Resource "Normal" a post SHTF novel (Story 1 of the "Normal" Saga) 2015-02-03

by Grand58742 (PDF version)

  1. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    Grand58742 submitted a new resource:

    "Normal" a post SHTF novel - by Grand58742 (PDF version)

    Read more about this resource...

    For those wanting the PDF version to read at your leisure. Enjoy.

    12 September 2011: The completed revised copy has been finished and uploaded. I managed to shave over 50 pages out and made the dialog a little easier (hopefully) to read. The detailed lists and detailed firearms facts are gone as well. I still have the original version and will send it via e-mail if someone wants it.

    Enjoy the story.


    1,196 downloads before being moved into the Resource Manager
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2015
    Zimmy and john316 like this.
  2. gunbartender

    gunbartender Monkey+++

    got about a third of the way through today and have enjoyed it so far.
  3. gunners99

    gunners99 Monkey+

    Once again thanks for this pdf.
    john316 likes this.
  4. HuskerTanker

    HuskerTanker Monkey+

    Great stuff, thank you
    john316 likes this.
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I know you're in the process of moving back to the states but I'd like to thank you for this story !!
    Good luck to you when ya get home !!

    GREAT Story ,Thanks .
    john316 likes this.
  6. Yoldering

    Yoldering Monkey+++

    This is next on my reading list. Thanks for sharing it!
  7. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    Hi - I've skimmed through a third of it. (I should have time to read it all this weekend.) What kind of comments do you want?

  8. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    I take the bad with the good so long as it's constructive. It was my first work and in rereading it, I see there is a lot of editing work that needs to be done and I got far too detailed in some parts. I accept the "it sucks" as long as I have a reason it sucks.

    I have grand plans of giving it a through editing eventually and trying to replace the more glaring sections of utterly fine details. Finding the careful balance of gun nut/gear hound dream and getting the point of the story across is not too difficult, but takes time. Finding the time with my current work is hard to do, but I'll get there eventually.
  9. Wags

    Wags Monkey+

    Good story, although I kept wondering about some of the obvious (to me) things that Thomas left off his list when he apparently had the money to do them.

    Also wasn't sure if you wanted typos/grammar stuff brought up or not.
  10. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    It doesn't suck.[beer]
    It is, however, too detailed in places. Based on my reading so far (I have not yet finished it) you were trying to do both large-scale and small-scale action. That's very difficult to do and the book reads a little imbalenced because of it. You could cut out most of the government-related action at the start out of the story and it wouldn't suffer. Leave all the Iran/AQ stuff out and show it through background news broadcasts, things like that.

    More practically, I do have some problems with the politics. I don't see the US refusing to strike Iran, even if the proof is flimsy. (Of course, you could use the strike as a way of sowing extra chaos around the world.) It may explain why the President lost the next election, but it doesn't explain his replacement. The sitting party would be attacked on the grounds they wimped out and the next President would be a warhawk.

    The idea that AQ might try to frame Iran makes perfect sense. AQ is a Sunni force and the Iranians are Shia. If Iran gets hammered, the Sunni get stronger by default.

    OTOH, I can't see the Saudis refusing to ship oil. They depend upon oil shipments to keep their country going. Any new government is going to face the same problem.

    I'll read it all through this weekend and try to make editor-grade comments, but my advice for the rewrite would be 'show, not tell'. The events on page 48, for example, need to be shown through a character's eyes.

  11. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    Thomas is much like a lot of us in the fact he did forget that minor (or major) item in his preps. We've all forgotten that one thing at some time or other that we really could have used. Plus, I didn't want to create the entire utopia experience at the Ranch. It was near enough, but I had to omit a couple of things.

    I'm a horrible typist lol Feel free to shoot me an e-mail detailing the mistakes and I'll correct them.
  12. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    I tried to show the political background as to some of the "why" it was happening. You are correct though, I did find it hard to transition from the large to the small (and back again if you haven't gotten that far). It's something I've been able to correct in my later works for the most part.

    Kinda sorta...there are those within our government that would not strike back, no matter how much it cost us. Appeasement at all costs types.

    Which it least I thought that message was conveyed.

    True enough, but at the same time, there are religious fanatics that believe Saudi (or most any Middle Eastern country for that matter) should not be doing business with the US. Keeps us out of their country in their mindset so I could see elevated oil prices at the very least, a total embargo at the most. Depends on the situation and I was a little liberal with the background of hte story.

