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7/2/2008 3:10:46   
April 2008 Writer of the Month


The Cult

The Story
Read and see...

The Idea
I felt like doing a collab, asked Fabula to join me, and thus it began. We started talking about several options, and I think it's fair to say we've got a good thing planned here. Bear with us if you please.

The Time Table
The prologue was written in two days. From now on, each writer will get ten days starting at the last posted chapter to come up with the next one. This is to allow us plenty of time to discuss plot, etcetera.

Joining us
At this point we are not hiring new writers. Do not beg, ask, plea or any other form of annoying approach to join us. In the unlikely event of us needing some other writer, or perhaps poet, we will aproach them ourselves.

Now get readin' already!
This is not a new topic. This is a threat. Now move!

< Message edited by gwoonjustin -- 7/2/2008 11:25:19 >
AQ  Post #: 1
7/2/2008 8:12:36   
Fleur Du Mal

OK, you already kinda know that I like the prologue for obvious reasons, so I'm going to just point out some typo's here.... I might have a suggestion on one addition, but I still have to think over it. I'll PM that to you later...


“You don’t want to end up in hell, do you? That’s what I thought.

Not 100% sure, but it might fit the occasion to capitalize this 'Hell' in here.


Slowly but surely, he made his may to my desk, like a giant approaching a mouse to step on.



They raised me with great reluctance, and spew me out into the real world with nothing but a book.

You know how I feel about that word..... =P
I'm not gonna force you to change it or anything, but could you at least consider changing it to 'apparent'?
Also, 'spewed'


She stared with a long, self-sympathetic rant about her life, but soon the subject seemed to change itself.

'started' or 'began' if you want to avoid repetition
'to change by itself'?


Now that my fear is gone, I have a birds-eye-view of humanity.

My Collins Cobuild Dictionary claims that that should be written 'bird's eye view' without hyphens.


Words forced themselves from her brain, through her arm and strait onto the paper.



She had written a doctrine.

A minor suggestion: 'She had written an entire doctrine.' Your call, of course =P


Before she could ever start sharing it with the people around her, people who would surely be surprised at her boundless wisdom, she had to practice.

A question: Are we going to use American English throughout the story? I need to change my spellchecker's language options if we are... (not that it's a serious problem, I just need to know before writing chapter 1.


She remembered to put on her Nike’s and ran out,



If I can convince people that I am right, the world will be a better place.

Suggestion for more prophetical approach:
'If I can convince people, the world shall receive salvation.' =P =P

A random comment: listening to Verdi's Requiem seems to be fitting while reading this........=P

Any specific reason why the word 'cult' is not capitalized in the title?
DF  Post #: 2
7/2/2008 8:31:22   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

Amazing to see the popularity of this thread:P

1: True, done.
2: See 1.
3: Spewed done, keeping great here.
4: Began. Yeah, that probably works better, by itself thing.
5: Lets trust it, then.
6: See 1.
7: I kinda like the brief statement-nature of that sentence...
8: I guess we are. How is practice not UK-English, btw? Thats new to me.
9: Yep, those are the ones. I blame my spell-checker
10: I don't want her to get too Christian-like, more like prophet in a new sense... She'll reinvent the term:)

It is capitalized. Proof that it was once not capitalized! You shan't, cause you can't!

Now then, I believe the stage is set, the actors are in place, time for you to yell ACTION!
In other words, get writing.
AQ  Post #: 3
7/2/2008 8:32:59   

Hm... I hope you don't go over-board with Christianity in your story. As I know, the two of you don't believe in God. Oh well, that's not the topic. Anyways, Fabula spotted the errors so I hve no criticism... just comments:


All my life I’ve been unwanted; my parents dropped me off at an orphanage. They raised me with great reluctance, and spew me out into the real world with nothing but a book. A book that proved itself outdated within days. Never have I been blessed with acceptance, everywhere I went people would wait for me to leave. It’s time to make their wishes come true.

Reminds me of a character in a video game. Lucky for the character in your story is that she didn't become a genetic experiment (and that she doesn't have an experiment name like: W004G6).


Without a single tear in her eyes, she sat down at her ebony desk, and got some pieces of paper and a pen from one of its drawers.

