Author Topic: Rogue CH.1 (swearing and violence involved) 950 wds.  (Read 198 times)

Offline 10xrower

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Rogue CH.1 (swearing and violence involved) 950 wds.
« on: January 04, 2020, 02:34:07 PM »
This is a retooling to a story I posted many years ago.  Any and all feedback is appreciated!  I apologize for the formatting.

        Snow. 

        Of all the types of weather, this was the worst.  Not only did it absorb all ambient noise

nearby, it made anything that wasn't white more noticeable. 

   Time to modify my plan; something I hated doing.  However, habits make my job of dealing

death easier.

   Julio Silva had the same daily routine after making public appearances in Grand Rapids.  His

driver took him to the Amway Grand Hotel, where he would shower and relax for an hour.  After that,

Silva headed to his favorite restaurant, located in the poorer part of town, Cantina de Caracas.  While

the driver looked for a parking spot, Silva went in to eat.  The staff always had a table ready when they

learned he was in town.

   That was my window; and with the snow, it was smaller than ever before. 
   
   I followed the driver as he pulled into a parking garage across the street from the restaurant. 

        The garage was almost empty, due to the lousy weather.  The driver parked, then leaned over the

passenger seat to grab a pack of cigarettes.  He wore a dark ebony suit, and a pair of aviator Ray Bans. 

   As he straightened back up, he turned to see my right cross strike him in the cheek, rendering

him unconscious.  When he slumped in his seat, I searched his suit jacket and removed the Glock from

its holster.  I pulled out the magazine to find eight rounds in the clip.  So far, so good.

   I pulled the driver's unconscious body out of the car and hid it in the stairwell.  It wouldn't be

seen until after the contract was fulfilled.  With the weapon secured in my concealed holster the

disguise was complete.  I looked exactly like the driver.   

   Walking toward the restaurant, I made sure to deafen my steps as much as possible.  Stealth and

surprise were key; like any contract I took on.

   The rear entrance to the Cantina was closed, but not locked.  I scanned the environment for

witnesses and saw none. I withdrew the weapon flipped the safety off. Aiming the barrel straight in the

air, I fired six of the rounds.

   The concussive peal of each round shattered the stillness of the air, and I flung the door open and raced toward

the dining area.

   The few customers heard the commotion and sat dumbfounded, unable to process the situation. 

Silva, however, knew enough to get beneath the table where he was sitting and make himself as small

as possible. 

    I raced to his position and grabbed his arm.  “Sir, we have to get you out of here!”

    He stared at me for a moment.  I knew the disguise was good, but if he didn't buy it, it wouldn't

matter.  The less time to think the better.

    “Sir, NOW!”
   
    He shook out of the daze, grabbed my arm, and ran to the back door.  I covered his retreat with

my body, shielding him from the dining area.

    We sprinted to the garage.  As we got to the car, I pushed him down so he could hide behind the

wheel well on the driver's side. 

    “Stay down, until I give you the all clear!”  I said. 

     I let a few moments pass before speaking.  “Okay, looks like we're good.”

     He looked up to see the barrel of the Glock leveled at his head.

    “What do you want with me?”  he asked.
   
         “Information.  What did you find out for Romero?”  I said.
   
         “I can’t tell you.”
   
          I pulled the slide of the Glock back and let it snap back into place.
   
         “My friend here says you can.”
   
          He brushed some dirt off of his jeans and said, “If I'm dead, you don't get your information.  Besides, if the

cops show up and see me held at gunpoint, you have no leverage.”
   
          I hated to admit he was right about the cops, but he was sorely mistaken about leverage. 
   
         “Oh no,”  I said, “it looks like you've gotten your suit dirty.  Why don't I call my Colombian colleagues and they

can bring you a clean one, complete with a necktie? Or would you prefer that they leave it with your family?”    
    
          His eyes got bigger than the rims on the car.  He opened his mouth a few times to say something, but closed it

before any words came out.  The look on his face morphed from one of fear to one of desperation.  His eyes

glimmered with tears and he crawled over to me and clung to my pant cuffs.
   
          If…if I tell you what I know, will you keep them from hurting me, or my family?
   
       Finally.  “Absolutely.”  I said, lowering the gun.
   
          Silva looked around and whispered, “I stole the new weapon plans from Northrup Industries.”
   
         “What do these weapons do?”
   
         “They compromise the structural integrity of enemy units.”
   
         I had what I needed.  I kicked Silva away from me and he backed up against the car as I leveled the gun back

at his head. 
   
        “Wait!  I cooperated.  You can’t kill me!”  he pleaded.
   
        “Normally, I’d agree, but letting you go now is against policy.  You've seen my face.”
   
        “What?”
   
        The shot sounded like air brakes on a truck, and it struck him in the left temple. Silva’s skull splattered all over

the driver’s side door and window.  I rifled through his pockets, found his wallet, and took the cash, credit cards.

Then I collected the bullet casing that was lying on the ground.     
   
        I slipped down the stairway in back and opened my cell phone.  Northrup needed to know I completed my

contract.

