Saturday, February 16, 2008

A dirge for Doomsday, and for Brutus.

I know we work primarily with poetry, so if either of you are against me displaying it here, just let me know and I'll remove it. It's a short story I wrote for a creative writing class I'm unfortunately taking this semester; composed one night under the duress of it being due the following morning.

To say the least, it really rubbed my professor the wrong way. A couple choice phrases I picked up during her critique would include "If you put shit in a bucket and call it cake, no one's going to eat it, and that applies here", "[This is] like a one-way fuck", and "It's not even a story". Hilarious, inappropriate, and hardly helpful.

So, I'm putting it up for professional review.



kidjumpsearly said...

buh-rutal! i like your prose style best at its most fragmented ('He is a sorter and slayer of clockwork. A clockmaker. An aspirant, ambitious. Impatient.'). sometimes i feel like that's the effect you're trying for, but conjunctions creep their way into your sentences: 'And that is what rouses him.'; '...the infernal device of seduction, but he pries a knife from...'; ' majestic. And because of this....'

etc etc; i'd suggest try pruning sentence by sentence. also, it seems to end somewhat abruptly after all that explication of Brutus' character. i think i get what you're doing here, and why you did it, and i think it would keep the effect, and even add an element of intrigue to the story, if you switch the brutus/cassius scene with most of the second scene. specifically, take from "In the central square..." up to "...elevation is no trial." and put it at the beginning. keep the last part at the end; now the story has a bit of a hook, and it's more gratifying to learn the intricacies of Brutus' character after we've seen him in action.

i dig. you've got a thing for doomsday scenes. just one question: is this a modern interpretation, or a re-imagining of Roman times?

Gunter Heidrich said...

I really enjoyed reading this, some of your best writing yet, huge improvements have been made. Only minor little things like the conjunctions remain in your way now and leaning on certain words like 'though' a bit heavily. Otherwise, very literary, very intellectually stimulating, flows excellently.

I think your prof's main problem is with this kind of shady vague, metaphorical-symbolic, philosophical, plot structure sort of thing you have going or rather the perception of a lack thereof of concrete plot/structure, which probably gives rise to a perception of pretension and insincerity and maybe just laziness and wordplay.

If it's just given a chance, taken at face worth and thought of in the context of the use of Brutus and the old men as a conceptual statements that the main character is only one man among many that this doomsday, has happened to at this age, (our age) especially, and the reader goes with it for a bit, it's really damn decent. The world goes on in the face of so many great men's grand gestures to heaven and the fuckers live on and in greater numbers . Children like clocks (if I understand you correctly) are both impediments to meaningful work.

My guess is it offends her as a woman more so than a writer. Even so then she should know that it really doesn't help at all to give criticism in a series of metaphors and similies. It is as you say, hardly helpful.