Thread: Writing Fiction, Again
December 27th 2006, 08:21 PM #1
Writing Fiction, Again
The muse has stricken. Below is some actual fiction I've written. I think it's been well over a year since I tried.
Now, this could be crap. I am well aware of Hemmingway's axiom, "The first draft is [crap]." But if it is crap, feel free to tell me.
Here goes. . ..
Lothar1 the Neanderthal2 stretched as fully as his low-ceilinged cave would allow, rubbed his eyes, and turned to the cave’s mouth, ready to face the day. Another productive day of hunting and gathering awaited him, provided he could dodge the velociraptors, tyrannosaurs, and of course, the ever-present threat of the ‘adam, a being that by some quirk of fate was craftier than Lothar could ever dream of being. After all beasts were expelled from Paradise (a dark day long ago in Lothar’s fogged memory), the ‘adam began doing strange things, things Lothar couldn’t begin to fathom. For one, they began stacking stones, and burning livestock and produce upon them. Then, much to Lothar’s surprise and dismay, one of the ‘adam killed another with a wooden club.
Lothar tended to avoid the ‘adam as much as possible.
These were days of slim pickings for Lothar and his tribe. Many of the choicest animals fit to be eaten were already taken by the dinosaurs preying about. Add to this the active warfare waged by the velociraptors on Lothar’s people (and the occasional being smashed under a tyrannosaur), and the outlook was plain enough, and grim enough, that even his primitive brain could understand what was happening.
1Lothar, it should be noted, did not know his name was Lothar. Not knowing what Neanderthals called each other back then, the Author has taken liberty to bestow upon this primate a name that is suitably “cavemannish.”
2There would occur, some 3,600 years in the future, a great debate among the ‘adam, most of whom would dismiss the account contained in this Prologue as rubbish of the purest kind, as to whether Lothar’s people should be called Neanderthal or Neandertal. Lothar, not privy to the meaningless arguments between scientists not yet born, obviously had no opinion on the matter; he most probably referred to his people with a series of guttural sounds punctuated by clicks of the tongue, the phonetic spelling of which of course have been lost to history.
Lothar’s race was dying.
Lothar tended to be optimistic, though, and quickly pushed such bleak thoughts away when they threatened to cast their shadows on the here-and-now. Instead of dwelling on the inevitable, Lothar pondered the strange behavior of his velociraptor foes—foes he almost assuredly would encounter once again during this morning’s hunt.
For all their killing of Lothar’s people—and there had been a lot—the raptors never
ate them. Perhaps the Neanderthal flesh was distasteful to them. Of course, before the expulsion, the raptors (along with all other animals) were herbivores. Lothar wondered how a mouthful of pointed teeth—teeth that seemed especially geared for the slicing and tearing of meat—could be used to grind the grass and leaves that made up their pre-expulsion diet. The tyrannosaurs were much the same way—in fact, it seemed as though all the dinosaurs restricted their diets in ways Lothar could not readily understand. These thoughts drifted away almost as soon as they formed, driven off by the more pressing concern of how Lothar was going to feed himself today.
Other members of Lothar’s tribe began emerging from their caves, as well, clubs ready for the daily hunt.
Lothar had chosen this particular series of caves as being comfortably-distanced from the ‘adam, but not so far as to not know what they were up to. On the horizon was a black, rectangular speck, and Lothar could almost see the shape of a little ‘adam working on its—what? Roof? Yes, Lothar suspected it was some sort of roof. Lothar had noticed the structure some time ago, and ventured close to the ‘adam settlement for a better look. What he had seen then was the merest skeleton of a structure that was indeed rectangular in shape. If the ‘adam was working on the rooftop, Lothar figured, the structure must be near to completion.
