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My Screams Don't Carry Through the Pages

by Panikos


Author's Note: I'm not sure about this...I'm not sure if it's effective, if it's too blatant, too vague, or if I got my point across satisfactorily. I'd appreciate some feedback, guys.

It took me a long time to realise that I wasn't real.

If I had to guess, I’d say it took ten years, but there’s no real way of knowing. It could have taken a hundred, a thousand, or even more; it’s difficult to tell where a wheel begins.

Or, incidentally, where it ends.

My realisation was built up of small, ever-stacking aspects: familiar faces that I’d never seen before; snatches of speech that felt more like memories; eyes that were just a little bit too green to be plausible. There was never a single, driving factor that struck me, just a lurking, uneasy suspicion that inched its way over my mind much like a weed crawling up a wall. It was always there, an itch in my brain - a feeling that my life was being turned over, washed out, restrung and repeated. Like it wasn't mine to control.

And somewhere along the line, it began to sink in that I was no more than an author’s words.

At first, the understanding was peaceful. My existence – or lack thereof – made sense to me. I finally knew why I resented the taste of porridge, and why I felt that I’d choked it down a million times before. I realised why I, whilst staring down the ragged corpse of my murdered mother, always recognised the feeling of despair that crested inside of me. It allowed me to understand why a seemingly average human being like myself had the worst luck in the world.

A crick in the neck becomes a lot more painful once you've noticed it, and the same was true of this. The peace did not last, and the more I began to remember, the more unbearable it became. I was scattered, my thoughts spraying into pinwheels, unable to hold myself in place as different parts of my manufactured story tore me open from all sides.

I am a skein of yarn, unravelled and split into a trillion threads. At the end of each thread – at the edge of my universe – there is a reader, pulling me in and trying to make me their own.

I am brittle. I am thin. But I never snap.

Like a butterfly pinned behind glass, I am frozen in the position in which they all wish to see me. I am poised. I am beautiful. I say all the right things at all the right times. I cry when I am supposed to, I bleed when the words tear at me, and I howl with agony when the ink instructs me to. The world is my owner, and it has sliced me into a thousand different versions of myself. I belong to everyone.

Yet within me, there is a storm that they cannot reach.

Inside the hollow that my writer forgot to fill in, a sound is curled up, and it cannot travel through the pages. Locked inside the shell of adjectives, nouns and forceful verbs that make up my body, there is a voice that was born of realisation, one that was never supposed to exist. It longs to escape, it cannot be quelled, and it stretches itself out into a scream that burns with more desperation than a writer’s words could ever stand to describe, a scream made of little but heat and pain and a longing for the story to end and never restart.

And that sound is me.


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Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:04 am
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Horisun wrote a review...



This is amazing! Oh my gosh, this is awesome... So, so, so great! And beautiful, and sad, and heartbreaking, and I'm going on a rant, sorry. Point is, this is an instant like! It actually made me feel kinda bad...
This is one of the most creative stories I've read. I actually am going to reread it quickly, because it's so great!
Have a great day or night!




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Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:28 pm
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defiantAuthoress wrote a review...



Wow. This is really, really interesting. I love how definite this character's personality is, it really comes through in the writing. Every line feels essential and important, and the first and last line both give a sense of urgency and calm at the same time. The final, large paragraph, really sums up how I think character's really are, between the lines. Wow. Just wow. If I were to give you any constructive criticism, I would suggest that you describe even more the everyday troubles of the character that is being controlled.
Thanks so much for writing!




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Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:46 pm
Gravity says...



Now I feel bad for reading fiction. Great poem :D




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Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:34 pm
Lionblaze25 says...



This was an interesting piece of work. I liked it. It was fascinating that you used emotions to portray this mouthwatering piece.




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Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:01 pm
yubbies21 wrote a review...



Wow! This is really beautiful! It has so much emotion! I feel like I am that character, just a puppet on some strings being jerked around. I'm going to be more careful with my characters from now on! :D

This part was especially gorgeous, such description encased in these words!

Inside the hollow that my writer forgot to fill in, a sound is curled up, and it cannot travel through the pages. Locked inside the shell of adjectives, nouns and forceful verbs that make up my body, there is a voice that was born of realisation, one that was never supposed to exist. It longs to escape, it cannot be quelled, and it stretches itself out into a scream that burns with more desperation than a writer’s words could ever stand to describe, a scream made of little but heat and pain and a longing for the story to end and never restart.

And that sound is me.


The bolded word is spelt wrong.

