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Knowl Paine

A short Story I have been writing.

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I spent some time creating the beginning of a Story. I wanted to share what I have written so far; feedback is welcomed.

If you would enjoy expanding upon the Story, I would like that also. I would be curious about how others perceive, and project the story's evolution.

I have drafted Scene 1, part 1, and Scene 2, part 2. Both are purely drafts. Now I'm making excuses, if you like it, I would like to know.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

SCENE 1, part 1:


The evening air was cold, and crisp.  The moon was shining brightly, its rays cut sharply, through thin windswept clouds. Autumn’s cold embrace had long since shed the leaves from the City trees, leaving a landscape cast in gray.

 The sound of heel clicks began to splash echoes across the plaza square. A tall, finely dressed woman was approaching the Central Plaza Gate.

 

She walked alone, even though her rank entitled her to an entire squadron of sentinels. The heels on her IGA issued boots, clapped loudly against the smooth stone walk, breaking the quiet silence of the empty plaza.   

 She stepped confidently onto the queuing station; the station’s lights instantly rose to full intensity, and the sound of heavy gears set in motion, resonated throughout the station platform. The Central Plaza Gate began to open. A gentle burst of warm air, swept across the station platform. She stepped through the Gate.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

Scene 2, part 2:

 

 I remember not being able to sleep, and I kept getting out of my bed. I was in a well lit hallway, and some people were talking to me, as they walked me back to my bed. The one person wore a robe, and the other wore a Doctor’s half coat, over a spandex bodysuit. I was wearing pajama pants, and a pajama shirt. We entered a very large dimly lit room, with a V-shaped ceiling. They walked me to my bed, and I sat down on the edge of the bed. The two people left.

 

The bed was a large single bed, mattress only, on a raised metal platform. There was a headboard, which also looked like a shelf. A large pillow, two sheets, and a blanket, neatly made, with the edges tucked tightly under the mattress. I prefer the blankets un-tucked. The top corner of the blanket had been folded down, but it didn't’t appear as if anyone had slept in the bed.

 

My eyes began to adjust to the dimly lit room; I sat quietly on the edge of the bed. I realized that I could hear a man breathing, and then another. In the distance, was the distinct sound of a woman’s sleeping sigh. I gazed about the room, and for as far as I could see, there were rows, and rows of beds. I looked up at the low hanging ceiling and scanned across it, looking for an edge, a wall, or a corner in the distance, there was none.

 

I guessed that here might be thousands of people, strangers, all sleeping in this room. I could start to hear echoes, of the sounds of the sleeping people. The room had a metallic tinny resonance, the floor was a clay color, it looked like stone, the surface appeared smudged, yet polished.

 

I tried to lie in the bed. The blanket was too thin, the sounds of thousands of sleeping people was deafening. I was not going to be able to sleep here.

 

 

 

  Lying there, I tried to block out the tide of sleeping sighs, and bed rustles. Looking up at the ceiling, staring at its blankness, my thoughts turned toward feelings of frustrations. “Why can’t these people sleep silently”, I thought to myself. We are supposed to be guest, and behaving clamorously, is by no means, proper conduct for a guest. Was I the only person not sleeping; and that is when I heard the sound.

 

At first, it sounded like water dripping, but then the drips became taps and then a fast clicking sound. I could see two people walking, both wearing the long hooded robes. They were carrying a young woman, who appeared unconscious. The hooded figures where discussing something and appeared to be arguing. They were speaking amongst themselves, using sharp clicking sounds. I watched them move across the room, and how they carelessly held the woman by her arms, allowing her feet to drag on the floor. When they found an open bed, they casually half dragged, half dropped the woman on the bed, and continued their apparent debate, as they exited the room.

