Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Lyrical

12+ Language

The Never-ending Cycle: Chapter 1

by Nenchjre

The Never-ending Cycle.

Chapter 1

I faced forward with my back against the once nostalgic view of meagerly lit concrete walls. Taking one step at a time, I once more escaped an empty defeat. Step with the right. Step with the left. Enter heel first. End with the toes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It’d repeat itself until I went somewhere. Somewhere where time equates to sustenance and nothing more, then I’d have to walk somewhere else. A place where the interior only consists of what is necessary, although what is deemed necessary is much too cruel compared to human standards. Food that required sacrifice. Furniture made and rectified by the weary. Water stole from beings who now thirst. That is what is necessary for survival. To thrive, I think that required something displayed on screens or books. I think… I think I knew what it meant to thrive at one point. Yea. I did…

I’ve fallen in love twice, and I’ve been lied to twice. Once was with a city, where the concrete scraped the skies. The lights were never just yellow or white, and the green of nature never grew wild. There was blue that often crashed into the structures of man. The people there had a background similar to mine, despite there being such a fairly large populace. The place was completely foreign, yet it felt like home. That is where I wanted to be; it is where I longed to go. I played my part as a human battery. I trod the dirt the people call concrete. I ate the rubbish the gluttons called food. I gazed upon the brightness the fools called light. I did all that so that I could live once more in blissful ignorance. The city lied to me though. I was given sights of nostalgia and beauty, yet it was meaningless, for I was the one who made it meaningless. I had lost too many hours on working towards that glorious view. It's hard to glorify something that has caused you much agony. Justifying lost time and relations with something as simple as a location isn't justified.

In that same place, I fell in love once more. There was a café that faced the Han River. Insight was the world’s second tallest building and the N Seoul Tower which glowed bright green indicating that air pollution was light. There was the movement of green, purple, yellow, white, red, and orange amongst the night. Next to me was someone who still loved glorious sights. She peered out the balcony from her stool, as she sipped on cheap cocoa. For some reason, she took an interest in me. One day I asked her why, and she responded with, “it was because of the way you were sitting on the edge of the railing, whilst the grandmas and servers playfully scolded you. When I came to approach you, I asked for your name, but instead, you replied with the words, “many often mistake my name for the words masochist, freeloader, or shut-in.” I didn’t understand the sincerity behind her statement, and I passed it off as a joke. We were never intimate or anything; we were just good friends. She reminded me a lot of a childhood friend I once knew, so I took a liking to her. She told that me that she’d always be there for me whenever I needed help. For a long time, I greatly appreciated the sentiment and the help that followed. Her statement was a lie though. She died of a premature death, and life was once more bitter. It seems as if I subconsciously drive people away from me, and if they stay, they only end up getting hurt, or worse. It's the Hedgehog's dilemma in action. 

It’s saddening that anything good requires an experience mutually shared between two or more people. The conscious effort is to rectify our biological drive, but I don’t want to do any of that. I’m tired of thinking, and I’m tired of blurring the lines. I think… that the answer lies somewhere in the present. Answer? Yeah… there must be some universal truth behind the universe. Truth? Well… if logic is utilized by everyone, then logic must’ve been used by those around me to derive some meaning or else they wouldn’t have- Perhaps you’re just too stubborn to submit yourself to chaotic yet joyful nature of reality. Joyful? How can I be joyful if my subconscious simply won’t allow it? Whose fault is that? I don’t think that matters anymore. Why? It’s just too vague of a question, so it has too many answers. Why? It’s so monotonous. Asking yourself simple questions that are just too vague. Why? Shut up… Shut up… Shut up!... SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! Why? …. Yeah…. why…?

I'm open to constructive criticism, and I'm sorry that the first chapter doesn't really advance the story. I just wanted to get the protagonists thoughts and ideals out there before moving. 

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
423 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 423

Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:19 pm
Vervain wrote a review...

Hey there~ Vervain here to review on this glorious sunny Review Day, so let's get to it!

