PDA

View Full Version : I Despise my Brother 845 words



Plasticweld
July 4th, 2014, 09:38 PM
Corrected with help


It would be wrong to say I hate my brother. Hate is reserved for the ignorant and un-caring. Me; I despise my brother because I know him so well.

I am not going to use his name, most of you know him. He has followed me his whole life, he is my twin. Born just a few minutes after me and he has been one step behind me all of our lives. We do look alike; almost identical but we are fraternal twins that are really half twins. “For those who do not know, that means we have different fathers.”

The kick in all of this is; our uncle Bill in reality is the father of one of us and the uncle to the other. Which explains why we look almost the same yet are so completely different. We share the same pedigree but who belongs to who has never been real clear. Today, maybe with the advances in technology we could find this out, maybe not. We are adults now and we are long past the point of it really making any difference.

When we were young mom dressed us alike. She made sure we suffered all of the usual torments when it came to raising us as little carbon copies of each other. We would not learn about any of her drama as a young wife until we reached adulthood. Mom just told everyone we were identical; nothing could be further from the truth.

Our looks and our speech are almost identical but our similarities end there. My brother is the polar opposite of me in almost every way when it comes to personality. I am an extrovert he is an introvert. I move the mountain; he does the finish grade. I am happy he is miserable. He is good at many things. The things he is good at, I seem to struggle with. The few things I am good at, he does not even understand.

He finds the faults when looking at things and I seem to see nothing but the good in most everything I look at. There are times when this comes in handy; he sees things I would never pick up on and has saved me a number of times from near disaster. I have often thanked him for this, which of course is met with a scowl and “I told you so.”

I; seeing only the donut and never the hole, have never saved him from anything and he reminds me of this every chance he gets.

We do share some common interests, one of them is writing. We approach it from different angles. He is a technical writer; very precise he knows all about word usage and how to use all of the tools of the written language to tell a story. The real problem is that he seldom tells a story that is worth reading; using the word dry to describe his writing might be generous. I of coarse am a great story teller. I may not always be able to get the technical side of things done but I can tell a good story and keep the reader interested.

The problem started when I joined the writingforums.com I wanted to get better at writing. In his usual fashion he of course followed me here. He was denied membership the first time he signed up, they thought he was a bot sent to spam the forum; that is how dull and dry his writing is. The admins did not even think he was a real person; I got a good laugh out of that. Once he was accepted he went on to brag about his writing in the “Introduce yourself” section on the website. He of course was well accepted because of his skills. He offered many good critiques when it came to helping a writer with all of the little tiny details of their work. The trouble was that he never once saw the story, only the mistakes. Sometimes I would comment on the same story and tell the writer what I liked and why. This pissed my brother off that I would offer such lavish praise on what he considered sub-standard work.

We just had a big blow out. We both read the same piece by one of the better known writers here. I read it first and gave my review, I loved it and told the writer so. He read the same piece. It must have taken him an hour or more to pick it apart; sentence by sentence, word by word. The writer thanked him in a sheepish manor for taking the time to do this; thankful for the attention even though it was cold. I sent my brother a PM told him he was a jerk for not even saying anything nice about the story. He told me how shallow and ignorant I was for not being able to see such simple mistakes.

You just wait. My loving brother will read this and make all the corrections; never once commenting on the story.

patskywriter
July 4th, 2014, 10:15 PM
Well, if he's anything like my brother, he's gonna die one day. And then you'll miss him, unless, of course, you die first. Maybe one day it will occur to the two of you to learn to get along and appreciate each other. And then, maybe you won't. It's up to you.

Plasticweld
July 4th, 2014, 10:31 PM
This is just fiction written for fun inspired by a post from Astroannie in the "introduce yourself" forum here on the site.

Yes, think, of it as a Turing test. I've seen very generic "I'm new to this forum" posts that may have been from bots. I'm pretty sure you're a person if you read the rules, but the ten post thing isn't difficult and it seems to separate out the good from the not-so-good.