Oh, one critic from me today. If not mistaken... 'got' is a dangerous word for authors. Maybe using 'took' or some other word might do the trick.


Can you see the Visions?
AQ DF  Post #: 4
7/2/2008 8:37:42   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

The piece will not be about Christianity. The woman you read about is strongly against Christianity, but she'll pretty much be the only one to object it actively. Soon, there will be a lot for her to talk about which she cares more about then she does about this opposition to Christianity, so don't worry. It'll cool off a little.

You don't know... We can still make experiments on her:P
You mean it's to cliche or something?

I think you refer to massive overuse of words with dozens of meanings. I totally agree, but to not use a word altogether is not so much a solution as it is an easy way out. I feel this one time is fine, but if you spot any general-words-overloads, please do tell.
AQ  Post #: 5
7/2/2008 8:39:38   


You don't know... We can still make experiments on her:P
You mean it's to cliche or something?

Hmm... it'll be okay for me as long as she hs no code name like: WG04T or something xD

AQ DF  Post #: 6
7/2/2008 9:02:06   
Fleur Du Mal


8: I guess we are. How is practice not UK-English, btw? Thats new to me.

Because, in UK-English, practise, with an 's' is the verb and practice with a 'c' is a noun.


It is capitalized. Proof that it was once not capitalized! You shan't, cause you can't!

I just might have a firefox tab open that I haven't refreshed yet........
Shall I make a screen-shot for you, sir?


In other words, get writing.

I might make the first sketch during the up-coming weekend...
You gave me two whole weeks ya know...
DF  Post #: 7
7/2/2008 9:08:03   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

You are so bluffing...

Should we decrease that amount of time a little?
I'm serious, 2 weeks might be kinda long. Then again, we both have our own projects to work on...
AQ  Post #: 8
7/2/2008 14:32:18   


Because, in UK-English, practise, with an 's' is the verb and practice with a 'c' is a noun.


...I am so dead... I didn`t know this. No wonder my spellcheck recognized both... I thought it was just two recognized spellings... Nevermind the fact that I don`t use UK spelling. It`s probably the same everywhere. That means I`ll have to control + f everything I ever wrote to correct these things once I start editing... Dammit...

To make this not spam: Hmm, a two-person collab. I`m impressed with you guys. Jer and I have planned one for longer than you two have even known eachother and we still haven`t started writing. Nice to see you two getting your acts together so quickly.
AQ  Post #: 9
7/2/2008 14:52:23   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

I think I first brought it up two days ago:P
We were just like: You feel like doing a collab. Yeah, what about. How about this? Yeah, lets add this. Okay, lets start.

So, where's your butchering? Did you even start reading?:P

Anyway: We shortened the time schedual; each chapter must now be done in ten days c+ from the creation of its predecesor.
AQ  Post #: 10
7/2/2008 15:04:20   

No, honestly, I didn't even click the link yet. Still having millions of critiques to fix for GoT along with finishing up some critiques (like RQ). And when I do read this, I don't think I'll butcher it. Just enjoy it...

Bah, Jer and I's idea ran back around the 5th or 6th chapter of Heart of the Dark--before either you or Fabula ever set foot in WA. Took her until chapter 11 or something to convince me. Since I've got all my notes back from my other computer, I think I'm gonna try to start writing my part soon. I mean, I can't miss out the chance to steal all your posts, right? Oh wait, Jer still isn't approved... Geez. And she wants to make the comments thread. Sheesh...
AQ  Post #: 11
7/7/2008 8:19:31   
Fleur Du Mal

I'm here to announce that chapter 1 of this incredibly magnificent story is out. =P

Oh, sorry, I meant: Keep on enjoying it!

< Message edited by fabula -- 7/7/2008 8:20:18 >
DF  Post #: 12
7/7/2008 11:57:25   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

Lets start reading this!
Anything highly plot-related only the two of us can or should know about will be discussed through pm, anything else in here:


“Bye, Dad!” two bright-eyed girls waved their brisk goodbyes to their father beside a gravel parking area.

Specify whether the girls or the dad is standing on th gravel parking area, or both.


