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My stalker Entry - There are no blue birds in the zone

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  19:17:36  24 December 2003
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
Messages: 124
My stalker Entry - There are no blue birds in the zone

Here is my entry, I spent quite a time on this so I hope you guys will enjoy it. A tip though, when reading my story, take it slowly, this is my first attempt at such a broad story, don't rush through it, and try to use your imagination. Enjoy!


There are no blue birds in the zone -- By Sze Chun Chan

The world came back to blind me. Sunlight ruptured my eyes. The children happily sang mellifluous childhood songs. They cried out in laughter and merrily tunes. The world came back as a blur as my eyelids snapped open, the emptiness of the tin shack I laid in, the agonizing smell of rust suffocatingly caught up with my throat. I let out a violent cough. The sunlight was potent enough to peel the rust off the tin. I lay on my vinyl sheet, also my raincoat. I sat up and let out a satisfying crack as I twisted my back. The tin shack was empty but me and my things, and my new mistress, red rust.

My mouth tasted foul of last night's last can of Spam meat. I examined the tin shack again. The tiny shack was married with crimson and red-orange rust, the smell of the sharp metals in a turbine factory; it smells of my own death. The shelter did offer me protection from last night's barrage of acidic rain. Vines from a near by tree dominated the roof top and had teared a hole through the roof and the sunlight flowed vibrantly to blind my eyes. I sat up and heard the children sing. The hopscotch songs... On the edge of the town near the zone's demilitarized zone, this shack was once a guard outpost for the road only offering entrance for authorized power plant workers. I coughed again as the children laughed.

I peered outside at the window; there were no children to be found. Only the skyline of the Chernobyl power plant and the industrial town surrounding it, the grass grew dark green with contempt, the sky moved gracefully as the wind carefully whisked the soft clouds along, the smell of grass juice, the view of an alluring grassland and rolling hills, the view of unsuspecting danger, the beauty fools the eyes, the sun created a colorful sky as dawn settled in and as the wind blew, I took draft of the morning wind. The cold autumn wind washed over my face and the blur was gone. It was as good as a splash of cold water on the face on those gritty tired days. I sat up and rubbed my eyes.

I stretched my limbs and found my military surplus canteen of water, which I promptly took a light sip off. Water sustains life; it made my mouth taste less like rotting meat. Found the toothbrush. I filled my mouth of canteen water and toothpaste mixture, stuck a toothbrush in my mouth, and did my dental hygiene all in one spit. I took a shard of glass from the broken window and peered into it. In it, I saw nothing more than a hungry and tired man who grew a new beard looking for a new future, not myself. My old past in London, the zone was nothing reminiscent of it. The job search wasn't very successful after college; I can say I am a very adventurous guy for coming here. I slept through school, and barely passed college. I got into countless fights during school and nearly got booted from the school.

My father continued to send money despite that I hardly had a chance to meet him. I moved here when my little sister passed away in an automobile accident. I seldom saw my pa and ma peacefully. I would see them sometimes coming down the house stairs... but never in the same room. I heard them yell, and I would get hit sometimes. I was in the rough neighborhood, drug dealers and the bad part of town. That old banged up house next to the factories. They would be together twice during the week and all that
  19:18:25  24 December 2003
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
Messages: 124
I sat on the gravel in a corner of a rotting street and I wept. The thoughts shattering my mental fortitude. I am not sure why I had wept. My arms swept away the liquid pain. I sat up and peered around the street. No one was to be seen. The silence still lingering. I sat again and choked on my tears. I looked towards the dusk sky with bleary eyes. I let out a chuckle and smiled faintly.

A figure ran feverishly across the street. A staccato of booming automatic arms fire was heard across the street. The figure abruptly collapsed and held on to his wound with an agonizing death cry. A crimson pool quickly formed under the fresh causality. A symphony of gunfire echoed the street. An explosion rocked my brain. I sat up alerted with terror.

Automatically, for the sake of survival. I frenetically found a desk and kneeled under it. The street was in a clear view through a hole in the desk. I watched in horror as a barrage of explosions again shook my brain. The vicious gun battle occurring right across the street and I was caught up in the middle of it. Probably another rival stalker faction war. The bright phosphorous tracers screamed across the street blindly.

