s nothing to like about this school at all. I pulled into the students and teachers’ parking lot and hopped out, throwing my messenger bag over one of my shoulders and grabbing a can of soda from the rear hatch. I took a look around before heading to the main school building. Students were arriving en masse from the bus stop a block or two away, and those with parents who were lucky to be working close to the school were being dropped off outside the gate. A few students privileged to be owning cars either parked where I did, or came in late and had to park further away outside the school, followed by a longer walk and a detention for being late.

    I downed my can and threw it in the trash (without missing) and walked into the main school building for one of the very last times.

    “Jake! Wait up!”

    I turned around and saw Matt wave and start jogging up the hallway to catch up with me. “You’re certainly not early,” I laughed. “Did your Mom drop you off again?”

    Matt slowed down to regain his breath and started up a right coughing fit before fumbling in his pocket for his inhaler. He put it up to his mouth and pressed down, paused, and slowly exhaled. Matt wasn’t what you would call ‘active’ but he was still blessed with a fast metabolism from his parents.

    “I should probably stop running,” he said, before answering my question. “Yeah. I should have caught the bus. Even with the walk, it’d still be faster.” He put his inhaler back in his jeans. What do we have now?”

    “You think after over a year of school, you’d remember what lessons you have?” I made a show of getting out my phone to check what we had first. “Calc is first, followed by French and then History.”

    Matt groaned, “Oh crap! Don’t we have a test for History today? Dammit!”

    “Don’t worry,” I said. “It’s only about the entire history of the Chernobyl Disaster!”

    “I’ve played S.T.A.L.K.E.R and watched The Chernobyl Diaries. That counts as study, right?”

    I shook my head, showing mock disapproval, “It’s tomorrow anyway. So you can ‘study’ all you want tonight.”

    “Argh! You had me thinking it was today, prick” Matt jabbed me in the ribs playfully. He looked down at his phone to check the time. “Yo, we should probably get going to Calc. The bell’s gonna ring any minute and we’ve got to walk halfway across the school. I don’t want to get ripped to shreds by Miss Xhao.”

    I picked up my bag and started walking towards Calculus, “maybe it’s because you never do your homework?”

    ______________________

    Miss Xhao was a woman who could strike you down with a single look. Her eyes had the ability to stare into your soul and rip it out. You were put on detention for the most insignificant of errors. Socks down? Detention. Forgot to do one question in your homework? Detention. Sneeze in class? Detention.

    “Class. Copy equations on board for homework,” Miss Xhao barked in broken English. “I no like detention but I must give out if need be.”

    “What?” Matt whispered. “She loves giving out detentions!”

    “Mr Montes,” Miss Xhao snapped. “Would you like to share with class what you are talking?”

    “No, Ma’am,” Matt said. “I was just coughing.”

    “You know what, Montes? I feeling happy today. School is almost close. No detention for you.”

    “Yes, Ma’am.”


    The bell rang for morning break, so Matt and I headed towards the languages block. It’s fairly run down compared to the newer sections of the school such as Maths or Humanities. The plaster's cracked in areas, and a floor tiles are missing here and there, but you get used to it.

    “You know what sucks?” Matt asked. “Dad’s job needs him to move a bit earlier. So instead of two months of hanging out before moving, it’s been cut short to three weeks.”

    I fished out two cans of Mountain Dew from my bag, chucking one to Matt. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.”

    “What’s to talk about?” Matt asked, pulling the tab from his drink. “I’m moving across two states to a city I’ve been to once when I was eleven; going to a completely new school with people I’ve never seen before for my last two years at school.”

    “Mom got a call from my uncle ‘cause there’s a new opening at his partner’s dentistry.”

    “And because of some horrible plot hole made by a lazy author, it’s coincidentally in San Francisco?” Matt asked.

    “No, the author’s not that lazy,” I replied. “My uncles are in Sacramento. It’s still a bit of a drive, but nothing a weekend trip can’t handle.”

    “Please tell me you’re going,” Matt said. “You hate this hellhole school and city.

    “I don’t kno-.”

    “What makes you want to stay?” he asked. “Is your dad going as well?”

    “No. What? God, no!” I said,

    “Then go!” Matt exclaimed. “You’re probably just hesitant to leave because it’s a shock to you. I’ve known about having to move for months, so it’s not as big of a shock to me. Trust me, you won’t regret it.”

    “It’s not like I have a choice,” I replied. “It’s either go with Mom or stay with Dad.”

    “Ouch, you don’t have a choice, do you?” Matt chucked his empty soda can in the trash. “Anyway, off to French. Allons-y, mon ami.”

    After putting it off for more than *checks watch* three months, I finally made another chapter. Like I've said in the past: Criticism, please. If it's difficult to read due to lack of 'coloured text', I'll consider adding it in the future.
     
  23. Skython

    Skython

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    The non coloured text actually isn't making things difficult, it's still very readable. :tup: Maybe occasionally, character speaking shifts could have been handled better, but still. There was just one occasion that I thought one character had carried on talking, but then figured it wasn't the case. But that's no biggy because it is just one occasion. I'd say keep the current format.
     
  24. Apok

    Apok Premium

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    Amazing work of art right there.
    Now write more or I will nag at you on Skype.
     
  25. wrapture

    wrapture

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    It's coming out great. I can't wait for the next chapter!! Just on piece of constructive criticism, quotations would make it almost perfect.
     
  26. Daniel

    Daniel Premium

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    Thanks for the input, guys. Glad to know that at least a few people are reading it :cheers:
    Not quite sure what you mean by this :confused:. I do have quotation marks and I only have a continuous dialogue when it's between two people, so it'll be easy to understand.
     
  27. wrapture

    wrapture

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    Sorry I must not be able to see them on the mobile app.
     
  28. ElementRacer

    ElementRacer

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    Tres cool brother. just found this and its an awesome read. KEEP IT UP.

    The spacing between dialogue is great. Black and white is always easier then multicolor. The only gripe I have is the occaisional drop in grammatical usage.