Atium

March 11 2019 - Atum - Untitled - (703) (V, G)

15 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

This is a short story (I think),

I am looking for anything, but I am mostly looking for advice on the magic system, and the character (I know there isn't much). I am also looking for random uses of the letters TK (in that order, possibly with some combination of letters before or after it), and over use of commas. There isn't too much gore, but it's there so...

 

Thanks in advance!

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Overall, this was an interesting story, and hooked me with the first sentence.
It could do with another pass on the prose, especially from a blocking standpoint. The main problem I had was that it was so short there were few markers for where the S. was in relation to the people she was fighting.
There are also a lot of questions raised, for example who is the guy with blue skin, what exactly is the S's relation to the people she's killing, and what about the mystery of C?

To your questions, I didn't really get a sense of any magic system. S was certainly stronger or more resilient that normal, but I didn't see anything particularly magical. In fact, I was a little confused at the beginning as I thought S was holding a sword. Then with the evidence of guns, a blue-skinned man, and color pictures, I was assuming this was more Sci-fi.
I actually got a pretty good idea of S's character, just from her persistence and arrogance, to some extent, in her power.
I didn't find any instances of "TK..."
There's a lot of potential here to expand and create a longer story, especially to answer some of the questions raised.


pg 1: I like the first sentence. Good hook.

pg 1: 2 -> two
Write out numbers

pg 1: "She fired and a defining noise filled the room"
I was assuming a sword from the first paragraph, so it took a minute to catch that this is a gun of some sort.

pg 1: "She drank the liquid"
--what liquid?

pg 1: "thought to think"
--could just be "thought"

pg 2: "on the man, her father"
--ok, that's a twist

pg 2: "She pulled on the weapon’s barrel, ripping it in half."
--I don't get a sense for where she is in relation to the guard.

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What I liked:

I had no trouble picturing the action. The blocking was clear. I was never lost in terms of what was physically happening on the page. 

What could be better: 

Purpose and character development.

 I’m not quite sure I understand the purpose behind the action and what the arc of the character was. 

 What I did understand was that someone heard voices and killed people. But why?  

I don’t know anything about those voices, aside from the fact that rarely agree with each other.

All I know about the character is that she hears these voices, is related to the people she is shooting, and seems invincible. It is not enough to make me care about her or her family.

I strongly dislike the concept as it is right now because it seems to be promoting a harmful stigma about mental illness. When shootings happen in real life, people always jump to conclusions about the shooter being mentally ill, which in turn makes other people think all mentally ill people are violent and dangerous.  That misconception leads to discrimination against and unnecessary fear of people with mental illness.

 

While reading, there were some lines that caught my attention and could help you develop the story more.

“he had been helping with the recent disasters.” I’m not sure what you mean by this, but it hints that there might be more reason than voices for killing these people. If that is the case, I want to know a little more about the disasters and the victim’s involvement in them.  I would like the story much better I the dark magic mentioned was amplifying some drive for revenge or punishment instead of “voices” telling the character to do something. 

“’Why is she in a color photo.’ Color Photos were only invented a year ago, making this one impossible.” This little hint at world building and back story made me curious, but it was never explored later.

"As she left she heard tears, and one whispered word.

'Why?'”

I’m not quite getting the significance of this.

Overall: You have hints of a more complex world than what is on the surface, but not enough is on page to really make me engage with the story. I’m also having a hard time getting past an mc hearing voices before they go and shoot a bunch of people. However, if you delve a little more into the magic and show a little more of your characters personalities, this could be a good short.

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Posted (edited)

Hi again, @Atium, great to be reading some of your stuff.

14 hours ago, Atium said:

This is a short story (I think).

I do believe this would qualify as Flash Fiction. Also, I see there is a category called Sudden Fiction (quoted word count 750), but can I be the first to say that having a category at 750 words limit, and another at 1,000 is just plain silly?

Quote

I am also looking for random uses of the letters TK (in that order, possibly with some combination of letters before or after it)

This is pretty comfortably the most niche request for advice that I can remember! I'll do my best.