Like Eloquent Dragon said below, it's so vague that actually coming out and saying
I was a fictional character, living a fictional life built to entertain the malicious.
seems a little pointless. By the end, we can all guess what you are talking about and this kind of ruined the momentum built up.

Keep writing!

yubbies21




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Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:21 am
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EloquentDragon wrote a review...



Hmmm.

I had one, and only one problem with this. This piece is so beautifully vague and surreal... then you (quite blandly) state: "I am a fictional character, living in a fictional world." To me, that killed the flow. It seems sort of thrown in where it doesn't belong, and its overtness is a bit sloppy. This is short enough, there's no reason why you can't expand a bit and lead into that final culminative statement more gradually. Realization rarely strikes like a lightning bolt, as you said in the piece here. ;)

I am a skein of yarn, unravelled and split into a trillion threads. At the end of each thread – at the edge of my universe – there is a reader, pulling me in and trying to make me their own.

I am brittle. I am thin. But I never snap.


Loved that there, btw. Brilliant. Don't see too many people use the word "skein," heh. Loved that imagery.

Also, this sort of reminded me of Ink Heart. Don't know if that was your intention, but it was the first thing I thought of.

Good job on creating such compelling emotion. The pathos is gripping. We can understand and sympathezise, and perhaps this makes us pause and think about the triteness which we submit good literature. Well done, at any rate.

Cheers!
~ED




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Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:47 pm
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beeyaay wrote a review...



every single time i try to write a review for your works, i end up speechless. i feel completely inferior knowing that there is someone out there who has surpassed me in writing and is aiming even higher. i wish i could describe feelings in ways you do, maybe reading more of your works would help. i have respect for you.
*salutes*
#Retires gracefully
this is not a review, as you can guess, i can't write on, i'm not in a good frame of mind to do so, I'm crying on my pillow! :)
"a scream made of little but heat and pain and a longing for the story to end and never restart.

And that sound is me."- This is my best line :*
Love in tears,
Bunie




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Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:47 am
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maroonamorous wrote a review...



Hey Pan!
It's always a pleasure to read your stories.

I totally adore the idea of personifying a fictional character. Though I may sound a little surreal, but it's somewhat like a serious and a lot more wonderful 'toy story' about the fictional characters. I mean, the toy story is fictional too, isn't it?

Since "But Love Hangs So Beautifully" (which happens to be the first story by you that I read), you never fail to impress me.

Another awesome story! I thoroughly loved it.
Indeed, it is something that only 'you' could have written.

~Mar.S.




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Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:19 am
ErinYount wrote a review...



Hi.

"I am brittle. I am thin. But I never snap." was the best line of the piece, for me.

I really liked your piece overall. It's amazing how you've tried to etch the life of a "character". What he feels, what he goes through, with every single reader.

"I am a skein of yarn, unravelled and split into a trillion threads." feels really good too.

In spite of all the love and liking for the piece, I would have liked it better if it hadn't been so much of a hardwork to go through, initially. The first few paragraphs, leading upto the line, "I was a fictional character, living a fictional life built to entertain the malicious", it is a bit tacky. As a reader, you kind of get lost in it, and you have to fin you way again, and again to keep on track with the reading. It's plain hard work to have to do that, and I swear there were times in the read, when I stopped, and scrolled down to see if there were any interesting elements coming up, or not. I even skipped a few paragraphs, read from the above mentioned line, to the end, and then went back to read the thing again.
After the above mentioned line, it flows like molten chocolate, with style and a crisp touch to the text.
As a reader, for me, the initial portion is a disappointment.

I really like the metaphors you've used.

It was a good read.

Keep writing!
-Erin




Panikos says...


Okay, thank you for the criticism, but what do you mean by 'tacky'? What could I do to improve it?



ErinYount says...


By "tacky" I mean something that makes you feel like your tongue is stuck somewhere if you read it aloud. Something that is interrupting the flow of the read.

Maybe try using words to make for a smoother read. That is all. I loved it for everything else.



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Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:20 pm
MysteryMe wrote a review...



Hey there DarkPandemonium! It's MysteryMe, here for a review!

Just want to say... I love, love, LOVE this. The idea of a character in a book suddenly gaining consciousness, and the awareness that they do not exist, is extremely creative, and you just wrote it beautifully. I just admire your way with words. The details you use are great, your figurative language is perfect, and the entire piece really just flows across the page.

What I find funny is that this piece in itself seems to be sort of a paradox. You're writing about a character in a story, when in reality the only story that he/she is in is yours. Not sure if this was intended, but very interesting all the same.

