1. Post #1
    007JamesBond007's Avatar
    April 2011
    814 Posts
    Just the first chapter of a shitty story I'm writing.

    It had been over one-hundred years since the last invasion of Earth by an extra-terrestrial species. England
    was still suffering from the invasion of the Martians that had taken place and destroyed much of London
    and it's surrounding areas. There was now a statue dedicated to those soldiers who died fighting the Martians
    in the original attack. A larger monument had been put up in honour of the crew of RMS Thunderchild who
    valiantly fought off the invaders to secure safe passage for a steamer.

    It was on the Eight of May 2012 when another green flare from Mars was observed. It was passed off as a
    telescope fault at first but when other observatories around the world discovered 4 more flares, the world
    began to fear another invasion. A group of scientists concluded that the objects that were coming with the
    green smoke would hit the county of Lancashire in England. Immediantly, groups of armed guards and millitary
    vehicles were sent off to watch over the county. While the objects were hurtling towards Earth, the scientists
    were busy developing a plan to stop a serious invasion by the Martians. They concluded that there should be
    biological missiles with penetrating tips loaded into the tanks that guarded that unfortunate county. These
    missiles would contain a vial of the flu virus that would break open once inside the Martian's machinery.
    They hoped to kill off the Martians in the same way as they were over a hundred years ago.

    Meanwhile, I was sat in my home in Preston, Lancashire wondering what I should do if these pods do strike
    Earth and attack. It was then I heard a screaching sound and saw an object wizzing through the sky and it was
    alight, igniting trees and other plant matter on its way. Around five minutes later, I heard a huge crash and
    I assumed that the pod had crashed into a nearby field that was used for growing corn. I remained seated in my
    chair, frozen with fear and yet, intruge stirred in my head of what this object could be. I rose up and put
    my jacket on and headed out of the house. It was a ten minute walk and it was not at all hard to find it,
    there was still a hint of green mist around the path of it. I scrambled over the ridge that was on one side of
    the field. There was an amazing sight in the field. A cylinder, around fifty yards long and glowing orange
    with heat sat in the middle of the field. There was a long trench behind it where it had collided with Earth
    and dragged itself along. Over the next twenty minutes, the crowd grew and grew until there were around
    ninety people.

    This crowd was there for hours and at around four PM, 2 hours after it had struck, the rounded end of the
    pod began to unscrew. Five feet of glittering metal extended from the pod when suddenly, with a loud crash,
    the screw fell off. A large metal pipe with a joint in the middle of it came out. It bent so it was at a
    ninety degree angle and suddenly, the rounded object on the top produced a gun barrel like object. It
    recoiled slightly then there was a bright glare as a ray of fire burst out of the barrel. It struck a
    person who burst into flame and then turned into ash. The ray was now slowly firing at everyone on the front
    line of the crowd. I was rooted to the spot, paralyzed with fear. It was only when someone around ten meters
    away from me burst into flame that I moved. I slowly began to run away, getting faster and faster. I hid
    behind some trees and watched as the scene turned into pure horror. People were being ignited as they ran
    from this appaling machine of death. Suddenly, a low rumble filled the air. A tank had arrived.

    Chapter 2: The Battle

    The tank slowly made its way over the ridge to the pod. As soon as it was able to, it fired one of its
    biological rounds into the pods. It merely bounced off the glowing metal. I walked up the ridge, a
    small distance behind the tank so I did not get caught by the ray. The fighting began properly.

    The Heat-Ray fired at the tank and melted the end of its barrel. In return, the tank fired a High-Explosive
    round at the entrance of the pod. This caused the ray to bob around and become slightly bent. This time,
    the pod returned with heavier fire. A tube came out of the pod and curved so it was aiming at the tank.
    There was a pop, then a hissing noise as the canister struck the tank and went right inside it. Suddenly,
    black smoke rose out of the hole it had made when the canister struck the tank. I heard coughing and thuds
    from inside the tank and I realised with great horror that the black gas rising from the tank was deadly
    poisonous. I also realised that this was a new strain of Martian. They were immune to the bio rounds.