 

I was as quiet as a mouse, for more than two hours. The blanket which was previously too thin was now like a wall of fire. Peeking out, from under the edge of my blanket, I was watching her. She hadn't moved since being placed on the bed. I was sweating from head to toe; it was mostly from fear, and partly from the blanket. Who is that woman, does she need help, and was she awake like I was? I couldn't wait any longer; I decided to make my move...

 

End - TBC 

 

 

              

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If you're going to write, you're going to know pain for sure. A friend of mine who claims to be a writer says that she writes the ending first. It sounds like good advice. Maybe you should writing the ending first.

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If you really want feedback, I am not sure this is the place for it, but here are a few "technical" points.

1. This isn't a story start; it's two stories. There is no obvious connection between the two strands at this point.

2. Capitalising the D of Doctor is likely to make people think it's a "Dr Who" fanfic. Doctors don't deserve special treatment - you wouldn't capitalise Cleaner, would you.

3. The paragraph spacing is distracting.

4. IGA means nothing. If you are referencing a fictitious, but story-relevant organisation (eg Interdimensional Gate Authority) then you should state it in full.

5. The Oxford comma in the first sentence looks either like an error or extreme pretentiousness. The extraneous comma in the second sentence of the third paragraph IS an error, and there are several more. If in doubt, leave it out.

6. Onto is not a word.

7. Particularly since you are writing SF, you might note what a contemporary doyen of the genre has said. Kurt Vonnegut in his semi-memoir "A Man Without A Country" commented: "Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college." I agree with him; semi-colons are for forum posts, emails, and instructions, inter alia.

8. Before you offer stuff for comment, you might at least spell-check the content, and run  it through a grammar/style checker like After The Deadline so if you've broken any rules you can affirm that it was intentional. "Didn't't" makes it obvious you didn't.

9. You have mixed up two styles of representation of internal thought-speech. Be consistent.

I could offer more, but at this point it's hardly worthwhile.  I do like the alliterative effects in the penultimate and ante-penultimate paragraphs.

Now tell me you're actually Margaret Atwood to try to make me feel foolish . . .

© The Judge

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Yes, I would like feedback about the story.

1. The woman lying on the bed, is the tall finely dressed woman, who passed through the gate.

2. I suppose I wouldn't capitalize Cleaner. ty.

3. I thought the same thing. I have no idea what I am doing in that department.

4. I started thinking it would be a choose your own adventure, or that I might explain who, or what IGA stands for. I want it to stand for Inter Galactic Alliance, but I'm not clear if  Inter-galactic is one word.

5. After looking at it, it doesn't need to be there. If pretentious were to mean pretense, I might have a purposeful explanation. When the air is crisp in the winter, sound travels differently.

6. I must disagree, onto is a word, however, I usually prefer upon, or atop.

7. I agree with Kurt's opinion. A story is a collection of collective thoughts.

8. You can thank Lithium for that. The font I used before copying and pasting, created a spacing error. I foolishly used the spell check here, and it added the extra characters. The only typos I have trouble tolerating, are my own.

9. I have no consistency, I'm not sure if I'm reading along as I am writing, or, if I am writing to telling a story.

 

I was expecting a reply from you. If being mildly predictable, makes you feel foolish, then we will have both learned something new today.  Insincerity, is one of the greatest obstacles, in the art of exchanging meaningful discussion.

Thank you for your genuine candid response.

 

 

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I will try that.

 

The End.

 

I'm learning quickly, :smileyvery-happy:

 

I will consider the freedom that writing style offers. ty :smileyhappy:

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Knowl Paine wrote:

 

I was expecting a reply from you. If being mildly predictable, makes you feel foolish, then we will have both learned something new today.  Insincerity, is one of the greatest obstacles, in the art of exchanging meaningful discussion.

 

Are you deliberately continuing to insert commas at random points merely to annoy me?

Perhaps you should follow Rudyard Kipling's example. He admitted that punctuation was not one of his strong points, and at the end of each - unpunctuated - manuscript submitted to his publisher, he would note "Please insert .,;:'!? wherever you think fit"

© The Judge

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I would never attempt to intentionally annoy another person. I like to help people.