Even the forty-one years – his whole life – he had roamed the streets and bushes in Georgia, hadn't quite cured him from hating the humid mid-July air that drenched clothes already early in the morning.

"-his whole life-" seems unnecesary, since it's rather obvious.
Also, roaming streets and bushes? He's a hobo all of a sudden?


he remembered his obligations, Next stop, groceries...

The first comma should probably be a semicolon.


As Josh headed back to the outskirts of Atlanta, he felt himself inexplicably happy.

The 'himself' can go. It does work in Dutch, and probably several other languages, but this just sounds... stupid.


His girls were happy, Emily was pulling straight-As in school, his own job as a medium-rank project manager was more than satisfying, bringing enough money to spoil the girls once in a while like this, his wife was content with her job, and, most importantly, she loved him dearly.

I highly recommend you split this sentence up.


Balancing with them he managed to push the car door shut and carry them from the driveway to the light-blue-painted front porch where he laid them on a table to dig out his keys.

Balancing them, he managed
porch, where he


He could have just rang the doorbell, since he expected his wife to be at home, but he was counting on her to be in the workroom, adding her famous finishing touches to whatever articles she was currently emailing to be published.

She did the finishing touches while emailing it? A bit late, no? In stead, try:
to whatever articles she was currently working on.
The reader will just assume that it will be published, and if you must, you can mention it later on again, when adding the name of the magazine, for example.


That voice of an unknown was followed shortly by Elizabeth's bright, happy voice, as she joined in.

an unknown? That sounds terrible!
an unknown person
or, preferably:
The unknown voice was followed


Realizing that his plans for spending some serious quality time were evaporating by the minute, he started to get ticked off.

The comma should be a semicolon, or the word 'as' should be implemented between the comma and 'he'.


How often did we even have the slightest chance to spend time by ourselves, just the two of us. Not that often...

The last sentence is unnecesary repetition. In stead, remove or replace it with:
Hardly ever...
Or something similar.


When it came to creating a cosy atmosphere and making the whole session to feel like it was just two friends talking, laughing, and sharing life experiences, Lizzy was the ultimate wizard.

Remove bolded 'to'.
Replace second bolded part with 'a wizard'.
This is because wizard is a common phrase for someone very good at something. Extending it this extravagantly makes it sound as if you're actually talking about magic.


An unintroduced person rushing into the scene would do nothing but damage to her work.

Suggestion to make sound nicer:
A stranger rushing into the scene without introduction


Mr Raven knew better than to interrupt the well-mastered third degree she was currently giving her guest, and so he stopped by the the work-room's slightly ajar door, advancing no further, and listened.

A: Mr. Raven.
Add the dot after Mr.
B: A thrid degree is a very rough way of interrogating, involving threats, etc. Hardly appropriate here. Perhaps something like:
the well-disguised interrogation.
You now still have the intention of gaining information, but no longer suggest a harsh way of obtaining it.
c: Remove 'and' agter first comma.


The majority of the public had connected the dots and figured out the resemblance between the fictive character and a possible real life counterpart,

The possible real life counterpart is one specific person, it does not refer to the possibility of a wide range. Therefore, rpeplace 'a' with 'its'.


game the author's amused reply.

They're not even close to eachother on the keyboard... There's a borde of 'f' and 'v' seperating them. So how do you make this mistake? It's the same as the grew/crew thing...


“You mean you couldn't cope with the lawsuits that would follow?” Josh heard her wife say and Mr Marshall letting out a small chuckle.

A:not 'her wife' but 'his wife':P
B: Again with the Mr.
C:Doesn't work.
The 'heard' strickly refers to the speech of his wife, and cannot refer to the chuckle anymore. They are too strongly connected now. Possible solution:
say, followed by a small chuckle by Mr. Marshall.
D: 'Small' is by far not the optimal word choice here. 'brief' is among the better ones, IMO.


“As a beginning author, I wouldn't have the money to settle those, if my current lawyer should fail,” he answered, not quite realizing that for Elizabeth, this was as good as an affirmation.

So he's smart enough to dodge all such questions, but too stupid to realize this is an affirmation? Weird guy.


“Oh, really? Prove that,” Mr Marshall retorted with a tone that further increased Josh's annoyance.

