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Mojopin12's picture

A Different Breed

By Mojopin12 in Arrest Us

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Description

When small time drug dealer, Rafael (Rafa) Gomez's, best friend turns up dead, he goes on the hunt for those responsible.

Comments

Hector Acosta's picture
Hector Acosta from Dallas is reading Fletch July 7, 2014 - 2:09pm

Mojo, 

I'll be honest, I wavered on this story for a bit. Technically you have some good lines spread through the whole thing, you have a firm grasp on Rafael, and the plot moved along in a nice, speedy manner. 

To me though, it was all very boring, which is a weird thing to say about a story with a death count as you. Unfortunately, it feels like this is a story that I've read multiple times before, about a man clad in black that is a bad ass and goes out to avenge a fallen friend. Coming from Texas, I think the Houston/Austin area is a gold mind of different possibilities that you can dwelve into, but right now, the story feels like it could have taken place almost anywhere, with any character. 

Sorry if this sounds negative- at the end I enjoyed the story enough to give you a thumbs up, and it's clear that you have the writing chops, I think that this can be much more. I felt like we only got a shallow look at Rafael, and would love to see you go deeper into this character. Maybe focus more on his relationship to Jonny, so that when he dies, we as readers feel it and want something to happen to those that killed him. 

Good luck, 

Cmangano's picture
Cmangano from Maine July 7, 2014 - 8:51pm

Stylistically this was a fun read for me. I thought the dialogue felt natural and most everything seemed to flow well without any interruptions. That being said I have a few things that stood out to me.

I found that there were a few repetitive parts in the beginning, while I like the description of the "Chinless Fuck" it seems a bit heavy handed after hearing it so many times. Early on you mention say ,about Johnny," He plays the party boy rich kid to the T" pg 4. Then on page 10, "He was so good at playing the party boy, rich kid you know?" I understand wanting to remind the reader of this point as it becomes more relevant, but the wording is so close that it seemed a little redundant to me and I think a more subtle reference to the fact would suffice without the distraction. The part about following the Yukon was relatively long and didn't add much except that Rapha has to follow it to get to the punk kids.

I think with some attention to some of the repeated phrases and words in your story would help perfect this story that I thought was, ultimately, a fun and interesting read.

Cmangano's picture
Cmangano from Maine July 7, 2014 - 8:52pm

Posted a duplicate on accident.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK July 17, 2014 - 8:52am

This is well written, and flows well, but is not as engaging as I hoped. You do a good job of showing the characters, but your protaganist was too cold and cliché. What makes him interesting? What makes him real? He likes his friend, but controls him. He has nothing else. Why does he do it? For the money? He's not ambitious, so what's the point in taking such a risky career option? There's a lot to like here, but in my opinion it just needs tightening up a bit. Best of luck.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) July 18, 2014 - 4:52am

This is a solid thumbs up, but I do think it could have been something more.

I find it hard to disagree with the other comments, that as it is, Rafa is a little too cliché, and not developed enough. He is an archetype character – the strong, quiet type who will get his revenge on anybody that tries to fuck him over. That’s fine, but there is nothing here to elevate him as a character. He needs some more nuances to make him more real. In particular I’d like to see more of his friendship with Jonny. As it is that entire relationship is dealt with in one sentence – “Jonny was Jonathon Lopez, my best friend since kindergarten, so close, we even enlisted and served in the marines together.”

I have two comments on the ending. First off, don’t have him saved by a jammed gun. To rely on this much good fortune just taints the story, and it is very cliché; right up there with stopping a bomb countdown with just a second left. The other is a suggestion to cut out that last paragraph. We don’t need to know anything in that final paragraph. It reads like an attempt to give a bit more character to Rafa, but it’s shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. This ending is perfect:

“I don’t like killing women.
I close my eyes, turn around and step out of the house, leaving Brandy and everything else behind me.”
 

You have the craft. Technically this story is absolutely fine, it just lacks that little creative spark that would make it stand out from the crowd. I don’t think it would take a lot more work to really get this sparkling well.

Liam Hogan's picture
Liam Hogan from Earth is reading Hugo Nominations July 21, 2014 - 10:24am

Hi Mojopin the Twelfth,

So you have a standard ish turf war / revenge over drugs, with the one element of mystery - how did Jonny get made? Not that mysterious, and since he's dealing drugs, not sure what the pretence of being a rich kid, other than it enables him to sell to other rich kids, does for him. I guess I'd like something a little more original.

Probably a bit verbose as well, this story - you could I'm sure tighten it some, and it'd be the better for it.

That said, it's written well enough on the whole, even if I really don't care who kills who or why. Some other read-through comments below.

I’m nearly opaque, in my black leather jacket and dark slacks and shirt. I blend in with the scenery, dirty and dark just like the building. - I'd write this as the pithier - "In my black leather jacket and dark slacks and shirt. I blend in with the scenery: dirty and dark.". And pithy at the start of a story is good - there's a tendency to overwrite before settling down into a more normal rhythm.

Of course you arrived earlier if it takes them 5 minutes to spot you. But you also claim to not want them to wait, though it takes 5 minutes to spot you. ?

Everybody - warehouse, two wannabies - it seems, is down on their knees.

The tandem of two - are there any other sort of tandems? Plus 2nd use of tandem. Repetition can throw you out of the writing, read the work out aloud to yourself to spot them.

"Or we’ll find someone else to.” - I'd make this "Or we'll find someone who can." And I'd only have him show his gun after some expletive from our narrator.

he fucked up the whole operation up

This "coming home" business - starts to make it sound like Rafa and Jonny are kids. Some other way of describing it, perhaps? The whole Houston/Austin arrangement is a bit of a confusion as it is, the police knows he shares an appartment with Jonny, but surely he's not based in Austin?

“What happened?” - try a pause here... (as if he's thinking of other things to say, as if there's a big impact here, AND it shows - "What... happened?"

Police presence at his appartment, if he was shot in his office? Or does the appartment have an office? What sort of appartment has an office? Has the potential to confuse, and doesn't seem necessary.

Plus, doesn't either Jonny or Rafa have a police record (I mean, other than the single joint on campus, which wouldn't you'd have thought have been enough to run him off.)

Facebook has made it so easy to stalk people, and it’s made my job so much easier. - I'd cut this line. The point is already made.

hide my care behind a copse of trees - car.

I slit both their throats, one after the other- what does the other do while waiting his turn?

“You got to clean those you majesty,” I tell him condescendingly. - how about "A king has to look after his subjects" ?

Two beatings to pulp in the space of - what, how many minutes? You want hard boiled, you might say how much more satisfying this 2nd one was, even though his fists were aching or some such. Have his actions have an effect on him.

What was Brandy doing in the closet? How long has she been there?

The sign off for this piece - the deliberation, could use your stories title. Though even if it does, it's a little - what now? Sounds like Rafa had a couple of deals going, in both Houston and Austin, and now that's gone. Sure, he's got the money, but that was his money to start with. Doesn't seem very cut up over Jonny, once he's avenged. Plus, Jose is strangely absent (not even as a "he ran away, the pussy" comment).

Liam