I wondered about bots and what a computer would think of our writing. I merely made my computer which has no personality but is part of my daily life into a evil person who I could relate to. I had thought about this last night and wrote this just to relax and have fun. Think of it as getting even with spell check and grammar check that only sees the mistakes and highlights them in red never reading what was written but only pointing out the bad

LeeC
July 5th, 2014, 06:09 PM
An imaginative bit, that may have been inspired by bot-thought, but seemingly your inner opposites had a hand in its construction :-) I like the contrasting perspective it conveyed.

And here's the bot-pot ;-)


mom dressed us a like
maybe it should be alike


on what he considered sub-standard work
missing period

Not much of a bot, that's all I caught.

Write on,
LeeC

Plasticweld
July 5th, 2014, 09:31 PM
Thanks Lee I realize after reading it, that it my ending may discourage someone from offering advice. That is unless you are my evil twin?

InstituteMan
July 5th, 2014, 10:45 PM
I almost feel bad for pointing out that you swapped "course" and "coarse" several times . . . I think you are wanting the former, not the latter . . .

On the other hand, I think pointing that sort of thing out might be falling into a clever trap you set, my friend. :tears_of_joy:

Very clever, well conceived, and cunningly executed!

Greimour
July 6th, 2014, 09:56 PM
Essay deleted. New essay will no doubt surface:

I have often mentioned what I look for in stories. The most common would be 'to live a life that is not mine' - which is to say that I like to see into the life of the characters and experience that life. This story managed that. I was able to see into the characters life, views, situation and get an idea of what it might be like to be him.

However. That is not the only factor I look for in stories. Not even close.

In order to fully appreciate a story - even if it is labeled as 'non-fiction' which implies truth ... I have to believe the story. This is hard to explain for me but I think it likely this statement will resonate with readers and so I hope you all at least understand what I mean by it.

Of course, I don't suddenly believe magic exists thanks to Harry Potter. I don't think vampires walk in daylight thanks to Twilight. I don't think animals unite in order to escape farmers thanks to Fantastic Mister Fox. ... But I can use my imagination to believe it is real and that is where believability comes in. Though that may sound vague it is actually quite specific.

Imagine for a second, two eight-year old boys belonging to the lowest class of people having a conversation. If the conversation was something like:

"Lovely morning wouldn't you say, Brian?"
"Quite; Lisa and I took a nice stroll earlier along the rivers bank in order to fully appreciate the fine weather we are having."

I would never be able to believe it. Unless there was certain circumstances to explain the speech pattern, such as they are mimicking high society in order to laugh at how they speak - then I would never believe two unrelated children from the poorest part of society would speak in such a way. My mind would not believe it and therefore I would not find the story believable and I would close the book.

The story presented is perfectly believable for me. Whether it is factually possible or not doesn't concern me. To argue against it would be akin to arguing against the existence of Puss in Boots, the speed of a ginger bread man or three ghosts visiting a Scrooge of a man on Christmas Eve. The fact remains that I am able to believe the story as true and enjoy it.

Third comes interest. A piece has to interest the reader... so to me, the three points so far mentioned is what i consider common knowledge.
I find that sometimes writing can make an interesting subject boring.
Equally, writing can make a boring subject interesting.
For that reason, having any piece considered interesting is a positive result as far as I am concerned.

So:

Experiencing the story presented - Yes.
Believable - For me, Yes
Interesting - Yes. Ultimately human interest, but also interest into the actual characters. Both the author and the brother.

Also should point out. I would have been perfectly happy to believe this was true life. That you and your brother were both members of this site and had lived that life. Even that your brother had been believed to be a bot, as unlikely as that may or may not be.


~Now

Since this is in prose, it does mean that people will focus heavily on SPaG.

