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The Diner
Sat Nov 13, 2010, 08:38 PM
Post: #1
The Diner
The diner wasn't too full. Twas a typical Thursday night, with a few patrons scattered here and there about the place, some seated at the diner, others in convenient window booths. The night was still young, evidenced by the people milling about outside, youngsters walking towards parties or clubs, older couples walking hand in hand towards warm homes and warm beds. Citizens in their cars drove by, caring not about the world around them, only caring about what lay in front of them, and the appropriate actions to take if some drunk young hooligan stumbled in front of their vehicle. The pedestrians outside were wrapped up from the bracing winter cold, most in a hurry to get off the street and into their nice warm homes.

Inside the diner, it was warm as well. Soft rock music by bands of old played from tinny speakers in a jukebox in a corner of the room. What dominated the place was, of course, the diner and its counter. A very 70s bar counter, it was polished and cleaned every day, sparkling to greet each patron as they entered. Salt and pepper shakers were placed strategically on it, as well as napkin holders and plastic straws in paper folders. All around the diner were pictures from America's past, old rock bands, a poster that had Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer and going 'I need YOU to join the US Army', among other things. A vintage electric guitar hung above the kitchen window, as the cook set a plate of food down onto the counter, letting the brown-haired waiter pick it up and deposit it at the appropriate customer. In this case it was a man, or should I say, wolf, that sat near the side of the counter, near the restrooms.

He was clothed simply, a short-sleeved navy blue hoodie adorning his body and a pair of black jeans covering the rest. A silver-grey tail jutted out just above the stool he sat on, the furry tail swishing about gently as he ate of the sunny-side eggs and buttered toast on his plate. A magazine lay to one side of the plate, opened to a particular page where a story on the history of the modern assault rifle was detailed. He had a head of mysteriously white hair, and equally mysteriously, and a bit creepy, white eyes. Two silver rings resided in the ear lobe of his left ear and a triangular notch was in his right ear. Underneath his left eye, an arrow pointed towards it. It extended into a stripe that ran down onto his left arm and ended in another arrow on the top of his hand. This arrow-stripe combination is a pale blue colour, and it appears to be glowing as well.

The other patrons paid no notice of this strange patron, either because of fear or because his strange appearance warranted no notice. Most likely the former. The waiter didn't care, though. He was a paying customer and he came regularly, his money was appreciated much to keep the diner open, among other regular patrons of the diner. Most of the other patrons weren't regulars, though. A couple sat near the window, engaged in happy conversation, hands clasped together. A man reading a newspaper sat near the jukebox, listening idly to the music while reading of today's worldly matters. On the other side of the jukebox also sat a man, eating from a slice of apple pie and taking idle sips from a mug of root beer. Outside, a third man in a medium-length coat stood, smoking a cigarette and watching the passers-by breathe clouds of water vapour in the cold weather.

Back inside, one more man sat at the counter, near the wolf. He was idly reading a magazine as well, a lone cup of coffee next to his gloved hand. The waiter brought this man a small cup of ice cream, vanilla, sprinkled with chocolate rice. The man smiled, paid the waiter and dug in, paying no attention to the other patrons. As it was stated, a typical Thursday night, a typical diner, a typical (almost) group of patrons.

There was, however, an atypical agenda for some of the patrons there. As the last song ended, the pie-eater got up and, after rummaging around in a pocket for spare change, inserted a few coins into the jukebox and picked another song. After a moment, the sounds of Freddie Mercury singing 'Another One Bites The Dust' echoed in the diner. Pie-Eater danced around a bit, before making his way to the restrooms, passing Coffee-Drinker along the way. Smoker extinguished his cigarette under a shoe and moved into the diner. The Couple smiled and kissed, before resting their heads against each other while they drank from a milkshake. The Wolf remained where he was, reading and eating, seemingly ignoring the rest of the patrons as they went about doing their business.

Everything happened in a flash. Nearly everyone, save the Wolf, stood up, pulling guns from waistbands and shoulder holsters. All the firepower was pointed at one person, the Wolf, who still sat nonchalantly on his stool, finishing up his toast. Pie-Eater emerged from the restroom, behind the Wolf, also pointing a gun at him. As the group of gunmen (and one woman) slowly surrounded the Wolf, he finished his meal and pushed the plate aside, wiping his lips with a paper napkin. The Queen song continued to play in the background. Everyone, save for the waiter and cook, was pointing their weapons at the Wolf.

The Wolf sat silently, his white eyes peering out from his mane of hair to observe and mark each target, noting how to take him (or her) down in the quickest way possible, with whatever was at his disposal. Behind him, Pie-Eater moved up, putting his gun within striking distance of the Wolf. Maybe to ensure a quick kill, but that was how the action started.