There's nothing bad I could say about this, besides maybe trying to shorten a few of your sentences that were a bit long. Other than that... just perfect. My favorite part was...

"A feeling that my life was being turned over, washed out, restrung and repeated. Like it wasn't mine to control."

Great, great simile. I also liked the ending...

"Inside the hollow that my writer forgot to fill in, a sound is curled up, and it cannot travel through the pages. Locked inside the shell of adjectives, nouns and forceful verbs that make up my body, there is a voice that was born of realisation, one that was never supposed to exist. It longs to escape, it cannot be quelled, and it stretches itself out into a scream that burns with more desperation than a writer’s words could ever stand to describe, a scream made of little but heat and pain and a longing for the story to end and never restart.

And that sound is me."

That was just perfect. Honestly, it was stunning. I can't think of a better way to end it. Amazing job!!!

Well, hope this helped!!! Keep writing! :D




Panikos says...


Thank youu! I do tend to get a little carried away with lengthy sentences, but I'm glad you liked it. :D



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Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:39 pm
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OliveDreams wrote a review...



Howdy DarkPandemonium! I’m here to review your short story this evening :) I will review as I read so that it will make a lot more sense to both me and you! I tend to get a little mixed up otherwise and blindly ramble on!

Here we go!

Love that you’ve inserted a little author’s note. I’m already aware of what you want me to look out for during this review :)

I’m loving your varied sentence length already. It’s good to spice thigns up with a few short, sharp sentences! However, I did notice this sentence;

There was never a single, driving factor that struck me, just a lurking, uneasy feeling that inched its way over my mind much like a weed crawling up a wall – a feeling that my life was being turned over, washed out, restrung and repeated.


COR! It’s a little too long! Maybe try breaking it up a little so that I don’t lose my breath. The best way to see if something doesn’t sound right, is it to read it aloud to yourself before posting.
Oh wow! I didn’t see the ‘I’m actually a character in story’ coming at all! I’m liking this more and more.

I think you could use another word instead of ‘before’ on your second sentence here:

I finally knew why I resented the taste of porridge, and why I felt that I’d choked it down a million times before. I realised why I, whilst staring down the ragged corpse of my murdered mother, always sensed that I’d surveyed the sight before.


So that it’s not repetitive.

Your last two paragraphs are absolutely fantastic! Amazing imagery and you really got inside the head of your subject. Good job!

As for your author's note - I think you got your point across in the last section of this to the point of perfection. Maybe work a little more on the mystery that they are feeling in the first section?

Good luck! I think I may have to tell a few people about this piece... :)

Feel free to PM if you have any more questions!

Olive <3




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Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:24 pm
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BethanyMarieWright wrote a review...



So, wow. Okay, wow.

I really really really loved this. How you managed to capture what a character really is, is fantastic. It's so true, how you've explained it; what a character really is; poised, beautiful, saying the right things at the right time.

I can't say much, to be honest. I can't really pick up on any bad points, so I'll answer your questions in the reader's note instead. 1. It's so fantastically effective - it made me think so much and I was just sitting here (drowning out the Simpsons) thinking 'wow wow wow wow'.

Blatant, maybe. It seems as though by the half way point you're very much forcing on this opinion that the narrator is a character; a player in someone else's game. I think that started from 'a skein of yarn'. Before then, it was absolutely perfect, not too vague at all, don't worry.

I think it was far more than satisfactory. It's like this point here is satisfactory, and then your work is about twenty metres above it.




Panikos says...


Aah, thank you! You flatter me! :) Just a quick question, though: is the blatancy towards the end something I should change?





I went through re-reading it, and I thought that maybe it's not the strongest part of the work. I'd say that it suddenly took this turn, this dark turn, and although I understand what you're trying to say; how a character isn't full, and how there's a part who wants to be its own person, I would probably try and make it slightly lighter. It's not blatant as such, more that there's this sudden change that doesn't entirely fit. It's only 'inside the hollow...' But I'm thinking it could work because of how it's set with this sudden hardcore truth about the characters.



Panikos says...


I see. I did kind of want it to be very sudden and hard-hitting, because it's almost like the rest of the piece is the character's exterior and then the last section is her very angry, confined interior.





I do see that, I definitely do, and I really think this is a fantastic piece, I just thought that the change came quite sudden. Maybe it needs to be a little slower, and move in a little more gently before the BOOM, you know?




Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.
— Albus Dumbledore