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JamieScott
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎06-13-2009

Updated story- Thoughts? Criticism? Thx!

Based on everyone's feedback of my book so far, I wrote the following few paragraphs for my latest story to show more background of the protagonist's life and how she ends up wanting to commit suicide...  Thoughts?  All brutal criticism welcome!  :smileyhappy:   

 

***

 

It was like I got punched in the face by God. 

 

“I want to be Jack Kerouac and Sylvia Plath combined. I’m a vision, I’m a magician, I’m a Serenaism.”  I wrote that in my journal the week before I had to start working at the bank.  I didn’t realize that my clever sentences should have read “I want to be a sterile, soulless shadow.  I’m a mouse, I’m a louse, I’m a forgotten joist.”  Had that been my goal, the job at the bank would have been the perfect place for me, but since it wasn’t I was in line for a jarring, groveling ride through gravel. 

 

I spent $600 on the baby pink and green cable knit sweater sets from Brooks Brothers and the navy blue and grey slacks from J. Crew.  My first day there I swirled into the office with my platinum blonde hair dyed chocolate brown so I would look smarter and my magenta pea coat.  I had bought that pea coat the year before at a boutique a few blocks from my college in New Haven and it proved appropriate for the year round colder than spring temperatures that taint San Francisco’s splendor. 

 

My boss was elated to meet me.  I had been hired for three months by a temporary placement agency to close down a failing investment program.  I was never interviewed for the position, something that still baffles me today.  My resume was littered with awards I had won for essays on music, philosophy, art and poetry, an undergraduate degree in English from Yale, a masters in publishing from Columbia University and not one math or economics class.  But nonetheless, there I stood in a beige office with 10 clocks on the wall displaying different time zones, smiling wide and nodding my head with feigned confidence that I knew what the stock market was. 

 

The illusive nature of finance would still baffle me like death and ghosts three years later when I finally escaped that graveyard of numbers and fled to Africa. 

 

*****
...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath
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Zack_Kullis
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎02-27-2009
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Re: Updated story- Thoughts? Criticism? Thx!

Hi Jamie!!!!!

 

I really like your writing style!  The contrast between the actual journal entry and what she should have written was a very good window into her feelings. 

 

I also enjoyed the description of her sitting in the office with the clocks and her nodding her head with feigned confidence.  It is easy to understand how she feels, you communicate that very well. 

 

This is leading up to her attempting suicide, right?

 

Great stuff Jamie!!!!!

Sic volvere Parcas...
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JamieScott
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎06-13-2009
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Re: Updated story- Thoughts? Criticism? Thx!

Thanks so much!!

 

Yeah, this is leading up to the suicide issue. 

 

This story is going to kind of be like Sylvia Plath's book, "The Bell Jar", which is a semi-autobiographical account of her mental path through work and love. 

 

Some things are true, but some a little exaggerated to make the points stronger like I didn't go to Yale in actuality, but I did go the Columbia University Publishing course and won an award for a paper and the bank scenario etc... I actually really didn't know what a stock was when I started!! haha. I was so naive. 

 

 

 

 

*****
...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath
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marilynpsychic
Posts: 266
Registered: ‎09-20-2008
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Re: Updated story- Thoughts? Criticism? Thx!

Hi Jaime!

 

I just read this prequel to the "antifreeze" excerpt I've already posted on.  Very interesting!

 

Here, I think you need some more action to break up all the description.  I'd start with her nervously walking to her first-job-out-of-college.  Maybe she feels self-conscious as she thinks people are staring at her and her new outfit.  Then you could describe the outfit, and add something like "So I'm a liberal arts graduate, and I like to dress like I feel, instead of in some stuffy suit.  And maybe all that steel and concrete of a bank will protect my soul split between Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac.  Besides, in this economy, nobody seems to be hiring free spirits with degrees in English."

 

When she gets to the bank, let her describe it with more contrasts.  Maybe, as she waits half an hour or more, to see the bank president or VP to get started on her new job, she can study the other employees and customers, and ruminate on how she's going to fit in. 

 

And you could add the merest hints that she'll be soon getting to that "antifreeze moment".  Something like "Guess I really am a grown-up now; school days are over.  Forget all my essay and poetry awards.  I've sold my soul to the financial world.  I don't think Sylvia and Jack would approve.  I guess I'll have to search for my own exit, if this job tries to kill my spirit."

 

Just some ideas.  I look forward to reading more excerpts!

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope." Chaucer (character) in movie "A Knight's Tale"
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twilight_fanatic_01
Posts: 1,162
Registered: ‎01-02-2009
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Re: Updated story- Thoughts? Criticism? Thx!

Wow, Jamie! I think I can easily agree with Zack about your writing style!

 

I do agree with Marilyn when she says that you should perhaps provide some more foreshadowing up to the antifreeze moment, perhaps something like: "The menial pressure of my financial job was lurking over me, a two-ton weight threatening to drop. From time to time I found myself wondering how it would feel for that weight to finally crash down upon me, smashing bone and gore until nothing was left and I couldn't feel anymore."

 

Just a thought :-)

"Your dream vacation, smile hostage refuge, a work in progress, you bleed just like you puke while running the mile."

-Pretty Handsome Awkward, The Used
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JamieScott
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎06-13-2009
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Re: Updated story- Thoughts? Criticism? Thx!

Thank you so much for all of your detailed, awesome tips!  I love the sentences you all suggested!  Great ideas.  I am going to keep working on this.  I'm glad you guys want me to expand parts.  It's always good to be able to need additional content when trying to write a longer piece, so you don't just write filler and fluff.

 

Thanks again!!  

*****
...everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath