Print Story Next time, last time
By ana (Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 09:28:18 AM EST) WFC, WFC3, post-mortem (all tags)
Perhaps last time should have been the last time.

Musings on the composition of one of my less successful story efforts.

No known connection, but... For those worried by yesterday's diary, the cat came back about 9 last night, a wee bit skittish but otherwise undamaged. We're keeping him in for a while.

First, the comments:
  • Gedvondur: No idea what’s going on, or why. Characters are not compelling, and I feel nothing during or after the reading other than “what the hell?” While it seems to be popular to be mysterious with these stories, I gotta say giving someone a little clue wouldn’t hurt.

  • fleece: okay

  • moi: Surreal nightmare of a broken man, who's not even very coherent.

  • toxicfur: The language in this one is incredibly evocative, and the atmosphere created is the most powerful part of the story. The characters feel a little slippery, and it would have been nice to get something a bit more concrete about Eli. His grief does come through almost painfully. I must admit that I really don't understand the plot, though.

  • scrymarch: I picked up the Biblical vibe - all Hebrew names? Oh apparently Susan's Egyptian - but ended up a bit confused about the exact setting. It worked, but I felt like I was missing something the story wasn't designed for me to miss.

  • Kellnerin: I confess I was confuzzled by this one. I think it would have helped if it was a little more grounded in time and place (even if an imaginary one), and some more gaps filled in, even if obliquely.

  • 2 plus 3 equals 5: Um, okay. There was too much missing for me to get a clue.

So the consensus seems to be something along the lines of um, huh? Must try to put more context in.

The idea was that there was this broken down old guy who'd been involved in The Cause (whatever that was) when he was younger, and in one of their actions (I'm imagining some kind of commando raid, assassination plot, something like that), they'd gotten caught. He'd rather not remember the rest, though he can't really do anything else.

He's now sitting opposite Susan, who's the daughter of the woman, Naomi, who'd been killed in the aftermath of that disastrous day.

A few words about what context there is... There's a hint that the conspirators had come in from outside, perhaps as missionaries. Which might explain the crucifiction imagery. The descriptions of the places involved are purposely intended to be middle-eastern, and the names Biblical, more or less, if modernized a bit. It might be Jerusalem. Or Masada. It might be in the present day; it might be in Roman times, but that brings up thorny problems like the freedom of a slave to act.

Truth is, I'm not sure. And that's most of the problem. The author must always know more about the story than appears on the page. It would probably help if I'd used other things I wrote during the period as context, though it would have involved rewriting them, something I don't seem to be able to motivate myself to do. Thirty minutes' writing does not a successful story make.

Susan has talked him into getting involved again. Her resemblance to her mother at the same age is rather striking, and it kind of cuts through the fog that is Eli's grief, guilt, what have you. Pain. She wants his help; she also wants to know what happened Back Then.

He chokes on his reply; the idea is that the captors drew lots, and made the one group crucify the other, and watch while they died. Which was the most horrible thing I could come up with during the nightmare what was composing this piece. So much blood. So very much blood.

But enough reminiscence. The time to act has come; he can feel it. So they're up and running, getting into position. Best not think too much about the for what? part of it. And he's overcome by the crosses against the sky, feeding flashbacks to that last time. Until Susan scoops him up and hurries him onward to meet his fate, now, in this time.

Obscure enough for you?

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Next time, last time | 1 comment (1 topical, 0 hidden)
mixed up by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 10:01:27 AM EST
Huh. Somehow I got the relationship between Susan and Naomi scrambled. I thought Susan was the elder incarnation, and he was talking to daughter Naomi in the present. Which made the last part even more confusing, as that totally twisted up the timeline. Still ... could have used more framing to hold things in place. It's hard to write from a nonlucid POV.

That you and I tied for last place suggests, I guess, that badly written yet anvillicious rates the same as well written but obscure. I think I should have claimed last place solo, but since that wasn't the will of the people, at least I'm in good company.

Do not misuse.

Next time, last time | 1 comment (1 topical, 0 hidden)