Punctuation is not one of my strong points. I believe in cooperation and in each person doing what he or she does best. I was thinking that an editor could edit. I like writing. 

I've been reading a book written by a Russian author and the book has influenced my writing sty... method.

I realize I have a lot to learn. I'm having fun with the idea of the story.

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Take my post with this grain of salt:  I'm not an author nor, frankly, do I read many books (some but it's just very occasional).

It seems to me that you're in the very early stages of writing this story, therefore, it's most important to get the full story out.  What you've written so far has captured my interest, but, of coarse, it's unfinished.  What's happening?  What are people doing and saying?  Why?  Where?  When?  Put those thoughts down.

Worry about spelling, grammar, and punctuation later, but don't forget about them.  Get your story out first, then make it proper English so it's easier for people to read (that really is important).

It's okay to be mysterious about what and why things are happening, but those loose ends should be tied up by the end of story.  An exception would be if you plan on writing squeals.

You mixed third-person and first-person writing styles.  I kinda like that.  A chapter of a narrator explaining what's happening followed by a chapter from a specific character's point of view is interesting.

Let the thoughts flow.  Get it out and have fun doing it!  I look forward to reading the completed story should you wish to share.  :-)

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Thank you for sharing your insights.

I've only been close to being in the creative Zen zone. I can better understand now, why authors hide away in solitude when writing. I'm glad to get input early on. I might have typed out 50 pages of confusion :smileyvery-happy:

I will work on outlining the story, and developing it, however many pages that may be. I hope for the conclusion to evolve instead of being completely mapped out.

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Knowl Paine wrote:

I've been reading a book written by a Russian author and the characteristically stilted execution of translated work has influenced my writing sty... method.

FIFY!

I knew someone who thought he was writing literature by initially typing his story then using an online thesaurus to select the longest alternatives to the words he used. If you are attempting to emulate the style of a Russian author then perhaps you should write in English, then use Google Translate to convert it into Russian and back again.

© The Judge

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The words are mine and I've referenced none, I deplore needless exaggeration. 

Ignorance compounded was the influence. She was a great novelist and I have nothing published, I have translated that part. I have hope and an empty bucket.

It is stilted. I've been trying to force the process, to create progress. 

 

 

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Knowl Paine wrote:

She was a great novelist

 

You read Russian well enough to be able to make that judgment?

Also, I do not know of a female Russian writer that might be considered a great novelist.

© The Judge

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Knowl Paine wrote:

The words are mine and I've referenced none,
I deplore needless exaggeration. 

Ignorance compounded was the influence.
She was a great novelist and I have nothing published, I have translated that part. I have hope and an empty bucket.

It is stilted. I've been trying to force the process, to create progress. 

 

 

I admire 'great' writers.  I consider my friend Pep to be an excellent writer and teacher of the English language.  If you 'listen' to what he really writes you will learn something.  I have learned much, but the one most important 'thing' I have learned from Pep was "to break the rules, you must first master them."   That, Knowl, is one heck of an insight to heed. 

 

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Taking this from a different POV...

1) Have you got an outline developed of the major action path through the story to the ending?

2) I'm assuming these 2 story segments will be linked sometime in the future.

3) Please note, these days you have only a few pages to capture your reader's imagination thus baiting them into continuing to read your story.

4) For my tastes you descriptive style is too sharp. You might want to soften this unless you are painting the mental background or thought processes of one your character(s).

"The bed was a large single bed, mattress only, on a raised metal platform. There was a headboard, which also looked like a shelf. A large pillow, two sheets, and a blanket, neatly made, with the edges tucked tightly under the mattress. I prefer the blankets un-tucked. The top corner of the blanket had been folded down, but it didn't appear as if anyone had slept in the bed."

