PDA

View Full Version : Flo



Purpleomen
May 29th, 2013, 07:26 PM
Ok, like I mentioned in the introductory section I am not an aspiring writer but it would be nice to get a feedback on what I have written as a part of my project.

The main drive behind what I've written is to improve my English since it is not my native language, and I thought what better way to learn a language than to create something in that language, it's more fun that way believe me and I've learned a lot.

This is actually the first thing I've written in years, and the first thing I've ever written in English. Just finished it.

Here goes:



Chapter 1

“How much longer should we have to suffer? With them and their ungodly treatment on us? How much longer should we have to put up with this, only because we are a bit different from the rest of the so called, normal lot. Are we worth less, is our life less painful, or less joyful? Do we not cry when we are hurt? Do we not laugh when we are happy? Is it so that the sorrows and joys of our births and deaths don’t touch us? Is the meaning of our life diminished just because we don’t have what they have”?



A man, deep in his forties was holding a speech on a small improvised stage constructed of junk in the middle of the mud district, a place that housed thousands of the so called, ungifted, or referred to by the gifted as, the retards, or idiots in some circles. People unable to reach the high intellectual and physical standards of high society. Laying on the shores of the ocean, the small shack town was sprinkled with houses made from the junk that was thrown away weekly at the nearby scrapyard. Some were fortunate enough to salvage some material adequate for making a shack, others weren’t so and lived on the streets, if such existence can be called living.



The bald figure, shouting from the top of the stage, was desperately trying to be heard, knowing that even so, not much could be done. His targeted audience was not the one with influence that could induce change. Even so, his voice, as tired and desperate as it sounded, echoed across the district. Most have learned to ignore it, not wanting to be reminded of their fate, clinging to their distraught existence, waiting for the days when they will finally be freed from it. For most the only escape was death. The sweet relief.



“Have they forgotten our roots? he carried on. “That our grandfathers fought side by side in years past, knowing we will all share the same fruits of freedom? It appears that in their eyes, we are not worthy of it. Only because we are different, not by choice, but by fate. Only because we are different”


The pace of the speech slowed down with the last few words, as if he was reminded of the futility of his actions. The people around him effortlessly ignored his presence, minding their own affairs. The day was coming to an end, and with it, so did his motivation.


Out of the crowd, a hand reached out and gently grabbed him by the leg. It was a boy in his late teens, shaggy black hair that has never felt a comb, but not too long, and skinny as were most of the children in this town. His most distinguishable feature were his eyes. Dark black with an almost unnoticeable shade of red.


“I think it’s enough for today father, let’s go” said the boy, looking up to his father who was still pondering the people’s lack of interest in his words.



“Go where boy? It’s pointless”. said the bald man, and sat down on the stage.



“Mother is waiting for us, it will be dark soon and I have no intention to worry about you yet again when it does”.



The boy put his hand around his father’s shoulder, and squeezed him tight.



“Come on dad, you will get ‘em tomorrow. Today was a bad day for the spark.



“It seems that every day has been a bad day for the spark” said the father


“Well, you only need it once, and then the fire will start to burn in people’s hearts, just like you said, don’t lose hope dad, I know how much this means to you. Now let’s go”. said the boy and got up, followed by his father. He knew that his father was delusioned and change can never come, at least not by speaking. But he was also aware that the search for the spark that will ignite the people’s thirst for change was the only thing keeping his father alive, and he wanted him to stay that way.


They got lost in the crowd he tried to preach to and headed towards one of the narrow streets of Joyshack town, the name being a perfect example for irony, as the bald man always remarked. Most of the town’s houses resembled rusty tin cans lined up next to each other, each with a different shade of rust, with the occasional wooden cottage breaking the monotony. Wood was considered a material of the richer residents due to its rarity despite the presence of a nearby forest. But in reality, everyone who lived in Joyshack was poor, although some poorer than the others.


The bald man gazed upon another group of denizens of the shanty town, gathered around a small fire, whose flames were slowly fading away, trying to stay warm for as long as possible.


“Look at them Ezra, all of them struggling to stay alive, fighting against the odds to live a life not worth living. Disease, poverty and misery everywhere. Look at her” he pointed towards a little girl playing in a dirty puddle in the middle of the street. “She will never live to be an adult, not with her odds. Who knows where her parents are? Hell, who knows if they are even alive.”


“Yet she looks so content. Hey dad, someone could have said that about me some years back, but I am still alive and kicking, you don’t give up, why should she? Everyone has a same chance of living, only if they wanted to”. said Ezra.