    As I retreated back to my hiding place in the tree line the leaves began to wizz around into the air and I
    heard the blades of a chopper slicing the still breeze. Then, a huge explosion occoured and I saw the heat
    ray fire into the air. I thought that the chopper fired missiles at the pod and that the ray had retaliated
    by firing back. I heard wirring after the ray ceased firing and through the leaves, I saw a great, firey
    explosion and with horror I knew that the helicopter had been destroyed by this heat ray. This was no
    ordinary attack. These was an offensive against Earth.

    The rest of the Army showed up and I was forced back to my home as they bravely fought against this force-greater-than-ours. As I walked into my home, there
    were flashes of light coming from the direction of the battle and I heard commanders yelling orders to their
    troops and people screaming as the valiant soldiers most likely burst into flames and suffered the most
    painful death. There was a faint smell of smoke mingled with gunpowder. I rushed into my house when a
    massive wave of smoke swept over the houses and caused great jets of steam to burst from the river. When I
    got inside, I went right upstairs to the storage room and stood on a chair to get to the top of a wardrobe.
    I pulled out the purple box and placed it on the floor. I opened it. It was lined with red silk and in the
    middle was a loaded 357. magnum revolver. I carefully tucked it into my pocket and muttered to myself,
    "Just in case."

    Chapter 3: The fighting machine.

    The night before I had slept on the floor of the storage room fully dressed. It was a restless, deep sleep
    that I fell into and felt no less tired the morning after. I was woken by a mass of people swarming down
    my road and to the docks. I then heard loud screams and and thuds much louder than what the people could
    make. I peered out of the window and saw a horrifying sight. Evidently, the Martians had busied themselves
    with constructing a machine the night before.

    These machines were made of shining, glittering metal and strode over the houses. They were taller than the
    tallest steeple and they too carried a jointed pipe known as the 'Heat-Ray' There was also one of the clear
    tubes that fired the canisters of deadly gas. They were tripedal and walked with great accuracy. They were
    also remarkably quick despite their size. They had 2 huge green bulges which most likely could be seen
    through and used by the Martians to see where they attack and where they are headed. The hood in which
    the Martian sat was a top and bottom curved oval which was composed of shining metal aswell as the legs.
    The barrel of the Heat Ray recoiled and then the rays of brilliant, hot light burst out of it and the screams
    of the people filled the air. The machine strode over to the barrier which stopped people falling into the
    river and smashed it and then stepped into the water. Its legs sliced through the water as it strode. It cut
    through bridges as though they were paper and scattered the people using them allover the water. I decided
    to leave my house. I walked outside and was met by a street covered in ash. I sprinted down the waterfront
    road and caught up with the martian. It had been joined by 2 others and was walking ahead of them as they
    were in single file.

    I slipped down the stairs to the ferry dock where everyone was desperatly trying to get on board the next
    ferry across the river. Suddenly, from behind the bend of the river, the first machine appeared. It caught
    sight of us all and everyone screamed. There was a surge of people trying to get onto the packed ferry. I
    thought better and leapt into the water. The Ray fired and extinguished the hope of everyone as it swept
    over the ferry dock. The ray hit the water right next to me. The water scolded me. Burnt and agonized, I
    stumbled through the hissing jets of steam towards to middle of the river. I slipped on the bottom and as
    I floated, the foot of a fighting machine came down a mere foot away from my head and lifted again as they
    filed onwards down the river towards the primary dock. I realised that, by a miracle, I had escaped
    mainly un harmed.

    I stumbled towards the other side and saw that the ferry had never made it over. In my panic I must of missed
    it sinking. A survivor of this event told me that the all the fighting machine did was stand on it and the
    deck of the boat was smashed into a thousand pieces, he said no one aboard it could of lived as he saw that
    the foot had sprayed a strange mist out of each of the 3 forks on it. I thanked him for the information and
    proceeded west, my only hope of survival. The nearest airport.