In relation to the commas, while there are rules, it can be a very personal thing. Overuse will slow the reader down (due to all those pauses), so some people take the approach that the reader can apply different values to the space been some words without needing a comma to tell them when to do that every time. I tend to sprinkle them around too much probably, but I'll be fasciated to see how the debate goes here on this subject! :) 

Page 1 

- Are there are lot of kings? It's a good first long: strong sense of purpose and immediate tension and conflict, but it does leave me with that slight doubt. If the line was 'kill the king', I think I would have a much clearer sense of threat/danger/conflict and also plot.

- "The weapon pressed, cold, into her hand as she walked" - For me, no commas here. I think the sentence works best without them.

- "...first room of three, she would have to check each one." - For me, this is two separate sentences. While one follows from the other, there is no grammatical link between them, imo.

- "she noticed 2 guards" - Ooh, no numerals like this in prose. Should be 'two'. I would always spell out numbers, certainly small numbers. If you are writing SF, I think it's okay to use numerals for big numbers, maybe years. Think of it this way. Can you imagine Tolkien writing '3 Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, 7 for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, 9 for Mortal Men doomed to die, (etc.)'?

- "She fired..."- This took my off guard, because I assumed the weapon was a knife or possibly a sword. In this paragraph, you've got a couple of commas that I think are just fine, clearly posting a longer pause between parts of the sentences.

- "A man ran up, a spear in hand." - I reckon there's a clear pause here, although at first I thought it was a missing word (ran up with a spear in hand). Also, I'm really confused now. The guards have spears, but the assassins has a gun? (I see later that it is a crossbow. In my head, crossbows are most often wooden-handled, but I don't know enough about them. Then again, I take this to be a pistol crossbow (one hand weapon) and not a full-sized crossbow. There's another difficulty for me, mentioned later.)

- "She drank the liquid and her magic filled her." - I'm fine with the fact that there's been no sign before that the had magic. I'm also okay that there is no explanation of the magic, because everything is so stripped down to a very basic level, and the story is so short, that I don't think it matters. I can accept it and keep going.

“How did you enter?” He asked" - Should be 'he asked" because the tag is part of the same sentence, but you still have the question mark. Might seem contradictory, but look at any book off your shelf and I think this is the form you will find in these situations.

- "they fell to the ground"- I think this is a new sentence, unless you want to get into using colons. Also, I personally would put a comma between 'backwards' and 'slamming'. To me, there is a longer pause there.

- "If they were unconscious or dead..." - This sentence doesn't make sense for me. Something is off.

- "She turned and the people and the guards stood there, stunned." - My issue here is that I don't know anything about the surroundings. I sounds like the room is full of people, but I don't know that because there is no description when she first see it.

- "The two guards attacked, (a) crossbow bolt plunged into her shoulder." - Word missing, I believe, Also, what two guards? This is another case where lack of description leaves me unable to picture or understand what it going on.

- "The weapon fired before she thought to think about what she was doing. Both of them died instantly." - Couple of issues for me here. (1) 'thought to think' is really awkward. 'she thought about' would be fine, or 'before she could think about', but doubling up on 'thought/think' is just kind of weird. (2) Another issue for me is the weapon. Crossbows need to be reloaded manually if they are true example, and that takes some time and effort, I believe. If it is some kind of magical repeating crossbow I need to know that upfront to believe that she can fire all these shots without reloading. (3) What does the magic do? It's not doing anything that I can see.

- "Everyone in the room ran" - I assume you mean ran away from her, but you don't actually say that. They could be running tornados her. Still, I think you just about get away with that one.

- "Another man stood, shaking slightly." - But everybody ran except the king, so who is this guy? I guess he also did not run, so there's a continuity issue there.

- I like the touch of her tear falling, that adds one of the first touches of character that I can think of, other than the king's lack of emotion, which is another touch.

Page 2 

- When you mention 'from before' and 'recent disasters', I get a twitch, because I want to know what these things are, but I guess not going to be told. That feels a tiny bit like cheating to me, but I have to remind myself I'm reading flash fiction, which I hardly ever do, so I think I have to accept some details without explanation. I presume that I don't need to know the details of these things.

-"the horrible bang filled the room" - Ah, right, I've made another wrong assumption. She does have some kind gun, I guess? Im back to my earlier point then about there being no explanation for the difference in technology levels.

- "it tore threw him" - 'through him'

- "and on the man, her father" - Ah, this feels like cheating, because you've withheld a key piece of information from me for more than half the story. I feel a bit put out over that.

