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  1. #1
    Conor Beaulieu

    One more try at First Chapter

    Alright, I ended up just adding in a dialogue in the middle of the first chapter, a good sized one. I'm sorry for doing this thrice, but I feel like if I can get the feel of what's "right" down with the first chapter, I can replicate it in the rest of the book relatively easily, even though I have 10 chapters already >_<

    I think I balanced out the internal monologue, even though the first several paragraphs still have no dialogue, this dialogue I've added is an attempt to rectify that. My only fear is that it's too pretentious to have it coming from an 18 year old kid.

    *Starting a few sentences before the dialogue, otherwise would be TL;DR material*

    ....how many times those repetitive old ideas have been carved into its face. I bet if I ran my hands over it, I could tell you what it said. Like braille. Truths so self-evident the blind could see them. I listen to them for a while, the teacher and the students. She pitches question after question at them. Underhand. They hit it out of the park every time, just what she wants to hear. Its fascinating to watch, a machine building and rebuilding itself. Every year, with every new crop of heads. Fascinating and a little scary. I slip out of my seat and head out the door; I've seen enough.
    I'm barely out the door when I hear my name from down the hall. It's one of the deans. I let out a little sigh and lean back against the wall, resting my head against the cool tile, and wait for him to get to me. “Where the hell do you think you're going? You can't be leaving again, first period isn't even over.” I just look at him, he seems more angry than he should be, and kind of worn out; exhausted. I feel sort of bad that I've been such a bother to him over my high school years, so much of a nuisance, but it really wasn't intentional. It's just who I am, and for some reason who I am just doesn't sit well with some people. “I was going home, sir, I don't really feel all that well.” He puffs up a little, and I can almost see the speech building up inside of him. Boiling over. “You don't even take this seriously, do you? You've spent all four years here slacking off and doing whatever the hell you feel like. You've got a brain most kids would kill for, hard working kids, and you throw it all away. Do you even care what happens in your life? What are you going to do when you flunk out of high school, how the hell are you ever going to be happy if you can't do anything more than flip burgers in some grease joint down the street?” I look at him for a while, and again I just feel bad for him. I know I should probably be angry, or ashamed, but I'm not. “Well, sir, you got through high school, right?” He gives me this shrewd little look, wondering why I'm asking, “What do you think? Of course I did.” “And college, right?”
    Again, that little flaring of the nostrils, the raised eyebrow, “Yeah. Twice.” I think a little, and he sits there, for some reason not interrupting me. “Are you happy?”, I ask, and my voice is more honest than I intended, I think a part of me comes out in it. I really need him to say yes, but he doesn't. Instead he looks me over for a long time, searching for any trace of sarcasm, any sign I'm mocking him. When he doesn't find any, he sets his mouth in this grim little line, “No, kid, I don't think I am.” I let out a heavy sigh, and lean my head back to where it was against the cold tiles, closing my eyes, “Well, I'm sorry sir, but I don't want to be anything but happy with my life. I've been floating through these years because I look around at your generation, and mostly I see unhappy people. Regretful people. Then I look around at my generation, and I see us going down the same path. Nothing new, nothing different. No offense, sir, but I don't want to be like you. And no, I don't know what it is I do want to be, but somehow I don't think I'll find it in any textbook or lecture or classroom. We're supposed to be learning all these things about the world, all these little secrets to clue us in about how things fit together, but when it comes down to it, we don't even know enough to live the lives we want. Science teaches us how we breathe and live, but not why we bother. History shows us our fathers' mistakes, and all we do is repeat them. English and French and German and Italian and all those other languages are supposed teach us how to speak, and yet most of us never tell the people around us exactly how we feel. I'm sorry sir, but I can't do that, I can't be that. I'm sorry.”
    I take a deep breath and let it out slowly; I didn't really intend to say that much. I don't think I knew it myself before I told him. My eyes open to find his far away, thinking of something I can't even begin to imagine. When he finally looks down at me, his face is a mask, “Go home, kid. I don't want to see you around here for the rest of the day.” I give him a little nod and shrug myself away from the wall, turning down the hall. Halfway down, I turn to find him still standing where I left him. “It's not too late,” I say, just loud enough for him to hear. He looks up at me, but I'm already miles away. I don't look back as the doors to the building swing shut for a final time. I can almost hear the steady hum of machinery behind me.
    Back home I sink onto my bed and try to think. Its hard these days...

    So yeah. I promise to not be snappy. Cross my heart.

  2. #2
    Smiling Curmudgeon

    Re: One more try at First Chapter


    I'm not sure I'll devote the effort to comment. But you seem to be calming down. That's a good thing.

    For most of us to take time to comment, you gotta fix the formatting. It's all one big block of text. Virtually unreadable.

    Post it again. Add an extra space between every paragraph, even though it may look fine in your Word document. (This site was constructed when Herbert Hoover was President. It's as antiquated as Ayn Rand. That'll bring several folks out of the woodwork, pitchforks and flaming brands raised high. )

    I know it seems counterintuitive to add the extra space. Trust me.


  3. #3
    Conor Beaulieu

    Re: One more try at First Chapter

    K, thanks. One second.

  4. #4
    Conor Beaulieu

    Re: One more try at First Chapter

    And for the record, Ayn Rand is arrogant, pretentious, and of a self-serving mindset.

    I love her.

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