Bullets didn't care what it hits. I saw a squad of stalkers, labeled with green armbands with an eagle across it. The squad carefully advanced down the street and returned fire as they cautiously crept their way up a shell of a rusty car. They each had an automatic rifle, and a man with a tube strapped to his back. One of the stalkers was signaled to run across the street with cover to advance upward. The man dashed across the street to my direction, his comrades furiously firing towards an unseen enemy.

Vivid images of the rival Irish gangs back in England came into mind.

He kneeled at the corner of the store, my table a few feet from him. My heart skipped a beat. The man stuck his rifle out the street and fired 6 rounds down the street. Signaling the next man to advance up behind cover. Beads of heavy sweat leaked down my face. My gleary eyes regaining sharpness. An explosion boomed at the middle of the street. The man retaliated with a hand grenade.

He shielded his ears and kneeled as the grenade detonated. He took a step back. Slowly, he inched back, directing his rifle at the entrance. My breath is red hot, my spine was ice. I had nothing to do with stalker factions
  16:30:27  26 December 2003
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Tluster
(Novice)
 
On forum: 11/30/2003
Messages: 13
Great writting!

It was a bit long for me but It was a great plot and the childern made the story crisp.
You are only 16 and you write like a 50 year old. Your very talanted! Thank you for the read...
  21:19:39  26 December 2003
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
 

Message edited by:
Chansd5
12/26/2003 21:50:38
Messages: 124

---QUOTATION---
Great writting!

It was a bit long for me but It was a great plot and the childern made the story crisp.
You are only 16 and you write like a 50 year old. Your very talanted! Thank you for the read...
---END QUOTATION---



Hey Thanks for reading my story mate. I spend alot of time on it and trying to polish it, I admit it is quite long but i had alot of ideas I wanted to put into it.

But oh boy oh boy, the deadline is the 31st.. I sent it in at the 24th and It is still not posted yet. I am afraid my story will not be counted in the contest. GSC needs to hire someone to check their mail.
  15:13:26  27 December 2003
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Tluster
(Novice)
 
On forum: 11/30/2003
Messages: 13
Good Luck!

"No Rest" was emailed on 10233 and it has not been posted yet.
What can you do!
Oh by the way I did put an ending
onto my story but it is in my reply!
If you could take a look at that for me?
  02:21:46  29 December 2003
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
 

Message edited by:
Chansd5
12/29/2003 2:32:45
Messages: 124
Anybody else have the patience to read my story and comment?

I want to know what I could change and if there are any flaws.
  02:52:07  29 December 2003
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273

---QUOTATION---
Anybody else have the patience to read my story and comment?

I want to know what I could change and if there are any flaws.
---END QUOTATION---



I'll give it a look over tommorow m8.

Atm I am busy worrying myself to death over the final part of my story, just can't get back into the 'riff' I had with Parts 1 and 2 ( I go through periods of writing quite well, and periods of writing the most cookie-cutter crap imaginable ), but nothing like deadline pressure to get you to perform, eh?
  02:52:41  29 December 2003
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Relax, GSC is probably picking all of the work up and preparing them, then post them all up in a go. But mail atem to be very sure.
  16:50:07  1 January 2004
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Sablehawk
(Novice)
 
On forum: 01/01/2004
Messages: 9
Very good story ... I loved the depth of it and the feel that you put into it.
  08:25:28  3 January 2004
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Moto42
(Novice)
 
On forum: 01/01/2004
Messages: 19
Good story
  16:04:51  8 January 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Well, Chan, I finsihed your story on your PDA first- I can't understand what Narrow house stands for, so I tackled yours first. Maybe I'll tackle the latter when I have other time when I am not rushing on my story.

This is your first work- I can tell it alsmot instantly by your writing style. You are probably a 2nd generation Chinese in UK, I guess, because that do explain how your English vocab was better then mine. I have to look into the thesaurus in my PDA to see the meaning before resuming. And oh, you are probably an Art Sided student, meaning that you do mostly literature instead of science subject. Hahahaah, maybe I could be a mind reader some days.