- "a person ran to the dead man's side, his son." - Okay, the dead man is not the king, so the person is not her brother, right? I'm wondering here he came from when everyone ran away. Then I tell myself it's okay, it's a style thing and this is flash fiction.

- I don't understand who says the line about her failing, and when she shoots, does she shoot the son? She doesn't shoot the king at that point, right?

- So,when she throws the weapon it is because she did shoot the king? That's very confusing. I think you need to clarify with tags and specify clearly who is doing what. She is the only female character, so you can get away with that, but there are too many male characters not to identify them in greater detail.

- Where does the photo come from? Who is speaking, asking about the photo? The detail about photography seems rather off-hand and out of the blue, in order to make this point of the story work. Felt awkward to me. Also, if they've got photography and guns, why on earth are the guards using spears?

- "rang threw the air" - 'through the air'

- "missing her by a few centimeters" - There's no way she can know how far the shot missed her by, so this thought is not (can't be) in her point of view, whereas the rest of the story is.

- Wait, now that guards have guns? Why didn't they shoot her?

Summary 

- I thought your comma use was pretty darn good. I can only think of a couple of instances that I would have changed.

- I think there are several inconsistencies in the story that make it hard to believe what happened. The guards have spears, but some have guns? What purpose does the magic serve at all? I didn't see it being used once. Also, the behaviour of the people. It's hard to believe that none of the guards was able to get the drop on her, when their job was to guard the king.

- There are new details dropped in at the end of the story that feel a bit like cheating. The photography thing bothered me.

- You asked about character. Well, in truth, there is just about no character all in anyone. The assassins shows something in her tear, but we don't know what, so it doesn't really matter, or have much impact.

- The ending: a well, that is really quite unsatisfying, because there will never be an answer. You could say that Chris Nolan's amazing film Inception also has a non-ending sort of ending, but that comes after we've invested in those characters and that magnificent labyrinthine plot for two hours. Because of the lack character in your piece, I find that I don't really care that I don't know why, because I spent so little time and got to know nothing about the characters that it doesn't matter to me.

- I like your spare, economical style, but there is really so little to go on in terms of emotion, or plot or character that it's difficult to feel very much about the piece other than as a test of style and technique; a training exercise, if you like. For that, it was okay.

This is not meant to be a negative critique. I think there is clear ability shown in the piece. I would like to read something longer of yours, something with more substance, because it's very difficult to judge on this piece other than the fact you have a lot of decent mechanics of writing, but there are also some big things missing from this piece.

I hope that is helpful in some way. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I hope you submit something else, maybe something longer and more substantial.

<R>

p.s. What was the whole thing about TK? I didn't get that at all :unsure: 

Edited by Robinski
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1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

The blocking was clear.

:blink: Really? I need to get my eyesight tested.

1 hour ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I don’t know anything about those voices

I completely forgot about the voices after the first mention of them. Might be good to have them recurring when she shows some doubt (if that was what the tear implied).

6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I like the first sentence. Good hook.

Did I say that? I should have. It is a good first line. Also, I did like the twist about it being her father, which is a powerful line. Disregard my gripe about that when reading. I stick by my comment about 'a king' versus 'the king' though.

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Overall
It had good action and it grabbed me from the start, which was good. There are some blocking and characterization problems, and I really don't know what happened at the end. The twist of the friend (?) who wasn't blood covered didn't land because I don't know enough about any of the characters to figure out what their relationships are.

12 hours ago, Mandamon said:

To your questions, I didn't really get a sense of any magic system. S was certainly stronger or more resilient that normal, but I didn't see anything particularly magical. In fact, I was a little confused at the beginning as I thought S was holding a sword. Then with the evidence of guns, a blue-skinned man, and color pictures, I was assuming this was more Sci-fi.

Same here. I also didn't see any 'TK' references.

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

I like your spare, economical style, but there is really so little to go on in terms of emotion, or plot or character that it's difficult to feel very much about the piece other than as a test of style and technique; a training exercise, if you like. For that, it was okay.

I agree with this as well

I think it has great potential, for sure. Blocking would be the first thing to tackle, I think, then characters.

 

As I go

- always write out numbers in fiction (a few exceptions do exist, but this is not one of them)

- why does his blue skin make him stand out? What color skin does everyone else have?

- Much blocking confusion on page 2

- why doesn't the knife stop her when a shot to the leg does?

