The Game by N. J. Kailhofer

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Megawatts
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The Game by N. J. Kailhofer

Post by Megawatts »

The intro didn’t grab my attention, but as I kept reading the story became somewhat interesting.

I thought the dialogue reflected natural speech, and its use in this story very effective.

The game between the “nut” and the two psychologist held my interest as the nut danced and play verbal volley-ball with the two psychologist. The dialogue was well crafted which made understanding easy.

The story reminded me of the Twilight Zone because of the dialogue used, little action and
the character came across as black and white to me. I haven’t watched the Twilight Zone in over
forty-years so maybe my memory is playing tricks.

I don’t understand how the nut put poison in the coffee, but it was a nice twist at the end.

Not a bad story. A nice effect with the dialogue!!!



;)
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Re: The Game by N. J. Kailhofer

Post by kailhofer »

I think it's an ok story for one that was written so long ago they had just announced that stamps were going to increase to 29 cents the following year.

You have to wonder how many stories can say they were inspired by the United States Postal Service.  ;D

As for the poisoning, I was going for that he had sneaked in and poisoned it before he came in for evaluation, but however it reads, it reads. I never expected it to be bullet proof.

Oh, BTW people tell me it reads best if you use a Christian Slater or Jack Nicholson voice for the nut.

Thanks for any kind words.

Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on February 08, 2008, 12:44:18 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Game by N. J. Kailhofer

Post by kailhofer »

well well, one from the Kailhoferverse, it's been ages!

and what happened to the SMELL of the coffee, eh Nate? heh heh.

of course, liked it, smooth and flowing and just the right length. however, it gave away its secrets a bit too readily, as it was obvious early on that he got to the coffee. naturally his name evoked Jack the Ripper, and i suppose within the fiction of this story he was a formidable looney but charming at the same time: to me he was Christian Bale, as in American Psycho.

i'd also like to know what was the motivation behind writing it, Nate, if you remember. what sparked the idea and where did you see it concluding, because in the text provided there's really no clearcut ending.
I've only changed the cost of stamps every few years. Other than that, it's exactly as it was written in '90--well before I learned about sensory input and how much it can help tell the story.

I've never seen American Psycho. I'll have to add it to my Netflicks list.

As for how it came about, my best friend and I were sitting in a dorm room in front of my Mac Plus (with the 8 or 9", built-in, black & white screen) while I was trying to come up with a story for a class. It must have been November or December. The Shining just finished on the campus TV station. A news story came on about the cost of stamps going up the next May, I think it was. At the time, a stamp was a quarter, which was a good, even amount. Very popular. They were going to raise it to 29 cents. So my buddy says in this Nicholson voice, "What the hell and I gonna do with all those damn pennies?" And it went from there. I'd write some dialogue, he'd say it in that voice, and things kept rolling.

Concluding was the problem, and probably why no paying mag ever bit on it. Jack needed a good hero to stand against, and I never had one for him. I'd have needed one as good as McCamy's Mycroft from "A Study in Silicon", or the original Holmes and Watson. if I had, then the game could have really begun!

Nate
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Re: The Game by N. J. Kailhofer

Post by kailhofer »

and you had this since 1990? man i miss that year. how come we never had it on Aphelion before?
Why? Well... that's complicated.

I have a couple of stories that are basically unmarketable unless I become famous. Good but not good enough without already being a big name, as it were. I keep hanging onto them because a part of me keeps saying 'Get money for it!', but then reality keeps sending rejection slips. This was one, which I've always felt didn't sell because of the hanging ending.

Another one is a zombie story in Robert's word range that I've had editors tell me is a good zombie story, but they're not buying it because it's a zombie story. (Classic horror genres are a hard sell due to the extreme volume submitted every year.) Frustrating, but makes me not want to part with it.

Another is in McCamy's range, and earned me the Honorable Mention certificate from Writer's of the Future that hangs on my wall, but it uses a rotating set of 1st person perspectives. 1st person limits your options in the first place, and a rotating set makes it artsy... but not artsy enough that a literary mag was interested. I just can't force myself to part with that one for free yet, despite the staggering amount of rejections on it.

Apart from that, I have about a dozen far enough along to call them unfinished ones, some also from college, that for one reason or another the vein of creativity ran out on. The funniest thing I've ever written by far is in there, but it's not a cohesive story yet. Just a collection of funny bits. After that, I my file of 106 story ideas (& counting).

Oh, and 2 novels (1 embarrassingly bad) plus the starts of 2 more. Too big for Aphelion, and I really, really would like to be paid for at least one of them.

For now, flash examples or the occasional entry are going to have to do. Everything else is accounted for.

Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on February 14, 2008, 10:18:43 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Game by N. J. Kailhofer

Post by kailhofer »

thanks again for sharing, Nate. i know how it feels to have stories you believe can sell...or at least used to when i was still a pseudo-writer. now i'm just a certified slacker and good for nothing layabout.
Well, not to sound callous about it, but you have 2 obvious options: stay a "slacker" or do something about it.

I'd start by writing a sentence. Any will do, even one that doesn't seem to make sense. C'mon, it's only one little sentence. You can do that.

Then write one that follows it. One that has something to do with what was said in the 1st.

Then another, and another...

When you've reached your thousand words, stop. Somewhere in the process, you'll create a story.

(It's a lot easier to concentrate on writing one sentence at a time than a whole piece. Plus, that way, I don't have to berate you in this public forum for not entering the February Challenge.)


Nate
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