Mr. Marshall!!!
I'm not saying this again, you go and find them...


He decided to shift himself a little to take a peek into the room, cursing the whole situation:

Remove 'himself'.


In the past eight years, she'd constantly thrived in proving her dedication to him, steering clear from anything suspicious, being the perfected example of a perfect wife

The repeated 'perfect' failed to reach its goal.
Turn the last into 'loving', or find some other solution.


My fits of happiness are always inexplainable whereas my fits of rage and depression can not be refuted with reason...

A:'Whereas' is inappropriate, as there is no opposition between his rage and happiness fits in this sentence. In fact, it is almost a similarity.
B: Again the repetition failed, IMO. Try substituting the second 'fits of'.


beyond reason, proved out to be too much for Josh on that fatal Saturday.

turned out
not proved out


downtown with all thoughts blanked from within his brains.

I don't see a point to the 'within' here.


Sitting down on a bench he hung his head and tried to catch his breath.

bench, he


Josh turned to look at this odd bird.

The phrase 'bird' to describe a beautifull woman doesn't fit your narrating vocabulary.
odd beauty?


Her expression, and the manner she assessed him surprised him with the intelligence she had shining beneath.

Annihalate the comma.

This is really great! I'm very anthousiastic and curious about where this will take us.
There's one or two things I need to discuss with you privately, but we've got PM to do that. So, I'ma do that now.
AQ  Post #: 13
7/7/2008 13:52:04   
Fleur Du Mal

Following teh tradition!


“Bye, Dad!” two bright-eyed girls waved their brisk goodbyes to their father, who stood on a gravel parking area.

It looks like this now. I feel like there's something very wrong with this sentence... I might end up editing it again later on. The setting or contents won't change.

2) I removed his life, lol, as well as the hobo stuff.
I dunno know how it got into there... Oh, that's a lie, I know how it got there... You see, I was having fun with this chapter. That should explain the bushes, the food-donkeys, odd birds and stuff. While some of them might work, some of them don't. But at least I had a blast while writing. Or you got to correct more mistakes... *sorry*

3) Meh, I'm gonna put a colon there and see how you react. =P

4) I shall hereby rid that sentence from stupidity!


His girls were happy, Emily was pulling straight-As in school, and his own job as a medium-rank project manager was more than satisfying, bringing enough money to spoil the girls once in a while like this. To add to the bliss, his wife was content with her job, and, most importantly, she loved him dearly.

How'd ya like it now?

6)Considered and changed.

7) I really don't want to use 'working' since that's semi-repetition after the 'workroom'. I went and rolled with this instead: 'she was currently getting ready to email. ' OK?

8) Going with 'The unknown voice was followed', since you prefer it...

9) I shall insert the semicolon... I have those instances of 'as' already a plenty...

10) Replacing with 'hardly ever'

11) I've removed the to, but I find myself disagreeing with the removal of the 'ultimate'. I don't think that anyone will seriously think this is referring to magic. I would go with 'quite the wizard' but that sounds so bloody English... =P

12) It sounds nicer now... Edited as suggested.

13) A. Oh, I'm sorry, I was doing it the British style without realizing and my spellchecker doesn't care about the dots, apparently. Adding the dots now to make it US-English.
B. That's just me playing around with the words again. I'm gonna change that to 'well-disguised third degree'...
C. Buried the 'and'

14) Pretending that I understood your explanation, I made the change.

15) *coes to gry in a gorner* Ghanced. =P
I do have an explanation for this, you know. It's not an excuse, but anyway... I'm not going to turn this a public issue....

16) A. What's so funny about 'her wife'? It's perfectly allowed in some countries, you know... Anyways, changed =P
B. Done.
C. Too bad.
D. Changed (as was point C, too, don't you worry).

17) You have no idea, how weird...
Aaaanyways, changed to: 'he answered, giving in a little, knowing very well that for Elizabeth, this was as good as an affirmation.'

18) I already changed them all at around point 13) A. so there's really no need for you to yell.... *sniff*

19) Removed. *still sniffing*

20) I'm PMing you later about this. Not changing anything right now. Force your will on me later, kay?

