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View Full Version : A Second Chance *some explicit language*



Smith
June 26th, 2013, 06:29 AM
I wrote this a few months ago on somebody I cared about but just really messed up with. It helped get my thoughts out and share them, giving me some new insight and perspective on what I was going through. So although it is about an event that actually happened - based on my life - I've decided to post it as fiction if that's alright. Feedback would be appreciated.

---

The greatest agony, and the greatest joy. Perhaps, too, the greatest irony. Oh how foolish we can be at times. Wanting the very thing that tears us apart. That makes us weak, vulnerable. I suppose that things in life simply wouldn’t taste as sweet if not for the bitter. Unfortunately, some of us cannot withstand the cold harsh reality of the world, an icy storm that bites and claws away at the soul. They were right, for hell truly can be found on earth, right beneath our noses all along. It is a pitiful place where soft, forgiving, loving hearts are broken over, and over again with reckless abandon, being sewn back together and welded shut each time. And each time the breaks are fixed, it becomes further reinforced, until the point that it is bolted shut for good. When it won’t trust anybody, will not let anybody within, not opening up for anybody despite your best intentions. Numb, immune to any emotion or feeling. That is what life does to you.

More often than not, the nastiest, meanest old man was once a fun, energetic young boy with aspirations. Dreams. Somebody who at one time cared deeply for his friends, relationships. But people like these are always seemingly the target, the ones whom suffer most. A truth that, for me, is proof enough there is no God. At least not one who gives a damn about any inferior human. I lost any hope for that a long time ago. An answer for what all the waiting means never came. Is there nobody here for me? Is my destiny to live the remainder of my days alone? Why must I insist with my indestructible nature? I had talent, but wasted it. I had love, a woman who finally liked me for who I was, yet I lied to her. Broke our trust, our friendship, everything. All gone. Wasted opportunities, one after another. It’s just a revolving door at this point. Come and go is seemingly my new policy.

Several years ago I would’ve have probably mocked somebody who cried or was stressed. A person who considered, or committed, suicide. Now I finally get it. Karma maybe, coming around to stab me in the back? Why can’t something in my life, just this once, work out perfect? My mindset is completely changed at this point. Screw money, have it all. Greed and gold never made me as happy as her love did. The same love that would later bury my heart with the massive weight of depression and sadness. For the first time ever I cried over something legitimate, meaningful. Why did I have to fall for those other girls when the perfect one was right in front of me the whole time? You don’t get lucky twice, this much I know. All at once the entire universe came in collapsing around me. A giant wave swept over me, slamming me down into the cold dark waters, crushing me as I drown at rock bottom. That can be the power of a mere realization. The epiphany whence I had finally seen the magnitude of what I’d lost. How could I be so blind and careless to throw away the closest friend I’ve ever had?

No amount of explaining will ever help you fully understand. No words. Really, it would only be possible if you were to experience my pain yourself. Being tortured by emotions is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I wouldn’t wish it upon my greatest enemy. I see her everyday. I think of her as I lay in bed, trying to dream. Yet when I do, I dream of her. It wasn’t lust but real love, except I never really loved her back until it was far too late. For the first time in my existence I truly hate myself. What I would do for a second chance…

Folcro
June 27th, 2013, 06:14 PM
It would help a lot to know what exactly you plan on doing with this. A novel, short story, or is this it?

As far as a diary is concerned, it is interesting. You express yourself with passion and darkness. You show that you have given thought to what you've been through, learned a few lessons, perhaps. As far as fiction goes, as it pertains to the perspective of a single character, it's good material.

However, as a narrative--- that is, if the entire story is to be told in this perspective--- there are some problems.

The first paragraph reads like a break-up song: the kind I can't flip through the radio stations without hearing. It's a few interesting ideas surrounded by cliches. I would pull your one or two favorite sentences or ideas from the first paragraph and cut the rest. It's too much to read of things I've read before.

Secondly, your character spends most of the rant blaming himself, which is right, considering he had cheated (if I read that right). But then he spends a sentence or two blaming God, as though it's God's fault your character cheated on his girlfriend, or was supposed to make everything better after the cheating took place. The average reader will have big trouble sympathizing with such a man. Then, the character talks about karma, which seemed odd to me. Now, if this is the kind of guy who, in his anger, contradicts himself, I'm all for that--- a guy who can't blame himself without giving at least a fraction of the blame to someone else--- I think it would make for a fantastic and tragic villain. Of course, if this break-up, as it was in real life, is still fresh for you, you may need to give it some time before you can think outside the circumstances.