“You are special Ezra, I am just afraid you will not be able to realize your potential. You won’t get the chance my son” said the bald man.


By now they have reached the Guard Line, close to their own little shack they called home. A forested area spanning for several kilometers along the borders of Joyshack. No resident was allowed to pass it without a special permit issued exclusively by the magistrates representative in Joyshack, and it was very rare that a Joyshackian gets one. Those who went without one, were never heard of again. The father of the boy went towards the trees and gazed into the forest as if he was trying to penetrate it with his sight and see what goes on beyond.


“Perhaps they are smarter, I really have no doubt about that. Or even stronger, and most have ways to defy nature only by will, which is scary if you ask me, but we can love my dear Philip, as strong as they can. When it comes to the most basic, we are equal in every way and I want you to know that. I love you my dear boy.”


Ezra slowly approached his father.


“Have you ever been across dad?” asked Ezra.


“Only once, when I was about your age. They needed petty workforce to renovate what they called an art institute. The things I saw there made me hate my own existence, they had so much, and we had so little. After it was done, we were brought back here”


Ezra noticed the abysmal look on his fathers face. He could see the dream wandering in front of his eyes, was it a nightmare or a pleasant one, he couldn’t notice. The material aspect of life never seemed to interest Ezra. The days when he could have at least one meal, were content days. Everything else was welcome, but not necessary. And with this approach he was leading a somewhat happy life, unlike his father. The only desire he needed fueling was his immense curiosity, and lurking around the scrapyard seemed to saturate that.


It was close to nightfall when they arrived at their shack. Made of different metal plates taken from the scrapyard which served as walls, all with a distinguishable degree of rust, which gave the little cottage a pleasing charm, at least for Joyshackian standards. Outside of the cottage was a small garden, sprouting with potato plants, the main food supplement of the residents. Almost every other food was considered noble and rare in these parts. The shack was on the outskirts of the town, by many considered one of the finest locations, the prime criterium not being comfort, but quietness. The Guard Line was clearly visible from the glassless window, ranging from the shores of the sea, to the western hills. A vast forest separating the unfortunate from the fortunate. It was awfully quiet for a forest, seemingly no wild life was present. The only sounds could be heard occasionally when someone would try to cross over. And those were not of the pleasant kind for the ear.


A woman was standing outside the shack, tending to the plants. She was tall and blond, with an abnormally pale complexion of her skin. Her dress was more gray than green, being the only clothing she had. She noticed Ezra and his father coming, but didn’t give them a look.


“Where did you find him this time?” she asked Ezra, his father standing right next to him.


“Close to the main square mother, he was in his element” said Ezra with a chuckle.


“His element should be looking after this family, it’s bad enough he doesn’t provide, so being a burden is an unnecessary plus.” said the woman, still ignoring the presence of her husband.



“My queen, ya look as lovely as ever in that dress.” said the father



“I better Fido, it’s the only one I have” said the mother, still not looking at him, but a subtle smile appeared on her face.



Fido approached her and kissed her on the forehead. Kneeled down and tried to steal her look, which was stubbornly focused on the plants.



Ezra left the two to deal with their strange infatuation for each other and entered the cottage. It was fairly simple inside. One big room, with a table and three chairs in the middle, and on three of the four corners there were beds. One was made of wood and had a mattress, even a pillow, the other two were metal boxes filled with rags. The wooden one was Ezra’s. Above it was the only window, looking towards the Guard Line. The only bright spot in this cottage as thought by Ezra. He threw himself on the bed, and after a day spent in the scrapyard scavenging, it seemed like drifting on a cloud, despite the couple of springs coming out of the mattress which he learned to avoid. He closed his eyes and fell asleep almost instantly.

…....

Deep into the night, a sound resembling a boar being slaughtered woke Ezra. It took him a few moments to realize the origin of it. His father has fallen asleep. As much as it bothered him during every other night, this time it was his wake up call. It was a special night. The second Sunday of the month. He had to get up, but as quietly as possible. He passed through his mother, who was curled up in the raggedy excuse for a bed, also sleeping, and tip toeing got out of the cottage.




He was waiting for this night. It meant the path will be visible by the faint light of the moon. A perfect setting for his intentions. He left Joyshack heading towards the Guard Line without the slightest hesitation and got lost in the thickness of the forest.

bioclasm
June 1st, 2013, 06:01 AM
Your writing is actually rather good, and has a strong narrative. I'll just go through some grammatical things on the first part.

