All men are in some degree impressed by the face of the world; some men even to delight. This love of beauty is Taste. Others have the same love in such excess, that, not content with admiring, they seek to embody it in new forms. The creation of beauty is Art.
Alright I've been posting little bits of this over the past couple of days (I've really appreciated the feedback), here's the first draft of the opening to some hypothetical novel I may or may not be writing. I feel like it loses some steam after the description of the Bay but I can't say for sure.
>>7637730 He's basically one of San Francisco's "street personalities," he's pretty much just somewhat famous for wearing a coat and walking around the financial district and being an eccentric even though he isn't really. Then some young documentary film maker from Oakland offers to film a documentary about him, but he ends up having to act more eccentric than he is for the camera to make it interesting, and then he slowly becomes the character he plays. There's a whole other plot about his sister's addiction to heroin, and as it says, by the end of the story SF will burn down like in 1906.
Existence is the great permission. Mute to legend and depravity. We talk and nothing answers. Cycles embedded in cycles within cycles. Maybe when we die we slip off our bodies like a nightgown and there's only an interstellar cold and brisk judgment, because we never guessed we heaved with eternity.
Driving down summer street and her legs are hanging out of the car, heels off, dark dress and darker hair. Her name is Ashley. She's a counselor and lives with her sister in Apton who never got the bug out. Almost 50 but still partying every weekend. We only want to be charged by life That's all. We glide down the city on a long synth wash. For a night I think I love her.
>we held hands on the side of some hill, silently licking the ice cream we brought along as the sun fucked the horizon. i pondered how a girl like her would go out with a guy like me. this was way back then. in the happy years. she would move away with her parents the next autumn, leaving their house empty and my heart broken as she left for the great big city to where everything was. a metropolitan girl. she became a drummer for a rock band and moved to Japan with the guitarist. i still sometimes close my eyes and pretend i'm with her when i'm in bed with my wife. it's funny how some people can steal you away like that...
Many days elapsed as my companion and I awaited more arrivals to the house. In an act of undue sociability, he once knocked on my door and presented an excreta-stained tissue of toilet paper. He waved it under my nose jestingly. I could see that he derived mountains of pleasure from this. I began to laugh; he rejoined with a deafening yelp, and returned back to his lodgings.
This was perhaps the only episode of direct social contact between the first encounter in the kitchen and the arrival of the next housemate - or should I say housemates. One day, as I opened my window to inhale a lungful of air, I smelt an unmistakably feminine, febrile, sensuous aroma; my companion soon opened his window, and our noses danced with delight. He yelped ecstatically.
I proceeded with a quip.
"I feel overwhelmed by a lofty succession of emotions. And yet men are supposed to be governed by lines of intellect, whilst only women by lines of emotion."
From this I elicited a grunt of such spell-binding magnificence I began to tremble at the knees, my teeth chattering, my eye-lids rapidly fluttering. A key rattled in the front door and I realized that more housemates were imminent. To get downstairs to greet them I sat upon my bed and meditated for some hours devising a system with which I could successfully descend the stairs with efficiency and effervescence. I reached for my walking stick and threw it against the door. Soon the handle was turned, and my companion stepped in followed by a girl. After an initial prelude of quacking, spitting, teeth grinding, lip pursing, and ululating, I noticed that she had two heads. One of them, from which a vast pool of blond hair cascaded down into large heaps on the floor, recognizably grunted. The other barked in an ambivalent manner.
I proceeded with a quip.
"You are the most delectable creature I have ever chanced upon. I am usually a cynical man, for example I believe that the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. However, you have ensnared me - I know not how or why."
The blond haired head churned something in her mouth; I had not noted that anything was inside her mouth, and meditated profoundly upon the matter. I supposed it was previously on the inside of her bottom teeth and she, in a moment of nervous incaution, rolled it out with her tongue, or that it had been stuck to the roof of her mouth and causing her much discomfort, removed in order for her to swallow with more ease. I strained my ears, and could make out some comprehensible sounds behind the grunts.
