250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

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Neil Larkins
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Neil Larkins » August 6th, 2011, 5:00 pm

[Man, I hate that: I was just about finished with my post when - bang! - "Web page has expired" Lost it all. Try it again.]

Here's my WIP, though not my only one. It started out some eight years ago as a completed novel that I submitted to a POD publisher. I liked it enough, but like all authors wished I could have done it differently. Now that the rights have returned to me, and it had sales of less than a dozen copies, I'm giving it a whole new look. The original was third person, past tense, single pov. The protag seemed to be asking me to redo her in first person, present tense, so I'm giving it a try. I've never done it before and know there are all kinds of dangers to doing it that way but see what you think--

Working Title: Destiny's Hammer
Genre: Early teen, fantasy/adventure

_____________

Oh, crap. There's the bell. Late, late, LATE again. Gonna be hell to pay.
This is the longest hallway in school building history, I know it. If I could get these stupid crutches to go faster, this wouldn't happen every stinking day. But, what the hell. Why expect more than I already got? Crutches are only sticks of wood held together with bolts, never meant to substitute for working legs. And this is my third pair since I was two years old. Geez. Twelve years I've lived with these damned things. If I can't get them to work by this time I never will.
Oh, well. Not that being late matters now. God knows the whole classroom's gonna be in chaos when I shuffle in. Mrs. Beaker takes half the hour to bring even a hint of sanity to that lunatic asylum.
Lord, how I wish, so wish that once - just this itty-bitty once - I could sneak in unnoticed. Just waft in like the breeze and take my place at my desk with no one aware. Like normal people.
It's never been that way - not one single time. My Grand Entrance always draws all attention from whatever is going on.
This is it. I can hear the mad cacaphony through the door. Take a deep breath. Phew. Phew. Not easy when I've made that trip. Aw, drat it! Why is this door so friggin' hard to open? That new closer thingy they put on is a killer. Crap. I'll have to lever my way in. And like always I won't be able to ease in undetected.
Through the door and...uh-huh. They see me. Of course. They always see me, leaning into my crutches, wheezing and puffing like a leaking fireplace bellows. That same Dead Silence descends upon the room like a cargo tarp.
Last edited by Neil Larkins on August 6th, 2011, 9:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by sierramcconnell » August 6th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Babs in Paradise wrote:OK, I admit it's a little more than 250 words(328 to be exact), but thought i needed to finish out, to make sense.


The water reaches to our chins before we see the rise of bubbles that signals Peter exhaling the last air in his lungs. He drowns. I have to look away when Mom says to Tom, “I love you.” She drags him off the ledge.

“Are you ready?”

I nod yes.

“Oceanna, say behind a minute. Let me go and see if your mother needs help. You don’t need to see this.”

“No. I can do this.” I say, as we step off the ledge together.

We catch up to Mom and Tom about twenty-five feet down. It is a sight right out of the worst horror movie. These are images that will haunt me forever, but I can’t look away. It’s as though I have to make a mental record of my mother’s determination and Tom’s final moments. Tom is clawing to get over Mom and head to the surface. Mom has her hands on his shoulders and is easily holding him down. I will be forever grateful that I was not able to see my mother’s face. I do see the look of panic and betrayal in Tom’s eyes when he turns his head and looks directly at me.

“Aqua let me…“

“No. I can do this. Take O-She out of here. Now.”

Someone is tugging on my arm trying to help me swim past Mom and Tom at the moment Tom exhales the last air in his lungs. He has a little struggle left in him. I see his eyes roll back in his head. He dies.

In my head I hear Mom’s cry of anguish, but worse than that, I feel it in every molecule of my body. Her pain runs through me like an electrical current. I am paralyzed at the sight of her clutching Tom’s lifeless body as she sobs. Hanging there in the water, I start to feel lightheaded.

“Oceanna, baby, breath, come on, breathe. Do not pass out on me. Breathe.”
I am terribly confused because there is a lot going on here that isn't explained. I realize the mother is drowning her children, it's very confusing. Also, you should research drowning from the point of view of the victim. Writers have tended to make a drowning very dramatic. I found an article once explaining how people die and I printed it out to keep it. Let me see if I can find it for you...