With that development in place, the Wolf set his plan into motion. In one fluid movement, he got off the stool, using the swivel to build momentum. He blocked Pie-Eater's gun hand with his right arm, twisting his arm round to catch Pie-Eater's arm with a gloved paw. At the same time he's already off the stool and moving to position himself behind Pie-Eater. In that same moment, everyone else began to notice the movement and pulled their triggers. This, however, failed to kill the Wolf, instead killing their comrade Pie-Eater, his brown leather jacket suddenly punched full of black holes that became filled with crimson blood.

The Wolf pushed the Pie-Eater at the Smoker, knocking them both over as he turned his attention to the rest of the assailants. The Couple, both of them, were busy reloading their weapons while Coffee-Drinker was bringing his up to bear. In that split second, the Wolf advanced towards the counter, picking up his empty plate and flinging it like a disc at the Coffee-Drinker. The ceramic plate hit the gunman's gun hand, sending his shot wildly into the ceiling. The Couple bring both their weapons to bear, but by that time the Wolf was up over the counter. His free hand shot towards a knife block, grabbing a small bread knife in the process.

The Couple split up, the Boyfriend moving to the open end of the counter while the Girlfriend kept the Wolf pinned with gunfire. As the Boyfriend rounded to the open end, the Wolf flung the knife at his assailant. The knife spun in midair, before impaling itself in the Boyfriend's eye. He screams and falls backward, dropping his gun and clutching uselessly at the knife in his eye, blood slowly pouring from the impaled organ and onto the floor. The Girlfriend screams out, before firing more at the Wolf, who was scrabbling across the floor towards the fallen gun.

Meanwhile, the Smoker has already cleared the Pie-Eater's corpse off of him, and the Coffee-Drinker reloaded his weapon, bringing it up to bear at the Wolf. The Smoker leaps over the counter to deliver a killing blow, but the Wolf prevents it by shooting up the Smoker with the gun he picked up. As the gunman toppled over, filled with bullets, he keeps firing at the other two assailants, before the gun's ammo runs out, the hammer clicking on an empty chamber. The gunman and gunwoman both hear the click, and advance towards the Wolf's location, knowing that he was out of options.

The Wolf wasn't out of options. He was simply empty-handed. He stood up and grabbed the Pie-Eater's knife off the table, before lunging at the Girlfriend. He parried her attempt to aim with his knife arm, before punching her once in the face and kicking her at the Coffee-Drinker. They both collide and fall over, but the Girlfriend staggers to her feet first, just as the Pie-Eater's knife slams blade-first into her temple. She let's out a startled grunt before the realisation hits her: she's dead; the knife blade jammed into her head, breaking past her skull and impaling her brain.

As the Girlfriend falls over, quite dead, the Coffee-Drinker staggers up and aims at the Wolf, who parries the aiming motion and uses a kung-fu flip to flip the Coffee-Drinker up and over onto a table, smashing the assorted plates and cup there. With a flurry of punches, the Wolf leaves the Coffee-Drinker beaten bloody and unconscious. The Wolf brushes invisible specks of dust off his hoodie, before stepping over the assorted bodies and rubble and exiting the diner. That night really wasn't typical at all.

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Wed Nov 24, 2010, 08:28 PM (This post was last modified: Wed Nov 24, 2010 08:28 PM by Canis Enigmas.)
Post: #2
RE: The Diner
Not really a critic with stories (thats the hoss' job actualy). The effort here for a first time is pretty impressive but still has plenty of room for improvement Winking Good emphasis on descriptive text, but its actually too much descriptive text. Especially in the beginning, your descriptions tend to deviate from its purpose, which is supposed to paint a picture of the environment and surroundings. Some deviations like what the car drivers are thinking of while they are driving past is quite unnecessary and does not contribute to the plot or atmosphere.

Your usage of long identification terms like "pie-eater" and "coffee-drinker" to identify individual characters actually makes the pace of the shootout/fight very confusing and convulsed :/
Reason for this is that you're not giving these additional characters unique identities. Notice you labeled all of these characters involved just as "a man" (or "a woman") and what they were doing, but almost absolutely no other defining characteristics. Compare that in contrast to how much detail you've put into the wolf character. Balance out the details for all the characters (skin tone, height, build, hair, facial, attitude, etc.) and it becomes a whole lot easier (and a makes it feel a lot less of a furry-written story Tongue )

Another thing that could help is to practice to smoothen out the descriptions action try to blend them together and it would feel more natural and avoids them feeling like "lecture bullet points". There are some sections of the story that does this rather well, like the intro, but it does not maintain the flow and midway it starts to feel more of a step by step description of an action scene by someone who just came out from the cinema.

Keep reading stories out there, you'll find good examples of how well known writers try to get around this.
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Thu Nov 25, 2010, 01:38 AM
Post: #3
RE: The Diner
Overall, I like the theme of the story, the location and the potential for the story to develop further.

