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We are all Sociopaths #1 - Prologue



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Fri May 16, 2008 4:32 pm
Aedomir says...



EDIT: I have changed this, it is now... different, shall we say. Tell me what you think please? It is intended to confuse you - but you should still be able to understand the idea I hope :?

Prologue
Sociopath: So • ci • o • path noun
1. Someone who believes their behaviour is right.
2. Human.

A lightning bolt struck us, and into the dirt our legs were cast.
Days moved by; as a leaf before the wind; like rain before sunset. No sea-breeze, and no breath spoke of our surrender, so we pondered on a brink ready to topple, swallowing deep. We woke, and dried our tears; for as we saw our future unfold I would see many faltering stars, hiding behind the clouds. But there were few of us, I felt it in my bones; it was me alone—the bare eyes that could pierce the shadow, and merely long for its lift.
I thought I would go on no matter what, that only would I surrender, when the final of my days died into the mist. Nothing in the core of my heart could have predicted this; nothing could have steadied us for the plunge.
“Be ready, be you and wait for the winds to change,” said I, unknown to all ears. I am the nameless voice – a word that I no longer wish for people to hear of.

#

Tibet, 1950—where has flown our age? Passed like a meadow’s wind, has the grace of our flowers, blind to all eyes. From whence I spy, I see no blood has been spilled, and so I cannot bear this heartache. Where is the soldier; gun in hand, standing under his banner and humming fleeting melodies? War they say is the backbone of wrath, like the sun of the Earth, like the moon of night. I differ. Where is the dignity in a white flag?
Never before had I seen the city so elegantly. Stretched out before me, thousands of lights glowed in unison, some flickering under the moon and people, speaking in the breeze, as if sharing a seldom secret.
Lhasa. I recalled its desolate stance, but now as I gazed upon it, I smiled at its thriving endurance. That was a first. It was neither by politics, nor tears of hate that my lips spoke so… pleasantly. A cool wind whined by, and I felt it fly upon my face. It was at that moment, that my eyes saw the roof.
The roof of the world.
Many eyes glared in my direction, of whom several faces were confused, but most laden with smiles. Even at this late hour, there was rich merriment, and some joy echoing into the night. Disgust; I felt it twine within my soul like a dead vine. I asked myself why these people could celebrate, but I then asked myself, why I should not.
But it is these people! They cast me aside their walls like meatless bones – how can I wish to be apart of such again?
Evil gropes further, there is not one should in this empire that rests free of poison, if it will not die, I shall.

I looked down, past the rocks, towards the gathering darkness at the foot of the precipice. Night-tide is sweet… so calm, so bleak, so cool… why do I fear this new midnight? I curse you, relent to the sun! I think to myself that soon, we will rise again, that we will evade from the gropes of the distant lands and their snatching fingers. Now forever lost, were the memories of cheer—cheer which I was once a part of. But now, the fondness froze, smothered with shame and soulless glory.
It was the birds flocked above the spectacle that grasped yet more of my thought, for they were more beautiful and proud than any of their kin. They called for me as they beat their wings against the air and sang peacefully with their slender tongues, as if yearning for both my stay, and my story. When one flew down close to me, I greeted it with a hearty smile. Together, their many colours flecked over the Lhasa River like a rainbow, drowning all grunge and fell loom, past the shroud of night. From this was gladness for the living beauty, and then, sorrow’s anger dawned.
Awe fell upon me, and so I stood in the night, air against my cheeks, a great longing warming my heart, and hark! the midnight bells rung.
And it was by my heart that I leapt.
The first death, of the battle for Tibet.
Because, I am the patriot.
Last edited by Aedomir on Fri May 23, 2008 10:20 pm, edited 6 times in total.
We are all Sociopaths: The Prologue

Sociopath: So • ci • o • path noun
1. Someone who believes their behaviour is right.
2. Human.
  





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Fri May 16, 2008 8:01 pm
Heidigirl666 says...



Um, this didn't make much sense to me.

I liked the language and description and it was an intriguing prologue, but a lot of the sentence structures made it confusing in a lot of places and came across as very awkwardly put together. I'm afraid some bits seemed painfully awkward. It didn't really have much of a flow to it.

For example,

But there were few of us, almost me alone; we could see the shadow that oughtn’t to be.