Ah, I found it on scribdbecause on NewScientist you have to pay to see it. Basically...

Drowning

Death by drowning has a certain dark romance to it: countless literary heroines have met their end slipping beneath the waves with billowy layers of petticoats floating around their heads. In reality, suffocating to death in water is neither pretty nor painless, though it can be surprisingly swift. Just how fast people drown depends on several factors, including swimming ability and water
temperature. In the UK, where the water is generally cold, 55 per cent of open-water drownings occur
within 3 metres of safety. Two-thirds of victims are good swimmers, suggesting that people can get into
difficulties within seconds, says Mike Tipton, a physiologist and expert in marine survival at the
University of Portsmouth in the UK.

Typically, when a victim realises that they cannot keep their head above water they tend to panic,
leading to the classic "surface struggle". They gasp for air at the surface and hold their breath as they
bob beneath, says Tipton. Struggling to breathe, they can't call for help. Their bodies are upright, arms
weakly grasping, as if trying to climb a non-existent ladder from the sea. Studies with New York
lifeguards in the 1950s and 1960s found that this stage lasts just 20 to 60 seconds.


When victims eventually submerge, they hold their breath for as long as possible, typically 30 to 90
seconds. After that, they inhale some water, splutter, cough and inhale more. Water in the lungs blocks
gas exchange in delicate tissues, while inhaling water also triggers the airway to seal shut - a reflex
called a laryngospasm. "There is a feeling of tearing and a burning sensation in the chest as water
goes down into the airway. Then that sort of slips into a feeling of calmness and tranquility," says
Tipton, describing reports from survivors.


That calmness represents the beginnings of the loss of consciousness from oxygen deprivation, which eventually results in the heart stopping and brain death.


It's not the OMG I AM DYING SOMEONE HELP ME FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL DIE.

It's actually a little kick, a little panic, a sputter, and then calm. Because you're dying.
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charlotte49ers
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by charlotte49ers » August 6th, 2011, 8:09 pm

Mine is kind of a first draft. I wrote one beginning, but then started over, so this is a bare form of where I'm beginning the story now. :/

It's YA I guess dystopian, but it's not in the future, so I'm not sure that fits.

The Devil's Utopia

The dungeon doesn’t appear any different than before – not in any overt way that is.

Same musty smell.

Same chill that seems to amplify with each step southward.

No, it hasn’t really changed, but there’s something intangible here. Sinister.

A shiver runs the length of my spine causing the tray of food in my hands to vibrate.

Breathe, Adelaide. Breathe.

Despite a deep intake of air, my nerves don’t improve and the tray begins to quiver even more violently.

I’m being stupid. The whispers floating back and forth between the Forsaken are morphing into shouts in my head - that’s all it is.

Really, Prisoner Nine is just like every other person locked away down here. Dangerous and awful, but nothing I haven’t experienced before.

Even as the words form in my brain, I know they aren’t true. Nine is different. Very different.

A word whistles by my ears, as if a breeze invades the stale air.

Outsider.

I crunch up my face, squeezing my eyes shut. My heart rate begins to pick up speed again. Damn it, get a grip Adelaide!

No one knows how the Outsider found us, let alone survived the open jungle alone. We’re hidden far from the Outside’s influence and no soul has entered our borders since Himmelreich’s founding years ago – well before I was born. He’s a mystery indeed.

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Seph800BC » August 6th, 2011, 11:49 pm

Outside the Copperhead Bar, Jeff Adams pumped another shell into the chamber of his shotgun. He approached the figure writhing in pain on the hard packed dirt that served as the parking lot of the establishment. It was difficult for him to believe the scrawny punk with the big belt-buckled wranglers was chosen for immortality when Adams himself had not been.

Adams glanced around to see if any straggling patrons were coming out of the bar. Satisfied they were alone, he turned back and shot another round of mercury filled shot into the creature’s chest. It wheezed and gasped, scratching at its own skin trying to claw away and release the liquid metal burning through the it’s flesh in a couple dozen places. The torment brought an evil grin to Adams’ face.

