The Upside-Down Kingdom

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Thread: The Upside-Down Kingdom

  1. #1

    Lightbulb The Upside-Down Kingdom

    I've always been fascinated by stories/testimonies about sociocultural intrigue such as Watergate and Enron and wanted to present an original tale of an idealistic college student preparing for all kinds of 'hypothetical intrigue' in this new millennium of 'great expectations' (e.g., PyeongChang Olympics).



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    In a special period of time in world history leading up to the new millennium, an idealistic Ivy League student named Ajay Satan was on an exchange study program in California. Ajay was the princely heir to a prestigious family from Algeria. His father brought his wife Nina (Ajay's mom) and their two kids (Ajay and Ajay's brother Ali) to America in the mid-1980s. Ajay grew up with a fond patriotism towards the USA and was admitted into Dartmouth College in 1997. Ajay stood out at Dartmouth and decided to go on the UCSD exchange study program in his junior year.

    America was changing much in the years leading up to the beginning of the new millennium (1998-2000). Hollywood was making more culturally explicit/suggestive films such as Celebrity (Leo DiCaprio) and Fight Club (Brad Pitt) and Magnolia (Tom Cruise), films which presented stories/ideas/images of outrageous behaviors, capitalism excesses, and society idiosyncrasies. Ajay wondered if this new sociocultural trend in America paralleled the rise in demand for globalization oriented traffic drama. After all, consumerism was creating pedestrian energy (e.g., Napster), and Ajay decided to take a course at UCSD (during his exchange-study) called Millennium Mechanics: Global Governance.

    Things were not simple in Ajay's life. He felt frustrated by his obstinate father's demands that Ajay join D.C. politics (as a Senator or Congressman). Ajay felt the inner urge to rebel while in California! Ajay decided to ask his female UCSD professor (Katherine King) out on a date, since she was attractive and only three years his senior (25). Ajay took Katherine to the beach at night where they made love and began smoking marijuana cigarettes with her. The two love-birds talked about backpacking through Romania the following summer, after Ajay would graduate from Dartmouth! Katherine became Ajay's muse on his special (and somewhat rebellious!) spiritual journey.

    KATHERINE: We should get married, Ajay...
    AJAY: I love you!
    KATHERINE: I worry you're too emotional right now, dear.
    AJAY: I want to change the world, Katherine!
    KATHERINE: Sometimes, wisdom comes from simplicity.

    As Katherine steadily became Ajay's voice-of-reason, Ajay decided to return to Dartmouth College for his senior year to complete his education on-time so he could return to California and marry his grounding sweetheart Katherine. Ajay did that, and Katherine and Ajay married and bought a house together in La Jolla beach. One year passed (2001), and Ajay was shocked on 9/11, when anti-capitalism terrorists shook the world's confidence regarding new millennium traffic securities related to commerce (i.e., World Trade Center). Ajay suddenly realized that modern civilization would be 'complicated' by imaginations of traffic turbulence (i.e., terrorism).

    Two years later, Ajay was recruited by the CIA for a covert program involving the gathering of American celebrities and aristocrats who would serve as 'diplomats' and spies engaged in collecting and dissecting information around the world about traffic/commerce customs and etiquette. Ajay was stationed in Hong Kong where he investigated signs of terrorism that would destabilize new millennium trade-talks between China and America! Katherine warned Ajay to remain modest and quiet in all dealings. The CIA informed Ajay that the U.S. government wanted to endorse China's new 'titular' (i.e., PR-oriented) child-emperor (Li Han) being given a diplomatic residence in Hong Kong City. Ajay was to protect this 'diplomatic monarch' (who was 7 years-old!) from the footsteps of terrorism but wondered if this new millennium found leaders constructing an 'upside-down kingdom' of strange marketplace omens (e.g., Enron scandal!). What would the future reveal?

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  2. #2
    OK, so I liked this, but the problem is that it's all "telling." This is less of a story and more of a transcription of your idea. HOWEVER, and this is a large bit, if you wrote this out and "showed" it, I do think you would have quite the tale (whether elongated from your original version- most likely) that you would really have something to boot!

    Just my amateur opinion. DO write on!
    ďAs far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being,"

    -Carl Jung

  3. #3
    Hi Abishai. I did enjoy this, but as Bard_Daniel said, it doesn't read like an actual story. I think - just my opinion - that this is a hard story to tell in third person. Perhaps first?

    As Katherine steadily became Ajay's voice-of-reason, Ajay decided to return to Dartmouth College for his senior year to complete his education on-time so he could return to California and marry his grounding sweetheart Katherine. Ajay did that, and Katherine and Ajay married and bought a house together in La Jolla beach. One year passed (2001), and Ajay was shocked on 9/11, when anti-capitalism terrorists shook the world's confidence regarding new millennium traffic securities related to commerce (i.e., World Trade Center). Ajay suddenly realized that modern civilization would be 'complicated' by imaginations of traffic turbulence (i.e., terrorism).
    ( i.e. Katherine became my voice of reason. I decided to return to Darmouth College for my senior year to finish my education, because I wanted to marry her, my sweetheart. After the wedding, we bought a house together in La Jolla Beach. I was shocked over the events of 911, when anti-capitalism terrorists shook the worlds' confidence. . . )

    This is just a suggestion on how you can make your read more personal, and not so much like a documentary. Show how the global situation impacts Ajay, rather than telling us dates and repeating his name. Use pronouns more often.

    I hope you continue working on this Abishai. Keep writing!
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  4. #4
    I agree with those above, this reads like a short transcription or a blurb to a story. It is not a story. It is just a summary of Ajay's life so far.

    Tell it from Ajay's perspective as it is happening. That would be my tip

    Quote Originally Posted by SueC View Post
    Hi Abishai. I did enjoy this, but as Bard_Daniel said, it doesn't read like an actual story. I think - just my opinion - that this is a hard story to tell in third person. Perhaps first?
    This is not so much a problem with POV (point of view), but rather an issue of time. These aren't memories or moments captured in text, but watered down happenings that have occurred to the MC, and this leads to a feeling that we're reading a newspaper or a biography rather than a story. The one thing you'll find in common with almost every story/fictional work is that they describe moments, past, present or future ones, with as much or as little detail as needed. There is of course a time for this kind of newspaper-style writing as well, mostly for describing events that the MC/POV don't know about and for summaries, wherever they might be needed, but they'll always have that biography vibe. That's my thoughts on the matter

    I'd like to think I'm actually a nice person in real life


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