The first bit of this before the semi colon troubles me; what exactly are you trying to say, because it confused me. Do you need to say 'almost me alone'? And using 'oughtn't'? Could you not use 'shouldn't'?

I thought I would go on no matter what, that only would I pass, when the final of my days died into the mist. Nothing in the core of my heart could have predicted this, nothing could have steadied us for the plunge.


At the very least I'd take out the first comma, at the most, I'd try and restructure this sentence to make it more sense. I had to read it several times before I understood what you were trying to say.

"Be ready, be you and wait for the wind to change,” said I, the nameless voice, unknown for a hither and yon.


I actually cringed at 'hither and yon'. :wink: I wouldn't use this phrase at all; far too clichéd.

Never before had I seen the city so elegantly.


I'd say you wanted to put 'Never before had I seen the city look so elegant', or simply 'elegant' rather than 'elegantly' at the end of the sentence.

Stretched out before me, thousands of lights glowed in unison, some flickering under the moon and people, chattering in the breeze.


Another confusing sentence. For one thing 'chattering in the breeze' has an odd sound to it, it doesn't seem to quite fit, and I think you probably want a semi-colon after 'flickering under the moon'.

A cool wind travelled by, and I felt it fly upon my face, for I knew that at that moment, I was at the roof of the world.


I would have either a full stop after 'face' or a semi-colon, and get rid of 'for'. These two clauses don't really seem to link very well. There's the suggestion of the wind being the reason why they suddenly know they're at the 'roof of the world', which is odd sounding at the least. :wink:

Many people looked in my direction from below, I saw them, but there was no smile their faces, or rather, I had hoped so.


Again, very confusing. Not exactly sure what you're trying to get across. Also, definitely shouldn't be a comma after 'below', probably better to have a semi-colon.

Even at this late hour, there was rich merriment, and some joy echoing into the night.


Maybe just 'merriment'. 'Rich' doesn't seem like the right word here, and 'some joy' sounds kind of clumsy.

Disgust. [put semi-colon here, not a full stop] I felt it twine within my soul like a dead vine.


They called for me as they beat their wings against the breeze of the air and sang peacefully with their slender tongues, as if yearning for my stay, and my story.


I have two niggling problems with this sentence, first 'breeze of the air'-it just sounds odd. Just 'breeze' perhaps? And 'my stay'? I'd say 'for me to stay'.

Together, their many colours flecked over the Lhasa River as a rainbow, drowning all grunge and foul colours, past the gloom of night.


Flecked? Again, doesn't sound quite right. Do you want to say 'as' a rainbow or 'like'? 'As' has a bit of a jarring sound to it. And 'drowning all grunge and foul colours', I just got the distinct feeling of words missing; maybe it would be better to say something like just 'drowning out all the foul colours'

From this was a gladness for the living beauty, and then sorrow’s anger dawned.


Again, confusing; not sure what you're trying to say.

Awe fell upon me, and so I stood in the night, air against my face, a great longing warming my heart, and hark! the midnight bells rung.


Firstly I'd not mention 'air against my face' again, as you've mentioned the breeze etc several times already. Try not to get too repetitive. Also 'hark!'? The problem seems to me, to be that you're trying to find fancy ways of saying something that could, and should be much simpler, which can make it sound either confusing, or a little pretentious, which is easy to do in writing.

And by heart, I leapt that fall.


Again, utterly confused. I've read this sentence several times and still can't quite grasp the meaning. Try and be a little clearer and less worried about using fancy words and more unusual sentence structures.

I did like it though; it was interesting enough for me to want to read on, despite a few bits that I'm afraid made me cringe. Sorry. :oops:

It has tonnes of potential though, and with some very small things changed, it will be perfect. :wink:
Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. ~Flannery O'Connor
  





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Fri May 16, 2008 11:50 pm
Poor Imp says...



Hullo Aedomir.

As the first thing then--is this "Other Fiction"? It seems, rather, in its archaic use of language and diction more apt to fantasy. ^_^

But that is slightly impertinent to the story itself.

[ TO SAY WHAT ONE MEANS--Da? ]

Archaic language, the lilting if lengthy sentences and such, are brilliant. In all honesty, I rather tend that way myself at times. And naturally, done deftly, it's involving.