I believe it was to you I have mentioned before that I don't consider myself one of the best when it comes to punctuation. The main reason is not a lack of knowledge but due to how I read and interpret. Like many, I have a strong tendency to write how I speak or think. This is not to say that I choose words I would use in speech, but to say I give breaks where I might pause in thought processes or in natural speech patterns.

That was a terrible way of explaining. Let me try again.


It would be wrong to say I hate my brother. Hate is for people who are often ignorant about someone or something. Me I despise my brother because I know him so well.

To me, any moment a sentence does not do what it intends, something should be changed.
Sometimes what needs to change is how I read it but that is quite rare.

For the above quote, the moment arrived after the second period/full stop.


Me I despise my brother because I know him so well.

I feel like there should be a break after 'Me' or 'For' should go before it, even though it is partially implied.

"Me? I despise my brother because I know him so well."
"Me; I despise my brother because I know him so well."
"For me, I despise my..."

And so on.

I then think that perhaps it is the sentence as a whole that could be rewritten... and then I go on to question the full paragraph.

It would be wrong to say I hate my brother. Hate is for people who are often ignorant about someone or something. Me I despise my brother because I know him so well.

Perfect traffic light paragraph. Starting good and downhill from there. This to me was the weakest part of your whole post. Apart from a few choice words or SPaG, it is the only section I would suggest changing. Doing so can have many effects but the one I would hope to see result from the change is to enforce your view. To make it more powerful a comment. An example for a rewrite I will do now just so you might get a better feel for my perspective/view.

[*** reword example ***]

To say I hate my brother would be wrong. Hate is an emotion that manifests in the ignorant- usually toward some thing or someone. Me; I despise my brother- the reason being because I know him so well, rather than so little.
[***]

Of course there are many ways to word and write anything. But I tried to keep it close to yours so that I might accurately get across what I was trying to say.Small changes can have big differences. Only you can find the correct words to accurately convey the intention/purpose of the sentence/s. Any rewrites by anyone can inadvertently change the intended view or message.

Second point of interest in your piece:

When we were young; mom dressed us alike and mom made sure we suffered all of the usual torments when it came to raising us as twins.

Double use of 'mom' isn't necessary. Remove the second 'mom' and it still reads the same but some of the impact feels removed. Swap it for 'she' and it slightly distances the personal resentment felt in the sentence. change it for 'would' and made into 'make' and again the feel changes. Mostly it depends on what feelings you wanted to tie in with the sentence, if any, but there are many options to consider. The bigger note is at the end of the sentence: raising us as twins ...

How else is she going to raise twins? As sheep? As brothers? You are brothers, being twins doesn't escape that and even brothers might wear the same clothes - though a bigger worry might be hand me downs. When you raise twins, you don't raise them as twins, you simply raise them as boys that happen to be twins. For this reason it would be simpler to just say: "... ... when it came to raising twins."


When we were young; mom dressed us alike and mom made sure we suffered all of the usual torments when it came to raising us as twins. We would not learn about any of this until we had reached adulthood. Mom just told everyone we were identical; nothing could be further from the truth.

[***rewrite***]
Naturally we knew nothing of that as children. When we were young our mother often dressed us alike as is the wont of any parent with twins. Naturally this ensured the same tortures every twin must face and increased the belief we were identical. To me however; the truth made me wonder if her actions and comments were due to the dubious loins accredited to our parentage.
[***]

--- The reason I rewrote that sentence is probably evident in what I wrote, but I will clarify.

In your post, you simply stated that your mom dressed you alike and claimed you were identical. That would have been the same even if the same man fathered both the children. Equally, the difference in the two boys is not uncommon and does nothing to change the fact they are identical twins. I know two such identical twins... both are polar opposites in personality and actions, but they wore the same clothes and are identical twins.