>>7637754 a bit too seriously, it's best to disarm the reader with more mundane things before going full nihilist. >>7637667 So, is the bay a lung? n Paul’s flight landed in Cleveland, they were waiting for him. They’d probably arrived early, set up camp right where passengers float off the escalator scanning for family. They must have huddled there watching the arrivals board, hoping in the backs of their minds, and the mushy front parts of their minds, too, yearning with their entire minds, that Paul would do what he usually did—or didn’t—and just not come home.
But this time he’d come, and he’d hoped to arrive alone, to be totally alone until the very last second. The plan was to wash up, to be one of those fat guys at the wall of sinks in the airport bathroom, soaping their underarms, changing shirts. Then he’d get a Starbucks, grab his bag, take a taxi out to the house. That way he could delay the face time with these people. Delay the body time, the time itself, the time, while he built up his nerve, or whatever strategy it was that you employed when bracing yourself for Cleveland. For the people of Cleveland. His people.
They had texted him, though, and now here they were in a lump, pressed so tightly together you could almost have buckshot the three of them down with a single pull. Not that he was a hunter. Dad, Alicia, and Rick. The whole sad gang, minus one. Paul considered walking up to them and holding out his wrists, as if they were going to cuff him and lead him away. You have been sentenced to a week with your family! But they wouldn’t get it, and then, forever more, he’d be the one who had started it, after so many years away, the one who had triggered all the difficulty yet again with his bullshit and games, and why did he need to queer the thing before the thing had even begun, unless, gasp, he wanted to set fire to his whole life.
>>7637754 There's no transition. Honestly I would cut out the first paragraph. Most lit tier books don't include outright, shallow explanations of their meanings and themes and philosophies. The meaning is subtly interwoven through the book, not outright explained in the first paragraph.
>>7637876 Not bad, but nothing special. Reminds me of YA
>>7638642 This is bretty good. Maybe use slightly fewer commas, break your longer run-on sentences into smaller ones? But the narrator's weirdly resentful neurosis is compelling. I would get rid of 'gasp' though. 'Gasp' never does anyone any good.
Here's a bit from my novel, it's a love story/satire set in China.
>>7637667 from a strictly anatomical point point of view, if the bay is a lung then sf and sausalito should be the muscle and cartilage around the trachaea, because the bronchi should be waterways.
aesthetically, you use "beige" as a specific pejorative of south sf, then when you introduce the main guy you have him leaning against a beige wall. made me immediately place him in south sf until the next sentence where you give his actual location, but then i had to rather jarringly re-envision his location.
and you use too many hyphens and literary affectations. they grew tiresome.
>>7637667 I really like this. I feel like I'm reading the equivalent of a free jazz album
Here's an excerpt. Would appreciate some criticism as it is very early in development.
At night he chews at the same barley and thinks about one of his father’s stories. And many a week ago the farmer took his wife to a doctor where she died. Direct. No happy endings in his stories. He watches the buttes standing against the brisk air and the looming blue like the survivors in Hawaii. Another one of his father’s stories. They had strapped themselves against the palm trees during a hurricane. The barley is wilted and damp and he spits it into the fire and watches as its spirit in the embers rises into the night only to be pushed away by the wind.
In the middle of August, when the summer was nearing its end and the schools would start to shuffle the documents and prepare for the children to burst through the gates, young Breton Anderson would sit by the small, dying creek found at the end of his neighborhood and think about life in more ways than any child his age should. “Why is my creek becoming so small? There have not been any crawdads since last year and I need to catch a new batch; Where have they gone?” Breton would ask his mother while she brushed the pine needles off of his jacket and baggy cargo pants – the ones with zippers at the knees. “Because you are growing big,” She replied with a smile and a kiss on the cheek. He then munched on zucchini bread, read about crawdads on his father’s computer, and was then sent off to bed by his mother at 9 o'clock. This was his summer routine and aside from the current state of the creek, he was a very happy boy. While lying in his bed, he pulled out a couple of hidden pine needles from his hair and examined them delicately, not wanting to break them or maim them, as they so easily art. He poked himself in the finger by accident and it reminded him of what his mother had told him about the creek with the crawdads. Her explanation was simply a poke by a pine needle; there was no truth in it nor was there any justice and he simply could not accept her fickle explantation. Unknowing at the time, Breton would go on to experience many instances in his life where truth was withheld and justice was kept in some far away closet, where lies were told and believed by both people, and where some people even lied to themselves.
