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live. die. be.
January 20th, 2013, 08:05 AM
Notes: This is my first time posting a story here, so I'm excited to get some critique. This is a part of what will eventually be a longer work, possibly a novel. Can stand on it's own (I think). I'm posting it to the main board, because I really don't think it fits into any of the sub-boards. 300~ words, short and sweet for a first post, right?


impermanence

~

There are certain things that you could never bring yourself to believe in. They included: death, and hatred, and loss. There are also some things that you did believe in. They included: love, and hope, and dreams.


~

You were a dreamer, and you always had been. As a child, you lived in books and fairytales. You never knew the cruelty of the world, you knew the good, and never the bad.

You had a heart big enough for all the world, and you loved so fiercely.

You lived in a fairytale world, never removing your rose-tinted glasses. Everything was perfect.


(this is how it starts: one death changes everything.)

Time passes, and people move on. You don't; you mourn, and you keep mourning.

After a while, you stop believing in hope. Then, you stop hoping at all. After a while, you stop loving; there no longer seems to be any point.

You no longer dream. Your books collect dust, and you close your mind to everything else but grief.

Later, you'll stop believing.


(this is how it goes: dreamers stop dreaming, and lovers stop loving.)

You think that the people who say that death is not the end, are liars. You think that death is the end, of everything. You hate it; you long for the days where death was not something you thought of.

You don't believe in life anymore, because while you are living, at the same time you are not. Mostly not; you're not living, because you are so lost without him.

You've taken off your rose-hued glasses, to see the world for what it truly is, and you hate it.

You already stopped loving, long ago. Now, you start to build your hatred.


(this is how it ends: everything lost, so many regrets. nothing more.)

~

There are certain things you can't bring yourself to believe in. They include: dreams, and hope, and love. There are some things you do believe in. They include: loss, and hatred, and death.


~

fin.

jedellion
January 20th, 2013, 08:24 AM
I liked this. It;s stark and simple and it paints a sad picture of someone who loved desperately and cannot live without their loved one. how emotions turn inwards and eat themselves. It's very believable.

That said, there is something about it that seems unfinished. I am not quite sure what. I was expectedness something more somehow. The journey from one set of values to another was a given once we reach mourning. I was not suprirsed by the ending, it has a sense of fatalistic inevitability.

Its good, but it needs something, wish I knew what it is, maybe some of the others will be able to see it.

But a very worthy first post.

Jed.

live. die. be.
January 20th, 2013, 08:27 AM
Yeah, it does seem somewhat unfinished, I know. Luckily, I'm planning on continuing with this, to turn it into a longer piece. Hopefully then it won't feel unfinished. Thank you for for your comments, it's nice to get the chance for my writing to be read.

TheSaintsAreComing
January 20th, 2013, 09:37 AM
I really enjoyed this piece in the truest way someone can enjoy such melancholy. Very poetic, indeed. I just had a hard time understanding the initial transition on a first read. It struck me as a physical child losing perhaps a parent, but as I read on, it seemed more like an adult losing their true love. With that in mind, I had to re-read through a different lens, and the meaning changed. I understand it probably was meant to be vague, but considering how drastic the change in tone becomes, I'd hope for a little more clarification, if that makes any sense.

I also really enjoy how your style creates an emotional image that is both parts subtle and overbearing. That's a difficult balance to pull off, but you struck it perfectly. Great work :D

allyson17white
January 20th, 2013, 09:53 AM
wow... that's all I can say. I loved it! Your writing is amazing it flowed together so well when I was reading it I swear I could hear someone just saying it out loud. It was sad but insightful. Sometimes I write like this (but not as well) I just loved it.

paulyb
January 20th, 2013, 02:37 PM
nice. i like the progressions from believing in love etc..to believing in death etc...it flows well. i'm curious what people think about writing in the second person? i was distracted by it the first read through so i had to go back and read it again. it's so uncommon i think it could throw some people? i don't know, like i said i'm curious what everyone else thinks of second person...but nice pros!

live. die. be.
January 20th, 2013, 06:37 PM
Thank you all for your lovely comments!