The creature croaked out, “I’m not what you think. I’m not a killer.”

“Unfortunately for you,” Adams spat, “I am.”

He kicked at its head. “What do you have that I don’t? Except a lot of western gear and really poor hunting instincts?”

No response.

Sure the vampire was beyond fighting back, Adams dragged it over to his old blue Ford F-150 truck. He lifted his prize into the bed and beat a track out an old rural route. Adams intended to take several syringes of blood from the creature before leaving it to burn in the dawn.

By then Adams would be back on the computer playing the game that started all this madness,

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Neil Larkins » August 7th, 2011, 10:16 am

Seph800BC wrote:Outside the Copperhead Bar, Jeff Adams pumped another shell into the chamber of his shotgun. He approached the figure writhing in pain on the hard packed dirt that served as the parking lot of the establishment. It was difficult for him to believe the scrawny punk with the big belt-buckled wranglers was chosen for immortality when Adams himself had not been.

Adams glanced around to see if any straggling patrons were coming out of the bar. Satisfied they were alone, he turned back and shot another round of mercury filled shot into the creature’s chest. It wheezed and gasped, scratching at its own skin trying to claw away and release the liquid metal burning through the it’s flesh in a couple dozen places. The torment brought an evil grin to Adams’ face.

The creature croaked out, “I’m not what you think. I’m not a killer.”

“Unfortunately for you,” Adams spat, “I am.”

He kicked at its head. “What do you have that I don’t? Except a lot of western gear and really poor hunting instincts?”

No response.

Sure the vampire was beyond fighting back, Adams dragged it over to his old blue Ford F-150 truck. He lifted his prize into the bed and beat a track out an old rural route. Adams intended to take several syringes of blood from the creature before leaving it to burn in the dawn.

By then Adams would be back on the computer playing the game that started all this madness,
Strong opening. Not my taste in reading, exactly, but good. I think the "Adams" name is a bit overused. "He" could be used in several places to reduce the repetitiveness. Don't think it's necessary to give the color and model of the truck at this point. Adds detail, yes, but not important to the narrative. Last sentence is a grabber. How did a computer game lead to this?
Thanks for letting us see it.

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Babs in Paradise » August 7th, 2011, 6:07 pm

serramconnell: Thanks for your comments. I'm not as concerned with the drowning from the perspective of the victim or the person drowning them, as I am with the witnesses. Appreciate the article on drowning. Guess it wasn't obvious, that the person drowning can swim, if only he can get out of the grip of the woman holding him under the water. That would be cause for a little more struggle, don't you think? I intend for you to be confused. Hoping you want to read on and know what the heck is going on. Maybe I went too far. Appreciate the input.

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by sierramcconnell » August 7th, 2011, 6:14 pm

Babs in Paradise wrote:serramconnell: Thanks for your comments. I'm not as concerned with the drowning from the perspective of the victim or the person drowning them, as I am with the witnesses. Appreciate the article on drowning. Guess it wasn't obvious, that the person drowning can swim, if only he can get out of the grip of the woman holding him under the water. That would be cause for a little more struggle, don't you think? I intend for you to be confused. Hoping you want to read on and know what the heck is going on. Maybe I went too far. Appreciate the input.
Actually, the point of the article was to prove that with oxygen deprivation, he has only 30-90 seconds in which to die, and being a child, probably less than that. He doesn't have the time to fight back, and the mother would obviously have much more strength to hold him in. There wouldn't be a struggle. It would be -jerk, jerk, a little nail digging in, and then dead-. Because without oxygen, your muscles grow weak very fast.

