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onions
November 15th, 2005, 06:00 AM
I'd love to hear your opinions and criticism on this.

It's meant to be read out loud and deals with a common curse known as:

Writers' Block

Juliet cradles the body of her lover. She weeps over the seeping purple hue that marrs his face and body, and tries to keep the stiffening limbs from leaving her, but to her wild distress she fails, as she has failed so often before. So Juliet swings around. Her eyes flash, and her hair flames. Her skin is stretched paper thin over the bones of her face as she speaks: Already it is breaking out in telltale discolouration of its own,
"You bastard!" she says.
"You bastard,", she curses God himself, it seems.
"God?" , she hoots. "You flatter yourself, godlet. I see you and I know you well. You could have done anything with me. You could have made me rich and full of health and power. Or, you could have placed me in your time and made me, what I see your time has plenty of: a scientist, a freedom fighter, a politician. Instead, you’ve stuck me in a world where people never wash because they believe that misery makes them pure? Where an infestation of rats with fleas kills off half the population? Where bones rot in their bodies because they don’t get enough vitamins and sunlight? And then, and then you take from me this man whom you have made me love. And all in the name of, what have you called it: "historical fantasy".
...
"Yes, you’ve written that correctly. Don’t hide behind your pens and sheets. Don’t try and cross that out either, because I haven’t finished yet."
Juliet is a figure in a fairy tale. She is Lilith, she is the white witch of my dreams, she is an archetype, good God. How can she be talking the way she is?
"Go figure."
Juliet, what are you saying? My God, I’m writing nonsense here. I’ll have to go over this first thing tomorrow and write this draft again. Shows you what too much coffee’ll do to you, eh?
"Go on praying", says Juliet and there‘s menace in her paper thin smile. Juliet is beautiiful, because I made her so, in all the ways that I will never be. She is intelligent and bold as I could make her and she knows all I know, speaks, too, like I speak, and she walks – she steps – up to the copper mirror on the wall. She looks into it, straight at me. And she never blinks.
"So, you have made me a witch, godlet. I’ll make you feel the curse of a witch. Listen here, you behind the mirror, you, begetter: May your eyes be forever dead before the wonders of the world, as I am soon dead. May your ears never hear again the secrets of the heart. May our hand tremble and fail before the empty pages of your mind. Let this be your curse."
And I stumble away from the page and the mirror and Juliet with her flaming red hair, and my fingers stiffen and I these are the last words that I will ever –

tielserrath
November 15th, 2005, 12:15 PM
woohoooooo!

(I liked it)

Rira
November 15th, 2005, 04:30 PM
That was very cool. Very interesting. I often feel guilty when i make my character's suffer...at this moment im working hard to develope a character so when i kill her it will give my main character enough pain and anguish to continue on with my story...cant help but feel bad, you know? Anyway, your White Witch seems to have cursed me as well, or my own witch...cause im suffering from some serious writer's block. Ive been digging through some old stuff...looking for inspiration...i found some old poems i posted...
anyway, back to your peice...
i really like how its written from your point of view...a writer's point of view, of your character cursing you out... like something Stephen King would write...a slightly unstable writer. And my mind is flying all over the place, or id give you a better critique. anyway, its not nonsense. I think you should submit it, its very creative. And everyone can relate to it. In short-I loved it.

onions
November 16th, 2005, 04:20 AM
Thank you, Tielserrath and Rira! I'm really relieved. I was afraid that what seemed so clear to me would seem like gibberish to others. I was hampered by the fact that I only wanted to write down what the author-person, driven by the need to find out more, would write down himself - no description of the author from a third point of view.

Rira, I know what you mean. I once I cried for three days straight because I killed off my main character. Have you ever had characters refuse to do something you want them to do? Happens to me all the time. So this is when I thought of this story.

I gave this to a friend of mine and she just didn't get it. And then, when I explained it to her, she said "Oh, it's just like Sophie's World!". Another friend of mine said the same thing. And though I did read this book a few years ago, I seriously can't remember what it's about.
Bother. I have to read my piece aloud tonight infront of 25 people I don't know, everyone of which will probably think I've been plagiarising Sophie's World.

Rira
November 16th, 2005, 03:11 PM
Good luck! I'm sure you'll do wonderfully!

