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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:12 am

The sun shone through sinister Rocky evergreens, glittering ominously on the rushing water of the mountain stream. It blinded from both above and below, reflected in this aquatic highway. The light blue skies of spring laughed at the small world below them, even at the tragedy of imminent, approaching death.

The raft was accelerating. Ahead – a cliff. There, the earth fell off and abandoned the water to plummet over a hundred feet into jagged, stony fingertips at the waterfall’s base.

There was no stopping it – the precipice of the mountain cliff was quickly approaching. Doom was near. The drop would kill anything on the raft. Anything that was not already dead.

Man’s creation battled for his life against the infallible forces of nature. The raft teetered on the waves, pushed one way and the other by scrambling, frantic feet enclosed in tough army boots. Nothing could be done.

For a fraction of a flickering moment, the raft paused on the very edge of life, its descent into madness impeded by a stray rock. But the water persevered. The old raft swayed on the smooth stone, swept out a final arc through the air poised over the cliff-edge, and disappeared into the abyss below.

Myriads of crows rose as one from the surrounding evergreens, roused by the reverberated cry, a yell of despair ripped from the very souls of three condemned humans. The eerie sound bounced for minutes from one indifferent cliff to another, settling down with the morning dust.

Such was the end of three brave lives.


Last edited by Owle Gray on Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:26 am

OK, I should explain.

I am trying to describe a people-situation without mentioning the people. This is my first try; I picked a dramatic scene with a whole twisted subtext (i.e. to me, there's a body on the raft, the victim of the other three, but you aren't supposed to know that). The idea of people stories without people has been tagging at my brain for some time now, but it's hard. Writing this was kind of like imagining a scene on TV with the sound muted. Try it: it feels WEIRD.

Consequently, and because this was virtually a first draft, and I posted it just so I could cease torturing my brain and go to sleep, and because I cut it up so many times I can recite part of it by heart, it's pathetically bad. PLEASE let me know how bad. but most importantly, I need to know how I'll deal with the genre - I don't care much about the piece, thus...

I NEED:
What did you think of when you read it?
How much did you see of the scene / didn't you see of the scene?
How much was repetitive /useless/pointless/unnecessary?
What did you think the story of the people on the raft was? Did it matter?
Was there rhythm?
Was there sound? (weird, I know, but there wasn't any when I wrote... >.>)
The aspect itself: more of this, or not?

Any feedback would be tremendously appreciated. Smile


Last edited by Owle Gray on Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:35 am

OK, it's bothering me:

over a hundred feet is not a lot: BUT Yellowstone falls, in the rockies is about 300 feet.

thousand feet sounds better, but I'd be giving myself artistic licence: Mt. Alfred in BC has Alfred Creek Falls, at more than 2 000 ft, but it's nowhere near the Rockies.

I've edited it to read one way and the other, and now I'm just confused and need your help (welcome to my OCD world: I can't sleep because of this) Mad .
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Dark S3cret
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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:39 am

So make it 300 feet? Although I agree in that a thousand sounds much more terrifying and realistic and dramatic.

What did you think of when you read it?
The title. Very Happy Also it reminds me of this waterfall we reached after we spent six hours hiking, although there were no jagged deadly rocks that wanted that kill you.

How much did you see of the scene / didn't you see of the scene?
I think you have a good balance of explicit and implicit details. I knew enough of what was going on to be able to enjoy the piece without thinking "omg what's happening" but also did not know about certain details, which made it more intruiging.

How much was repetitive /useless/pointless/unnecessary?
None of it, from what I can tell. You move on with the details fairly quickly, so there is no heavyweight description that ladens the piece and inhibits its natural flow <-- see what I did there! heh. Although stylistically, I find the small paragraphs detract from its unity and sort of makes the story stumble a little as it ends/breaks, then has to rebuild itself up only to be cut short again. I think it'd be interesting if you made one really huge honking paragraph, because it'd reflect the idea of the waterfall raging, the water pushing, unrelentless and there is no stopping their imminent doom.

What did you think the story of the people on the raft was? Did it matter?
Not really. Again with the explicit/implicit thing... you could add a story if you really wanted to/if it bothered you that they didn't, but I strongly believe that alot of things should be left unsaid in life, and this is a case where it would be better if you kept their story a mystery.