What your writing seemed to want to say, but in my opinion failed to do so - was state that they are in fact 'Not Identical Twins' ... that is to say, they are not even full brothers, only half brothers and nothing in that truth can equate to being 'identical twins'

At this point I will point out - this is where people would argue you would not be identical and the DNA you both have would be different. Though both from the same egg and therefore monozygotic (Identical) you would both be from a different sperm cells from a different men and therefore you would have different DNA and blood tests would show the results as accurately for you two as anyone else. That is where 'believability' comes in. Despite knowing this in the back of my mind, I was able to continue the story in the mindset of it being real/true.

Chances are that two such twins would be so different that doctors would assume they are dizygotic even if they were from the same zygote that splits to form two embryos; Doctors would likely assume they came from two separate eggs fertilized at the same time by the same man.

However... running on believability that somehow two men impregnated the same egg and produced two sons that were pretty much identical... the story continues and I dismiss all that crap before it starts ruining the story. Which has me so interested at that point I ignore all SPaG and just make a small mental note for later when I reply.
---


Our looks and our speech is almost identical but our similarities end there. My brother is the polar opposite of me in almost every way when it comes to personality. I am an extrovert he is an introvert. I move the mountain; he does the finish grade. I am happy he is miserable. He is good at many things. The things he is good at, I seem to struggle with. The few things I am good at, he does not even understand.

That is not uncommon in twins from my experience. I can't speak from a medical view, but as a single example - during high school alone I knew five sets of twins. Only one of those sets appeared to be stereotypical twins, but I didn't know them personally so I can't be accurate on that. The other 4 fit well into that description. They could be together all the time but their personalities, likes, dislikes and even tastes in the opposite sex were opposites. In fact, polar opposites is the perfect term - literally. One magnet, two sides. The 4 sets of twins (8 people) that I knew personally were exactly that, the 5th set that I didn't know on a personally level appeared to be the exception and stereotypical twin.


Next:

I seeing nothing but the best in things have of course never saved him from anything and he reminds me of this every chance he gets.

Hmmm...

I (seeing nothing but the best in things) have of course never saved him from anything and he reminds me of this every chance he gets.

I bracketed that section (though other choice punctuation is possible and a rewrite also a considerable option) because it feels like a sub-thought, after thought or extension of thought. That is to say, I read the sentence as grammatically complete without the inserted explanation and decided to insert it within brackets.

Laziness defeating me here, for reason look up Parentheses, Parenthesis, Parenthetical, Parenthesize ....


Next

This pissed my brother off that I would offer such lavish praise on what he considered sub-standard work.
Pissed is a curse word and the thread title should have had a language warning ^_^

Next

We just had a big blow out. We both read the same piece by one of the better known writers here. I of coarse read it first and gave my review, I loved it and told the writer so.
coarse is definitely the wrong word there, though I see instituteman's comment, I have to say that it is most definitely course. This is evident due to the fact your are not claiming to be harsh or rough... and nor is your comment on said persons post rude or vulgar - it is in fact complimentary. It is also stated you are talking about yourself 'I' ... so yes, "I of course read it first..."

I expect coarse is just a long running bad habit, but you will overcome it if you keep addressing it. Mine is in the word addressing, coincidentally, seeing as I just used it... I always use one 'd' instead of two. But I catch it 99/100 >.<