Again, Lothar returned his thoughts to the hunt. He went back to the cave—Lothar was bad about forgetting the things he most needed—and grabbed his own club, a sturdy piece of a wood that would one day be known as oak. His stomach grumbled in anticipation of the spoils of today’s hunt—perhaps a coney, or a squirrel, or (if the hunters were really lucky) a boar or a deer. When he went back outside, he was startled to see dark clouds gathering in the sky above. He only gave this a moment’s thought, though; stranger things had been known to occur in his lifetime, not the least of which was that being wielding a long flame being placed outside of Paradise.
When the first drops of rain fell, Lothar startled, then resumed his hunt. The mysteries of life were better pondered when one’s belly was full.
December 27th 2006, 08:22 PM #2
Re: Writing Fiction, Again
We have an area for creative writing, you want this thread there? We have a member who is progressing writing a novel in that section.
December 27th 2006, 08:23 PM #3
Re: Writing Fiction, AgainOriginally posted by Darth Xena
Please move it.
December 27th 2006, 09:13 PM #4
Re: Writing Fiction, Again
I enjoyed the footnotes.
I think there were few things that bothered me.
Usage of cliché. "Slim pickings," "face the day," etc.
The tone felt inconsistent, especially in light of the footnotes. The footnotes gave the impression of lightheartedness and then almost by the next paragraph the feeling had changed a bit.
I think the side-comments have potential to help keep the tone, much like how Lewis Carroll does in his Alice books.
Write more! Anything to take my gaze away from my Chemistry. :)Run, don't walk.
The Quest of Coming Together
December 27th 2006, 09:18 PM #5
Re: Writing Fiction, AgainOriginally posted by sc_q_jayce
The footnotes happen to be at the bottom of the page when I have it double-spaced in a Word document; their placement here has nothing to do with where they fit in the story.
The clichés are unfortunate (but if you stop and think about it, this was before those phrases could have become clichéd ), but as I said, this is a first draft.
December 27th 2006, 09:21 PM #6
Re: Writing Fiction, Again
the Neanderthalstretched as fully as his low-ceilinged cave would allow, rubbed his eyes, and turned to the cave’s mouth, ready to face the day.
"The neanderthal" would be better introduced a bit later. As it stands it interrupts what should always be a very smooth introductory sentence.
"After all beasts were expelled from Paradise (a dark day long ago in Lothar’s fogged memory), the ‘adam began doing strange things, things A NEANDERTHAL LIKE Lothar couldn’t begin to fathom.". . . .tyrannosaurs, and, of course, the ever-present threat . . . "
"Add to this the
activewarfare waged by the velociraptors on" (doesn't add anything. All warfare is active)
"Lothar’s race was dying.
Lothar tended to be optimistic, though . . ." You should avoid using the same noun to introduce two consecutive sentences. It tends to sound stilted. Simply putting a "Yet," or "However," in front of the second "Lothar" and eliminating the "though" would solve the matter.
"Add to this the active warfare waged by the velociraptors on Lothar’s people" and "the raptors never ate them. Perhaps the Neanderthal flesh was distasteful to them." Such odd behavior needs to be explained. Why would a carnivore go out of its way to kill an animal, waging warfare, and not bother to eat it?
"Lothar was bad about
forgettingremembering the things he most needed—."
All in all a very nice start
December 27th 2006, 09:27 PM #7
Re: Writing Fiction, AgainOriginally posted by Minnesota
But, yeah, I should probably try to explain it better.
Thanks for the constructive criticism!
December 29th 2006, 09:58 PM #8
June 24th 2007, 02:37 AM #9
Re: Writing Fiction, Again
Interesting, but I would find other words for "livestock" and "produce" since Lothar obviously wouldn't call them that.
The story is being told in the third person perspective, but it seems you keep telling things that the third person couldn't possibly know (Lothar's dreams).
"If the ‘adam was working on the rooftop, Lothar figured, the structure must be near to completion."
Was Lothar familiar with house building? How did Lothar have the deductive reasoning skills to allow him to "figure" the structure must be near completion?
Last edited by Petragon; June 24th 2007 at 02:42 AM.
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