21) A. Yes there is an opposition in my opinion. The explanations for those feelings are different... I'll try to explain this to you in a PM as well...
B. Changed to 'My fits of happiness are always inexplainable whereas the causes of my raging and depressing can not be refuted with reason... '

22) Went with 'proved'

23) Lol, there's no point in the 'front', I think... I removed that one

24) Added a comma. How surprising is that?

25) Just me playing around with the words... Having fun... Crying as I change it to what you wished... =P

26) Arranged a funeral for a certain comma.

Thank you! Glad you like it. That's good for the collab, you know =P
I shall PM you something about points 20 and 21 soonish.

.....You have ten days.....
DF  Post #: 14
7/7/2008 14:35:05   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

And more traditionalities:
Lets quit refering to it as a tradition. It's annoying me now.

3: Outraged! That is utter nonsense and you know it!
5: Much better. You also solved the weirdness around the school-thing.
7: There's a sense of repetition in that as well. Putting the finishing touches on it and getting ready to email it are pretty similar actions, in the context. The same, actually.
8: I'd say: It's your story, so do what you like best. But even though we share it, don't just do it cause I like it.
11: I know they won't. The thing is, it sounds stupid either way. Can ye change it now? Please?
13: I'm pretty sure it has dots in English as well...
15: Make it a private one then. PM me.
16: Sure it is, and I'm fine with it, don't worry, I just know that its a him is all...
17: Reluctantly accepted.
20: I will.
25: Yay for me for making you cry!
26: Can I come and laugh?


.....You have ten days.....

We should make it seven, just to make it sound more like the Ring.

You're welcome. Well, with us two being our most active critiquers, we need to stick up for eachother, don't we.
AQ  Post #: 15
7/7/2008 14:54:18   
Fleur Du Mal

Ah, you get so easily annoyed...
Consider it forgotten. It shall never be uttered outloud, not ever!

7. Removed the email-part...
11. Removed the ultimate...with extensive reluctance...
13. No it doesn't. My grammar and my Collins Dictionary are quite sure of that. Check this wikipedia link.
25. *cries some more*
26. You could, but the service has already been carried out. It was a brief one. It really put a stop to the comma's existence.

Are you referring to the US remake or the Japanese original, Ringu?
DF  Post #: 16
7/7/2008 15:31:47   


Slowly but surely, he made his way to my desk, like a giant approaching a mouse to step on.

This sentence just doesn't sit well with me. I like the simile, but the way you're saying it... It just doesn't sound right. The two problems I have with it are both the fact that it is worded awkwardly, and that considering the latter part uses an animal, the 'giant' should, IMO, be replaced with 'elephant' (or something along those lines). A better wording, I think, would be something like 'like a towering giant approaching a cowering mouse' (or towering elephant).


All my life I’ve been unwanted; my parents dropped me off at an orphanage.

I'd go with 'All my life I've been unwanted, ever since my parents dropped me off at the orphanage.' (putting the 'the' instead of 'an' for greater impact, and putting the ever since because I just plain think it reads better that way)


They raised me with great reluctance, and spewed me out into the real world with nothing but a book.

Perhaps a nitpick, but I think the 'they' is a little vague...


Never have I been blessed with acceptance, everywhere I went people would wait for me to leave.

Should be 'Never have I been blessed with acceptance; everywhere I went people would wait for me to leave.'


Deep down inside she had expected this moment, where all the failure in her life would accumulate and she wouldn’t be able to laugh it off anymore.

I'd change the 'accumulate' to 'finally add up'. Better word choice, I think.


but soon she focused and spilled ink the way blood is spilled in war.

Perhaps change it to 'the same way war spilled blood', or 'the same way soldiers spilled blood'?


It was the only way she could stop, and read the words several pieces of paper had gladly accepted.

You don't need the comma after stop, and it's more effective without it. (However, if you do change it, change 'several peices of paper' to 'that several peices of paper' in order to keep the right writing flow)


As soon as her brown eyes had met most of the sentences, and she fully understood their purpose, she came to the realization that this was far more valuable than her own life had been, and yet the reason she could not end it.

