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JKruse's picture

The Mole

By JKruse in Arrest Us

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Description

The story of a strange man living below the ground in present day, yet connected to everything in his lair. The reclusive tech genus Wilfred Anderson, got a violent start at the early age of 15, and begins learn a dark trade that will take him farther into a criminal world then he ever dreamed possible.

Comments

jalenia's picture
jalenia June 2, 2014 - 10:31pm

It's a different twist on the criminal mind. Good read! :)

JKruse's picture
JKruse from Florida is reading Doctor Sleep June 4, 2014 - 5:18pm

Thanks! It was very fun to write:)

jfizer's picture
jfizer June 3, 2014 - 11:31am

The main character seems to sum up all the qualities of the criminal mind and persona. Slimey...

Interesting and mysterious

 

JKruse's picture
JKruse from Florida is reading Doctor Sleep June 4, 2014 - 5:19pm

Thanks!

Grant Williams's picture
Grant Williams from Wichita, KS is reading Friday June 4, 2014 - 10:47am

Good story.  Wilfrd felt a bit like  a rat in the beginning.  There was a bit of an animalistic focus to him.  The first half of the story was a bit slow, but it serves the purpose of showing his solitude.  The details take more time to read, which slows it down, but they all seem like things Wilfred would take in.  I especially enjoyed the bit about the workers trying to forget about the factory that he held so dear.  A nice bit about perspective.

JKruse's picture
JKruse from Florida is reading Doctor Sleep June 4, 2014 - 5:19pm

Thanks grant! I do agree, Wilfred is a bit rat like, molish even:) I do plan on making him a bit more dark in a rewrite.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) June 9, 2014 - 4:17am

This is an interesting read. The central idea is a good one, making the criminal underworld in your story literally underground (for the most part). Wilfred is an interesting character, and I like his contradictions. This is someone uncomfortable with human interaction, but who can dress up and embody a role to the point of talking to the police. You explore the minutiae of his life, and I particularly liked the comparison of his use of the factory, against that of the factory workers.

The difficulty in exploring the details though, is that the story plays second fiddle here. The first half in particular is well written for the most part, but there is a complete lack of tension or conflict. Wilfred kills to temporarily protect himself and his lair. This is a situation rife with dramatic possibilities. The story is underground, where every noise can amplify, and the threat of danger can lurk around every corner. In miles of tunnel, will the worker even go down the path towards Wilfred, or away from him? The murder itself is dealt with in a very cursory fashion. You clearly have a love of language, and a flair for it too, but the opening is over written in places. A simpler writing style in places can increase the pace and propel the story along.

I would have liked to have seen this character within a more defined story arc. You do a great job of getting across what his life is like, living on the fringes of society, but don’t really give him anything to do within that framework. When something dramatic happens, the pacing remains fairly slow. The killing of the step-dad is a perfect example. I like the imagery of that knife sinking into his paunch, so different from how it’s shown on the movies (though how different? Lack of expected resistance?) . Your description of it lacks urgency. Some punchier sentence structures would help when writing those passages. I’d also have liked more of a hint as to motive. Why kill the step dad? Is to protect himself and/or his mother? Simple revenge? We’re following him, so could do with more of an understanding as to his motives. Also why run? Surely he can argue self-defence?

The vast majority of your language and writing is very enjoyable. While the flow could be improved in places, reading your narrative is like sipping on a nice wine, or chewing on a nice steak. The pace may be leisurely but at least the flavour can be savoured. There are some thing perhaps to look out for though. Occasionally you reach for a simile that doesn’t always make sense, for instance, “a choice like a temperature on a prime cut of beef steak”. You also overuse ellipses (15 uses of it in this piece), and adverbs. Having noticed a fair few I did a search on ‘ly’ and found a lot of instances – quickly, quietly, firmly etc. These tell us rather than show us. However, I then did a similar search on my own story, and I have fallen into a lot of the same traps. Looks like we both have an edit to undertake.

Obviously this is all just one opinion, so you can take it or leave, but I think what you have here is the foundation for a very good story. Your protagonist is good, and you have a flair for descriptive narrative. If you add in more of a story arc and vary the flow, this could be very good indeed.