>>7639179 Could make a good YA novel. Nothing too exciting though.
Here's too quick short stories.
The two girls lean against each other and play with the other’s tongue and tell each other how they’ll never die. In the night the blustery lights are drawn through the arcade arcs and they’re asked to leave.
An Untimely Death
The lawyer has just been told of his client’s death. The prison bus had overturned and his head had been milled against the cement in abstract art technique.
I would like to preface my opinion with the fact that I'm a pleb and have shit taste, I just don't want to post my own material without offering my opinion of others.
I've never written anything before this little paragraph today. I'd only recently started taking up reading and figured I would enjoy writing as well. Please don't worry about my feelings, I'm desperately in need of criticism. Also - any good books or website articles etc. on creative writing?
I stirred awake from my troubled sleep, wincing at the orange glow of the lamp by my bed, and of the lamp post situated outside my bedroom window. It was a night like any other, the gloom of the quiet village not disturbed by anything. No drunken yelling, nor the barking or howling of a dog, nothing. I felt alone. The light pierced my eyes, translating into a searing pain in my head – I dare not however turn it off. I didn’t enjoy being in the dark. I slowly sat upright, the cheap scratchy cotton of my bedsheets clinging to my clammy flesh. It had been like this every night for some time now. I would start awake, head pounding, eyes aching – and I would not sleep again until I had a drink. Resignation. I solemnly lifted the bottle of whisky to my lips, and solemnly did I partake of it. I lay back down on the cotton bench in my plaster prison, and hoped I would not wake again that night. >>7638187 I feel like you over describe things. For example: >feminine,febrile, sensuous aroma >devising a system with which I could successfully descend the stairs with efficiency and effervescence Perhaps if your narrator was supposed to be autistic or something, but as is it just seems really clumsy and a little bit tryhard.
Five men and a child almost begrudgingly walked up to the door. One man and the child stood in each others’ arms while the remaining men fumbled with the lock. Their expressions were unreadable. The man with the child had his eyes downcast, as if exhausted, as he lightly smoothed the child’s long, greasy hair. The child had her head buried in his arms, face hidden. After a long awkward pause the man with the key roughly opened the lock and pushed open the door. He then roughly shoved the man and the child into the room. They nearly fell, then regained their composure and wordlessly sat on the empty bed. The man who had shoved them did not change his expression. His pale hands fumbled with the key, too, while he searched himself for the correct jacket pocket to put it in. There might have been a hint of guilt, or annoyance in his faintly shining blue eyes. His eyes were effortlessly surprisingly wide and so comfortably hid emotions. The key was finally stored. The man with the child had not taken his eyes off the child, face still hidden. The wide, blue eyes regarded the room before him with no apparent interest other than to perhaps reassure himself that nothing was out of place. The one window on the other side of the room let in a view of the half covered moon. His eyes skimmed the faces of the other three men who stood near the door, with the beaten down looks of abused dogs. The blue eyed man made a fork with his index and middle finger and spat through it, hitting the old, gray carpet beside his shoes. He ushered the other three men back out to the hallway and closed the door behind him. The lock made an unstable rumbing. The clear sound of footsteps ended with a sharp mechanical swinging noise, the other door at the other end of the hallway, and quickly faded through the thick walls. The man with the child held onto the child in the same position until he was sure the footsteps would not return. He tilted his head back and stared at the girl in the chair in the corner of the room but let the child keep her arms at his waist. The strangely blue light from the window was not forgiving on the bruises on his face.