I understand it probably was meant to be vague, but considering how drastic the change in tone becomes, I'd hope for a little more clarification, if that makes any sense.

I completely understand. It was meant to be vague, so that quite a bit was left to the reader to interpret.


i'm curious what people think about writing in the second person?

I adore second person. You're right; it's not often used, but I think that it makes it fresh, and something altogether new. Sometimes, it can bring the reader closer to the story. But enough about that. Thank you for your comment!

CitizenUnknown
January 22nd, 2013, 01:33 AM
First off, I thought it was really neat. Not too many people do second person, even fewer do it well. You are one of those few.
Like all critiques, be sure to take everything I say with a grain of salt, and I do apologize in advance, since I'm a bit of a grammar nazi.
In the first paragraph (the one in italics), final sentence. I don't think it is necessary to have "They included". It would make more sense, to just go right to what those things were. Also, I think you should cut out the first "and" in the sentence. It's improper grammar. This goes for the final paragraph as well.

Pluralized
January 22nd, 2013, 01:51 AM
A very nice, disquieting piece of emotionally painful writing. Thanks for sharing this, I thought you did a great job with it and made me really believe the sadness. Unique perspective being from the second person. Never having read much written that way, I'm intrigued. Nicely done.

A few nits I'll pick, since you posted it up for critique:



After a while, you stop believing in hope. Then, you stop hoping at all. After a while, you stop loving; there no longer seems to be any point.
I thought the line "stop hoping at all" had some funky meter to it. Consider rewording that bit. Even as I type this, I read that sentence and get "stop hopping at all." :)


You no longer dream. Your books collect dust, and you close your mind to everything else but grief.
"Everything else but grief." That sounds funky when I say it out loud. Just me perhaps, and I realize that's a bit silly of me. Still, "else but grief." It's funky.


You've taken off your rose-hued glasses, to see the world for what it truly is, and you hate it.

You already stopped loving, long ago. Now, you start to build your hatred. I found the concept of saying "you hate it" in one sentence, and then immediately - "start to build your hatred" contradictive. If you're hatin', you're hatin', no starting to build to it. I think that's passive voice in the "starting" and you could rework that.

Hope some of this is helpful. Your stark voice is really good, and I'd encourage you to post more of your work. :friendly_wink:

Jon M
January 22nd, 2013, 02:12 AM
At 300 words the lack of specifics may be fine, and maybe universality works here because of the short length, but that's also why it didn't work or really grab me -- because there is scant detail which pulls me into character / setting. Thought the 'rose-colored glasses' was a cliche, and its use here is no different than its typical use. If you plan to expand this, then I think you need to put concrete images in place of these abstract notions of death, loss, hatred. In fact the current length is already pushing it: if this was the beginning of a 3-5k story, I'd have bailed. Has nothing to do with Second Person in general or your way of writing it -- more that the details just aren't there, and details are what I need to stay interested.

OLDSOUL
January 22nd, 2013, 03:35 PM
Not too bad. Second person feels so jarring and rigid for me to write in. Only critique that I can see that wasn't addressed is more an editing issue than a writing one.

"You lived in a fairytale world, never removing your rose-tinted glasses. Everything was perfect."

That's like saying

"I can't make heads or tails of this," said Jimmy confusedly.

It's explanations like these that undermine the intelligence of your reader.

CharlieParker82
January 24th, 2013, 03:13 AM
Its nice, not my kind of thing, but nicely written.

I'm interested how you intend to make this a longer piece, say a novel. Where do you intend to take it?

I do like the a line towards the end quite a bit "Now, you start to build your hatred."

Like that, its a big sentence.

Saeria
January 24th, 2013, 12:30 PM
What a curious pov! It is as if you are reinstating the harshness of the story by forcing the reader to feel melancholy. I know it made me want to put my own experiences in so maybe it is the kind of prose that changes meaning for each reader. There were a couple aforementioned cliches but still pretty darn epic to me :)