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Member Since Oct 27, 2004
174 Images, Last upload Oct 29, 2012

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Hi all.
This is the opening piece of a short story I am busy with. I just need to get a little feedback to see if it sounds realistic.

Thanks in advance :o)


The twitching of his left thumb was really beginning to irritate him as he lined up the sights of the sniper rifle. He switched his gaze from the barely visible target to the annoying appendage and glared at it, trying through sheer willpower to still the thumb.
His jaw spasmed as the anger built from the pit of his stomach and tried to force its way out in its customary explosion. He almost welcomed the familiar feeling. At least he could feel anger still.

A nudge of his extended leg in the grit diverted his attention to the towering man behind him blocking the sun from his eyes.

"Anderson, pull yourself together man. Take the shot."

The growl that emerged was soften as Mitch turned his focus back to target. He carressed the fine trigger as he paused in his breathing and watched as the target acquired a piercing dead center.

The thumb twitched again.
August 6, 2009
Work In Progress
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Image Comments

Aug 6, 2009 7:58:19 am
It's good and realistic except for one point, and it's just a technical point. A sniper will never touch (or caress) the trigger until they are just about to take the shot. Other than that, a fine beginning.. It draws you in right away.

by Styxx Homepage »

Aug 6, 2009 8:02:39 am
Thank you for that. The technical info is just what I am looking for considering I am trying to put myself in shoes I've never filled :o)

by SusiQ Homepage »

Aug 6, 2009 8:37:35 am
Hmm... you've instantly created a sense of tension and drama which is good! I think there are maybe a couple of things but it all entirely depends on who the "sniper" is and what he is shooting at.
If he's a professional sniper on a "job" then I don't think his second (the guy with him) would be standing up as he would be visible to any observers and potentially blowing the shooter's position. I also don't think that the shooter would take his eyes off his mark to look at his second and would probably be REALLY annoyed when the guy kicked him in the leg. I would think that he is aware of his trembling thumb but wouldn't watch it as it breaks his focus.
If the sniper is a green rookie that's currently on a shooting range and the guy behind him is his drill instructor (or whatever) then it all seems pretty accurate - even the stroking of the trigger (if he's a rookie, after all).
These are all just minor, technical points. The flow is good so far and the atmosphere is great. And that's the most important thing - engaging the audience.
This is just my humble opinion, of course :)

by ZanderXL Homepage »

Aug 6, 2009 9:26:49 am
Ok, I see a little more background is needed for the comments perspective. This sniper is a guy just back from a heavy duty tour who is on a private shooting range with a long time 'friend'. He is suffering from PTSD although in denial and is trying to steady himself with familiar work : ie, at the range. His body keeps failing him (steady nerves etc) and his stress is really high....

I keep forgetting I know the facts and that others don't.. lol

Thanks for that Zander :o) I will keep that in mind while editing :o)

by SusiQ Homepage »

Aug 6, 2009 10:32:05 am
Zander seems to have noticed everything I was going to mention... I'll bet he's forner military too. Looks like the beginning of a pretty compelling story.

I read a lot of Tom Clancy's work, and the thing that makes him so successful is that when he writes about the military characters in his books, what he writes is typically 100% accurate. Non-military folks would never know if the details are off, but the military ones would see it immediately and the work would lose its credibility and readership. If you want this to be an even better story... find an experienced soldier and have him or her help with the small details.

I cannot wait to see more!

by safetman59 Homepage »

Aug 6, 2009 11:59:37 am
Great. 5+!

by Fidelity2 Homepage »

Aug 6, 2009 8:53:04 pm
Excellent work!

by DennisReed Homepage »

Oct 29, 2009 11:29:26 pm
OK, I'll chime in, though I'm no writer. If any of this is useful, then good, though this really isn't meant to be a critique. I don't have the credentials for one thing and I'm sure my grammar is suspect; yet I found the excerpt very compelling, so I had some fun with it.

"The twitching of his left thumb was becoming more pronounced as he lined up the sights of the SKS {or some relevant military acronym for an assault rifle}. Annoyed and unable to focus his attention on the barely visible target, he shifted it to his insubordinate thumb; glaring at it as if through sheer willpower he could still the annoying appendage. He clenched his jaw as anger built in the pit of his stomach - usually a precursor to some sort of spectacular eruption - with predictable results. Truth was: despite the increasing frequency and intensity of these outbursts, he had come to almost welcome the familiar feeling: anger and rage being preferable to feeling nothing at all.

A nudge of his extended leg in the grit diverted his attention to the towering man behind him blocking the sun from his eyes.

"Anderson, pull yourself together man. Take the shot."

The growl that emerged was softened as Mitch turned his focus back to target. Steadying himself, he paused in his breathing and acquired a piercing dead center bead on the target. He relaxed as he prepared to caress the fine trigger as he had done so many times before.

The thumb twitched again."

Once again, not a interpretation is probably going to look like a hatchet job on second glance anyway!

by kennundrum Homepage »

Apr 8, 2010 12:36:46 am
Thank you all for your various comments. I haven't been online for a bit, so failed to send my thanks to you all. I appreciate them all!

by SusiQ Homepage »


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