It had ended as it had started. The Roman Emperor Titus Mede II was born on the night of May 15th. The date of his birth isn’t important when compared to the events that transpired over the course of that unforgettable night. The unbearable screams of a women filled the chamber with absolute panic. The nurses tried to soak up all the blood but the destruction to the mother’s body had already done its damage on her life. The baby came screaming out of the corpse of the mother’s dead womb looking for comfort but found none from the horrified nurses. The future emperor was left to soak in the blood of his dead mother while he cursed the heavens with his newly birthed lungs. The father, when he heard word of his wife’s fate, flung himself from a guard tower. His sorrowful cries could be heard all the way until his body met the ground. The young heir to the throne had no one, even death itself didn’t want to take the child. Thus, Titus Mede the Second grew up in the company of ill-bred advisers who cared only for themselves. The boy was taught no morals nor showed any compassion except the granting of all his misinformed wishes. The young emperor grew into a cold heartless man with a lust only for power and an outlet to release the demons that grew within him. Wars across the prairies and meadows were commenced. Death was the only thing that followed Titus and his men as they marched across Europe raping women, slaughtering children, and feasting upon limbs of their own fallen enemies. Titus was feared by everyone in his vast empire, feared but never loved. His advisers, the very men who had raised this monster into an ultimate weapon of destruction no longer had any use for him now that all the realms enemies were decimated. They gathered upon Titus like creatures in the same chamber were he had entered the world. The blood sucking creatures penetrated his skin with hell fire daggers, and tore the beating heart from his chest leaving him to choke on his own blood. The grins of his yes men were the last thing he saw before his body was thrown away to rot in the city gutters. It had ended for Titus as it had started – alone.
>>7637667 If Thomas Wolfe turned this in, I'd ask him why he broke our agreement to only write when sober.
Your lead is:
"A man sits on the street, "
Then, after you establish the character, it is acceptable to take us on a piece of this panoramic helicopter tour. Maybe two paragraphs worth, at most.
Then return to Thomas. As Thomas moves through his story, give us another piece of the helicopter tour.
Weave the two strains together so that the panorama informs the actions of Thomas, and vice versa. That's what Wolfe would do after I gave him the same advice and sent him back to Brooklyn, after pleading with him to move back to Manhattan and him refusing with something about "muh artistic integrity."
See the "Admiral Drake Hotel" section of You Can't Go Home Again" if you haven't already.
>>7641479 And also, for the avante-garde in the peanut gallery who think this kind of thing is a nanny nit pick, I would also point out that the trouble all begins with an /adverb/.
Not that it matters to anyone, but after I put "*ly" into my Word search proof reading routine, I published my first story in an ezine.
And also before someone posts - unlabeled - the closing sentence from The Dead, you are not Joyce, OP is not Joyce, and this poster is not Joyce. When you are Joyce, you can adverbialize all you want. Until then, work up to it.
John said, "Hi," to Mary. She said "Hi," back and he felt his heart beat fast and his mind froze, so full of new thoughts. She walked away and he pinched himself to refrain from turning his head and watching her leave; he did not pinch strong enough, however, and only three seconds after they spoke he watched her as she left, her long hair glistening, her blouse flowing, her ass barely concealed by the black skirt she wore. What felt like forever passed, and he walked to class, rapturously thankful she never looked back. As he walked, he internalized how she looked in preparation for his daily masturbation ceremony. He could not wait to go home.
"Y'know why I don't believe that sex sells?" "Howd'ya mean?" "I mean, yeah, sure, somethin' sexy might get your attention, but nuthin' more" "Listenin'" "Look, I saw this commercial; 'twas a chick playin' an instrument. Now, she did play it for real an' she played it pretty good, but she sold it with erotic moves and horny eyes an' that's the moment I completely lost interest, ya know why?" "... Why?" "'Cause now she's an object. I don't mean that in the whole feminist "wah-wah-oppression"-way, but still, she's just an object. Someone for me to lust for. And sure, that's all fine and well if I was interested in hooking up through the magic of music or some other bullshit, but y'know what?" "What?" "I don't trust objects to play music. Not for one fuckin' second. Cat killed the curiosity."
