Wednesday, November 09, 2016

New Beginning 1059


Frigid northern night winds coldly kissed the summer gardens goodbye. Inch by inch, joy by joy, they howled an eternal song, while happily and viciously introducing time. He went inside the classically columned, one story stone building, hoping to find some warmth and illumination, willing to settle for either.

He briskly walked down the dark, unpopulated, stark hallway glimpsing the doors closed to him and had no interest in them. At the end he encountered one of the oak variety stained a dark brown, with a black, rectangular sign, containing golden brass letters which said “S-U-P-R-E-SPACE-E-SPACE-C-O-U-R-T”. The tarnished “M” lay on the plushy light brown carpet, which covered a floor of indeterminate substance. The “M” was now companion to other debauched debris, rubbish, trash and junk. The inch deep undisturbed dust suggested long term abandonment. He picked up and pocketed a 1793 large cent, half buried in the grime, which displayed a woman’s head with long flowing hair on the obverse and a wreath on the reverse, thinking it appropriate. He then tried the loose knob on the door and was surprised how easily it swung open. The room was lit with buzzing overhead tubular lights. The walls, ceilings and floors were painted an irregular, but strangely equalized cream shade of white.

There were only two distractions from the two paintings hung on the wall straight ahead. One was a lavender blue marble fountain, which sprayed water two feet in the air, in which the light from the one and only small window near the ceiling gave the moisture laden bouquet a rainbow effect on occasion. The other was a stable black masonry composite bench, on which he sat and beheld the shadows of life.

His posterior pushed against the unyielding obsidian bench in accordance with all the laws of physics, as his eyes wandered curiously around the starkly barren room. They alit one more time on the small window: what little light it passed danced around a sturdy set of bars. He leaned forward for a better vantage and discerned the material of manufacture. Over-wrought iron. That explained it.


Opening: SumCan.....Continuation: Anonymous



16 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Way too many adjectives and adverbs.

Too many phrases that I don't get. For instance: "introducing time," "indeterminate substance," "thinking it appropriate," "irregular, but strangely equalized."

"debris, rubbish, trash and junk." Any one of these by itself would do.

Hyphenate two-word adjectives (one-story, inch-deep, half-buried, long-term, moisture-laden, lavender-blue)

I don't see how a coin could be only half-buried if the dust is inch-deep.

Readers might think the word SPACE is printed on the sign. You can avoid this by just printing SUPRE E COURT. Also call it the "missing" M instead of the tarnished M.

Maybe you should name the guy instead of always calling him "he."

SumCan said...

Nice. Thank you. "He" in this case is Orpheus Christopher, 18, and he will soon be named when he wakes from this dream to find a frightening, huge winged thing, something like a raven, at the foot of his bed, which disappears when he looks at it.

I think all criticisms are valid, except the large cent. You may not know that in 1793 the cents were truly large; about the size of a current half dollar.

Phrases you don't get were likely made too vague. "Introducing time" is sort of "introducing death," Death with a large D will become a character in this fantasy, as well as a Satan henchman named Aazaziel. "Indeterminate substance" was likely a bad idea to try to convey that he didn't know what it was made of. "Thinking it appropriate" meant "for no good reason." And "irregular, but strangely equalized" was meant to convey "random, but illogically predictable."

My wife also hated this opening, calling it pretentious.

BTW, the building is a precursor to the "underground" where Orpheus later goes to get Eurydice back.

Thanks, again.



SumCan said...

Questions. Why "posterior?" And why "unyielding?"

Evil Editor said...

The coin could be the width of a frisbee and it still would be covered by an inch-deep layer of dust.

Evil Editor said...

Possibly "posterior" and "unyielding" were used to satirize the language/style of the opening. The continuations, like the fake plots, are not written by me. Anyone can contribute them by clicking on the appropriate link in the sidebar.

SumCan said...

You said; "Possibly "posterior" and "unyielding" were used to satirize the language/style of the opening." Truly good joke on moi.

And you know you're right with that coin. When a coin falls, it falls on its back. I tried to say that this one fell on its side, (Dylan's "Sidesaddle on the golden calf.") which is much more possible if there is an accumulation of dirt at the time of the fall. I guess lengthy to explain and better left out entirely.

khazar-khum said...

You can see through an inch of dust. I've had some, um, experience with dust mastodons.

Anonymous said...

Always listen to your wife.

SumCan said...

You're way ahead of me. I've only been accosted by the occasional dust devil.

davefragments said...

I'm having Deja Vu by saying "Too many words, cut by half." I used to tell that to scientists and engineers I worked with.
Try something like:
North winds coldly kissed the summer gardens. They howled an eternal song -- time passes. He walked into the single-tory, classically columned building, hoping to find warmth. On the wall was a sign saying Supreme Court with the M laying on the floor covered in dust.

Why that brief? You are describing a dream and dreams have fuzzy edges with odd spots of detail. What I wrote isn't your style. It isn't meant to be. It's only meant to show the brevity I think you should try.