***

“How much longer should we have to suffer? With them and their ungodly treatment on us? How much longer should we have to put up with this, only because we are a bit different from the rest of the so called, normal lot. Are we worth less, is our life less painful, or less joyful? Do we not cry when we are hurt? Do we not laugh when we are happy? Is it so that the sorrows and joys of our births and deaths don’t touch us? Is the meaning of our life diminished just because we don’t have what they have”? Punctuation goes inside the quotes, "... they have?"


A man, deep in his forties was holding a speech on a small improvised stage constructed of junk in the middle of the mud district, a place that housed thousands of the so called, ungifted, or referred to by the gifted as, the retards, or idiots in some circles. This is a run on sentence, and rather big one at that. Try breaking it up like:

A man, deep in his forties, (asides should have commas both before and after) was holding a speech on a small improvised stage constructed of junk in the middle of the mud district. A place that housed thousands of the so called "ungifted," (we use quotes or italics for emphasis, never commas) they were often referred to as retards by the gifted.

These were [p]eople unable to reach the high intellectual and physical standards of high society. Laying on the shores of the ocean, the small shack town was sprinkled with houses made from the junk that was thrown away weekly at the nearby scrapyard. Some were fortunate enough to salvage some material adequate for making a shack[. O]thers weren’t, [] and lived on the streets, if such [an] existence can be called living.

The next problem that becomes apparent here is called "comma splicing." It's the overuse, and often unnecessary, use of commas. I do it to, but I mainly insert extras for pauses I believe are important to flow. For the record, an empty [] means I've omitted/removed something. Commas are typically used to separate two sentence fragments that could stand on their own, but you want together. If you have several in one sentence you might consider cutting the sentence into stand alone segments.

The bald figure, shouting from the top of the stage, was desperately trying to be heard, knowing that even so[] not much could be done. His targeted audience was not the one with influence that could induce change. Even so[] his voice, as tired and desperate as it sounded, echoed across the district. Most have learned to ignore it, not wanting to be reminded of their [] clinging to [a] distraught existence[] waiting for the days when they will finally be freed from it. Turning this sentence into a run on, so you might consider removing it entirely. For most the only escape was death[; t]he sweet relief.



“Have they forgotten our roots?["] he carried on[,] “That our grandfathers fought side by side in years past, knowing we will all share the same fruits of freedom? It appears that in their eyes, we are not worthy of it. Only because we are different, not by choice, but by fate. Only because we are different[.]”


The pace of the speech slowed down with the last few words, as if he was reminded of the futility of his actions. Perfectly fine. I just feel as if you could use something more literal instead of the simile. Like: "as he began to realize the futility of his actions." The people around him effortlessly (effortlessly feels both odd and redundant while paired with ignored. Perhaps you could try "casually" or something similar) ignored his presence, minding their own affairs(This part is redundant). The day was coming to an end, and with it, so did his motivation.


Out of the crowd[] a hand reached out[,] and gently grabbed him by the leg. It was a boy in his late teens[ with (shoulder length? Put a more direct adjective for hair length here),] shaggy black hair that has never felt a comb[. He was] skinny[,] as were most of the children in this town. His most distinguishable feature were his eyes[; d]ark black with an almost unnoticeable shade of red.
***

Hope that helps, and that it's easy to follow. I got to go, I'll post more later.

bioclasm

Purpleomen
June 1st, 2013, 11:36 AM
Hey thanks a lot bioclasm, and yes, punctuation is the thing i feared the most.. About: thousands of the so called "ungifted," (we use quotes or italics for emphasis, never commas) they were often referred to as retards by the gifted.

I didn't know i could do that, thanks. I will pay attention to all the things you pointed out so far and make a suitable edit.

Cheers and back on the writing board.

​Purpleomen

Lucidian
June 3rd, 2013, 08:05 PM
I'm quite impressed here. The quality of the writing for a non-native English speaker is commendable. I particularly liked the turn of the phrase "deep into his forties".

Overall, I found the concept to be interesting and the narrative presentation to be very effective.

Bioclasm has hit the nail on the head, I think. My notes would be the same, so...

Good work!

escorial
June 3rd, 2013, 08:27 PM
a bit choclate boxy...coor blimey guvnor could you spare me sum chainge.

BobtailCon
June 21st, 2013, 10:04 AM
Very strong. Good Job

chris-mac
June 21st, 2013, 08:56 PM
This is excellent Purpleomen. I was immediately taken into the world of the shanty town and could envisage everything from the father and his son, to the Guard Line and the dark forest. You could certainly build on this and create a damned good story.