This sentence is too long, as well as the fact that 'and yet' doesn't work. First of all, I'd suggest just removing the 'yet', and changing 'reason' to 'exact reason', or 'very reason', or something along those lines. I'd suggest doing something to the 'As soon as her brown eyes had met most of the sentences, and she fully understood their purpose,' to make it shorter... Like changing it to 'Reading through the work,', or something like that. Just because I think that no sentence deserves to have 3 commas in it... And as A general rule of thumb, the less commas, the better.


Hairs raised on her arms and legs as a reaction to the temperature rather then as an expression of fear, as she made her way to the edge. Shivering over what the intention of these motions would have been, had she not picked up that pen from her drawer.

These two sentences are a little too contradictary for my tastes... You establish that her reactions are not because of fear, then you say that her shiver is because she fears what she almost did. I suggest some kind of rewrite.

Alright... Done with the prologue. I'll do the rest, as well, but for now, small break. Or big one. I don't know

< Message edited by RATIONALPARANOIA -- 7/7/2008 15:36:01 >
AQ  Post #: 17
7/7/2008 16:11:46   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

Lets go:

1: I don't like the cowering/towering rhyming thing, even though accidental, so here's what I came up with:
, like a lion ready to deliver the final blow to its mortally wounded victim.
2:I put a hyphen in there. All my life I've been unwanted-ever since my parents dropped me off at the monestary.
The monestary was intended earlier, but I made a mistake there.
3: The monks.
4: Done.
5: I don't.:P
6: I like the first idea. I took it.
7: True, done.
8: I disagree with the 'very realisation' and removing 'yet' here, but the others are all pretty much true;
Finally able to comprehend her own sentences, she came to the realization that this was far more valuable than her own life had been, and yet the reason she could not end it.
9: That's weird indeed. How about:
It was cold outside; she hadn’t realized up to this point that it was still night. She tried to make herself believe that the goosebumps were merely a product of the temperature, but she knew she was lying to herself. The real cause of her trembling wasn't the cold; it was the fear that her body would do what her mind had now sworn not to. Staying far away from the edge, so she would be able to stop her legs in time if they tried anything, she began to speak.

Thanks a lot!
AQ  Post #: 18
7/17/2008 13:20:48   
April 2008 Writer of the Month


Chapter 2 is now uploaded for your delight... Whoever is still reading.

You can start enjoying again.

Ehm, I mean, continue to enjoy it .
Couldn't resist.

A note up front:
I know the poem is bad; its meant to be.
AQ  Post #: 19
7/18/2008 8:21:53   
Fleur Du Mal

A suspicious-looking smiley you got there...hmm.

Anyways, as I said in PM/IRC/whatever, good stuff! Now you'll just have to wait what I shall conjure up in the next chapter...
But, before that, comments to iron out some spots:

First of all, capitalize the words in the Chapter title for consistency:
A Cure Like No Other


As Josh wondered about why she’d approached him, his curiosity managed to annihilate his discomfort completely. “I have everything I could wish for. And even if I didn’t, it would be none of your business.”

Firstly, I would put Josh's line on a separate lines to add to the reading-pleasure. =P
Secondly, what he's saying sounds a bit too fancy. How about a little edit?
"And even if I didn't, it's none of your business."


“I know your kind of people,” she now said, almost arrogant enough to upset him.



“You’ve go a cute face, a good brain, and a clear vision of your hopes and dreams. You just don’t have the guts to stand up for yourself.”

Other stylistic suggestions:
'You've got a cute face, brains, and a clear vision of your hopes and dreams. You just don't have the gut to act.'
or 'You just don't got the guts to stand up for it.'
I'd also separate the rest of the scene to a paragraph of its own, since you can't have her talking and he thinking in the same paragraph, anyway.


To the queen of my heart, whose name suits her royal status; Elizabeth,

10+ points for a very good opening line...


You see, that very affection has given me the ability to describe it; to let you know about its infinite size.

Just my opinion, but this word seems a bit chunky here. He's using fancy words elsewhere so why note here?
'magnitude' would be pushing it to the realm of too fancy =P


I am eager to obey to this rule, but mindless cliché’s would be the greatest insult

remove the 'to'
A typo: 'clichés'.


