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  1. #1
    Conor Beaulieu
    Guest

    Repost better format


    .......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.


    Double spaced format didn\'t transfer over, so I cut it up into more paragraphs. Thanks cur.



  2. #2
    Lea Zalas
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Sounds pretty good. It's a good start and when you've proofed and edited it until you think you're going to go crazy I think it will sparkle. I'm not going to look at the grammar or punctuation since I'm not good at trying to figure out more than a sentence or two at a time, I'll leave that to those who are more knowledgeable than I am.

    I don't think it sounds pretentious for an 18-year-old if that 18-year-old is a kid who's been through a lot in life. JMHO.

    Lea

  3. #3
    Conor Beaulieu
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Thanks Lea, it's good to hear that it doesn't come off as pretentious, was worried about that with this MC.

  4. #4
    Lea Zalas
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Personally, I like to see a young character who can actually think and reason.

    Lea

  5. #5
    Smiling Curmudgeon
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Conor,

    I tried to read this version.

    I'm not busting your chops.

    The formatting is still all messed up. I didn't do a good job of explaining earlier.

    When someone speaks, that's nearly always a new paragraph. (There are exceptions, but we don't need to get into 'em at this point.)

    When another character replies, thazz a new paragraph.

    When you go back to narrative, another paragraph.

    When someone speaks again, new paragraph.

    When you go back to narrative again, new paragraph.

    And like that.

    Wouldn't it be worth an hour or two to learn basics such as these?

    Again, I'm not trying to whack you upside the head.

    Hope this helps.

    Feel free to ignore.

    Cur

  6. #6
    Conor Beaulieu
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Not worth an hour, but worth the 20 seconds it just took me to read your post. I understand now, that has never been laid out to me. I will do such in the future.

    Should I repost again? I hate spamming. Wish there was a "delete post" option.

  7. #7
    Smiling Curmudgeon
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Conor,

    "Not worth and hour, but worth the 20 seconds..."

    Do you have any idea how flippant and condescending that sounds? I recall you replying to Jeanne that you do think about your responses, and then decide they're what you mean.

    Do you give a rip?

    There are basic things you need to learn about writing. Do ya' bleeve you can do so in 20-second increments?

    Would it be worth your time to actually sit down and read a bit about the mechanics of writing? Grammar and other inconsequential nonsense? How to build tension? Etc?

    Yes, you've irritated me once more. Yort that I am, I came back to try to help. Did so 'cuz there's a promising kernel in your writing.

    Prolly be a good idea to start a new thread. This one's still too hard to parse.

    Cur

  8. #8
    Conor Beaulieu
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    Uh, I'm sorry, but I don't think it would take me any time at all to understand the formatting, now that's you've laid it out. Just saying it's simple, didn't mean to be condescending.

    I'm being less defensive, please be less sensitive. Not everything I say is a jab.


    Anyway, I'll reformat it.

  9. #9
    Smiling Curmudgeon
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format


    Fair enough, Conor. Good reply.

    I'm over being cranky at you.

    I'm at the age where the worst that'll happen is I'll fall over an' die.

    There are very smart people here. (Ah ain't talkin' 'bout me.) Do your best to listen to them.

    I mean the following seriously,

    Cheers,

    Cur

  10. #10
    Conor Beaulieu
    Guest

    Re: Repost better format

    =P Thanks.

    Reformatted it. Again. Hope it's easier to read.

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