The Writing of "Life after Matrimony"


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Thread: The Writing of "Life after Matrimony"

  1. #1
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    The Writing of "Life after Matrimony"

    I decided to write a story a day for my blog. This very story tormented me so much, that I had to present it in such manner, or throw it entirely away.
    It is about two humans, who believed they would live happily ever after. Their names: Charlie and Lilian. No surname. No background. Just life after matrimony.

    Goodness, – Charlie thought when the first rays of sun opened his eyes after the first night. He soon realized that the view in the gloaming is his missus Lilian without the makeup. “Goodness…Waking up next to the person you love is terribly overrated.” – he sighed.

    From the very beginning the author’s lack of logic is manifested. I’m thinking Charlie is waking up after a disastrous first night, he isn’t even waking up, he hasn’t slept well. For a very good reason – she fell asleep during foreplay. The dusk introduces the features of his beloved: such imperfect features. All the bridal make up has been smeared upon the pillow and unto her face. It’s a scary way to start your honeymoon.
    I wrote the next paragraph, when I felt the characters should be introduced in some way. In fact, we the readers know nothing of them, and things start happening and we don’t really care. So, what are Charlie and Lilian like?

    Charlie wanted to be an alpha man – the dominant in the world of male specimens, but he was too well-behaved to be this. He was also easy to give in to the charms of the fair sex. When she looked at herself in the mirror, Lilian perceived she was the fairest of them all. Therefore, she believed she deserved a man of good fortune, who would pamper her and take her out often. She just wanted to be the kind of woman who has fun the entire time.
    I based Charlie and Lilian on people I know, but the characters are much shallower than their prototypes. The humans I based them both upon have got amazingly rich personalities – each of them extremely fascinating in his own way…while in these descriptions I am scratching on the surface of what they are and what they want.

    “Goodness!”


    That was a loud sigh of relief. It made the missus open her eyes in such an unexpected and even startling manner he felt the urge to fall out of bed.
    Normally, people don’t fall out of bed when their fiancée wakes up. One should avoid such supernatural phenomena in their writing, if they want to touch the reader. Lazy author, lazy author! Anyway, the reader keeps wondering who Charlie and Lilian are, exactly.

    His looks aside, Charlie could be described as a notorious catch. She came upon him in a karaoke club, she was a little tipsy, and when he caught the microphone, she sighed a lot of times. Well, he didn’t have a six-pack tummy, he was rather rounded, but oh these eyes were sparkling and after a few beers, he held the microphone with such confidence, as if he had six thousands of fans greeting him from the audience.


    Even though he was prosperous financially, Charlie did not have any special requirements concerning marriage material.

    All he wanted was a woman decent. So when he met Lilian at the karaoke club, Charlie felt like he was listening to a long-forgotten melody. In night clubs romance happens so fast.
    All this should be reduced to saying that Charlie was a rich, rich but uncomely man, who is financially attractive, to Lilian, who looks like she doesn’t sleep around.

    Several months later, they were blessed in a small chapel by a venerable priest, to hold and to have each other until death parts them. He carried her through the door threshold to a sacred space called “home” – where they would have to share blankets and the same toothpaste.

    Wedding! I imagine one of my friends, who hates everything wedding, to scream out indignantly: “Poor people!” Still, the reader wants to know what happened during those six months. But back to the morning after their first night:

    Missus stretched her arms and with a gentle kick informed him: “I want a pancake and a coffee. “Coffee and a pancake?” –he thought – “What am I, room-service?”

    I was wondering just how gentle the kick should be. This paragraph is about a woman, who believes, she should be treated like a princess, and all her obligations is to doll up for the Paris scene. Charlie, however is annoyed, because she practically fell asleep while they were having sex the first time, and I don’t know how to say this without sounding really offensive neither does he.

    For the first day of her honeymoon, Lilian had an agenda. She had arranged lunch with her high-school friend Anabel, in a fine Parisian restaurant, where they would nibble on croissants and drink hot tea. She imagined how she would flaunt with her affluent and well-mannered man, who always pays the bills.

    Lilian wants to boast with her “notorious catch.” She wants so much to impress Anabel, who outclassed her by being the best student in class. She can’t wait.

    It was Sunday, the first day of my honeymoon in Paris. For breakfast, Charlie unwillingly took me to the nearest diner, and ordered coffee and pancakes. You should have seen his sour countenance. This grouchy man looks 10 years older when he’s frowning…

    First day, ugly Charlie is unwilling to make gestures for her. Again I wondered how should I put into words the infamous fact that they didn’t get lucky on their first night. Bad sex is a deal-breaker and it immediately makes the married couple sober. Now let’s see shit happening when Anabel arrives.

    And Anabel came in sight soaring on her high-heels, the perfect summer attire and swinging her hips like a woman of no virtues. The tasteless rimmed glasses and entangled hair were replaced by well-arranged wavy locks and a happy smile. In the beginning of a honeymoon, after a disastrous first night, she’s not the sort of thing I wanted to meet. Charlie, however, ogled like he was in the land of candies at that hen, the greatest crammer in class.


    As if that wasn’t enough: she came accompanied with that extremely handsome man with a scarf. She stared at me from the top of the Cathedral. Well, I managed to work into the conversation that Charlie is still one of the richest guys in our home town.
    Anabel is a nuisance. She has turned into this great, attractive woman, who can outclass Lilian in all aspects, and it turns out she got the better male specimen. Lilian is humiliated, and in her heart doubt settles, that she has made a brilliant deal with this marriage.

    Then, Anabel’s fiancée, a boy from the capital, bought a rose for us from the flower-girl. Charlie frowned and said he should have saved the money for museums and he said that in front of Anabel, such a shame! Then I told him the truth in front of everybody, I happen to distaste museums, for everything in them is dead. He was so insulted, he refused to pay the entire bill.