Expendable
November 17th, 2005, 02:07 AM
Expendable smirks, her chin in her hand as she scrolls through the story on the laptop screen.

"It's not bad," she says grudgingly, glancing up at you. "Very nice touch, getting your character to curse the writer. But you don't want to hear how great it is, do you? I know what you really want."

Expendable leans forward and whispers softly in your ear, "You want someone to whisper 'Thou art mortal' in your ear and bring you back down to the earth, don't you?"

Her right eyebrow arches slightly, then she straightens up.
"Let me get this straight, ok? I'm not an editor, and this is purely my opinion. You don't have to do anything I say. It's just something I want you to look at. It's the begining of your story."



Juliet cradles the body of her lover. She weeps over the seeping purple hue that marrs his face and body, and tries to keep the stiffening limbs from leaving her, but to her wild distress she fails, as she has failed so often before.

"This first line is a good intro, pulls you in. But this second one? It seems kinda clumsy to me. This easily could have been two, maybe three sentences. Look at your 'and' and your 'but' joins here. And the last bit - '..as she has failed so often before' - It's no wonder she curses you."



So Juliet swings around. Her eyes flash, and her hair flames. Her skin is stretched paper thin over the bones of her face as she speaks: Already it is breaking out in telltale discolouration of its own,
"You bastard!" she says.
"You bastard,", she curses God himself, it seems.

"'Her skin is stretched paper-thin over the bones of her face as she speaks:' - take out that colon. Please! - '...Already it is breaking out in telltale discoloration of its own,'."

Expendable buries her face in her free hand, then peers at you over the top.
"Please promise me your English teacher will never see this," she begs. "That sentence is a cry for help that would break her heart. You've got to sit down and re-write it, I'm begging you!"

"The rest of this," she pauses, waving at the screen, "is good. A little flair, some color, very nice."

"So where's my hot chocolate?" Expendable asks, leaning back. "And no skimping on the mini-marshmellows!"

onions
November 17th, 2005, 04:16 AM
Lol!
Do you always do critiques in third person, or was it a reaction to the story?
I'm a bit confused about some of your punctuation criticism. Okay, I understand when you want shorter sentences. (I'm even kind of surprised you didn't scream bloody murder at the last run on sentence).
But what's wrong with the "failed so often before" part of it? I seriously don't know.
And what's wrong with the colon?
I'm not a native English speaker, and long, convoluted sentences come naturally to me. The things I read myself tend to have three subclauses buried in a main clause (plus, the punctuation is very different). When I read aloud, I tend to break long sentences up with pauses.
So when I read what I'd written it didn't seem particularly tortured to me and I'd be grateful for further elucidation, particularly of those two questions above.
I'm glad you liked the rest of it. I take it the sentences were clearer?

Jandu
November 17th, 2005, 04:34 AM
Loved it Onions!!!.. GREAT RANT!!!!

Dawnstorm
November 17th, 2005, 07:38 AM
I'm not a native English speaker, and long, convoluted sentences come naturally to me.

You're referring to the German language, aren't you? Strict punctuation marks marching through stretches of sentence, semi-colons are quasi-extinct, but colons are alive and well and particularly fond of direct speeches...

Ah, Kafka, I think, gave me a sentence that went on for three pages!

I'm Austrian, too.

Nice piece, never read Sophie's world, but from what I read about it, it's quite different from your piece. Might as well compare it to "At Swim, Two Birds", which I've read. It isn't like your piece, either. All three contain intra-book communication, though. ;)

And shame on you for not giving Ex her hot chocolate! :mad:

onions
November 17th, 2005, 10:12 AM
Oh, jeez!

I forgot about the chocolate. I'm the world's worst hostess.
There you are, Ex, here's a nice hot chocolate made with real chocolate warmed up in steam, with plenty of milk and topped with a generous helping of whipped cream (hand whipped, not sprayed).
And you'll have to add the marshmallows yourself I'm afraid, because marshmallows in chocolate sounds positively indecent.

Oh, and Dawnstorm, you're welcome too, of course. (Have you read E.T.A. Hoffmann? If anything, I was trying for his kind of story).

onions

ETA: Jandu, thanks for the encouragement.