And confusion doesn't make someone want to read. It makes them put the book back on the shelf. Suspense, question, and intrigue makes a person want to read because they sense someone can keep things interesting and keep their facts together. If it's too confusing to remember where everyone is in the first 250 words to the point I have to read it over again, I won't go on.
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Babs in Paradise » August 8th, 2011, 10:27 am

sierramcconnell wrote:
Babs in Paradise wrote:serramconnell: Thanks for your comments. I'm not as concerned with the drowning from the perspective of the victim or the person drowning them, as I am with the witnesses. Appreciate the article on drowning. Guess it wasn't obvious, that the person drowning can swim, if only he can get out of the grip of the woman holding him under the water. That would be cause for a little more struggle, don't you think? I intend for you to be confused. Hoping you want to read on and know what the heck is going on. Maybe I went too far. Appreciate the input.
Actually, the point of the article was to prove that with oxygen deprivation, he has only 30-90 seconds in which to die, and being a child, probably less than that. He doesn't have the time to fight back, and the mother would obviously have much more strength to hold him in. There wouldn't be a struggle. It would be -jerk, jerk, a little nail digging in, and then dead-. Because without oxygen, your muscles grow weak very fast.

And confusion doesn't make someone want to read. It makes them put the book back on the shelf. Suspense, question, and intrigue makes a person want to read because they sense someone can keep things interesting and keep their facts together. If it's too confusing to remember where everyone is in the first 250 words to the point I have to read it over again, I won't go on.
I can clearly see that I have totally confused you,obviously that is NOT my goal. Personally, I'm not sold on this as my first 250 words. Creative Writing Professor is. Failed miserably in this particular test run, if your major concern is the mechanics of drowning. Thanks for the input. ;)

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by cheekychook » August 8th, 2011, 11:40 am

Babs in Paradise wrote:
sierramcconnell wrote:
Babs in Paradise wrote:serramconnell: Thanks for your comments. I'm not as concerned with the drowning from the perspective of the victim or the person drowning them, as I am with the witnesses. Appreciate the article on drowning. Guess it wasn't obvious, that the person drowning can swim, if only he can get out of the grip of the woman holding him under the water. That would be cause for a little more struggle, don't you think? I intend for you to be confused. Hoping you want to read on and know what the heck is going on. Maybe I went too far. Appreciate the input.
Actually, the point of the article was to prove that with oxygen deprivation, he has only 30-90 seconds in which to die, and being a child, probably less than that. He doesn't have the time to fight back, and the mother would obviously have much more strength to hold him in. There wouldn't be a struggle. It would be -jerk, jerk, a little nail digging in, and then dead-. Because without oxygen, your muscles grow weak very fast.

And confusion doesn't make someone want to read. It makes them put the book back on the shelf. Suspense, question, and intrigue makes a person want to read because they sense someone can keep things interesting and keep their facts together. If it's too confusing to remember where everyone is in the first 250 words to the point I have to read it over again, I won't go on.
I can clearly see that I have totally confused you,obviously that is NOT my goal. Personally, I'm not sold on this as my first 250 words. Creative Writing Professor is. Failed miserably in this particular test run, if your major concern is the mechanics of drowning. Thanks for the input. ;)
I didn't find your excerpt confusing or unrealistic in terms of drowning. There's a big difference between drowning because you can no longer keep yourself afloat and drowning because someone is holding you underwater. Since you're conveying the latter I think your description is clear and suits the needs of your story. Obviously this is just an opening scene, so the reason for all of this isn't supposed to be crystal clear, yet. As long as you explain what's going on in the coming paragraphs I wouldn't think a reader would be confused by the way you described the drowning, particularly since it's not from the pov of one of the drowning victims. JMO.
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by dios4vida » August 8th, 2011, 12:14 pm

Now that I finally have time to sit down and read all of these, here are my reviews of newer entries:

sladuke – This opening is very evocative. Anyone who’s been picked on in school (and I think most of us, especially us writing nerds, certainly have) can instantly relate to Winston. But what genre is it? I didn’t get a sense of the upcoming story from this opening. Though that isn’t a cardinal sin or anything, it’s hard to really feel excited about the upcoming story without a basis of what’ll happen once Winston gets around that corner. There are also a few typos – you say he shoved into his face which is a little confusing, and “sit on Winston the on the way home.” Otherwise, though, this opening is very good. I loved the writing style and, again, the feel that we were right there with spitwad-infested Winston.