It is my opinion that characters are generally the most important aspect of literature. They keep the audience emotionally involved. A doll house is no fun without the dolls. You seem to have some footing as to what a good character is. Push it further. Show us what you can do.

I would also eliminate the last paragraph entirely. For the same reasons as the first one. This happens often with writers, like a crust that forms on everything. Cut that away and you've got the good stuff. Give it a try, and revise some of the grammar and syntax errors and typos.

escorial
June 27th, 2013, 06:47 PM
Totaly in tune with this...does good to write about your emotions and get that rawness out there.

Smith
June 28th, 2013, 06:28 PM
It would help a lot to know what exactly you plan on doing with this. A novel, short story, or is this it?

As far as a diary is concerned, it is interesting. You express yourself with passion and darkness. You show that you have given thought to what you've been through, learned a few lessons, perhaps. As far as fiction goes, as it pertains to the perspective of a single character, it's good material.

However, as a narrative--- that is, if the entire story is to be told in this perspective--- there are some problems.

The first paragraph reads like a break-up song: the kind I can't flip through the radio stations without hearing. It's a few interesting ideas surrounded by cliches. I would pull your one or two favorite sentences or ideas from the first paragraph and cut the rest. It's too much to read of things I've read before.

Secondly, your character spends most of the rant blaming himself, which is right, considering he had cheated (if I read that right). But then he spends a sentence or two blaming God, as though it's God's fault your character cheated on his girlfriend, or was supposed to make everything better after the cheating took place. The average reader will have big trouble sympathizing with such a man. Then, the character talks about karma, which seemed odd to me. Now, if this is the kind of guy who, in his anger, contradicts himself, I'm all for that--- a guy who can't blame himself without giving at least a fraction of the blame to someone else--- I think it would make for a fantastic and tragic villain. Of course, if this break-up, as it was in real life, is still fresh for you, you may need to give it some time before you can think outside the circumstances.

It is my opinion that characters are generally the most important aspect of literature. They keep the audience emotionally involved. A doll house is no fun without the dolls. You seem to have some footing as to what a good character is. Push it further. Show us what you can do.

I would also eliminate the last paragraph entirely. For the same reasons as the first one. This happens often with writers, like a crust that forms on everything. Cut that away and you've got the good stuff. Give it a try, and revise some of the grammar and syntax errors and typos.

This was basically it, but I plan on keeping it in the case that I expand it for a character in one of my video game scripts. That's part of the reason why I decided to post it here in fiction (and non-fiction seemed to be more for essays / articles). But yeah, I was basically trying to convey the confused thought process I - or the character - was going through and that while some lessons might be learned or almost, there is still a lot to be pieced together.

Yeah, I did not intend to write the narrative in this perspective. Probably a good thing. xD It was more aimed at helping character development which I've always been quite poor at, so I decided to try and base it off of myself. Also, there are a lot of cliches in there as I listen to music when I write. Of course I just don't blatantly steal from songs, but if you listened to the same music I do you could definitely see some inspiration drawn from there. I realized this about half-way through and started going strictly from my thoughts after, but it was a good starting point.

When I re-read it the first time, I noticed that as well. The bit about God seemed randomly thrown in there, but ultimately I decided it was a good idea to keep in because I thought the character's reasoning for it was good considering he (or I) was supposed to be in a some what flustered state of mind. This "break-up" I guess you could call it did happen in reality, and I wrote this roughly a week later. Seems that still wasn't enough time. :P That's good though I guess. If I wrote something like this now, it would be quite different in some respects (and in others not so much), so I could link together both pieces and have a more round character.

I will highly consider what you've said about the first and last paragraphs depending on what exactly it is I want to do with this. Appreciate the reply and constructive criticism friend. :D

Smith
June 28th, 2013, 06:31 PM
Totaly in tune with this...does good to write about your emotions and get that rawness out there.

Glad I've finally written something that could be related to! Indeed, it felt quite good when I was done writing this, even though it just sat in my computer dormant for three months until now. xD

Folcro
June 28th, 2013, 07:09 PM
It was more aimed at helping character development which I've always been quite poor at, so I decided to try and base it off of myself. Also, there are a lot of cliches in there as I listen to music when I write.

Then disregard what I said about cliches. They can always be replaced. What's important is that you capture the essence of the character. The contradictions make that interesting. And, of course, the darkness doesn't hurt. So long as what you do is helping you to build better characters, do nothing different.

Smith
June 28th, 2013, 07:21 PM
Then disregard what I said about cliches. They can always be replaced. What's important is that you capture the essence of the character. The contradictions make that interesting. And, of course, the darkness doesn't hurt. So long as what you do is helping you to build better characters, do nothing different.

