An Uneasy Morning.

For original creative work. For the love of Zach, read Rule 30.

Moderator: Kimra

Post Reply
User avatar
LordRetard
The Most Retardedest
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: My Parents' Basement

An Uneasy Morning.

Post by LordRetard »

(new version)

I woke to the sensation of being suspended in mid-air. Instinctively I struggled for the ground, and when I reached forward it occurred to me that I was upside-down, with my face toward the ground, as I clawed at the dirt and sharp stones in front of me. I tried to find my bearings, as I breathed in the thick, strange air; it was impossibly damp and filled with ash. Finally I became aware that my eyes were still closed, and I could not see. I opened them and it stung for a moment, but then I could see the stones that I had grabbed at, through the hazy air that seemed unnervingly thick and foggy. Thrusting my arms toward the ground, I attempted to right myself and stand, but I only spun in place to look at the sky, surrounded by treetops; the air was much cleaner here, although my breathing was still heavy and laboured. Finally I managed to stand on the ground that was behind me, with some difficulty, and realised that I was in the middle of a shallow river, and I had been lying face-first in its polluted water. I reflexively tried to cough up the fluid in my lungs but seemed to have no breathing trouble besides a certain heaviness. Gazing down, I saw that my abdomen had swollen in an unsightly manner; perhaps that was what kept me afloat. Maybe I was sick. I forced myself to climb the riverbank, and in reaching the top I found a nearby street.

I had no idea where to go now; in fact, not only could I not remember what I was doing in a river, I could not remember anything at all. I wandered through the streets aimlessly and watched as people gave me uneasy looks. I looked down; my hair had become filthy, and my clothes were tattered. Eventually someone approached me. I did not recognise his face, but he looked me in the eyes with an alert gaze, and said, "what are you doing here?" It was only at this moment that I realised that I had drowned.
Last edited by LordRetard on Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Cirtur
Licensed Troll Pornographer
Posts: 9964
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:13 pm
Location: Europe
Contact:

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by Cirtur »

When I first read this I didn't realise it was a story, because I thought it was in the General section. I went on to sympathise about your difficult morning.

User avatar
LordRetard
The Most Retardedest
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: My Parents' Basement

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by LordRetard »

My mornings are generally much worse than this.

User avatar
Kimra
He-Man in a Miniskirt
Posts: 6853
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:18 am
Location: meanwhile elsewhere

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by Kimra »

You ready for this? I wouldn't bother commenting if I thought it was crap, so I'm just giving some suggestions that might improve it (or is it just here for compliments, if that's the case I'm sorry for reading it carefully). Don't be offended, I'm being more picky than you would be able to conceive, I never pick my stuff apart this much, but I'm used to people wanting suggestions and the like, so I'm offering them up. Here we go:

"floating in mid-air" To enhance the feeling of alienation, and to make the 'water' more surprising I would recomend avoiding the word floating, and instead use something else. Suspended perhaps?

"Facing the ground" perhaps "Face in the ground" it might have stronger connotations or I may just be making a bad pun (even I don't know).

Why is the air strange or is this his perception of it?

"opened them and it stung" woo hoo a typo (maybe) your eye's they became singular. 'It' can make sense, but because of the more singular meaning I would change it. But it all depends on your purpose with the sentence.

"I pushed the ground to right myself, but I only spun in place to look at the sky, surrounded by treetops." this sentence is awkward because the action is really hard to follow. I'm wondering how pushing 'at' the ground (because unless your moving that ground...) spins you around. Maybe more clarification? Then when he tries to stand it should be 'again' because this is his first attempt. Maybe?

Water in lungs coughing is actually going to be some intense retching. If you want it to be a simple action I would recommend him simply spiting out the taste of the river from his mouth, briefly coughing to check if he's okay or something else like this.

Is he not worried about the swollen abdomen? Does he feel a bit out of reality? Maybe imply it with a throw away two seconds "Distracted I noticed my abdomen has swollen" or any other unassociated word instead of distracted.

How did his hair become filthy if he can't remember anything?

Maybe he can sit, or... anything? wandering the street for no reason seems... pointless. Maybe he's looking for something, a sign, a familiarity, just looking looking. Or perhaps he feels compelled. God I'm being pretentious.

"that I realised that" kill one of the 'that's and the sentence will read nicer.

I'm a bit confused about the pace of it. Are you going for quick sequence, this this this this or a more gradual 'waking' more like yawning and stretching then thinking 'hmm I should get out of bed'? The pace seems a little disjointed.