- I don't understand the ending

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17 hours ago, Robinski said:

:blink: Really? I need to get my eyesight tested.

19 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

LOL I am probably the worst here with blocking, so maybe my word shouldn't be taken on the subject. And from the other comments, it seems like I am the only one who didn't have trouble with the blocking. 

But for flash fiction, I thought it worked. I pictured someone walking into the room, shooting. I knew where the bullets were going, which seemed kind of like in the Deadpool movies, where the camera focuses on bullets ripping through people. The mc got stabbed, but kept going anyway because it wasn't in a spot that inhibited movement. The leg tripped them up because it was a leg. That is all I need for blocking in a flash piece if the other issues are resolved. 

Or maybe I was too hung up on the fact that the main character heard voices and started shooting because of those voices to really be objective about the rest of it. 

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2 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

But for flash fiction, I thought it worked.

Yeah, this is where I don't feel as qualified to comment as others, as I've read almost no flash fiction. I will add that, like you, I had no great problem with the M/C's movements, it was the NPCs movements that gave me some issues. They were not always where I thought they were.

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Thank you @Mandamon, @shatteredsmooth, @Robinski and @kais (think I did that right) 
 

 

On 3/11/2019 at 10:56 AM, Mandamon said:

To your questions, I didn't really get a sense of any magic system.

"She threw the guards backwards, slamming them into the walls behind them." I should probably clear this up, she used magic to accomplish this.

On 3/11/2019 at 10:56 AM, Mandamon said:

There's a lot of potential here to expand and create a longer story, especially to answer some of the questions raised.

That's more or less my plan, this would be a short story that would fit into the larger story.

On 3/11/2019 at 10:56 AM, Mandamon said:

"She pulled on the weapon’s barrel, ripping it in half."
--I don't get a sense for where she is in relation to the guard.

On 3/11/2019 at 3:36 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

I’m not quite sure I understand the purpose behind the action and what the arc of the character was. 

Didn't plan out a arc, I am using this to find where I am have problems with my writing

On 3/11/2019 at 3:36 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

What I did understand was that someone heard voices and killed people. But why?

On 3/11/2019 at 3:36 PM, shatteredsmooth said:

 I would like the story much better I the dark magic mentioned was amplifying some drive for revenge or punishment instead of “voices” telling the character to do something. 

I have it that using magic amplifys a person's emotions, I should have put that in there.

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

Are there are lot of kings?

Actually, this is the only monarchy I have created, so probably should fix that.

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

(I see later that it is a crossbow. In my head, crossbows are most often wooden-handled, but I don't know enough about them. Then again, I take this to be a pistol crossbow (one hand weapon) and not a full-sized crossbow. There's another difficulty for me, mentioned later.)

It is a gun, probobly should have cleared that up. 

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

When you mention 'from before' and 'recent disasters', I get a twitch, because I want to know what these things are, but I guess not going to be told. That feels a tiny bit like cheating to me,

Might be told... depending on how I use this

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

"a person ran to the dead man's side, his son." - Okay, the dead man is not the king, so the person is not her brother, right? I'm wondering here he came from when everyone ran away. Then I tell myself it's okay, it's a style thing and this is flash fiction.

Probably should clear this up, 

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

- Wait, now that guards have guns? Why didn't they shoot her?

Probably should have do that.

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

Also, if they've got photography and guns, why on earth are the guards using spears?

I have it that some of the guards have spears, do to the cost, time and resources of manufacturing a gun

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

- I don't understand who says the line about her failing, and when she shoots, does she shoot the son? She doesn't shoot the king at that point, right?

- Where does the photo come from? Who is speaking, asking about the photo? The detail about photography seems rather off-hand and out of the blue, in order to make this point of the story work. Felt awkward to me.

Guns are a more modern invention than cameras (in my timeline), and I have created a way for color photos to exist this way, because it may come up later. Should have put in a small detail earlier about this.

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

Also, the behaviour of the people. It's hard to believe that none of the guards was able to get the drop on her, when their job was to guard the king.

I should fix that...

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

The ending: a well, that is really quite unsatisfying, because there will never be an answer.  Because of the lack character in your piece, I find that I don't really care that I don't know why, because I spent so little time and got to know nothing about the characters that it doesn't matter to me.

