Workshop Wednesday—Voices

VoicesHave another Workshop Wednesday for you. Hope you enjoy. This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Comments welcomed.


This is a case of a man killing every person that was on in his house on semtember 12 2010

This is the interrogation that took place.

Interrogator: hello Mathew you know why you are here right

Matt: yes

Interrogator: can you tell me why you killed all of your friends Mathew

Matt: because I was told to

Interrogator: who told you too?

Matt: the voices told me too

Interrogator: what voices Mathew?

Matt: my real friends the ones who are always talking to me always helping always watching me they make sure I’m ok

Interrogator: let’s talk about that later ok tell me how you killed your friend Jacob please

Matt : I took a kitchen knife and cute his throat.

Interrogator: ok what about will how did he die

Matt: I ripped out his throat with my hands

Interrogator: and Austin how did he die

Matt : I locked him in my burning house he screamed for help but by the time you arrived it was too late he was dead

Interrogator: lets talk about these voices you hear ok

Matt: ok

Interrogator: how often do the voices talk to you?

Matt: every minute

Interrogator: what are they saying now?

Matt: …

Interrogator: Mathew what are the voices saying

Matt: they are telling me to kill you

15 thoughts on “Workshop Wednesday—Voices”

  • Here’s our submitters take on the “voices” trope. I find it an interesting choice to tell this as an interview, rather than simply showing us what happened. I think it leaves room to include some flashbacks or the like. As it is now, I don’t think we have enough here for a story. We don’t know anything about Matt or any of his friends, so it’s tough to feel bad about their deaths. We know they were grizzly, but we don’t mourn the loss of a character so much as we’re horrified by the description. Sadly, this makes the story feel more like a “shock” story than an actual story. I’d like to see a little remorse, maybe, on Matt’s part. Humanize him a bit. Maybe let us fear for the interviewer. If you want us to be scared, we need to see the atrocities, rather than simply being told about them. I’d like to see a revision of this with some interposed flashbacks which would help create a nice sense of dramatic irony throughout.

  • I personally love the fear we feel from the character Matt. I love how you can get an image in your mind of how all of these killings look. The thrill of not knowing what the characters look like or how the surroundings look. I became scared for the interviewer, and though i could not see them i was scared of the voices inside of Matt’s head. A great piece. I enjoyed reading it.

  • Well first off, I’m confused about the punctuation. I mean, why do some sentences have periods and some don’t? What determines which sentences have punctuation?

    And please proofread. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read, “I took a kitchen knife and CUTE his throat.”

    Obviously the character is deranged. This is apparent. But as Gansky said, this is really just a shock story.

    • Joseph,

      I’d agree with you that the story is in need of some careful proofreading. I also agree that it is a shock story. However, let’s try to find ways that our submitter can improve the story itself. How can the submitter transform this from a simple shock story to something a little more tangible, something a little fuller? Those are the types of constructive criticisms that will benefit our aspiring writer.

      • Ah I see.

        This story is purely dialog and does not show the emotions of the characters. While I like the idea of a conversation being a story, the interrogator should show some physical signs of fear. The character “Matt” is obviously crazy but I can’t tell what his tone is. Is Matt telling the interrogator about burning his victim in a voice of shame, looking at the ground? Or is he proud of his work, smiling?

        There should be more details on the deaths. I think showing the relationship between Matt and his friends before the killing would better develop Matt and horrify readers even more.

  • Aside from a few issues with proofreading and punctuation, there are a few good things going on here.
    So we have this guy who hears voices that tell him to hurt and kill people. Okay then. That’s been done before, so how can we make it feel a little more interesting? What is Matt like? His friends? Like Gansky mentioned, if we know nothing about these guys, it’s hard to feel bad for their deaths. It’s sort of like when you’re watching a horror film and that random nameless character in the background gets his face ripped off by a monster. It’s horrible, yes, but the reader/viewer doesn’t know anything about that character. They just keep watching, or in this case, reading.
    Aside from our dear interrogator needing to show some physical signs of being scared to death of this guy, why doesn’t Matt give the reader some cues?
    As Joseph Martin mentioned, Matt’s clearly a little nuts. But aside from dialog, the reader would like some detail. To keep the interview setting, you can put some of it in brackets or parentheses. Here’s a small example:

    Matt: [Looks around, his eyes meet the security camera. He smiles.] They are telling me to kill you.

    Or, in the case of the interrogator:

    Interrogator: [Keeping his voice level, but the disgust on his face is clear.] Let’s talk about these voices you hear, okay?

    Also, please continue this piece a little more. It’s been mentioned that this is a shock story. That’s fine, for a rough draft. But it feels more like a chapter ending than a story ending. What does the interrogator do after Matt says the voices want him to kill again? Does the interrogator run? Call in help? Try to overpower him?
    All in all, the writing isn’t bad, but a little more time spent proofreading and developing the concept would be time well spent. Write well, write often.

  • It is an interesting start for a great possible story. The intrerrigation take on the story is unique, but I think it is just a beginning point. I think it would be really cool if maybe you started with the whole interrigation process which leaves the reader wanting more at the end. That is good. Perhaps by beginng the story with the interrigation, you could go into a whole non chronilogical story about how Matt ended up being interrigated, you know? That way we could get the story of what actually happened. Show the reader what happend when Matt when on this killing rampage. Let the reader hear the voices. It would be really cool. Then maybe end with some closure regaurding what happens to the interigator… 🙂 It’s a great start.

  • Oh also…like some of the others mentioned above, it would benefit your writing to proofread and use correct punctuation and grammar.

  • So far this is a story that I would like to read. I love how engaged you are when you are reading it and it makes you want to read more of the story. I can’t wait to read the rest. It was kinda scary when Matt said that the voices wanted him to kill the interrogator.

  • This story is interesting, but could use some work. The characters must be developed better. For example, I don’t believe the interrogator would react as he did; he would not continue asking “and then what happened?” kinds of questions. I would also would like to comment on the format. The format is very interesting and I applaud the author for experimenting with format, however, I believe the story will flow better with a basic writing structure.

  • I think that the author did a good job with the dialogue scene, but the fact is, is that it is a scene not a completed story. Also with the ending I think that he (or she) felt rushed and just put the most hgeneric ending that came to mind. It wasn’t very original but it was well writen in other ways. The brain does not readx the names of the speaker but unconciously records it. Also by not describing the charectors it allows the reader to create their own charector.

    ~Howl to a Lonely Wolf

  • It’s good… But it could be a lot better. I like the idea of the story, but it does need to be developed more. There needs to be more detail with the characters. For the dialog though, I think that was done pretty well. To me, it felt like an actual interrogation.

  • This would be good to have in your story, but its not enough to leaveself. The characters need to be more developed, and we just need to know some more. It was kind of gross too i think you should tone it done a little bit because then im like omg who woud write this ! :O not trying to be mean. anyways just add some more detail.

  • excellent choice of words but i see alot of grammar mistakes that would drive me mad. and i believe just because the voices told him to do it is to cliche. i think there wouldve been a number of things better that couldve shown just how insane this person is. like if the real raeson he killed them as just cause he wanted to and he showed no signs of remorse that wouldve been better to me. but the dialouge without any other details made the dialouge kind of boring.

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