On the flip side, and in the negative, it has one quicksand sort of pitfall: meandering, in the form of nonsense. Words that stick to get a certain sound in a sentence. Long sentences that repeat themselves. Misplaced and malformed punctuation that grasps at dramatic emphasis.

Yet the beauty of this sort of telling is its precision, its simplicity. Dashiell Hammett may write like a gunshot; JRR Tolkien may write like sea-breeze at times, or like a bard.

But they're both brilliant because they put, quite directly, what they mean to say on the page. Samwise Gamgee does not wail and gnash his teeth, feeling the storms of furious grief--grief, stuck [comma] hard like a blade [comma] in his breast.

Sam weeps.

[ TO PUNCTURE--ER, PUNCTUATE... ]

Your first few sentences are comma-mad. Er, comma-happy, so to speak. They break off, string on longer and put a dozen sensations--pardon the hyperbole ^_^--into a sentence before trying to add more in the next.

Aed wrote:Days moved by as a leaf before the wind – we would wake, and gulp, as we saw our future unfold. But there were few of us, almost me alone; the bare eyes that could pierce the shadow, and see that it shouldn’t be.


The above--

'...as a leaf before the wind--' Oy, full-stop there. Then, why do the days move so?

Then the second sentence-- Though breaking rules is the writer's peragative, you have a fragment when you semi-colon and continue into 'bare eyes[...]'. His bare eyes, I assume, yes?

Rather than semi-colon, you might try an em-dash.

Oy, and as you continue, you drop commas like bread crumbs. Read it aloud, and pause for two breaths at least at each comma--what does it sound like? At the moment, you're puncturing your sentences rather than punctuating them.

[ GET THE POINT TO THE HEART [or otherwise hit your target] ]

Another slip of the poetically archaic, or pretty, language is its tendency to be abstract. Imagery can be lovely, sans abstraction. Diction can be soft, and still concrete in that it touches the character, and connects him to the reader and to his surroundings. Yes?

Briefly:


  • The pronoun is, at times, 'me'; at others, 'tis 'us' or we. Is this a collective fellow? Does he switch from speaking of himself, to speaking of a nebulous community? Race? Friends?
  • You haven't got a floor, so to speak. You've a voice, some images. But where is this? It needn't be dead-damned concrete, mapping out a forest, or a stone-room, or anything like that. But there has to be some framework as a context, even in a prologue, if not especially.
  • In light of the previous point, you don't have anything defining to keep the common from becoming cliche. Precisely, the 'nameless voice'. Ack, nameless voice is drab, obscure--what is the voice? Is it like the wind? Is it unknown by having no name? By having no face? Is it quite perfectly incorporeal?


[TO CLOSE... ]

Oy, prologues are always rather problematic. Rather like short stories, they're useless if they don't hit the reader with something tangible, or startling. This has got a lovely sense of softness in its tone, diction, syntax. But it might as well be a description, pulled out of a second or third chapter; and it might fit better as background once into the story as it's set currently.

Honestly though, with a floor--context and surroundings--killed extras commas, and a more distinct voice, it could become an apt lead-in. ^_^


Er, any questions, feel free to PM, etc.

IMP [ courtesy of the Cabassi
ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem
  





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Fri May 23, 2008 10:21 pm
Aedomir says...



Thanks both of you - those reviews were very helpful. I don't really know where this is going myself yet, so thanks for the advice :-)

-Mark

EDIT: I have edited this... please tell me what you think :-)
We are all Sociopaths: The Prologue

Sociopath: So • ci • o • path noun
1. Someone who believes their behaviour is right.
2. Human.
  





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8 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1425
Reviews: 8
Mon May 30, 2011 11:20 am
silverkey says...



I'll admit here and now that I was confused by much of the prologue, which was your intention, but it wasn't because of the language. It's probably more understandable now than it was before the edit, judging by the earlier reviews. It was confusing, but also very intriguing, and most of the words flows nicely in my mind. Some things flow rather oddly, although that may be your intention.

I thought I would go on no matter what, that only would I surrender, when the final of my days died into the mist.

You could substitute the word "final" for last. Or rephrase it to say, "when my final days died..."

Gah, I don't really know how to comment on the grammar of archaic-style pieces, so I'll leave it at that.

I like the imagery that the words inspire, though. I'll be looking forward to the next chapters. c:
The stars twinkle,
The waves fall,
The flowers bloom,
And the girl saw it all.
  








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