The above description suggests you have someone with a detectives mentality or keen eye looking at the scene but was the extra exposition really needed to get to the point that the bed had not been slept in?  Does it tell something significant about the domain that the bed is present in? Does the detail tell you about the character's capabilities or background? Will this all be used later in the story? The reason I ask is that you suggest that this character in somewhat confused and at not altogether sure of their current condition or environment as they are being walked back to the bed. Then the acute observation of their environment begins in earnest.

5) I'm sure on your re-read edits you'll correct all the general grammar errors and keep the purposeful style grammar artifacts in place throughout the rest of the story.

6) "I was as quiet as a mouse, for more than two hours. The blanket which was previously too thin was now like a wall of fire. Peeking out, from under the edge of my blanket, I was watching her. She hadn't moved since being placed on the bed. I was sweating from head to toe; it was mostly from fear, and partly from the blanket. Who is that woman, does she need help, and was she awake like I was? I couldn't wait any longer; I decided to make my move..."

The common lyrical allusions here don't serve the story or the character development or awareness well. As a suggestion, the sentence "I was as quiet as a mouse, for more than two hours" would be better served with "Looking towards my new roommates location, I remained frozen in place, breathing shallowly and slipping in and out of sleep as the hours passed, never letting my growing, just on the edge of frantic, awareness go."

That's all for now.

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English is my only language.

She is accredited as an American author, even though she was born, raised, and educated in Russia as Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum. Capitalizing upon her personal quest for freedom as she sought asylum in American citizenship, was done purely for business reasons.

Pride should be reserved for accomplishments. If we had an honest society, I wouldn't feel the need to distinguish that the author is Russian, or even that she is a woman. It shouldn't matter. But in the real world, growing up in Russia in 1905 was not an easy life, and it wasn't easy for men either. (lol)

 

 

 

 

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Greetings,

1) I have not completed the story to the end. I know where it's going.

2) Yes, the woman carried in by the robed characters, is the woman who passed through the gate. It's a pg story. :)

3) Duly noted, ty. The feedback has helped a lot.

4) I agree, I can reserve overly descriptive language for detailing the important story specifics. The second character is a type of detective, but he doesn't know that yet. If his bed was neatly made, he wasn't having trouble sleeping, because he had just arrived, like the woman.

5) This is a very rough draft, I'm learning the importance of proper grammar, substance, structure, and style.

6) "Looking towards my new roommates location, I remained frozen in place, breathing shallowly and slipping in and out of sleep as the hours passed...." :smileysurprised:   That is good!... then what happens? I like that part. Roommates might not be entirely accurate.

I'm feeling smaller now, in comparison to the realities of writing with quality, and doing so in volume. 

 

Thank you for the thoughtful feedback.

 

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Knowl Paine wrote:

She is accredited as an American author, even though she was born, raised, and educated in Russia as Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum.

 

All is explained. Anybody who takes Ayn Rand as a style model is going to have more problems than determining accurate comma placement.

I did a stage adaptation of Anthem once, in the style of Artaud. I removed all the dialogue and replaced it with grunts and gesticulations. It made a lot more sense than the original.

I also considered doing a musical version of it, but re-used most of the songs I wrote for it for a similar project that I staged based on a short story by Asimov called "A Loint of Paw", but which I retitled "A Niche In Time".

© The Judge

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I just finished reading Asimov's The Currents of Space, and the only befitting re-title has already been taken. "The Corporation, the pathological pursuit of profit and power, by Joel Bakan.

I had presumed that you would react to Ayn as you have., that is why I was being elusive. For many years I had only know of Any Rand, as she was depicted in television parody. She was mocked and ridiculed, by people who haven't even read her books. "Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance." —Albert Einstein

 

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Knowl Paine wrote:

"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance." —Albert Einstein

 

I couldn't agree more. I believe in criticising from an informed position of strength.

© The Judge

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I believe that if I am well informed I will have few criticisms, as I would have all the facts.

Do you like Ayn Rand's books?