Overall an interesting beginning that leads to lots of questions, like, how did he die? is he in a town of dead people? why can they see him if they're alive? It's written well but just needs a few extra bits of clarification to make it more reader friendly. Not the answers to those questions, but the few things I pointed out. Answering all questions is boring.

Don't be offended okay? I have a degree in English, and that means I think I know everything - which I don't. So just slap me with a fish and move along if I insulted in anyway.
King Prawn

User avatar
LordRetard
The Most Retardedest
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: My Parents' Basement

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by LordRetard »

I do appreciate a lot of your word changes, because these are the kind of things that I tend to get wrong the first time; particularly, the word "floating", where I should have used the word "suspended", almost certainly. I'll make these changes later. I should clarify one thing to you that's important, though; this is the whole story. I don't mean to continue it at all, and while we know that our narrator has drowned in the river and become filthy, we do not know how or why this happened; in fact, it doesn't even matter. Nor do his actions really make sense, which is, of course, my own personal conceit that I think this is the best way to handle how to write this. It's not what anyone would do, it's what he does, and that's what's important; I guess the easiest way to explain it is, as you said, he is a bit "out of reality", and not thinking or acting clearly. Anyway, I've never been terribly fond of having to explain everything to the reader, which I feel is a detractor. All the same, I normally like a way for readers to figure things out, But this story is definitely not supposed to really make sense. The best way to look at it is as a really terrible dream.

This story actually came to me in the middle of the night in a bout of insomnia, so it's actually one of the more complete and understandable things I've done at this time of day. Pace and repetition of words, I'll have to think about. It bothered me when I wrote it and later typed it, and was hoping that no one would notice my mistakes.

I definitely appreciate the help, though! Not even close to offended. I often get annoyed that so few people are actually willing to offer a really solid, constructive commentary. I'll fix it later today.

User avatar
Kimra
He-Man in a Miniskirt
Posts: 6853
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:18 am
Location: meanwhile elsewhere

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by Kimra »

As with any comments anyone makes about something you've written it's always up to you if you're willing to take them on or not (clearly) but I am glad that you're not offended by anything I wrote. Some people (myself included) will take anything as criticism. Yay for you (I'm not being sarcastic).

Clearly you don't have to explain everything to the readers. I'm all for that, and it often makes better reading. The overall concept of confusion is sound and well played. As an author (well at least I want to be an author) myself I was just suggesting things that I would do to the piece. What's most striking me at the moment is that it's a first person narrative, and I always question myself, so I immediately assume everyone else will... you see the error in my thinking?

I'd like to see what you do with this piece (even if it's only little things, because little things make a big difference sometimes). So when you've edited (if you edit) please post it again. :D

Cheers!
King Prawn

User avatar
LordRetard
The Most Retardedest
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: My Parents' Basement

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by LordRetard »

(old version)

I woke to the sensation of floating in mid-air. Instinctively I struggled for the ground, and when I reached forward I realised that I was upside-down, facing the ground, as I clawed at the dirt and sharp stones in front of me. I tried to find my bearings, as I breathed in the thick, strange air. Finally I became aware that my eyes were closed. I opened them and it stung for a moment, but then I could see the stones that I had grabbed at, through the hazy air. I pushed the ground to right myself, but I only spun in place to look at the sky, surrounded by treetops. I tried to stand, with some difficulty, and realised that I was in the middle of a shallow river, and I had been lying face-first in its polluted water. I reflexively coughed up the fluid in my lungs but seemed to have no breathing trouble besides a slight heaviness in my chest. My abdomen has swollen, and it occurred to me that that may have been what was keeping me afloat. I forced myself to climb the riverbank to find a nearby street.

I had no idea where to go now; in fact, not only could I not remember what I was doing in a river, I could not remember anything at all. I wandered the streets and people gave me uneasy looks. I looked down; my hair had become filthy, my clothes tattered. Eventually someone approached me. I did not recognise his face, but he looked me in the eyes and said, "what are you doing here?" It was at this moment that I realised that I had drowned.

User avatar
Kimra
He-Man in a Miniskirt
Posts: 6853
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:18 am
Location: meanwhile elsewhere

Re: An Uneasy Morning.

Post by Kimra »

Awesome!

To me this second draft seems so much more emotive and fluid. I like what you chose to change, and what you decided to keep. Great work. :D
King Prawn

Post Reply