Was there rhythm?
... mmm. Hard one. I like to think so, but to be honest, when I read it, I didn't notice one. Also, just looking back, the rhythm would be very inconsistent because you have some long, intricate (and may I say beautiful) sentences (imagery/metaphors = WIN) which are heavy in contrast with the short phrases sprinkled here and there in the piece.

Was there sound?
I can totally imagine sound. But that's me liking waterfalls. So...


Last edited by Dark S3cret on Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:29 pm

The variety of syntax was intentional: I tried to mimic that toggling between the indifferent sunny scenery descriptions, and the panic on the raft. I think my problem is I am still so attached to: 'I should talk about the people' that I needed to have a simulacrum in the place of choppy dialogue.

I think I'll go with thousand Very Happy Now that I confessed my lie.

To be honest, I was afraid of scrunching it into one woning paragraph: this forced me to be succinct. Although I think I'll change it now that I read your comment.

So.... More of this, or not?
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Dark S3cret
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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:00 pm

Oh okay. Very Happy Well as long as it was intentional. Because it being intentional means that you know what you're doing so...
MM! Simulacrum, yumyum. I love your vocab.

Sweeet. I concur.

It's purely a stylistic preference. It's fine the way it is, if you like it this way.

What do you mean? More as in a continuation or more pieces in this style?
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:05 pm

More pieces of people without people. This is just a 'hey, let's give this a test drive' run.

And about my vocab: eloquence occurs only when I'm stoned, concussed, or sleep deprived.
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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:10 pm

D: ... so, all the time then? Razz
OOOO: YOU DO DRUGS???
OMFG.
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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:11 pm

And yeah. Definitely go for more. Not many people do it and it'd be interesting to see this style perfected.
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:31 pm

Define: Drugs.

Define: Obsession.

Define: Addiction.

It's a scary world we live in. >.>

^ BTW, that kind of - um - slipped out.
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:32 pm

I don't. In case aliens are tracking this forum.
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The Blue Box

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:34 am

[...] The light blue skies of spring laughed at the small world below them, even at the tragedy of imminent, approaching {I feel that this is superfluous given the 'imminent'} death.

The raft was accelerating. Ahead – a cliff. There, {I don't really feel this is necessary... maybe you could join it to the other sentence with a 'where'?} the earth fell off and abandoned the water to plummet over a hundred feet {not sure this is necessary - kind of cuts the flow between the nicely tense words of 'plummet' and 'jagged'} into jagged, stony fingertips at the waterfall’s base.

[...]

For a fraction of a flickering moment, the raft paused on the very edge of life, its descent into madness impeded by a stray rock. But the water persevered. The old raft{I feel like you've said 'raft' a lot here. Maybe you could find a synonym for this particular instance?} swayed on the smooth stone, swept out a final arc through the air poised over the cliff-edge, and disappeared into the abyss below.

A myriads of crows rose as one from the surrounding evergreens, roused by the reverberated cry, a yell of despair ripped from the very souls of three condemned humans. The eerie sound echoed for minutes between one indifferent cliff and another, settling down with the morning dust.

Such was the end of three brave lives.




What did you think of when you read it?
A scene from a movie... not any particular movie, just some dramatic western or something.

How much did you see of the scene / didn't you see of the scene?
Erm... I think I saw most of it. I'm not sure I'd know if anything was lacking, because I think my imagination would have filled in the blanks. But it was mostly all there - except the people. I did see people, but they weren't very 'fleshed-out', as it were - not very important.

How much was repetitive /useless/pointless/unnecessary?
Please see edits above.

What did you think the story of the people on the raft was? Did it matter?
It didn't matter. The piece was just a snapshot of a moment. Perhaps there was some intrigue, but for the piece to work, no more information was necessary. One might only think about why the people were on the raft after reading it.

Was there rhythm?
Not really. It read like general prose, not like some works where you find yourself picking up a rhythm involuntarily.

Was there sound?
In the beginning, muted sound. Like sound in a dream, where there aren't a lot of details. Later, I heard the scream and the crows - but it was all from afar. I saw the entire scene from afar - from high up on one of the cliffs bordering the river.

Smile
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: People-less   Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:34 pm

Merci!
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