    I'll be awaiting your reply. You can shoot me an e-mail or PM if you prefer (of if it's too much for the thread here)
  13. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    I've read through most of it. The main problem with the text is that it is simply too detailed. You try to show the bigger picture with the government and everything and at the same time you allow too much detail to slip into the smaller picture. If you look at the prologue, for example, you tell the reader far too much about the weapons the character is carrying, something that carries on throughout the text. There’s just too much information and it edges out the characterisation , which is what the story really depends upon. It also leads to a point where my suspension of disbelief falls flat on its face. I think that some of the events you’re talking about (not showing) can’t or won’t happen that way and the inner critic comes out.

    A secondary problem is that the politics don’t make sense, at least to me. Both of the US Presidents strike me as incompetents, although for different reasons. If there was strong evidence to implicate Iran, I think that the US would demand unconditional surrender and start launching nukes if Iran didn't surrender fast enough. If the President doesn’t go the heavy retaliation route, the chances are good that he will be impeached once the news leaks out. He’s also stupid enough to appoint a known enemy (both of the country and himself personally) to become VP – and then to resign, leaving her as President. (I’m not sure if that is legal or constitutional, but I am not a constitutional expert.)

    The second President is even dumber than the first. She will have just lost most of her support base when the nukes went off (cities are more liberal than the countryside, IIRC) and even the most die-hard liberal will want revenge. We’re talking about attacks that make 9/11 look like nothing. I doubt she would be dumb enough to ban guns and even if she did, I suspect that there would be mass civil disobedience, an immediate impeachment and suchlike instead of a civil war/state secession. I don’t see so many soldiers turning rogue so quickly either. They’re not operating against Iraqis or whoever, but fellow Americans.

    The Islamic Union is also a little bit unlikely. The countries in the region depend upon selling their oil to western infidels such as us. Further, Iran is largely a Shia country and most of the rest are Sunni. I’d expect a massive civil war, not a workable alliance. If the IU did turn into a major threat against Europe (and with WMD being used in European cities) I can't see either France or Britain holding back their own nukes. That would be the end of the IU. And then there’s Israel...

    My honest advice would be to cut out the political section entirely and focus on the smaller picture. You can leave the snippets of the overall picture to news broadcasts or briefings, particularly if one of the characters remains on a military base at the start of the story. Or you could have one of the nukes take out Washington, decapitating the federal government.

    In the smaller scale, you’re still giving too much information. Focus on the characters and allow the information to slip in naturally.

    I’m a little amused by how Thomas managed to get so much money. I can accept that for the plot, but it might work better if you stick with the money from the lawsuit.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. I hope that they are of some use.

  14. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    Chris, PM incoming
  15. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Grand I know you have other stories out there so when are we going to see any of them .
    You write a great story and other would enjoy them as much as I have !!
  16. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    I have a couple in the hopper. Some I poke at when I get a moment of inspiration, others I'm working close to full time on.

    Currently scheduled...4 more "Tales of the Ranch" series. A "By Law" follow up, a standalone called "Lucky" and one that I've been hacking away at for the better part of three years called "Solitary."

    The one that has been eating away at most of my time is called "Second Chance." It'll be available here in pdf once I get it done. You can follow along at the following link, but I've slowed posting down because of my PCS move from Germany back to the States.


    It's kind of a modern day thriller with some preparedness aspects thrown in.

    I appreciate the support from the forum here as well as the readers.
    Cephus likes this.
  17. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Second Chance is great read ,do you think you will put in a PDF form when it's finished .

    I'd like to thank you for your service and have safe trip to your next posting !!
  18. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    Cool. More to read. I like!

  19. Magelk

    Magelk Monkey+++

    I enjoyed the story for the most part and agree on cutting down some of the excess detail in the weapon department. The one area I think would make the story a bit more realistic is if a couple of the ranch people were to get killed along the way. Not that I want to see any of them die but considering the number of actions that took place and the number of enemies they killed off, it would be highly unlikely that someone wouldn't have gotten severely wounded or killed at some point much earlier in the story.
  20. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    Revised version with chapters 1-26 complete uploaded. Cleaned up the mess with the complete listing of everything, the gear and weapons wet dreams and made the interaction between the characters more readable.

    The remainder of the chapters are being finished and it's something I hope to do over the next few months.
    Metalsmith and Cephus like this.
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