JKruse's picture
JKruse from Florida is reading Doctor Sleep June 9, 2014 - 7:12am

Thank-you Adam, I really enjoyed your opinion and thoughts on this peice. I started this story and edited (distilled) everything for the word count requirments needed here, which I did find useful for me, 'get to the point' excerise, but does leave holes and incomplete scenes. This story has a much bigger plot, and host of charactors, but I will take your insights forward with me as I finish it.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) June 9, 2014 - 7:49am

Ah, so it's a longer story. Actually that makes a lot of sense, and trying to squeeze into a tight word count is pretty tough. You've certainly got a lot to work with to build a much bigger story here. Best of luck with it.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK June 17, 2014 - 10:33am

This is a good story, but it is let down by a few spelling and grammar errors (conscience instead of conscious, revile instead of reveal, cloths instead of clothes, etc.) and the odd misplaced comma or hyphen (thought-less). It could do with a quick revision, but it's very odd and dark, in a good way. I like it.

JKruse's picture
JKruse from Florida is reading Doctor Sleep June 17, 2014 - 7:15pm

Thanks Seb, for some reason, I figured I could edit the peice even if it was submitted, but that is not the case. My bad, no excuse for it:) I edited down a much longer story to meet the guideline, more concerned with story line, lesson learned. I have since written much more on this story, the plot is thick, yet flows. We will see where its goes:)

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK June 17, 2014 - 11:35pm

Sounds good. I love the mole idea, and his relationship with this cleaner guy is intriguing so it will be good to see what happens.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) June 18, 2014 - 12:15am

You can edit the story and repost. Just click the edit button (just above the Arrest Us banner on your story), and it allows you to remove your story and post an updated version.

JKruse's picture
JKruse from Florida is reading Doctor Sleep June 18, 2014 - 10:32am

Oh thanks Adam!

Hector Acosta's picture
Hector Acosta from Dallas is reading Fletch July 10, 2014 - 7:27am

Like others have said, I really enjoyed the character of Wilfred. Especially the idea that he can become invisible to the upper world. That's something that I've seen in a few stories, but it's always interesting. 

One of the things I'd like to see in a revised draft is you showing us those skills earlier on. You talk about them throughout the first five pages, but don't show it until the fifth one. When you do show it, and you have him talking to an officer, I thought some of the dialogue could use some work, as it felt a bit clunky. Those his last line to the officer was great, and fully what I expect a hobo to say.

LIke others have said, there's not a lot of tension early on. It felt sort of odd that he kills a man and you just gloss over it. A lot of the beginning is just description and you showing us his day to day operations. They're interesting, but they drag the story down somewhat.

For me, I didn't really care for the style of writing you used in this piece. Objectively, I can tell that you're a good writer, and there's some good lines and description through out the piece, but there's just so much of it. As a reader, I started to feel less impressed and more dragged down by the writing as the piece went on.

For example, your opening paragraph has a killer first line that gets bogged down by the next couple of lines. I had to read your second line:

So invisible in fact, he showed up in places unaware he could in fact, be seen - if someone had a reason to do so

A couple of times to figure out what you were trying to say.

And there's a lot of lines like that. It obviously comes down to personal choice, and if you don't have anyone else that mentions having an issue with it, feel free to ignore me, but to me the story is overwritten. None of the lines have a chance to shine because they're packed so closely together with other overly descriptive lines. I'd like to see this story pared down, it feels to me like it should, because right now, the writing unfortunately gets in the way and caused me to start to skim through details.

This, combined with the lack of tension and clear plot in the story kinda made me lose interest by the halfway through. My suggestion would be to start the story right off the bat with his home being invaded by the utility worker, and then give us a reason to care about Wilfred. If he needs to find a new place, then there needs to be conflict that arises out of that.

Sorry if this comes out sounding negative. I think you have a great character in Wilfred, and you have the writing chops to make this story really pop. Good luck.

Cmangano's picture
Cmangano from Maine July 27, 2014 - 4:18pm

I found a lot of the description long and confusing in this story. There's a lot of information, but I keep feeling like I've missed the point. You make a point of putting him in the air ducts, not even taking food from the shelter, lest it ever be noticed, I think I might be lost, but how does he fit any relevant technology (computers) in there? I was also wondering about computer survival in the damp sewers.

I think the flash back should come earlier and maybe include something about his knowledge or interest in technology. You used the word "bastard" a lot and not just for one person. there are a slew of other things these men must have been let us know them.