Babs in Paradise – I agree more with cheekychook than sierramcconnell about your opening. I found it very confusing and a little disturbing, but I wasn’t overwhelmed or put off by it. I think knowing the genre would be very helpful, though. Is this a fantasy, where drowning their children turns them into mermaids (and with a name like Oceanna, that’s what I was thinking would happen), or is this literary fiction (a la Crime and Punishment) where we follow the main character through the mental torment of witnessing murder? That would help put this into perspective a lot. Also, minor typo – “Oceanna, say behind a minute” instead of “stay”. Other than the confusion issue, I thought your words were very well written. I did get chills when he finally died. They set a very distinctive tone to your book.

polymath – It seems wrong somehow to give reviews of your writing. It’s like a student correcting her teacher’s grammar (that one didn’t go over so well…). Anyways – microfiction is so hard to do successfully. To convey mood and emotion and story in so few words is amazing. I’m way too long-winded for that, but I think you pulled it off nicely. Your fiction writing style follows the pattern of your posts – very intellectual, sometimes hard to really grasp in a layman’s level, but with inflection it speaks very poignantly. I got such a sharp image of the egg in the shipwreck that it’s crystal clear in my mind’s eye. I was surprised, though, when you ended with waking from a dream. I thought that would have fallen under the dischisms you’ve been teaching us about? I’d love to hear your reasons for writing this microfiction the way you did. Very well done!

Neil Larkins – Of all the openings I’ve read in this thread (and I’ve read and commented on them all), this one is the one that I felt the most keenly. Maybe it’s because I can relate to your protagonist more than most can – I walk with titanium and carbon fiber braces on my knees and have braces for my wrists and ankles as well. I’m rarely unnoticed, just like your protag. The way you conveyed it all, from the discomfort to the internal frustration to the stupid doors that are way too heavy for “weaker” people to open, was spot on. I’ve said a lot of those things myself. I was right there with her down the longest hall in school history. Since you said it was teen fantasy (one of my favorite genres) and with such a strong beginning, I definitely want to read on. Excellent.

charlotte49ers – I really like this opening. It’s emotional and evocative. You really chuck us in the middle of this dungeon and Adelaide’s head. My only comment would be that some of your sentences, especially the first three, feel like they’d be better in a single paragraph. I understand what you’re doing with the single sentence paragraphs, but it was feeling a little too choppy. Your sentences are brief and short which gives the feeling of tension already. I think it would flow better with some of them grouped together. Otherwise, this was really great. I’m very intrigued. Love it.

Seph800BC – This is a really good beginning. It’s intriguing and it sets the genre, world, tone, protagonist, and at least a mini-conflict in so few words. That’s a hard thing to do, and you did it very well. The sentence “It wheezed and gasped, scratching at its own skin trying to claw away and release the liquid metal burning through the it’s flesh in a couple dozen places” feels really awkward to me. I think it would work better if you took out the middle part and left it as “It wheezed and gasped, trying to claw away the burning metal in its skin.” (And make sure to use its and not it’s here!) Overall, it’s a great beginning.
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Neil Larkins » August 8th, 2011, 1:18 pm

dios4vida wrote:Now that I finally have time to sit down and read all of these, here are my reviews of newer entries:

Neil Larkins – Of all the openings I’ve read in this thread (and I’ve read and commented on them all), this one is the one that I felt the most keenly. Maybe it’s because I can relate to your protagonist more than most can – I walk with titanium and carbon fiber braces on my knees and have braces for my wrists and ankles as well. I’m rarely unnoticed, just like your protag. The way you conveyed it all, from the discomfort to the internal frustration to the stupid doors that are way too heavy for “weaker” people to open, was spot on. I’ve said a lot of those things myself. I was right there with her down the longest hall in school history. Since you said it was teen fantasy (one of my favorite genres) and with such a strong beginning, I definitely want to read on. Excellent.
Thanks, dios4vida. Since this work is, as you've likely already guessed, based on a real person, I feel an onus to make sure I get it right. She - the "real person" protagonist, Teresa - told this story (as well as others, of course) to me many times in the 34 years I knew and was married to her. I had originally wanted to write it as a biography after she passed away in 1997 but soon came to understand that biographies of unknown people seldom got published. (I also soon realized I couldn't do a "real" biography because certain people are still alive who'd make trouble for me if I used actual names and places. So everywhere she had been and everyone she knew, which was before I met her, 1963, are given new names and identities.) It's now, 2011, fourteen years later and changes in the publishing industry and people's reading tastes make it all different. Nevertheless I still feel the chances to get a wide - or wider - read are enhanced if I incorporate into this "bio" a mental/psychological journey Teresa was set upon at the time the story takes place. I do this by expanding her inner journey outward to be a physical one as well, thus the fantasy-adventure aspect.