>>7642244 You're a fucking idiot. In reality, the working stiffs you talk down to so contemptuously (imagining what would happen if one of them escaped the platonic cave to the sunlight of 21st century bluepill feminism)—these guys know more about the first and last things than you ever will.
It started in a streetfight, not by formal definitions, of course - a streetfight presupposes at least two able combatants, and there were three guys there, one combatant, not me. I got pummeled to half-death in that foul-smelling alley by a man so bald you could guess even with his hood on, and surprisingly beardless(what is it with the lack of hair?) bum bore witness, urinating judgementally in/on the vicinity. The hospital I woke up in was noisy but always in the distance, my bed shrouded in mystical silence considering it was New Year's Eve and the place was supposed to be crowded as the alley near the bar where I almost bled out, but the alley was empty then, so it all almost made sence. My head suffered a peculiar trauma reserved for botched operations, and that made bald man's fists surgical in nature, which I appreciated with ire. Trauma was also exciting for surgeons and nurses and cleaning staff alike, as I lost my primary language, and had to explain myself in the only spare one I had.
Crux of the issue was, still is: I enjoyed the language a great deal. I used to write, read, talk, think and observe in it, and the old saying of "you don't value it until you lose it" is honestly a giant flaming pile of garbage, as I didn't sing praises and prayed and remembered it in fondness every waking day, but I breathed it, the language, so this passive-agressive aesop fails miserably at educating me. With kinds of pain, the severest one is with a promise to stay; and no matter how small of an irritation it is, considering having concepts just on the tip of your tongue, barely out of reach, screaming at you to scream them out, with you failing time and time again, this for the rest of your life? The hospital was sterile and grey, numbing this feeling for the holiday days of recovery, it changed as I moved back to the apartment. My room kicked me in the balls like they have wronged her gravely. It has grown cobwebs, not in my absence, necessary, perhaps they were here before, their silk tentacles spreading over bottles and books; panorama looked distantly familiar, the house of the friend you fancy more than the friend herself. Stories filled the room, sweating dust particles, and just then I realized: they are stories in language unfamiliar, ones I could retell but not tell.
>>7642244 trying too hard to score points with the women you think will be judging your writing for merit when you submit it somewhere...but the truth is women like to read "naughty" stuff with macho dudes who take what they want and don't give a shit... read some romance novels some time...you'll be like " but but, my women's studies professor said women hate this kind of stuff!" haha u been cucked boy, women don't like nice guys so why the fuck would they want to read a "nice guy writer" get the fuck out of here pussy
But I guess hostility is another for of critique. >>7642294 Interesting thought, that I'm trying for points. Will reflect on it. Wrote it more as a meditation of why sex is so popular in advertising while I personally, as a straight, white man, gets annoyed by overly sexualised commercials.
>>7642404 the answer is pretty obvious. most people see sex as a controversial thing so sexed ads grab the viewers' attention (positive or negative) and getting attention is, in the end, the ultimate purpose of ads in general
"The name’s Art Phillipe. I’m a struggling author living vicariously through the experiences of other great authors and writers. I’ve recently decided to pick up writing in a journal as my counselor thinks I need to start logging my experiences for her to see and review them next week. Honestly this is a great idea I know for a fact i’ve thought up a long time ago, glad to see she helped put my ideas into words. Perhaps when the future generations look back they will think of this journal and what I contributed to the culture, the tearing down of the older social norms through my rebellion and writings. Anyways future, I hope you appreciate my gift to this world:"
I'm trying to not be too obvious in the sarcasm, am I failing horribly?
>Finally get myself to sit down and write something >Only about half a page >It's so bad I want to die >Have very little experience with writing despite being an avid reader Just kill me. I thought about posting what I wrote in this thread, but since it's only half a page long that would feel kinda pointless.
I have no idea how to expand on a scene. I have no idea how to transition between scenes. I have no idea how to write in a manner not reminiscent of a middle-schooler.
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