Alright, I will still take what you said into consideration. I think my biggest accomplishment (or at least what I think I accomplished, not to sound overconfident) with this was vaguely explaining the background story through the character's thoughts. Because before this whenever I tried to write, I felt like I was just blatantly listing things in order, which doesn't convey a very compelling story.

Then again, it doesn't help that I also have to write stories keeping in mind that it'll be a video game.

Folcro
June 28th, 2013, 08:12 PM
Are you actually employed with a game developer?

tinacrabapple
June 28th, 2013, 08:56 PM
I'll give you a second chance, but you have to say you are sorry.

Smith
June 28th, 2013, 09:22 PM
Are you actually employed with a game developer?

Pfft, I wish! :D

I didn't cheat crabapple, and I already apologized. xD

tinacrabapple
June 28th, 2013, 10:25 PM
God bless you Smith!

Jeko
June 28th, 2013, 10:30 PM
Hi Smith,

I wanted to get deep into the emotions around and inside this, but a few things made it hard for me to get that connection:


Perhaps


I suppose

These qualify what you're trying to say and start the piece off on the wrong foot - they make it read like an overly-thoughtful monologue - which makes the rest of the piece read even more reflectively until it gets a bit stomach-churning.

This all relies on a compensating lexis; it avoids describing or eluding to any of the interesting aspects that are presented, and only develops slightly in terms of tone. There is too much emotional fat and not enough action, conflict or characterization to make this interesting yet. It reads purely as a bunch of thoughts - someone over-thinking events.

When you start to address me, I move away from the character further. And this:


No amount of explaining will ever help you fully understand. No words. Really, it would only be possible if you were to experience my pain yourself.

tells me there was little point reading this in the first place. I feel robbed of my time, to be honest.

There is also a reliance on simple, repeated techniques that become obvious and stale. I would write less, and vary more.

I understand this has a personal link to you, but to have your audience better connect with the emotional struggle you present, you need to be more subtle and less reflective. Research monologues - the best ones travel in some way, presenting and developing conflict and character, not involving the audience directly, and hence gripping the audience constantly.

Hope this hleps,

Cadence

Smith
June 28th, 2013, 11:18 PM
[COLOR=#333333]Hi Smith,

I wanted to get deep into the emotions around and inside this, but a few things made it hard for me to get that connection:





These qualify what you're trying to say and start the piece off on the wrong foot - they make it read like an overly-thoughtful monologue - which makes the rest of the piece read even more reflectively until it gets a bit stomach-churning.

This all relies on a compensating lexis; it avoids describing or eluding to any of the interesting aspects that are presented, and only develops slightly in terms of tone. There is too much emotional fat and not enough action, conflict or characterization to make this interesting yet. It reads purely as a bunch of thoughts - someone over-thinking events.

When you start to address me, I move away from the character further. And this:



tells me there was little point reading this in the first place. I feel robbed of my time, to be honest.

There is also a reliance on simple, repeated techniques that become obvious and stale. I would write less, and vary more.

I understand this has a personal link to you, but to have your audience better connect with the emotional struggle you present, you need to be more subtle and less reflective. Research monologues - the best ones travel in some way, presenting and developing conflict and character, not involving the audience directly, and hence gripping the audience constantly.

Hope this hleps,

Cadence

Right, so more subtlety and less... overly thoughtful monologue-ness? And of course the "write less, vary more" which is always a good rule to live by and probably should have been applied here.

As I said before, this was just intended as mainly character development. But I suppose that if I did want to expand more on this with story and so forth and develop it, then I definitely would have to heed your advice. I'm sure it would've been better had I spent time and deliberation on it, but at the time it was really not intended for much writing purpose at all, rather more like a way to vent.

I agree though with the points you made. The first and last paragraphs need some serious editing. Appreciate the criticism. ^_^ :D

tinacrabapple
July 1st, 2013, 01:22 AM
By the way, what did you do?

Smith
July 1st, 2013, 04:51 AM
A lot. But to save you the time, basically I didn't realize I liked somebody (and they liked me) until it was too late. There's of course quite a bit more to it than that, but that's the general jist of it.

Folcro
July 1st, 2013, 05:02 AM
A lot. But to save you the time, basically I didn't realize I liked somebody (and they liked me) until it was too late. There's of course quite a bit more to it than that, but that's the general jist of it.

Arggg! I lost me so much booty that way!

Smith
July 1st, 2013, 11:38 AM
Haha, I'm kind of glad you interpreted it differently Folcro! I was glad I'd finally written something that people had related to in different ways. Of course yes, there is a point / theme / message I want to get across. But it doesn't always have to be seen from a specific point of view to achieve that. :)