Now, to your work..
1. Although length was not a not a problem for me, the way you write your story was. Why? because you use "I" almost consecutively when you describe action. It's something like "I do this, I do that, and I do that and that." It inspires boredom, but hey, I finish your story. No comment.
2. you use short clipped sentences to much. Only use those when you describe action. For the more general description, try to write noramlly. Join sentences together to save space.
3. Your story was tooo detailed. Maybe for others it is fine (hell, those people that I never seen in this part of the forum popped up to praise your story. Where was mine, Ian C's and Midnight Rambler's ? : )but for me, details means boredom too. Well describe is one, detailed is another.
This is an example, based on your writing style. The target' Collin Powell, everyone knows him:
general description - he was a black man, his short hair was a striking contrast to his skin- it was white. But even from behind his thick glasses, you could make up that the 6 foot person was undaunted in his work despite his age. (well, this is more or less very detailed description, although I managed it into 2 sentence.)
your style - he is a black man. His hair is white and short, and he had heavy glasses. The old man was quite tall, about 6 foot. (as you can see, both of them are very similar, but yours is a detailed writing, not describing in an attractive manner.)

See what I mean?

4. Your ideas isn't well grouped, especially at the beginning to middle part. You have to decide that what is the purpose of each paragraph, because without meaning or purpose, it is nothing. Paragraph with the same purpose should be group together. I can't quote specific examples from the story, but they are there.

5. finally, theme. Thisis a big one, the heart and soul of your work. Because I can't grasp what is your story about, althought the description was beautiful. Your story is generally about adventure of your character in the Zone right? Doesn't stand out to me, I got a fishload of that already. But I have to admit, the idea on Old Vodka was striking.

To your technical aspect. You story doesn't have that feel of realism. Hate to compare yours to the big shots like Ian C's here, but your story lacked the 'real' feeling. Since you read R6, I am going to speak directly from there. In the book, clancy did one hell of the job describing the toughness of their training (5 miles in 40 minutes, damn...) , went on the describe the tenseness before the takedown. There was a realistic feeling behind it, like you can imagine how the head of Petra and her terroist got thei head blown off (ill...). But that was the realism. For yours? This is an example- your character did not use his binocular to scout ahead for danger, instead relied heavily on instinct and senses. You did not ask yourself "is this action logical or not? Is there any other course of action?" Of course, this is something that sometime me myself forget to do too, so don't take it that hard.

In general? A nice attempt. Nice try giving a shot, and I realised that it is too late to do anythig about your submitted stories already. But remember, writing is a skill that can be nurtured over time, with practice.

now, since I am done with this, I have to get to my Part 5 of Prey of One. Cheers!
  20:50:30  8 January 2004
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
 

Message edited by:
Chansd5
01/08/2004 20:57:29
Messages: 124

---QUOTATION---
Well, Chan, I finsihed your story on your PDA first- I can't understand what Narrow house stands for, so I tackled yours first. Maybe I'll tackle the latter when I have other time when I am not rushing on my story.

This is your first work- I can tell it alsmot instantly by your writing style. You are probably a 2nd generation Chinese in UK, I guess, because that do explain how your English vocab was better then mine. I have to look into the thesaurus in my PDA to see the meaning before resuming. And oh, you are probably an Art Sided student, meaning that you do mostly literature instead of science subject. Hahahaah, maybe I could be a mind reader some days.

Now, to your work..
1. Although length was not a not a problem for me, the way you write your story was. Why? because you use "I" almost consecutively when you describe action. It's something like "I do this, I do that, and I do that and that." It inspires boredom, but hey, I finish your story. No comment.
2. you use short clipped sentences to much. Only use those when you describe action. For the more general description, try to write noramlly. Join sentences together to save space.
3. Your story was tooo detailed. Maybe for others it is fine (hell, those people that I never seen in this part of the forum popped up to praise your story. Where was mine, Ian C's and Midnight Rambler's ? : )but for me, details means boredom too. Well describe is one, detailed is another.
This is an example, based on your writing style. The target' Collin Powell, everyone knows him:
general description - he was a black man, his short hair was a striking contrast to his skin- it was white. But even from behind his thick glasses, you could make up that the 6 foot person was undaunted in his work despite his age. (well, this is more or less very detailed description, although I managed it into 2 sentence.)
your style - he is a black man. His hair is white and short, and he had heavy glasses. The old man was quite tall, about 6 foot. (as you can see, both of them are very similar, but yours is a detailed writing, not describing in an attractive manner.)