Might be a answer, Probably should work more on the characters.

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

as a test of style and technique; a training exercise, if you like. For that, it was okay.

That it was.

On 3/11/2019 at 5:29 PM, Robinski said:

p.s. What was the whole thing about TK? I didn't get that at all

I use it when i have a name or dialogue (Because I am horrible at it) as a place holder, until I can come up with something that is better.

22 hours ago, kais said:

 What color skin does everyone else have?

He isn't human, so I probably should have stated that.

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30 minutes ago, Atium said:

He isn't human, so I probably should have stated that.

I think the not human part is clear noting the blue skin. My comment was more directed at the if you call out one skin tone, you need to call them all out. Otherwise we end up in white default land, which has some unfortunate implications.
I do love blue skinned aliens though. Excellent trope.

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12 minutes ago, kais said:

My comment was more directed at the if you call out one skin tone, you need to call them all out.Otherwise we end up in white default land, which has some unfortunate implications.

If I don't call any out, wouldn't I still end up with a white default land?

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5 hours ago, Atium said:

Might be a answer, Probably should work more on the characters.

I don't know. Depends what you want to do with it really. If you spin it out into a novella (say) or even a short story, where everyone has names and emotions and background, it becomes a completely different thing. I feel like you could keep it as flash fiction and use the other 300 words to clean up and emphasise plot aspects and twists, while leaving the characters fairly blank. There's a school of thought that blank character allows the reader to superimpose their own ideas.

On the ending, you could just as easily have the killer answer the question 'Why?' and leave the reader more satisfied with a really zinger of a line if you can find the right one. I'm not saying that would be easy, but it could neatly cap off the story. Like, 'Because he killed her.' 'Because he heard the voices too.' 'Out of love.' Still an enigmatic ending, but something that gives the reader an answer. Although they still need to ponder it, and won't really understand it, I feel like it's more satisfying than a hanging question like that.

Just an opinion, apologies for editorialising.

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Hello and welcome!

 

I love flash fiction. It does so much with so little.  In general I agree with what the others have said: while I enjoyed the action and the over all story, I had many problems figuring out where each person was situated, and what the setting was about. I couldn't figure out much of the personality of the characters, and was confused by most of the action sequences. Even though it is so short, flash fiction absolutely has the ability to convey character, personality, and action, as well as plot, so I don't believe it is wholly due to the limitations of the format. 

I believe many of the problems I experienced stem from the lack of specificity in the choice of words used to describe the events in the piece. Flash is so small, so constricted, that every word carries greater weight and I feel like should be chosen with care. General terms like "weapon," "man," and "people" don't convey very much concrete information, especially where there simply isn't room to wait for a second chance to describe something. What kind of man? What kind of people? Do they have names? Jobs? Titles? Can the words used to describe them do double-duty and be used to convey something about themselves or the POV character?

In action sequences especially it's important that readers can tell the combatants apart on a textual level, even if they are identical in the story.  For example, had I known the protagonist carried a gun from the first, I would not have been confused when she shot someone. If I had something other than "the man" to call the person who jumps in front of the king, I would not have been as confused by their interaction. The same with the guards and the bystanders. Similarly, if I don't know where all of the action is taking place, I don't know how to interpret the action. "The room," "the door" don't tell me much beside the fact that they are indoors. Is it a house, a castle? Office, school, ship? A jail? A theater? Any one of these would fit the description in the story, since they all contain people, rooms, and doors. 

I also agree with @shatteredsmooth  that having her kill someone because she heard voices is playing into a not-great stereotype that does real harm to real people. Since it seems to me like the voices don't have a significant role in the rest of the story, I feel like they could probably be cut out without much loss. It seemed to me like there was more going on with the protagonist than doing something just because she was told to. 

I want to reiterate that I think the story has a lot of promise and I am interested enough to want to read more. Things are confusing me right now, but I look forward to reading this again when they get straightened out.

 

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19 hours ago, Atium said:

If I don't call any out, wouldn't I still end up with a white default land?

Yes, but I think it's seen as marginally less problematic, because at least you aren't othering the non-white characters. Not giving skin tone is lack of characterization. Only giving skin tone on non-white characters is implicit bias. 

I guess the take home is, more skin tones, please!

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It looks like I'm definitely not the first one here, but I'll throw my comments into the mix as well. I'll start with my overall impressions and then some not-quite line by line comments.