First off, I feel like this doesn't... really.. need to happen? If that makes sense. Yeah, it's your character's ideals and goals and whatnot, but if you're really trying to do a good job as a writer, those will come through in the story proper! Really, this is less of a chapter one and more of a prologue where you spell out the character to us from inside their head.

To be clear, I'm not saying that this as a piece is useless. I'm saying that you can chop this up and show it to us through the character's actual actions, their feelings, and their thoughts as they move through the story you have set up. It's more like this chapter should be worked into the piece as a whole, instead of crammed all at the beginning for the reader to stumble over.

You only have about 1000 words to snag a reader at the beginning of a novel—that's about 3 pages formatted for publishing. This chapter itself is about 800 words even, and most of it is an infodump (an unnecessary amount of information given all at once with no narrative support), with the last part being more of the character talking to the audience/themself and devolving into something that I'm not sure how we're supposed to interpret.

I think you're trying to go for something really philosophical and literary here, and the reader doesn't need that spelled out for them in the beginning. If you really want to write literature, the readers of literature are more interested in how these kinds of stories emerge from the characters' interactions with each other, with their lives, and with the setting.

In addition, I'd watch out for ideas like "I fell in love twice; once with a city, and once with a woman"—ideas like that are used and overused, especially in romantic and dramatic film and novels. I don't know how many times I've heard the phrase, but it's an instant turn-off for me, because it tells me that the writer hasn't really read their genre, so they don't know what phrases everyone else is copying.

I don't think this is a bad idea, but I think you should cut this and get straight to the character, introduce us to them that way, and not expect the reader to slog through the character's ideology before we meet the story proper. You can always have a quiet moment later where they think about this!

Best wishes, and keep writing!

User avatar
1080 Reviews

Points: 98580
Reviews: 1080

Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:00 pm
Mea wrote a review...

Hey Nenchjre! I thought this looked interesting, so I decided to go ahead and review it on this lovely Review Day. :)

I think your biggest strength here is the lyrical nature of your prose, and how it sweeps the reader away quickly and easily. You draw us into your character's head and into his musings, giving us a good picture of who he is right away. And although not much *happens*, you do mention that he's walking at the beginning, which helps ground the reader. The framing of the two times he fell in love works really well to show what he cared about and why those experiences were important to him.

I didn't really think your last paragraph worked as well as the rest of the chapter, mostly because it was a lot more abstract, and the argument format wasn't what you were using before and I didn't really see a reason for the change. To me, it's more interesting to just listen to him mull things over, unless you want to expand the argument part more and have him mention how he feels like he's split in two or something. (If you were to do that, I'd also recommend having each "side" of the argument speak on a new line, to make it easier to read and further differentiate the two.)

Your prose makes it so you almost get away with what is the greatest weakness here: the fact that, like you said, this first chapter doesn't particularly advance the plot or really ground the reader in a place or time. I think this almost works, but it's going to require careful editing and good follow-up - I'd expect him as a narrator to be making commentary about his actions and this philosophical stuff throughout the story (though keeping it shorter than this big long chunk would be good).

You also mentioned that you know there's a fair few grammar errors in this, so I'll leave it to you to fix those, but I'll also say that you can just go through and trim. Trim extra phrases, any nouns or verbs that are vague and not evocative, or unnecessary details - for example, I thought the sentence about the other people in the city having the same background as him didn't quite fit with the rest and felt unnecessary.

And I think that's all I've got for you! Good luck with this, and keep writing!

Nenchjre says...

Thank you very much! I'm not very skilled when it comes to structuring sentences, but I'm working on that! So far I've written five more chapters with dialogue. Thanks for your advice!

User avatar
13 Reviews

Points: 134
Reviews: 13

Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:33 am
Nenchjre says...

Sorry about my improper use of grammar and spacing, I wrote this in a one hour flash of emotions.

You can not put the entire Bee Movie in the quote generator.
— alliyah