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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by polymath » August 8th, 2011, 1:23 pm

dios4vida wrote:polymath – It seems wrong somehow to give reviews of your writing. It’s like a student correcting her teacher’s grammar (that one didn’t go over so well…). Anyways – microfiction is so hard to do successfully. To convey mood and emotion and story in so few words is amazing. I’m way to long-winded for that, but I think you pulled it off nicely. Your fiction writing style follows the pattern of your posts – very intellectual, sometimes hard to really grasp in a layman’s level, but with inflection it speaks very poignantly. I got such a sharp image of the egg in the shipwreck that it’s crystal clear in my mind’s eye. I was surprised, though, when you ended with waking from a dream. I thought that would have fallen under the dischisms you’ve been teaching us about? I’d love to hear your reasons for writing this microfiction the way you did. Very well done!.
Thank you, dios4vida.

I regularly correct my instructors, albeit as conscientiously and as pleasantly as possible. My sixth grade teacher took it personally. A couple of college professors too. More than a few of my acquaintances have been put off by my corrections. Sixth grade I spent a lot of in the dunce chair under a dunce cap, years before that practice was no longer socially acceptable. Everyone's fallible. When a pupil questions and challenges a master through courteous correction, the pupil learns regardless and may perhaps exceed the master, who also ought for the best learn from the experience. If all that weren't the case, there would be no advancement in any discipline. Humanity's pilgrimage would falter.

"I Swim in Prescient Dreams" is a recounting of a recurring childhood nightmare. I've prospected for its meaning since it first occurred in first grade. One, my dreams are prescient. I'm living now another nightmare's end that started recurring two decades ago. The living now is not a nightmare. The run up to the outcome was. There's other recurring nightmares that have yet to come to fruition.

Two, the dream symbolism of the prescient nightmare speaks to the collective subconcsious mind. Shipwrecks symbolize ruin and poverty. Chiaroscuro is a sophisticated word fraught with meaning that says precisely what I intend it to say. It is a fine art term for the dynamic interplay of light and dark, or light and shadow, without regard to color. Light and shadow symbolize good and evil. The egg symbolizes birth. Projecting unimaginable wealth and fame is youth's bright promises of hope and optimism shadowed with self-serving, self-gratifying motivations. Marbles, well, when lost they symbolize loss, lost sanity, wealth, prestige, reputation. Toys lost. A red pair of dice symbolizes a contrarily colored paradise lost, the end of childhood's innocence and ignorance about life's trials, thus red instead of green. Red for dark in the sense of an unnatural paradise and natural green for light.

Three, the aesthetic I intend follows the Impressionism style, of which chiaroscuro is a convention. And, of course, impressions of reality instead of any unequivocal clarity. I wanted to understand Impressionism as a literary form by writing in that discipline. It seems a natural fit for a prescient nightmare scenario.

Four, writing against the grain. If for no other reason than to bring Dischisms to light (sic), writing against prescriptive principles is a good practice for conquering their demons and owning their usefulness. Better when writing against the grain produces an artful result. Though Prescient Dreams is shy of the mark because too much of the meaning is in the subtext and not as accessible as might best be desired for mass audiences. It's been rejected from Boston to Oregon and points beyond. It was cause for acceptance where it mattered most though. Among an audience who gets the chiaroscuro reference's full significance. And the alliteration of "swim on chiaroscuro lagoon under a cerulean and chiseled cumulus sky." Hissing sibilants representing the sounds of surf and wind. Cerulean is the deep blue color of a cloudless sky. Well lit. Chiseled cumulus, sharply defined, billowing thunderstorm clouds. Ominous dark. Chiaroscuro is a signal to what the narrative is about. Okay. Yes, too erudite for most audiences I'll admit. It's still a work in progress.