See what I mean?

4. Your ideas isn't well grouped, especially at the beginning to middle part. You have to decide that what is the purpose of each paragraph, because without meaning or purpose, it is nothing. Paragraph with the same purpose should be group together. I can't quote specific examples from the story, but they are there.

5. finally, theme. Thisis a big one, the heart and soul of your work. Because I can't grasp what is your story about, althought the description was beautiful. Your story is generally about adventure of your character in the Zone right? Doesn't stand out to me, I got a fishload of that already. But I have to admit, the idea on Old Vodka was striking.

To your technical aspect. You story doesn't have that feel of realism. Hate to compare yours to the big shots like Ian C's here, but your story lacked the 'real' feeling. Since you read R6, I am going to speak directly from there. In the book, clancy did one hell of the job describing the toughness of their training (5 miles in 40 minutes, damn...) , went on the describe the tenseness before the takedown. There was a realistic feeling behind it, like you can imagine how the head of Petra and her terroist got thei head blown off (ill...). But that was the realism. For yours? This is an example- your character did not use his binocular to scout ahead for danger, instead relied heavily on instinct and senses. You did not ask yourself "is this action logical or not? Is there any other course of action?" Of course, this is something that sometime me myself forget to do too, so don't take it that hard.

In general? A nice attempt. Nice try giving a shot, and I realised that it is too late to do anythig about your submitted stories already. But remember, writing is a skill that can be nurtured over time, with practice.

now, since I am done with this, I have to get to my Part 5 of Prey of One. Cheers!
---END QUOTATION---



This is my first attempt at a surreal setting, i wanted to reader to imagine the setting for himself.

This story is an adventure in a sense yes.. but i wanted to create a sense of psychological breakdown, the zone probably made alot of people insane. I wanted to do something like that for my character. That was the main purpose of my story. I heard soldiers emotionally breakdown even though their bodies dosen't show it. I always wanted to write a story on that.

Description - Yes.. it may be too detailed. But I am basically stuck with this writing style as this is the only way i could write or I wouldn't be satisfied with myself. I wanted to reader to get a vivid image in his/her head.. but i guess in some parts i overdid it.

In the realism part, this is my first attempt at a surreal environment and not a realistic military operation story (I had a fishload of those also). The story was not about combat and military life but about the characters. I am not too big on war myself and i didn't want to get too graphic about the combat because of my sensative nature about the war in Iraq and one of my family member's direct involvement in the war.

As this is my first attempt, i am very very happy to see other people enjoy my work. I realize this story has faults and I bet everything we write has faults but i am quite happy with this for a first story.
Your tips were extremely helpful though, I will try to develop on what you said I did wrong and improve on it.

Actually I am a first generation Chinese living in New York and I been in this country for about a decade. (I am already too americanized )

I definately will look foward to some of your works when you are done with them.
Thanks for the comments Amoki

  14:34:18  9 January 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
This is my first attempt at a surreal setting, i wanted to reader to imagine the setting for himself.

This story is an adventure in a sense yes.. but i wanted to create a sense of psychological breakdown, the zone probably made alot of people insane. I wanted to do something like that for my character. That was the main purpose of my story. I heard soldiers emotionally breakdown even though their bodies dosen't show it. I always wanted to write a story on that.

Description - Yes.. it may be too detailed. But I am basically stuck with this writing style as this is the only way i could write or I wouldn't be satisfied with myself. I wanted to reader to get a vivid image in his/her head.. but i guess in some parts i overdid it.

