Dear Butch50 ;
Thank you for sharing your story "The Drill Sergeant" [E] with WDC, I'm happy to have the chance to review your work! This rate and review is offered in the spirit of assistance. Please feel free to ignore any or all suggestions.
I ran across a sound recording the other day of troops marching to cadence called by a Drill Instructor that had a good voice, and it brought up an old memory of a cold wet miserable muddy day in the early 1970’s.
This is a pretty good opener... it serves as two purposes, one - it gives the reader an idea what he is going to be reading about, and two - it doesn't give the reader an idea of the plot of the story. This does bring up a bit of a problem, if the reader isn't interested in the the first sentence, you've lost them. So think of a way you can suck the reader into the story before you tell them you are listening to a recording. In the first place most everyone knows what a cadence is, so you might start out like this...
"I don't know but I've been told, I don't know but I've been told
Infantry is made of gold, Infantry is made of gold
Sound off, Sound off
One two, One two
Bring it on down, One two three four one two... three-four."
The cadence woke me from a deep sleep. The sound of Drill Sergeant Gooch and his reverberant bass voice echoed in my mind...
What I liked Most
Something mysterious and deep happened to us as a group then, there was a new connection between each of us...
We not only double timed the last two miles while singing cadence, but we begged Gooch to keep on going, so he took us all the way around the perimeter of the parade ground singing and double timing and everyone was in perfect step; making that shup shup shup shup sound soldiers make when double timing and it was CRISP, and we didn't want to stop, we didn't ever want to stop. We had reached some kind of shared totally insane plateau that elevated us above the physical torment we were in. We still felt the pain, we hadn't gone numb, but we didn't care about the pain anymore because we had somehow gone past that point. There was a kind of bond in what we were sharing.
The only thing I would change in this is to take out the "kind of" in the last sentence I've left quoted here. This weakens the paragraph... this 'WAS' a bond...
I Lyke Grammer Slips
So Sgt. Gooch moves out to the side of the ragged column and starts singing cadence in that huge sweet deep bass voice that God only passes out once in a thousand years;
So Sgt. Gooch moved out to the side of the ragged column and started singing cadence in that huge sweet deep bass voice that God only passes out once in a thousand years;
AIT is not defined... I was never military so I am unfamiliar with it's meaning, so all of these type of acronyms needs to be defined.
On a Personal Note
This is a great story that needs to be told and is mostly told well. I read through the story because military things tend to interest me but my wife would have passed you by with that beginning:
Think about the words that will grab a reader in the throat and jerk a them into your story and the techniques you can use to to this;
Think about how you can ... grab their emotions? grab their morals? or grab their logic? All else doesn't matter when you are leading into a short story. Be blessed and write on!
The Gospel BluesMan
over display limit. -?-