Overall:

I think there's an interesting nugget of a story concept here, but it doesn't really get a chance to shine in what you've shared. I don't get much of a sense for the main character's personality other than that they are methodical and maybe a little arrogant? There's an interesting immediacy to your prose, but I feel like there need to be more establishing details for both the characters and the locations involved. Of the four characters of note in your story, only one gets a name and only one gets even a cursory physical description. The situation as well seems to change on a line to line basis, I assumed that the main character was facing hordes of faceless guards but then in a single line the scene has been rearranged into one with just two guards but crowded with non-combatants and also several people that are significant but not significant enough to be noticed until they step forward to speak.

I wish the magic at play in the story had a greater impact on what was happening. Other than the main character being imbued with additional physical capabilities I have no idea what the magic does. I get the sense that "the weapon" is magical, but the nature of its power is also unclear.

On the subject of comma usage, I noted a few cases of unnecessary commas in the course of reading. Some will probably disagree with some of my concerns, but I usually err on the side of fewer commas, so take it with a grain of salt. 

That's all I have to say at the moment, I hope none of what I said above or below is discouraging. Like I said at the beginning, there is definitely something interesting here and I hope to see more from you in the future.

=======

Page 1:

An interesting first line. It's very direct and a good hook.

"The weapon pressed, cold, into her hand" reads oddly, the word "cold" singled out by commas breaks up the flow of the sentence, I would say either drop the commas or turn the word into an adverb

"2 guards" - should be written as "two guards. The following line could probably go without the comma, something like "the guards ran forward to stop her" is more to the point.

"a defining noise" - Deafening?

"A man ran up a spear in hand." - sentence should be broken up with a comma or rewritting, unless the man is performing some sick stunts off of a spear

"How did you enter?" - This line really pulled me out of the action, it seems so matter of fact and blase and doesn't feel like something someone in his position would ask, also "He" afterwards should not be capitalized.

"The others ran at her." - I would go with something like "charged" in place of "ran" to better convey that they are on the attack

"She drank the liquid" - this is the introduction of this "liquid" into the story, I would say there needs to be more to establish its presence in the scene. Even something like "She drew the flask from her pocket and quickly downed the liquid" would make its appearance less jarring.

"She threw the guards backwards slamming them into the walls behind them" - a missing comma after "backwards"

"If they were unconscious or dead she could tell, but she didn't bother to find out." - I think this might have been intended to be "couldn't tell," and the second half should probably be something like "she didn't bother staying to find out."

"shet of doors" - "set" probably

"where a human heart would have been" - I think this line is too telling, honestly. I think it might be a little more dramatic to be a little more cagey about that reveal, it's a little too forthright as is, at least for my tastes.

"and the people and the guards" - are there people there who aren't guards? Even if so, describing each individual group makes the sentence a little busy.

"crossbow bolt plunged into her shoulder" - this should probably be its own sentence and should be "A crossbow bolt"

"except for him" - Who? No characters have been explicitly described in the scene, is this the king?

"to a minor effect" - "to little effect"

Page 2:

"from before" - More needs to be defined here, does this mean two minutes before the scene started or a thousand years earlier?

"the recent disasters" - same concern as last comment, if this is supposed to mean anything to the character or to the reader more needs to be defined

"tore threw him" - Probably "tore through him"

"the man, her father" - Which one? Only one has been described at all, and both are just called "the man" in this scene. Even something as simple as "the tall man" would help differentiate. The rest of this paragraph continues to describe a scene that should have been described earlier, apparently this is in a crowded room but at no point until now has it been mentioned.

"This, like in all things you fail." - This is a very odd sentence construction, something like "Again you fail, like in all other things." would make more sense. Also I'm not sure who is even speaking these lines.

"Why is she in a color photo." - I don't think the protagonist needs to think out this whole thought. Something as simple as "A color photograph..." and then having the narration outline that such a thing was an impossibility might read a little clearer.

"She pulled on the weapon's barrel" - should probably include some establishing details such as her reaching for the barrel first

Page 3:

"She pulled on a on one of the guard's guns" - "grabbed" or "picked up" would probably work better in this situation. Also unless these firearms are massive, there's no way they could be used as a makeshift crutch, unless the protagonist is three feet tall at most.

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