    Chapter 4: The destroyed road
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  2. Post #2
    007JamesBond007's Avatar
    April 2011
    814 Posts
    Remember, totally WIP. Not correcting spelling mistakes or missing punctuation yet.
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  3. Post #3
    007JamesBond007's Avatar
    April 2011
    814 Posts
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  4. Post #4
    Krinkels's Avatar
    March 2011
    3,621 Posts

  5. Post #5
    007JamesBond007's Avatar
    April 2011
    814 Posts
    Okay, well I found the first few paragraphs to be just some clunky infodump which doesn't really mesh with the subsequent story. It is narrated from a viewpoint of the character, so how would he have access to information available only to the military and scientists and amateur astronomers?
    It also happens that a good deal of alien invasion stories focus on the discovery of aliens and the subsequent deductions of their attributes and behaviours. Yours simply starts off by rattling off the entirety of several weeks' events, along with some rather irrelevant dates and information that you don't really need. It brings up the monument, for example. Is this to be an important plot point later in the story?
    The third paragraph continues at a lightning fast pace not characteristic at the beginning of stories, somewhat like you were still relaying all that background information. From what I've read, stories like these beginning with a meteor and loud crash in the distance tend to have a certain inertia to them. For example, in Day of the Triffids, the triffids and everything you need to know to understand what's going on are all introduced very briefly through the past experiences with the main character, and at the same time it introduces why he is immune to the blindness. Your story seems to have no such continuity with the character, either. You've told us everything that happened with the Martians and government, but when the main character is revealed, he is just sitting in a chair, wondering about a Martian invasion. It's like he had nothing on his mind and didn't exist at all until the Martians show up. I really liked the part with the meteor falling, leaving burnt trees and large fires in its wake. It's very descriptive. Right after that, though, are short sentences describing much longer expanses of time. If you just read, "it was five minutes of just standing there," it doesn't really feel like five minutes, now, does it? Also, what is with repeatedly mentioning the name of where the meteors fall? To my knowledge, there is nothing of significance that would stop any aliens in Preston, Lancashire. Nor is it significant to humanity or Martianity in general, unless it has the giant naked dude or Stonehenge or something like that. It really evokes a sense of shoehorning in the place where you live. I suggest you eliminate the place name entirely, and instead use imagery to paint a picture of a largely rural English county.
    You seem to be very good at describing things, but you need to make sure to have a good bit of detail when encountering an object for the first time. The spaceship, as you first describe, is an orange cylinder. In the next paragraph, though, you mention a rounded end, which unscrews but is not mentioned in the initial description.
    The last gripe I have with it is the crowd. Was there a crowd when you got there? How about some dialogue with the people that were already there, or the second person to arrive? Are they at all wondering what's going on or indeed, are they simply there to get vaporized? For that matter, why does the military require two hours to get there, already beaten to the punch by ninety people?
    If you're paralyzed with fear, hiding behind a tree, how do you get such a clear narrative of what happened? Instead of conveying a sense of confusion or distress, it read more like a transcript of a chess game. Why was there no commotion or trampling? In my opinion it should read more like the panic in chapter 3, where you must have missed the ferry leaving.
    Another thing about the character that puzzles me is the juxtaposition of his extensive knowledge of the history of martian invasions, and his actions. He takes a pistol, to kill Martians? He goes to the airport, to escape Martians? He saw firsthand the capabilities of the Martians and their new defenses, what makes him think he can survive by doing these things?

    Other than that, this is way better than most fanfics.
    Thankyou for the constructive critique, once I am finished, I will omit the place name and work on the other mentioned things. I am just starting off with a skeleton, to be honest, the rest is pretty messy so I may start again, depends on what happens. The revolver thing was because honestly, he had no idea of them walking with tripods which happens after he gets the revolver. He believed they would most likely have no defences like a tripod and he could finish them with a revolver.