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: Rogue CH.1 (swearing and violence involved) 950 wds.
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 06:50:10 AM »
I have to admit this is not my favourite kind of reading material. But what I do know is that action/adventure stories need conflict and a degree of suspense. And most discerning readers have come to expect something a little different from a stereotypical Sylvester Stallone hero in 2020.
I couldn't take any of this seriously. Your narrator's 'voice' is far too macho, I'm afraid, and everything runs so smoothly that the plot reads flimsy and rushed.

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. . .habits make my job of dealing death easier.
How crummy is that?

Your opening suggests there might be a degree of intrigue on the way but everything quickly became predictable and rather unexciting.

Your hero is forced to modify his plan - but we never get to know what that original plan was. A guy in Silva's situation and with enough cash to afford a personal driver would have to be an idiot to follow exactly the same routine whenevery he's in town - yet you'd have us believe that's the case here.

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That was my window; and with the snow, it was smaller than ever before.

Does this mean he's tried to target Silva before? We'll never know.

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The garage was almost empty, due to the lousy weather.  The driver parked, then leaned over the passenger seat to grab a pack of cigarettes.  He wore a dark ebony suit, and a pair of aviator Ray Bans.

I'm not sure why you tell us this since the detail adds nothing to the development of the story and drags the reader's attention away from the unfolding action.

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As he straightened back up, he turned to see my right cross strike him in the cheek, rendering him unconscious.

If the punch rendered him unconscious how did he see himself being rendered unconscious? And how does the narrator even know he saw the 'right cross'?

There are so many plot holes that little of what follows makes sense.

Quote
I pulled out the magazine to find eight rounds in the clip.  So far, so good. I pulled the driver's unconscious body out of the car and hid it in the stairwell.  It wouldn't be seen until after the contract was fulfilled. With the weapon secured in my concealed holster the disguise was complete.  I looked exactly like the driver.

Why is finding the eight rounds 'so far so good'? Wouldn't a trained assassin carry his own gun and ammunition? And why hide the body in the stairwell when there was less chance of it being discovered in the car inside an 'almost empty' garage? And again, how does your hero know for a fact it wouldn't be seen in the stairwell?

I also don't understand how a concealed weapon makes your hero's disguise complete (since something concealed by its very nature cannot be seen). Did he put on the driver's suit and wear a face mask to make him look 'exactly like the driver'?

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Walking toward the restaurant, I made sure to deafen my steps as much as possible.  Stealth and surprise were key; like any contract I took on.

Why does he walk like this if he's meant to look like the driver? Wouldn't sneaking around draw attention and make him appear suspicious? Then you have him extract the gun - so what was the point of concealing it in the first place.

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He stared at me for a moment.  I knew the disguise was good, but if he didn't buy it, it wouldn't matter.
What disguise? The hidden gun which is not hidden?

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He looked up to see the barrel of the Glock leveled at his head. “What do you want with me?” he asked.

That has to be the most undramatic reaction ever. No surprise at the uncanny resemblance between his driver and this attacker? No surprise at having a gun pointed at his head by someone who has supposedly saved his life?
 
I skimmed the rest because it doesn't get any better.

Overall impression - this needs a great deal more work to make it readable and believable. Your characters are paper thin, the dialogue is Hollywood B-movie dialogue at best, and the plot doesn't really bear close inspection.

My advice, get hold of some contemporary thrillers and read them to see how established writers handle characters, dialogue and plot development. You have the bare bones of a story here - but as it stands it's nothing more, I'm sorry.

Offline 10xrower

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Re: Rogue CH.1 (swearing and violence involved) 950 wds.
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 07:58:20 AM »
I appreciate the time you took to give me such honest feedback, and I will be incorporating your suggestions in upcoming posts.  Was there anything in the passage that you did like?

Thanks again for your time!

10xrower

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: Rogue CH.1 (swearing and violence involved) 950 wds.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 08:05:37 AM »
The opening was intriguing. It suggested we would get to know the narrator's mindset and maybe discover what motivated him to set out in such difficult conditions. . . but in the end we didn't get to know very much about him at all.

This story could be fleshed out into much more - but you have to give your hero more challenges to overcome than what he faced here. We need things to go wrong so we can then share his feelings as he reacts and adapts to changing situations. The job itself seemed a little strange as well. He captures an industrial spy, gets him to confess to a crime they already know he committed then he kills him. Why? In the end this read like a normal day in the office for your run-of-the-mill contract killer.

Good luck.

Offline jackbruns28

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Re: Rogue CH.1 (swearing and violence involved) 950 wds.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 11:36:11 PM »
Welp. I'm not going to get into complete specifics, as I'm not sure in context where you're going here with this. I mean, it felt as if I was in the middle of an action scene somewhere in the first act. Which is fine. As I got the feeling character development was either in earlier or later chapters.

That said, for this chapter, the writing was all over the place, and I felt a re-write or two could drastically improve a sense of location and dramatic tension. Some things didn't really make that much sense, and those that did felt more thought could be placed in a more fresh direction instead of somewhat tired tropes. Especially the dialogue. Feel free to answer back if you're interested in something specific.