I would also like to point out that you use "of course" many times in this short post. I would suggest trying to be aware of too much repetition in future. This didn't quite reach the point of poking a reader in the eye due to overuse, but it was getting there.

~~~

And so the essay has manifested itself again and I consider deleting it.

Honestly, I don't know why this keeps happening... I have decided to hit the post button but really all I wanted to say was:

Believability, Interest and successfully experienced aspects of your characters life ... excellent work as far as I am concerned. There is some tidying that can be done with word choice and SPaG ... but the story standing as it is; the piece successfully ticked all the boxes that are important to me.

Any story that can tick those boxes will keep my attention for as long as those boxes remain ticked. Another 80,000 words? Easily.
So screw SPaG and well done. Enjoyed the piece and glad I read it.


~Kev.

Plasticweld
July 6th, 2014, 10:26 PM
Kev, Thanks for taking the time to go over my work and spend so much time working on your critique, it is very much appreciate and I agree with all of your comments. Thanks for doing such thorough job teaching me the "whys" of the process so that I can improve as a writer. As always, I am impressed with your knowledge and ability to share and teach at the same time. ..Bob

Greimour
July 6th, 2014, 10:48 PM
Very welcome, there were a few other things I had originally intended to mention but when I entered the second half of my reply I had to wonder if my reply would be positive or negative in regards to your writing. It is my wish that your writing improve and you reach the goals you have set yourself. Any thought that I could be a negative for your writing is an uncomfortable thought and I took extra caution then onward and as a result, forgot about some of the things I intended to mention.

One such thing would be
Our looks and our speech is almost identical but our similarities end there.

To me it should be written more like:

Our looks and speech are almost identical but the similarities end there.

The word 'is' can be used I think because it remains to be true, but the proper word would be 'are'.
Think: "We are the same." vs "We is the same" ... equally, "we were the same" if you no longer "are the same"

***

Repetitive use:

First: 'Our' has already made the reader aware you are speaking about you and your twin. This cancels the necessity for it's second use.
Second: The next time you use 'our' is also not necessary as the object(s) of the statement (you and your twin) is still obvious.

That is why I changed the word 'our' each time the word was used after the sentence began.

Further expansion on thought would remove the word 'almost' and change the word identical which has been used a lot already... because this 'almost identical' statement detracts from how similar you are trying to paint the pair.

Worded differently; if you remove the word almost and change identical, you can emphasize how alike their speech patterns are, and how alike their looks are.

Examples:

Our looks and speech are [indistinguishable] but the similarities end there.
Our appearance and even our speech can not be separated, but that's where it ends.

In the second example, the second use of 'our' was used for emphasis and thus repetitive overuse was negated.

indistinguishable was probably a poor choice of words - in fact I am certain of it. But I just wanted to give an example word. I have put it in [brackets] to mark it as a word to change or else keep 'identical'.

Hope this further helps in your writing. Glad my response was received well, hope it helps you with future projects.

Really did enjoy this piece. Thank you for sharing it.


~Kev.

Plasticweld
July 7th, 2014, 01:14 AM
I always feel like this is cheating to go back and make the change with out announcing it as a re-write. I have in past always read the original and skipped the re-write and have never read one. Thanks to everyone for helping me learn

Greimour
July 7th, 2014, 01:38 AM
I; seeing only the donut and never the hole, have never saved him from anything and he reminds me of this every chance he gets.

I smiled at many of your edits. The carbon copies was the biggest smile but then that bit which is quoted, I actually laughed.

I keep popping back on the site for various reasons but I am multitasking right now so my time is limited. What I've read (which is mostly a skim read, but as I am pretty proficient with skim reading its almost as good as properly reading) - it seems like a good revision. I will definitely take the time to read this again tomorrow.

Big Thumbs Up,


~Kev.

aj47
July 7th, 2014, 03:21 AM
This is amazing. I had no idea. It should have more SPaG errors though. :lol:

stormageddon
July 8th, 2014, 04:34 PM
Hi Bob! I've already said this, but once more, I'm amazed by the progress you've made in so short a period of time. There are still a few run-ons in there, but I think they're of the variety you can get away with (I'm thinking too hard to read them normally so it's hard to judge). This is some pretty solid writing, and the story itself is an interesting and relatable one.

Nits:

I'd put a comma after extrovert: "I am an extrovert he is an introvert."

First of all, I love this analogy ^-^ I'd change this semicolon to a comma: "I; seeing only the donut and never the hole,"

Something about the structure here feels weird to me: "He is a technical writer; very precise he knows all about word usage and how to use all of the tools of the written language to tell a story." I'd put a full stop after precise.

"I of coarse am a great story teller." course

That's all :) it seems Greimour got here before me and left only praise to give. I echo his Big Thumbs Up. Great effort, interesting and amusing stuff.