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Dan Newcomer's picture

Paradisi: Or How Arsonists Learn To Blow Things Up With Their Minds

By Dan Newcomer in Teleport Us

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This excerpt that I have provided here is the first chapter to this sci-fi novel. Paradisi: Or How Arsonists Learn To Blow Things Up With Their Mind is a take on the common coming of age story, where a younger kid in his boring, uninteresting town, starts to encounter a range of strange situations involving a robot housekeeping that his father mysteriously obtained, a psychotic and beautiful woman who struts a samari sword, and a lonely ghost he meets during a friendly burning with his friends. Basically in this first section, we have an introduction of the characters to set the stage for the unrolling of the plot, as after the protagonist and his friends burn down a house, he starts having some headaches. The cigarette company in their, quite mysterious on its own, begins tailing the main character, and after they take him, the boy unwillingly realizes that the strong emotions a young kid experiences through puberty can make things explode through the use of telepathy - however, because he is in puberty, the only skill that his brain can conduct is the explosions of other's heads. Hope you enjoy!


Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes March 4, 2013 - 4:13pm

There are a lot of intriguing things going on in here.  I think the basic premise (as far as I understand it) is original and I like the mix of characters. You have some very good imagery and detail.  I like the repetition of the smoking strong minty cigarettes by the river, for example.  I liked the hints about purification and burning.  

You have a rather poetic style: rich in detail, filled with descriptions, and a kind of dreamy tone.  That is great, but when you add that to a piece that has significant problems with mechanics it causes a lot more confusion.  It is difficult to read.  In particular there are a lot of comma splices and some odd syntax choices. Sentence fragments are easier to deal with, but too many are going to increase the confusion.  

I know you said this is just an introduction but this event is really more about having a cohesive stand alone story.  This feels like an establishing chapter. It also doesn't seem to quite fit the Dystopian theme, not clearly anyway.  That is why I gave this a thumbs down.  

I hope you keep at it.  Keep drafting and editing.  

Dan Newcomer's picture
Dan Newcomer from Wisconsin is reading The Pilgrimage March 4, 2013 - 4:30pm


Thanks so much for the comment. Yeah I had the submission guidelines a little confused I guess. But you have no idea how much I appreciate the comment on the syntax errors and comma splices: dreaminess instead of direct storytelling has always been a slight problem of mine, and so I also thank you for that as well. Most importantly, thanks for just taking the time to read and give me a good feedback; I live off all of that!

Warm Regards,


Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland March 4, 2013 - 9:23pm

Some of the writing here is really good:

,haze lingers like the hand of something evil. 

That line was great.

Transitioning from the body fluids being exchang,ed spit and the sweat to this line

It hasn't rained in months.

and putting it out there by itself was really powerful and well crafted I liked that alot.

I also like the line about how the waves lapping like her tounge in his ear. Really nice.

Now to the critical part: Don't kill me!


Unfortunately I had a little trouble with it. The narration seems odd, it’s told like a first person narrative or perhaps in the third person of someone who will later be a character, but it feels like you are going for a third person omniscient character which works great for this type of story. I’d suggest using a more technical narrative without random interjections and speculations. It feels like your narator’s main job should be to tell the story. With only having the first installment it’s really hard to know for sure so bear that in mind and ignore the suggestion if it does not apply. (I wish I had more of the story to more acurately rate this!)

The section with the girl on the bike should probably be separated with it’s own chapter. The way it reads now, it comes out of nowhere and then is abandoned quickly. Give it it’s own sections so you can alternate back and forth. Also, you never got back to the opening paragraph, I found that to be a good hook about the angels out there, and would like you to get back to that.
I like the character of Outo the best. I think he is fully realized.
Some things about the dialogue bothered me, and I realized what it was. I don’t know where these people are or their ethnicity, it could be that he is foreign with choppy English and not a great understanding of the language, or I could chalk outo’s speech up to being that of a mentally ill person.” That works for me.
Most of my suggestions in the lbl are things I’ve been learning here at litreactor to avoid by advice from some really great writers, so I point out to you what has been shown to me, not to undermine or discourage you but to point you in the right direction. If I chopped too much or killed the flow I appoligize but I think this could read a lot sharper and with more grit if you eliminate a lot of the “telling” with adverbs and paint a more vivid scenes to describe things. I’ve given several examples in the lbl. If you have any questions or want to yell at me, feel free to comment here or send me a personal message. I’d love to help the best I can.

Juice Ica's picture
Juice Ica from Rhode Island is reading The Twelve by Justin Cronin & Beautiful Creatures March 6, 2013 - 8:22am

Your writing style is great and you have a wonderful way with words. My problems with this came from the fact that some of the wording is off, below is just one example but issues like this run throughout the story,

"but first Kani and his friends and pre-arranged business to attend to" 

should be "but first Kani and his friends had pre-arranged business to attend to"

Simple enough to fix this kind of stuff with a good edit of the material though. It just threw me off occasionally as I read.

My one big issue with this is that it does not clearly qualify for the contest, it is why I have to give it a thumbs down, but it is a really great story and I would LOVE to read more of it so keep writing, you have a great idea here, really original and I cannot wait to hear what is up with the blue-haired girl on the bike!

Keep writing! 

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 26, 2013 - 3:10am

I had to give this one a thumbs up, as I thought it harsh for it to have had none. I fully agree that it doesn't really meet the submission criteria - for one, you openly admit it's not even a short story. Yet it is well written and engaging, and I like the tone you have here. Keep on writing.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. March 29, 2013 - 10:26pm

Hmm, there's not really a story here.  From what I can tell, this is just a collection of setup's for several story lines, little more than introducing the characters and the world.  Not bad for what it is, but not enough.

Definitely keep at it though!