In the realism part, this is my first attempt at a surreal environment and not a realistic military operation story (I had a fishload of those also). The story was not about combat and military life but about the characters. I am not too big on war myself and i didn't want to get too graphic about the combat because of my sensative nature about the war in Iraq and one of my family member's direct involvement in the war.

As this is my first attempt, i am very very happy to see other people enjoy my work. I realize this story has faults and I bet everything we write has faults but i am quite happy with this for a first story.
Your tips were extremely helpful though, I will try to develop on what you said I did wrong and improve on it.

Actually I am a first generation Chinese living in New York and I been in this country for about a decade. (I am already too americanized )

I definately will look foward to some of your works when you are done with them.
Thanks for the comments Amoki
---END QUOTATION---



You are trying to make a surreal story... that is a tough task that even me myself don't dare to venture to. I better stick to action only.

Anway, I also have to congratulate you on your sucess to create you character. You manage to let people know who and what is your charater (the 'I' guy) made of. Good. But don't worry, I already did a lot of this in my story.

And don't wait for my story to finish- I alreadty have a "Prey of One" Part 1 here, read that first before I post the other five up.
  01:21:37  24 May 2004
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
 

Message edited by:
Chansd5
05/24/2004 1:25:26
Messages: 124
I been itching for my story to be posted on the website for a long time now but for the time being would anybody else give me a comment on this story? IanC, would you have time to put in a few words, I would really really wonder what your take on this story would be. :

I just completed a plot outline for my next Stalker themed story and i needed a last few pointers on what I did right and should stick with or what I should axe out that would help me in my next work.
  05:28:34  24 May 2004
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273
Sure thing m8, I'll give it a read over later today and let you know what I think.
  23:00:03  27 May 2004
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Ian_C
The man lacking a plan
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 08/02/2003
Messages: 273
Sorry for the delay.

As Amoki mentioned, your level of detail is quite intense, sometimes to the point of being overwhelming. You have a most impressive vocabulary, so much so that I had to look up one or two words and I thought I knew most of them .

There was a definite sense of isolation about the story which increased as it drew on, you really felt as though things were starting to unravel and the brief moments of recurring insanity, such as the children, felt realistic to the reader as well. I noticed one or two issues with 'tone', not sure anyone from London ( was he born in London though? ) would refer to their parents as their 'Ma' and 'Pa', also you made the I.R.A troubles in Ireland seem very close ( while London did suffer some bomb attacks there wouldn't have been any 'turf wars' between gangs there ), which might be a small niggle for some.

My mind is still trying to digest it all so you'll have to pardon the somewhat vague nature of my comments, one thing I will say is that I think you and I suffer from the same weakness; we can go overboard on simple descriptions such as how the air feels or the way a cloud moves, we get so caught up in mixing words that by the time we look up we've written a paragraph on something that could have, trimmed down, filled no more than a single line.

Epic and in-depth description definitely has worth, it can evoke moments of genuine emotion and empathy, but by the same token sometimes it is better to just describe something in a simple nature - I know that when I first started out writing I would under-value the reader and try to really spell things out to them, without realising that just a small, measured scrap of information can, at times, be far more valuable than a long, detailed dissection.

It's a difficult call to decide when to alternate between the two, and unfortunatly I've only learnt by experience ( not that it doesn't still happen, witness how windy and waffly my Part4 of 'the difference' is ), but you're working from a very solid base here as you obviously have talent, so try experimenting a little.
  23:20:17  27 May 2004
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Chansd5
(Senior)
 
On forum: 11/26/2003
Messages: 124
I am writing another stalker based story this weekend, using a similar tone but trimmed down and well.. hopefully you'll see it by next weekend.
  07:01:47  28 May 2004
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
I am writing another stalker based story this weekend, using a similar tone but trimmed down and well.. hopefully you'll see it by next weekend.
---END QUOTATION---



I am certainly happy to see that your ready to do another one, and planning to improve your story. Even though I have to admit the comment was a rather offensive one, I stand by what I have done, and so hopefully you can do better than this one (and you will! I am most certain of this!) Just remember to always place your plot in your head when you write so you don't go to far to describe stuff, this is what I have always done.
 
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