And, well, waking from a dark nightmare to echoing screams is a bright outcome, right? No. A tragically beautiful outcome with an emotionally satisfying payoff, to me.

Five, Prescient Dreams is metafictive in the sense that pursuing a writing career is fraught with light and shadow. I was already set upon a poet's journey in first grade. I guess I've written it out by now so that I understand the nightmare's significance to me.
Last edited by polymath on August 8th, 2011, 1:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by dios4vida » August 8th, 2011, 1:35 pm

Neil - Your story broke my heart a little bit. To love and loose is a terrible thing (coincidentally, I know that all to intimately, and my story involves a man named Neil...). To tell Theresa's story this way seems like a beautiful way to remember and honor her. Best of luck to you.

Polymath - The reasons behind Prescient Dreams are even more fascinating than the fiction itself. I identified with the cerulean sky and chiseled cumulus the first time around, even without knowing the mean of chiaroscuro. I saw the light and shadow, though, with the cheer and ominious combined. It was a beautiful image. Now that I see the depth of symbolism, it's even more haunting. I feel like I'll be revisiting your dream a few times in my memory. It was a powerful thing. Thank you for sharing.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Neil Larkins
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by Neil Larkins » August 8th, 2011, 1:57 pm

dios4vida wrote:Neil - Your story broke my heart a little bit. To love and loose is a terrible thing (coincidentally, I know that all to intimately, and my story involves a man named Neil...). To tell Theresa's story this way seems like a beautiful way to remember and honor her. Best of luck to you.
Thanks, dios4vida. Hmm. (What a coincidence, considering that Neil and that spelling is not the most common of names.)
How Teresa and I met is a better love story than the "Love Story" movie could have ever hoped to be. (Coincidentally, don't we have another "neil" in there, Ryan O'Neil?) I've wanted to tell that tale for years but find it exceedingly difficult...but not for the reason you might think. Yes, working on it has me emotionally charged, but getting down on paper how it really felt, without becoming maudlin and gushy and whatever negative else it could turn out to be is the hard part.
Now I have to look back through the forum and see what you've written other than comments. (Sad to admit I haven't already done that.) I'm assuming you've submitted something...

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polymath
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Re: 250 Word Sharathon--post the opening of your WIP

Post by polymath » August 8th, 2011, 2:17 pm

Neil Larkins wrote:
dios4vida wrote:Neil - Your story broke my heart a little bit. To love and loose is a terrible thing (coincidentally, I know that all to intimately, and my story involves a man named Neil...). To tell Theresa's story this way seems like a beautiful way to remember and honor her. Best of luck to you.
Thanks, dios4vida. Hmm. (What a coincidence, considering that Neil and that spelling is not the most common of names.)
How Teresa and I met is a better love story than the "Love Story" movie could have ever hoped to be. (Coincidentally, don't we have another "neil" in there, Ryan O'Neil?) I've wanted to tell that tale for years but find it exceedingly difficult...but not for the reason you might think. Yes, working on it has me emotionally charged, but getting down on paper how it really felt, without becoming maudlin and gushy and whatever negative else it could turn out to be is the hard part.
Now I have to look back through the forum and see what you've written other than comments. (Sad to admit I haven't already done that.) I'm assuming you've submitted something...
One technique for mitigating maudlin, gushy, and whininess and other emotionally melodramatic context and author surrogacy's self-idealization and self-efficacy reader turn-offs is incorporating self-effacing and self-deprecating context. Begging for sympathy is to my mind what's off-putting about the former, engaging reader empathy what's artful about the latter. John Gardner in The Art of Fiction remarks an empathy-worthy character is one with flawed nobility. Noble causes with self-serving agendas that cause complications fits the bill.
Last edited by polymath on August 8th, 2011, 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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