    Anabel’s fiancé rocks. Does it get any worse than this? Yes, it does – the affluent Charlie refuses to treat her guests. Lilian cannot believe it, that hurts! This will really make her hate him the entire honeymoon.

    “I shouldn’t be thinking about this gorgeous woman we had lunch with, when Lilian is holding my hand,” – Charlie was thinking, “Lilian is holding my hand, and that would have been beautiful, if all men didn’t turn around as if she is naked. Well, she is almost naked – her dresses are black, white and red, and most suitable for a starlet…


    “Yes, darling! Of course I will take a photo of you in the red dress and the Eiffel Tower.”



    But Lilian does not want one photo, she wants a photo shoot of at least 50 great photos with the Eiffel Tower. Telling about the honeymoon was half of the experience. This means obviously, Charlie will have to take about 500 snaps of her with the Eiffel Tower, so that she may choose among them. Then there’s the Notre Dame Cathedral…and tomorrow she will be wearing her little black dress… And nay, she doesn’t want to photograph herself together with Charlie, not a single shot, he is not a landmark of any kind

    Smile. I understand Charlie very well, since I got into a similar mess, when I was at the sea this year. My household ordered: you have to take at least 50 good photos of yourself with the sea. This resulted into me running around my friends asking them to snap me at any time… needless to say they didn’t have the time of their life photographing me with the stairs, the chairs and the street signs.


    Her man turns out to be parsimonious. Moreover, he needs more physical attention than she presumed. This is something peculiar, for women are usually cuddlier than men. She is beginning to think, he might impregnate her with an ugly child. That would have been a disaster for the beautiful Lilian. She begins fathoming all kinds of scary, paranoiac thoughts about their marriage. While Charlie thinks:

    I am a positive person. Positive about all things, I take delight in the surrounding world, and I often view it through the prism of my eternal smile. I was looking for someone positive to come home to after a long day. But no, this woman is so negative. Would you like to see the museum honey? – No, museums suck. – Would you like to go to the zoo? – No, animals stink. Let’s go to bowling? I can’t play. Well, what would you like? To go to the toilet, please, give me a banknote of $100 for I have no change. And she beams so brightly when I give her the banknote. I am a bag of money for her.

    Charlie views himself as positive, with the only thing he is negative about being Lilian. It was so funny to see his face, when she asked for a banknote of $100 to go to the toilet. This is a lot of money, your readers won’t believe it. Well, some of my readers have read Breakfast in Tiffany, where a young, pleasant lady was dating old rich men, and provided for herself from the money they gave her to go to the toilet. Remember Miss Holiday?

    So, Lilian was walking in her high-heels fast, knocking on the pavement of her home town, and Charlie was dragging one meter behind her like a docile Chinese wife. Both of them felt incredibly annoyed by each other’s presence.


    “A honeymoon was over, and the best days of lovers dead and gone…”
    Were that really their best days; forgive the prosaic smile… What was left? How worse could matrimony get?
    Charlie was walking the dog and thinking to himself: She gave the last portion of my favorite dessert to the dog. And she bosses me around the entire time as if I am a puppet. We don’t have sex, she is probably cheating on me as well? I have had enough. I will no longer talk to her.

    He didn’t buy me that pair of sexy red high-heels. He insisted I have more shoes than Celine Dion. There was no room for new shoes. “If you buy yourself all the shoes in the world, where would you put it,” said that parsimonious lout. I have had enough. I will no longer talk to him.
    Both of the spouses do not talk to each other, I feel the story is challenging my poor nerves. I want to have them not talking to each other for years. And then one day they would look at each other in the eyes, and cry indignantly:

    Fuck that shit!


    But because there should be a happy ending, lovers end up together. They realize they are so attached to each other, that they cannot live without their quirks. And one day, in 60 years Charlie dies, he orders his missus to bury him with all his money. She places a box inside his coffin, and one of her friends asks: “You really didn’t leave all his money in the grave, did you?”
    “I promised to.” Lilian says, “I should keep my promises. Therefore I deposited the money with a bank on my account, and I drew a check for him.”
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  2. #2
    Okay, I have no idea of why you presented this. Is it that you think it's an example of how best to write a story, as a demonstration to newer writers? Or are you asking if your logic in how to present things is flawed?

    Since that's unclear, I'll comment on the presented lines as if the "what my intent for the lines" section isn't there.
    Goodness, – Charlie thought when the first rays of sun opened his eyes after the first night.
    Have you ever, in all your life, had as your first thought on working, "Goodness."? What can this mean to the reader, who doesn't yet know where we are in time and space, who we are, or what's going on? Nothing. It's not story, because story happens. Story isn't explained or talked about.

    Next: Thoughts are in italics, so there is no need to tell the reader that it's a thought.

    Next: Use a comma or an em-dash, not both.

    Next: The ray of the sun do not open anyone's eyes.

    Next: After the "first night?" First night of what?

    Throughout, this is a transcription of a storyteller talking about the events, primarily in overview. That cannot work for several reasons. First because the reader cannot see or hear the storyteller's performance, and how you tell the story matters every bit as much as what you say. But the medium we work in cannot reproduce the performance, so the words are emotion-free. As you read your own work you "hear" the narrator, but the reader can't. Because you know the characters and the story before you begin reading you have context. No one else does.

    And because you're using the fact-based and author-centric skills of nonfiction instead of the emotion-based and character-centric skills of the fiction writer the writing informs the reader, but cannot entertain—the goal of fiction. Spending some time acquiring your professional knowledge would be time well spent.

  3. #3
    Member LadyF's Avatar
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