You are the teardrop of joy, the smile that shows it expresses no pain, and the handkerchief to remove it with before it becomes a burden.

This sentence might be even a bit too original, imho. Considered substituting that handkerchief-part with something else? Like: 'and the soft touch that wipes it away before it becomes a burden'?


Think about what you think about me and how you feel now that you know what I feel. If you feel anything at all, please tell me,

I know it's a letter and therefore prone to some repetition, but anyways, the 'feel' gets repeated a bit too much, imo. Is there any way you could think about to change that last instance to something else. All suggestions I can think about are, unfortunately, too cumbersome to be used.


(both the tape and the machine had been in his possession when he wrote the letter),

Maybe a matter of preference, but I would put this in between dashes instead of parenthesis.
Also, I dare to make a rephrasing suggestion for you to consider:
'– both the tape and the machine dated further back than to the days he had written the letter – '


; longed for the nervousness that had once made him rewrite this letter many times, still with a pathetic result.

I think you're missing 'he' in between the semi-colon and 'longed'.
Do you really need to repeat that 'once'? It's been used just before that semicolon already.
Plus, just to make this a tad stronger, here's a rephrasing suggestion:
'; he longed for the nervousness that had forced him to rewrite this crumpled proof of affection countless times, still with such a pathetic result.'

11)Now, I think that you need to add some brief transition to both to the end of scene 1 and to the end of scene 2/beginning of scene 3. To take care of the first transition, you could just add something about him heading back to his car. The second addition could be taken care of by adding some feelings and action to the last paragraph of scene 2. For example (just added a sentence to the end):

'Suddenly he knew. He knew the woman in the park had been spot-on and he would have to do whatever he could to trace her back and accept any help she had to offer. Shivering but resolute, he pushed himself up from the dusty floor and withdrew from the traps amongst the memories.'


The twenty-or-so-year-old had now taken a bloc note from a purse Josh hadn’t noticed before, and was violently penning in it.

A purse doesn't seem too practical if she's going to jog off from the scene, eh? Maybe a tiny back-pack?
'in' or 'on'? I have no clue about these prepositions....


before he even met the woman he had recently ceased to love,

A bit too strong a word, since I think there are still some strings attached, no matter how weak or worn out they are...
'the woman who was now gradually losing his affections'?
'the woman whom he now readied to rip out from his heart'?
Or purrhaps something better...


You want me to do something for you, to help you out of the void that your life has turned into, right?

A tad too long of a sentence for speech, perhaps? A suggestion:
'You want me to help you, eh? To pull you out of the void your life has turned into, right?'


“What kind of answers do you have? What can you do for me?” She wasn’t eager to accept a question as an answer, or to give away her secrets this easily. “Admit that you want to change. Admit everything you do, like, own, and feel is fake. Tell me you hate your life!” She was now shouting, more like a gospel preacher than an angry person.

“Only one person can speak per paragraph.”
Chop after the bolded part.


(an attempt to make up for her unfaithfulness?)

Again, I would use the dashes here. But, either way, I would add 'past' here:
'her past unfaithfulness'


In fact, he knew even he, being a complete amateur, could probably write a better poem.

To kill some of that repetition (see sentences before and after this), I recommend that you substitute this one with 'one'.


It’s not wrong to meet some people with interesting ideas, is it?I don’t know what’s going to happen, so how can I even be to blame?

Too formal for a thought, imho. How about:
'Can't be anything wrong to meet some people with interesting ideas, now can it? Not that I even know what's going to happen in there; there's no way I can ever be blamed for this.'


Josh didn’t know exactly what he was going to encounter in this eerily normal house, but he knew it was wrong. He didn’t want to face it, but he knew that he was here to be cured.

Some of the repetition here actually suits the style, but too much is too much, especially after that 'know' was used also in his thoughts. So I suggest that you'd changed the beginning of the first sentence a bit and limit the repetition to the rest:
'Josh had no clue on exactly what...'

OK. That was it, I think...
This is going to be good!
Give some thought to those transitions, it now feels a bit too much like he's hopping around pointlessly. Though that's exactly what some people do when they are distressed. =P

Anyways, is my deadline now on the 27th or on the 28th?