If no, why?

 

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Criticism is the expression of opinion; it can be praise as well as condemnation, and full possession of the facts just makes criticism more valid, rather than reduces its volume.

I find Ayn Rand's writing interesting, in the same way I find Abba's music entertaining. The ESL nature of the communication acts as a different kind of provocation stimulation, probably not in the way intended by the auteur.

© The Judge

 

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As you almost said, provocative. She is that indeed. I can think of few other names which invoke debate, as does Ayn's name. If the writings are nonsensical, there shouldn't be so much debate.

I've put the book down twice already. I keep picking it back up, because I also enjoy reading as a form of entertainment.

It is not a book of revelation, but rather a story of affirmation. 

Maybe you watch Judge Judy, you've made me laugh twice already.

 

I would like write a science fiction story. I already miss my commas :smileysad: I was having fun with those things. :smileyhappy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Knowl Paine wrote:

 If the writings are nonsensical, there shouldn't be so much debate.

 

The debate is created, as so much is here in the forums (both because of the submissions of ESLers and semi-literates) by writing being marginally distanced from comprehensibility, with other ESLers, semi-literates and well-meaning "interpreters" perceiving meanings that do not necessarily exist.

Poets can usually get away with it; in the main their scribblings are the verbal equivalent of painted art which makes no attempt to express a specific meaning - nor offers an apology for failing to do so - but which allows their pretentious audience to humiliate themselves, uncorrected, by perceiving that which is not present, nor intended.

There is, of course, a difference between writing which makes no sense, and that which is intentionally multi-dimensional; I favour a style which offers a patina of unambiguosity, while being redolent of richer rational resonances, which emotionally literate readers can enjoy within themselves, rather than having to declaim and declare their perceptions in public.

© The Judge

 

 

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I agree with Hugsy.  Leave editing for much later in your process.  Writing is the companion to senses.  As such, more often than not, forcing it will only lead you down the path of frustration.  Let it flow naturally like the ebb and flow of tides. 

The first real piece of advice I can give you is to develop those characters.  There is nothing worse than reading through what might otherwise be a great read, only to come away not knowing a damned thing about one or more characters other than their surface resume (additionally, glossing over a character or two takes them out of the running for a whole new series).  While you do not have to develop their entire life story on page, drop enough golden eggs to leave the reader wanting to know more about them.

The second piece of advice is to write.. anywhere, any time.  Carry a notebook with you at all times.  Inspiration hits us at the oddest and simplest of times.  If you don't get a short note (or longer passage) down, right then and there, you will lose it.

The last piece of advice, which is huge to me, the devil really is in the detail.  I abhor having to mire through several paragraphs (or even one really) telling me exactly the density and thread count of the dadblasted sheets.  Argh!  Stories are an adventure and as such the reader needs a wee bit of room to add their own selves to that adventure.  Maybe I don't want 500 count cotten sheets - flannel suits me just fine. :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

Best of writings to you.

 

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Panther Miklos wrote:

 

The last piece of advice, which is huge to me, the devil really is in the detail.  I abhor having to mire through several paragraphs (or even one really) telling me exactly the density and thread count of the dadblasted sheets.  Argh!  Stories are an adventure and as such the reader needs a wee bit of room to add their own selves to that adventure.  Maybe I don't want 500 count cotten sheets - flannel suits me just fine. :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

Best of writings to you.

 

Then write your own book.  Or stick with the Classics Illustrated comic book versions.

Melville spent around 30 pages on the significance of the color white.  Would you rather the Whale was colorless so you could insert your own color and chase your own demons? 

Sebastian Younger spends an entire chapter on wave dynamics.  Somewhat technical and tedious to wade through it adds depth to the story, enhancing our understanding of what the crew of the Andrea Gail was up against.

Just because you miss the significance of the 500 count sheets does not mean that others will.

And it still is after all the Author's story to tell.

 

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