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Journal - Chapter One

by Senmaster


The title of book is still a work in progress, and I probably won't have one set in stone until after the novel has been completed. But as the current title would suggest, this chapter is meant to be a journal entry. The original purpose of this chapter was to begin the novel with a little spice, but I soon realized that the surprise I had in store for the ending of the chapter is quite predictable. But I also realized that the chapter also provides good insight into the personality of the character, and gives him some voice in the process as well.

Please, tear this chapter apart. I would really like to finish writing this book by the end of the summer break, but in order to do so, it needs to have a solid foundation. Find grammatical errors, gaps in logic, and ways I can improve the chapter overall. I do know that the chapter is a little more philosophical than most and with much less fast-paced action, so please let me know if you like that, and if not, how I could possibly improve this chapter by incorporating a little more "action" to it. 

Chapter One

Memories are the only things that humans can make that will last forever. Buildings will crumble, bridges will collapse, and governments will topple over. People will die, ideas will fade, and languages will be forgotten. Only memories will never disappear.

At least that was what Emma was always telling me. 

She had always been the more philosophical of the two of us. One of the philosophies she lived by was making the most out of life. She was optimistic at every opportunity given to her. With it, she wanted to remember every day of her life, or at least never let them go. She truly believed in keeping records of her life. She would write in her diary every day, and it was her favorite thing to do before going to bed. But she also loved to take pictures and would keep them in a binder. It was her way of capturing the memories she made and never letting them go.

Of course, being the skeptic I am, I had to challenge her idea. I believed that memories can and do disappear. My argument relied on the fact that there comes a point in life when a person's brain is no longer capable of recollecting memories. And then , of course, there's death, too. So obviously, memories could not last forever.

But as clever as she is, Emma had to prove me wrong. She would say that memories don't just live on through us. They live on through the people around us: the people we decide to share them with. Hardly does a person ever make important memories on their own. Most activities are done with people, sometimes just one other person and other times with larger groups. And then there's just just human nature that urges us to share our experiences. We never keep any memories to ourselves; it may take us a while to open ourselves up to the world, but eventually we won't be able to restrain even the worst of memories.

And sometimes these memories are captured and shared through different mediums: journals, diaries, and, more recently, photographs and videos we decided to leave behind. All of these are extremely resistant to time. It's for this reason that Emma chose to hold on to her diary and photographs . She absolutely admired the priceless artifacts that had resisted the test of time and offered us insight into the lives of those who had lived decades or even centuries ago.

Emma was the one person who consistently reminded me to live life to the fullest and to create as many memories as possible - she would make a point of reminding me daily. She would even urge me to write in a journal so that I would never forget the important events or people in life. Having only lived seventeen years, I had never really understood how it could even be possible to forget the people I love the most.

It wasn't until now that I decided to heed her advice, but in part I feel like it may already be too late for that. I don't know how much time I have in this life, but I don know that I have already missed years worth of memories I could have safeguarded in a journal. Part of the reason I hadn't listened before was that I had never truly accepted her belief that memories live on forever. And I still haven't. I had never really found any good reason to spend time reflecting on the past, especially when I know that I would hardly go back and read what I've written.

But the truth is, the only thing that matters is that I wrote down my memories and that they're there.

I guess what really changed my mind were the circumstances. Ironic how I don't listen to what Emma tells me to do until after she's left. I had known for a while that Emma would eventually leave, but that was just a fact of life. Circumstances always draw people apart. I think that's why people are so afraid of change. It draws them apart from the familiar.

So I finally decided that I would start writing in this journal and would record every event in my life. Somewhere down the journey of life, I would come to truly understand the importance of every memory I make and every person I come to make them with. But just being honest with myself, I just don't want to be forgotten, nor do I ever want to forget the people who made a difference in my life. We all just want to be remembered for something. Anything.

I finally decided that I would begin my journal today. I would have to begin somewhere, and now is as good a time as ever. I don't think I can continue to push it off because I have finally come to understand that every minute in life matters.

Today I just spent my day lying in bed - well it used to belong to someone else, but for now it's mine. I know what you're thinking. I'm just another teenager with nothing better to do with my life. Alright, that may have been true a while ago... but like I said, the circumstances changed. Now I was just reflecting on the past, thinking for hours.

My goal has been to wrap my brain around the truth, soak it all in, and finally come to accept it. The circumstances in life had now changed, and I had taken even the simplest of memories for granted. Every second that I had spent with family or friends was priceless, yet I set them aside as if they were nothing. Now, I am flooded with regrets. I should have embraced every moment of a normal life that I had. I was so ungrateful.

I just have no idea of what to do anymore. I just got stuck, and now my mind is completely fried from all the processing it has done over the past few hours. I got stuck between a state of disbelief and sorrow. I know the truth yet I haven't brought myself to accept it.

But I must accept that I miss Emma. What frustrates me the most is that I didn't even get to say goodbye before she died. I lost my best friend.


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Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:46 pm
FelixKing says...



When do we get Chapter 2?




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Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:46 pm
FelixKing says...






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Points: 439
Reviews: 2

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Wed May 18, 2016 12:22 am
Gokai says...



Dear Senmaster...
(please take note right now that anything I say is meant to be constructive criticism and not harmful. I just want to see you succeed... Also, as a side note, my ramblings are based on what an author and fan of thriller books, I may or may not be a tiny bit biased).
I enjoyed chapter One. However, I thought that the beginning was a little bit dry. Whether that is because I am a strict fan of thrillers and action novels or otherwise even I can't tell.
Also, there is a slight grammar error here: "Hardly does a person ever make important memories on their own. Most activities are done with people, sometimes just one other person and other times with larger groups. And then there's just just..." <---------------

Third, is this the beginning of a book, or just setup... Not sure, again, I am only 15, and am not the brightest flower in the garden but still I found myself a tad bit confused.

Lastly, I think that the beginning could definitely use a hook. Or maybe you could add a wrenching prologue, your choice...




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Points: 439
Reviews: 2

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Wed May 18, 2016 12:22 am
Gokai wrote a review...



Dear Senmaster...
(please take note right now that anything I say is meant to be constructive criticism and not harmful. I just want to see you succeed... Also, as a side note, my ramblings are based on what an author and fan of thriller books, I may or may not be a tiny bit biased).
I enjoyed chapter One. However, I thought that the beginning was a little bit dry. Whether that is because I am a strict fan of thrillers and action novels or otherwise even I can't tell.
Also, there is a slight grammar error here: "Hardly does a person ever make important memories on their own. Most activities are done with people, sometimes just one other person and other times with larger groups. And then there's just just..." <---------------

Third, is this the beginning of a book, or just setup... Not sure, again, I am only 15, and am not the brightest flower in the garden but still I found myself a tad bit confused.

Lastly, I think that the beginning could definitely use a hook. Or maybe you could add a wrenching prologue, your choice...




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Tue May 17, 2016 6:11 pm
RippleGylf wrote a review...



I just have to say, I absolutely love this piece. Sure, the twist at the end felt a bit arbitrary, but everything leading up to that was wonderful. I guess my biggest problem with that bit was how bluntly you put it at the end after being very cautious about the subject earlier. Try to be consistent. Overall, very believable and heartfelt. I cannot wait to see where you go with this. Keep writing! :D




Senmaster says...


Thank you Ripple Gylf for this review. I am very happy that you liked this, and I will definitely edit the ending so that it's a little more consistent. Thanks again!




find your aesthetic and flaunt it
— manilla