There are a lot of details, as our dear jackal has pointed out, but there are too much details coming from so many points-of-view (POV) that it while it does paint a general picture in my head, the atmosphere -- in this case, the diner -- is clearly distinctly lacking. A more suitable introduction would be to talk about the stark contrast between the frigid winter day and the enveloping warmth of the old diner. How the worn leather seats had seen better days, but the rustic look lured weary passer-bys seeking food and shelter in. The smell of food wafting through the doors every time a patron left brought two more in, packing the small diner to capacity.

Try not to focus in on details unless they are relevant to the plot or storyline.

While I understand the need for writers to portray their character by describing how they look, one trend I've noticed in furry writers who are starting out is the tendency to over-describe. I don't need to know how tall, muscular, heavy, strong, heavily armed, well dressed, endowed, adorned with jewellery, tattooed, depressed, proud, sad, enraged your character is in one paragraph. These details would be better spread out over the entire story. For example, instead of...

(Sat Nov 13, 2010 08:38 PM)DJAtomika Wrote:  He was clothed simply, a short-sleeved navy blue hoodie adorning his body and a pair of black jeans covering the rest. A silver-grey tail jutted out just above the stool he sat on, the furry tail swishing about gently as he ate of the sunny-side eggs and buttered toast on his plate. A magazine lay to one side of the plate, opened to a particular page where a story on the history of the modern assault rifle was detailed. He had a head of mysteriously white hair, and equally mysteriously, and a bit creepy, white eyes. Two silver rings resided in the ear lobe of his left ear and a triangular notch was in his right ear. Underneath his left eye, an arrow pointed towards it. It extended into a stripe that ran down onto his left arm and ended in another arrow on the top of his hand. This arrow-stripe combination is a pale blue colour, and it appears to be glowing as well.

... you could do it like this:

The Horse Wrote:He chewed mindlessly as he paid no attention to the rest of the diner, dropping his fork back onto his plate of eggs and toast. Instead, his distinct white eyes continued to scan across interesting facts about the history of modern weaponry, stopping over when a stray lock of white hair slipped out from under his hoodie. It annoyed him, distracting his attention as the hairs obscured his vision. He spent a few moments brushing and tucking back into place, making sure his otherwise eye-catching fur remained concealed underneath his clothing. When it finally was, the pattern repeated itself -- eating, chewing, reading and making sure he was not presenting himself as an obvious target.


Unless your character has eyes on the back of his head or is somehow magically able to see the entire world from a third-person perspective, it is best to describe only what your character can see and not what he cannot.

I like the concept of identifying the assailants by what they were doing, although the introduction into each assailant association was either too vague (the coffee drinker and the apple pie guy) or too excessively detailed (the couple). Describing observations made by your character that leads into the association with Person A or Person B. While our jackal recommends separating each character by distinct feature, not all characters can afford these features, like a humongous afro or a multi-racial mix of assailants. Association by action works, especially if they are trying to remain as ordinary and as low-key as possible before springing their ambush.

I am a firm believer for a good, realistic fight scene and a good, realistic fight scene depends very much on the environment. Improvisation of weapons is commendable, although it suffers the same problem of too much details for the reader to process. However, I liked it, even though the way the ambush was setup seemed a little clumsy. Close-quartered gun battles usually weigh in favour of the one with superior fire power, even if the attacker has the reflexes of a sloth, and especially given the fact that your character was completely unarmed. If he had pistols and taken down some at least of his attackers first, that could have provided him a route to protection or safety.

Finally, fundamentals such as grammar is a lacking a bit. I see words like "screams" and "bring" when there are past tenses (e.g. -ed) in the same sentence. Also, "bring to bear" seems to be a common, well-used phrase in more than one instance.


Again, like what our resident jackal has recommended, keep up the reading. Preferably go read the stories of authors who are well-established in the fandom, like Kyell Gold, K. M. Hirosaki and Alex F. Vance. The "F" stands for "F%@!^(#".
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Fri Nov 26, 2010, 02:07 PM
Post: #4
RE: The Diner
@Canis: I get what ya sayin'. The universe in which my fursona and his other furry buddies/teammates/soldiers are in is a world where they are the only furries, everyone else is human. Not necessarily the humans are against them, only certain ones.

@Horsey: Yeah, I still suck at writing. So sue me. I read...mostly famous authors like Dan Brown, Patricia Cornwell, Stephen King, John Grisham and the like. Have a strong liking towards horror and detective stories, thus so much descriptive text.

@Both: My universe is a world in which magic, magickal skills and abilities, the supernatural and demonic all exist, out of the human eye. My fursona just so happens to be guarding these secrets in New York City. And he's also wanted by many of the fictional NYC underground gangs and triads. I'm still ironing out lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots and lots) of kinks, so if you two are willing help me, it would be lovely. Big smile

I'm actually working my way through War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy right now. Its a gewd book. Really gewd.

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