< Message edited by fabula -- 7/20/2008 7:00:04 >
DF  Post #: 20
7/19/2008 11:05:34   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

At least two people are keeping up with this. Too bad its us two:P

You sure you said that? Well, you did now, so that counts.

First of all: done.

1:Firstly: No.
Secondly: As you please.
2: Certainly.
3: “You’ve got a cute face, a brain, and a clear vision of your hopes and dreams. You just don’t have the guts to stand up and fight for them.”
Yes you can. I just did. They belong together, so as long as only one speaks its fine. The thought is directly related to the thought, mkay?
4: Yeah, I would just melt right there if only I'd be called Elizabeth... Shame.
5:Caliber. It's meant to be fancy! It's a freaking love-letter. What kinda love letter would this be:


I like you a lot. You like me? Wanna, like, go on a date or somehting sometime?


It would be terrible. Point taken, I hope.

6:Done and that latter one's a Dutch curse I fear. Also done.
7:Explain. Is original a nice word for crappy here? If not, I think he could've written it, empowered by love and all.
8:If even the slightest spark lights, if but the shyest of moths flutters its wings in your stomach, please tell me. Perhaps we could become more than the friends we are now.
Too 'original'?
9: That's a double-no, I fear.
10:Copied all but the 'such a'. It's a collab, so I should get to copy just like that.
11: I wanted some clear-cut stuff going on here. Whatever conclutions are drawn are clear enough in the next scene. Can ye live with that?
12:You ever went jogging with a backpack? It's hell.
If you have no clue 'bout the preps, why even bring it up. Innocent till proven guilty, shall we say?
13:All those make it too long. I might thing of somehting someday or something.
(You meant purrhaps, I take it)
14:Or not. Again the thing in brackets at 13. Geez.
16: First part ignored, second accepted and done.
18: Agree to disagree? I think like that... Am I too formal?
19: Done.

I 'cut to the chase' here a little, you know, didn't wanna go through all the motions just to do so. I didn't think they'd add anything.

Your deadline is the 27th, 10 days after I submitted my piece...
AQ  Post #: 21
7/20/2008 6:59:33   
Fleur Du Mal

It would be even worse if the number of readers was even less, now wouldn't it? =P

Coming back to some points.

5: Why haven't you changed it to 'caliber', then? There's still the 'size' written in the letter.
7: Too original => weird (not in a good way). I just think that handkerchief is too mundane/lowly an object to be referring to in this context. Touch would be more romantic, imho.
8: That has just the right amount of originality in it.
10: Would I post my suggestions if you weren't allowed to just copy them?
11: Well, it's hard, but I'll try my best =P
12: Ever went jogging with a purse?
13: I'll correct that purrhaps for you in just a minute... =P
18: Let's agree to disagree. Saves nerves and stuff. =P

OK...I should now have one week to scribble chapter 3. Starting soonish. Or not so soonish. Anyways, my intentions are to honour that deadline.
DF  Post #: 22
7/20/2008 10:16:48   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

5: I haven't? Thanks for checking, though.
Infinitely large caliber, I decided upon, as infinite caliber doesn't work.
7:Gently touch it is, then.
10: I usually give suggestions as a general outline of what would improve the text, unless its typo's/grammar incorrections and stuff.
12: No, if fact. Lets agree on this: Any sort of container is annoying to carry when jogging, except those things you carry on your stomach with a little pouch on front, which just look downright stupid. Backpack=necesary evil.
AQ  Post #: 23
7/24/2008 10:30:58   
April 2008 Writer of the Month

As may or may not have come to your attention, Fabula has left.

I don't know who she informed and in what way, but for those of you who don't know; she is gone... Her motifs are probably a mystery to most of you, and even I wouldn't be able to tell you more than 'It's a personal matter'.

So what about The Cult?

I have thought about asking someone else. I have thought about continueing on my own. But neither seem right. I will halt it until she decides to return. If she won't this month, I will have it locked.

So there you have it...
AQ  Post #: 24
8/10/2008 22:11:15   
Argeus the Paladin

... As far as I know, it's likely that it would be a long time before she comes back. "Long" here means anything from a month to infinity.
DF  Post #: 25
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