Originally published by fools magazine. (R.I.P.)
"You see, my friend, I am what you call a good friend." stokes puffed on his cigar. "A helpful friend." He looked immensely pleased with himself. I thought about his advice.
"You are," I replied, "what they call an armchair quarterback." I pored the tea and took a sip from the cup. What did he know of my job, or office? Death is not always easily understood, and there are many rules in the after life. He took a sip of tea also.
"Very nice," he said. "where did you get it from?"
"India. Some kids were riding around in a convertible as fast the car will go. Really, humans’ lack of understanding of physics never cease to amaze me."
"Or their stupidity. I remember you telling me about the moron with the cigarette lighter while he was siphoning gas."
"Stupidity I understand. Tv kills brain cells. It’s the physics part. Someone in the back of a pickup, good fifty miles an hour, no seatbelt. A minor crash and what happens? I mean really? What do these gumballs think is going to happen? A few bumps? Minor road rash? A 150 pound male at fifty miles an hour. Could you imagine a 150 pound force, with the texture of cement, aiming for at over fifty miles an hour? Stokes shuddered a bit. "Yet it happens. Frequently. Amazing. Stupid, stupid humans."
now, I'll start the complaining first.
first, there's really no back ground, is there? I mean what's going on here? I'm picturing two guys, armchair, hanging out after work. one is death, one is an imp or something. is any of that in there? no. I need to spend the words to establish my setting. this is a big mistake many beginners make. scared of being too boring, too wordy, they cut too much and end up with crap. you need to play the picutre it game. I only picutre what I wrote, and compare it to my mental image. any differences need to be corrected. try to re read everything, and see if additional words would help. yes, most people say cut, edit, tight. but it still has to make sense, other know nothings about your story have to be able to follow along.
also, it's a bit preachy. yes humans are stupid, especially over p0hysics. yes, morons think a fifty mph ride in a back of a truck is redneck fun. until someone falls off. death would be a bit preachy, if he had to clean up after idiots. he has burnout, actually, in the story. it happens to a lot of emergency medical people.
come on people. don't let me the only one having fun cutting it to shreds. feel free to comment.