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Thread: Please critique this story

  1. #1 Please critique this story 
    Forum Junior DivideByZero's Avatar
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    Nishant Shukla

    The man sat and he thought. Who the man was is not important. Sunk inside his shoes, synchronised with the silence, he often thought. You can almost hear the gears inside his head rotate as his exhausted brain functioned so tirelessly. Exactly what he thought about is still not known, but in fact it was something beautiful. His eyes were glowing. Something was pounding inside him that he cannot stop. It was a thought so powerful and perfect that it couldn't exist. An invisible force, matterless, silent, yet alive. Everyone around him felt it, they sensed his roaring thoughts. His head was sparkling, limitlessly, and the silence continued. The thought had not finished.

    I remember his body like a stone, never moving. I speak in no similes, you must believe me when I say I saw a statue of a man made out of think stones sitting 2 rows next to me. I never saw that man blink; he never looked around either. He deserted his body to become closer with his mind, something he discovered to do long ago. He never liked his body. No, he wasn't unattractive, he just never found it of any use, so he simply abandoned it. He lived inside his mind; there he was free. From time to time, we waited for his return, never understanding what he did or why we cared. It was just something we got used to doing.

    Three hours passed until his eyes shifted a color. The glow was finally gone, and his face returned. In the split second before his arrival, something died in the room. A strong breathless force used to exist, which now is gone. An entire imagination gone, and only a thin wisp of the thought survived. The man stood up and, as if in a hurry, left the room. His whistling wisp of a mind followed him closely. That thin material behind the man was the debris left of the thought, pulsating to stay alive.

    Behind the man, the room he just walked out of diminished. It simply disappeared without a trace, without a sound. When the man left the room, it no longer served any purpose. The room had no point in existing and so it decided to go away. The room shied off. Without the man and his mind inside, everything else seemed to crumble, yet he was never aware of the blanket of null he left behind. The disappearance of the hundreds of people, buildings, trees, and more was his power. When he looked back, he saw his wisp of thought pondering about, and behind it, nothing existed; the part of the universe he just walked though became transparent, intangible. It was impossible to tell where everything went, but it didn't matter then. Nothing else did. Only the man mattered, and possibly his thoughts too, of containing some mysterious matter.

    The man and his mind walked away together, searching breathlessly for the next blast of thought. No one knew actually where they were heading off to because they walked a different path every day. The man sometimes looked lonely, but when you saw that entity next the him, you knew he wasn't alone. The brain of his was always there and his mind never left his side. He had many friends whom he always talked about, but their existence is quite debatable. He was a very social person, but never got the chance to express it because his mind kept pulling him away to a silent corner to evaluate new thoughts that kept finding him. My friend said he often talked to himself but I assured my friend he didn't, the man only talked to his mind.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Solipsism gone a bit wrong? Was that your intention?

    It has the bones of a decent story but I was bothered by details, such as carelessness about tenses “Something was pounding inside him that he cannot stop” and contradictions like ”I remember his body like a stone, never moving. I speak in no similes,”. Well, yes you do because “like a stone” is a simile.

    Then there is this: “An invisible force, matterless, silent, yet alive.” Somehow, despite being matterless and invisible the debris of his thought is “thin material… pulsating to stay alive”, and is visible too because “you saw that entity next the (sic) him.”

    The mind is a fascinating topic, and you have decided to make thoughts, at least this man’s thoughts, somehow material. That is at odds with what science currently knows about the mind, but this is fiction so you can get away with that unlikely premise if you have something to say – a point to make, and if you make it elegantly. I’d say you’ve made a good beginning.

    Well done.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    DBZ...don't quit your day job. If you want to pursue a career as a novelist or short story writer then you might as well send it in to get published somewhere just so you can get used to receiving rejection slips.

    but it didn't matter then. Nothing else did. Only the man mattered, and possibly his thoughts too, of containing some mysterious matter.
    That was my favorite part, the frequent use of the word matter. 3X in less than 20 words is not going to win you the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    but it didn't matter then. Nothing else did. Only the man mattered, and possibly his thoughts too, of containing some mysterious matter.
    That was my favorite part, the frequent use of the word matter. 3X in less than 20 words is not going to win you the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    Hmm, I don’t really agree with that. I see it as an play on the word “matter”. Maybe not Nobel Prize stuff, but still pretty witty all the same.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    It reads kind of like Borges (without the constant allusion to history and literature). You come up with a possible version of reality and then meditate on its consequences.

    If you haven't read Borges, you should. Try The Library of Babel--you'll enjoy it.

    Fix up some of the things people have suggested, and it'll be a pretty good essay.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I thought the story was about the death of a man but not of his mind or thoughts which continue on in some alternate reality. I could be wrong but so what? The premis is fine but the writing is abyssmal.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Junior DivideByZero's Avatar
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    haha thanks for the replies. Its been fun reading what you guys think. I'm going to change it up a lot later. Bunbury, thanks for the critique i'll figure out what to put there later. I'm no English major and I really hate my eng class, but for some reason I wanted to write this.
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