AA said...

I did think Space was on the sign, which was confusing. EE fixed it.
A little too adjective laden, but interesting so far.

InkAndPixelClub said...

It's all right if you don't want to name your protagonist yet, but you could come up with some short description for him, like "the young man," so it's not just this unspecified "he" that leaves your readers backtracking to see if they missed a line that would clue them in on who "he" is.

Hopefully, you have a good reason for not naming your protagonist right away beyond being mysterious. We seem to be following along with his perspective and he presumably knows his own name.

Another vote for trimming down the adjectives. One way to approach this is to see if each one helps the reader to visualize the scene better. Taking just the first sentence:

Frigid - The winds are extremely cold. That's something concrete that the protagonist is feeling. Keep it.
Northern - Would it make a difference if the wind was coming from any other direction? It may suggest cold, but you already have "frigid." This can go.
Night - This does give the reader more information - the time of day - and it's something the character could notice. But he's not going to know that it's night because of the kind of wind. The wind might be colder because it's night, but again, you already have "frigid." If we need to know that it's nighttime, find somewhere else to say it.
Coldly - Again, you already have "frigid," so this doesn't impart any new information.
Summer - This is a little confusing, especially in your first sentence where you're setting the scene. Is it summer now? Is it transitioning from summer to fall? Try to find a more descriptive word for what your character is seeing. What does a garden about to be subjected to the first frost of the year look like?

See if you can limit your description to what your character is seeing, hearing, feeling, and smelling (and tasting if it comes up). Dump anything that he can't or isn't experiencing in some way or that wouldn't catch his attention. The "floor of indeterminate substance" under the rug doesn't help me to understand the scene. If you say there's a rug, I assume there is a floor under it unless you tell me otherwise. And unless I'm buying a house or the condition of the floor is important in some way, I don't care what kind of floor is under the rug.

Similarly, "There were only two distractions from the two paintings hung on the wall straight ahead" is problematic. You're making me struggle to understand what your character is looking at. He either notices the paintings right away and then sees the fountain and the bench, or he notices the fountain and the bench first and then sees the paintings. He can see the paintings first, get distracted by the fountain and the bench, and then go back for a closer look at the panini tings, if that's what you want. Or maybe you're just trying to say that these are the only objects in the room. But when you introduce objects as "distractions," I assume the character is being distracted by them, which would keep him from noting the paintings.

SumCan said...

To A; I do now. After some experimentation, I've learned that it's better that way. Hehe. I only said that because she might read this.

SumCan said...

To K again; you have to admit that I was right about the "you're-way-ahead-of-me"part.

SumCan said...

To AA; thanks. Some of the adjectives are actually added when I edit. Until Pahlanuik most writers said that writing is adjectives. It's a chance to further describe I find hard to pass up. But, you know I play around with styles, and undoubtedly remember comments like these on the next one. Right now I'm halfway or so through one which has almost no description whatsoever; mostly conversation.

SumCan said...

To IAPC; a sincere thank you, not to imply that others weren't.

Your paragraph #1- Full agreement.

Your paragraph #2- Often start with an un-named "he" or "she" in an attempt to suggest that this is not only one person's story. It's all of us. No big thing to me either way.

Your paragraph #3- Need a little more discussion on that one. Recognize a sizable personal deficiency in this area; but would point out that some of the adjectives are not there for visual purposes; but rather for metaphorical references to feelings.

Your paragraph #4- Frigid, night, and northern are to me like saying cold to the third power. Southern breezes are warm, as far as I know. Whether or not it is important to go to the third power or get brevity at the first seems not essential to me. Though it's not my natural style, I can go short. By way of background I spent my working years in banks, essentially condensing a thousand pages of information into a page and a half synopsis, so that the "important" decision makers didn't have to read too much. Good point about the summer. For metaphorical purposes, I was envisioning a year in which summer's end is not autumn, but a quick move into winter; which sometimes happens where I live. But, yeah ..............................

Your paragraph #5- Hmnnn. I think I understand your well taken point. This is entirely metaphor. Walls, floors and most other things can be covered with masks and often are. So, in this case, I was trying to "poetically" say that Orpheus had no idea of the foundation, because it was hidden. I do stuff like that here and there, keeping it short, so that a reader who doesn't see the poetry just says "Why's that stupid sentence here?" while it may add something for one who sees the attempt at poetry. IDK. That was kind of natural for me, and it's all over the place. regarding the single POV, before I knew the words, I gravitated to third person mixed with omniscient. Single POV comes with it's own set of limitations, but it's fine with some good planning.

Your paragraph #6- Don't really understand. It's not a big room; so I would think that a person with decent peripheral vision could take it in all at once. Metaphorically, you have a hard seat, water which sometimes makes a rainbow; and two pictures which are not yet described. One is life; the other death; though their differences are not blaring; and only become apparent when viewing not too difficult subtleties. If the chronology was important to you, I can only say that was not a consideration when I wrote it.

But again, thanks for your kind time.