Reviews for Take the Shot
ilovedystopia chapter 1 . 5/25/2015
u kick this one ass. good job!
Red-Damascus-Steel chapter 1 . 5/9/2015
You, Scott, are awesome lol never had I been caught so off guard!
J.A. Cadelina chapter 1 . 4/24/2015
Whoa. Deep and short. I like it.
PrennCooder chapter 1 . 2/25/2015
This was cool XD
awedacious chapter 1 . 2/12/2015
Please allow me to preface this review by saying that your story was amusing, and I enjoyed it a lot.

With a very short story, every jot and tittle needs to be double and tripled checked. There cannot be a single word misplaced, since there are so few of them holding the story together. Overall, you did a good job with word choice and flow, but in some sentences better word choice would help immensely.

It's a difficult thing to master, since it's not simply about choosing the most correct or descriptive word. Rather, it's about choosing the words — the phrases — that make the reader _truly_ visualise the scene, rather than just read it.

The opening wants to build tension. You can feel it — "The air was hot and humid." — a short, clipped sentence that sets the tone of the entire story. This is good pacing. We're at the climax of a scene we don't even understand yet.

But the tension is lessened by the next sentence — "The tension was so thick that it probably would have shattered if you breathed on it." — it was not necessary to tell us that the tension was thick — instead, it could have been insinuated by continuing to use strained, tense sentences — or break up your sentences into small parts. If you feel it was truly necessary to mention the tension in the air, then shorten the sentence.

That is, the sentence is long. It meanders to its main point — the reader loses focus of what the sentence is trying to say.

(Perhaps I am wrong — English is not my first language — but the sentence also seems to contradict itself — "...tension was so thick...would have shattered..."
Generally, I would associate fragile, thin objects with the words "shattered" — thick objects are solid, lumbering, overwhelming.)

Here are some example sentences that may have fit better.

"Silence sat like an iron weight between them."

"The world paused, as if holding its breath."

"Tension as thick as the air hung coiled between them."

Again, the next few sentences could use this sort of treatment. Obviously, the story would be monotonous if every sentence was shortened, but again, you want the reader to _feel_ what the words are saying, rather than simply reading it.

Perfect ending dialogue, the punchline works well and the buildup pays off. It doesn't overstay its welcome, the story ends exactly where it needs to. This is good restraint, it may have been tempting to throw in a line about the old man, the crowd, etc. but those would detract from the story. The reader _knows_ (or at least thinks she knows) what's going to happen, and we fill in the blanks naturally. This is a balancing act, and in this case good job.

The paragraph before the ending sentence (I would call the ending sentence the resolution — the denouement) is the climax, and the use of short clauses broken by commas works well to build tension to the climax.

Characters, plot and dialogue.)
Your characters have just enough shape to work — the perfect amount for a very short story — basically a scene. No names, no descriptions outside of 'old' — they are boiled down to their constituent parts. That is, the part of the protagonist (the underdog) versus the rival. This is very good.

If I could change only one thing about your story, it would be adding a sentence to the old man's dialogue about him already expecting his money.

'"Take the shot kid," the old man hissed, "I want my money already."' — or something to that effect (in order for the reader not to misunderstand, the word bet may have to show up earlier).

From the ending sentence, it's clear that he just won an impossible bet — but we only knew about it at the very last second. It will weaken the punchline by adding such dialogue, but it would add something far greater — an additional obstacle for the protagonist to overcome, and dramatic irony to the story.

Another facet would be added — the underdog — the protagonist overcoming odds for victory (or in this case ten dollars).

Without this, the underdog versus the rival plot fundementally still exists, but is weaker — we only know he has overcome something impossible by the fact that a hole-in-one in putt-putt is usually a rare occasion, and the old man made a bet with the protagonist hinging on that. Adding the additional dialogue would strengthen this in the reader's mind.

Not really a recommendation, but what do you think the story would have been like if it was told in present tense? I'm not sure if it would have lost too much coherency to still work, but it would have been much more intimate.

Thank you for the story. I hope you continue to write into the future.
FictionFox'95 chapter 1 . 1/26/2015
xD I love this! I thought based on the humor, what other things it could have been instead of a sniper shot. I never thought it would be a golf swing lol. Great short story!