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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Yeah, no title...I'm bad at titles...

   
Author Topic: Yeah, no title...I'm bad at titles...
Darth Petra
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Jan. 2, 1865
Iím not sorry I killed Old Nikolai. He was a pathetic excuse for a man who didnít even deserve to breathe the air of dogs. And I must continually remind myself of that. It doesnít matter that he was my father: he deserved to die. I admitted this to the judge proudly.
Iím far better than he was, because I was able to see him as trash. Now heís off burning in Hell. I am glad to have killed him. But the price I have to pay for purging the world. Iím currently shut off in some nasty dark place, waiting for the end of a rope or the shot of a gun to extinguish my life.
The light from my window is fading, and I canít write in the dark. I guess I shall retire. The thought of Old Nikolai in misery will bring me happy dreams.

[This message has been edited by Darth Petra (edited February 23, 2009).]


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Bent Tree
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The only comments that I have pertain to the characterization.

I recently wrote a piece much the same as this... the tone anyway. I found that it is hard to market such an unlikable character. Mine was also a monologue...diary of a madman, but if this man isn't entirely evil, you may consider giving the reader something to sympathize with. It is OK that he gladly killed his father, i suppose, nut you may have him or show him losing something he love. As he sits in the cell does he long for a girlfriend? what it has doen to his mother? Anything like that can go a long way to prevent this character from being instantly hated.

Also the style of speech doesn't seem to fit the era. It felt like modern homogenized English. I am not sure the locality of your scene and the reason I was unable to make an assumption was because of the lack of authentic venacular. Just some things to think about. I like hatable characters... unless they are really smug and aren't as intelligent as the think, so this would be something I would turn to the next page, but others may not share my wilingness.


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Darth Petra
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Yeah, this guy...
He's pretty much alone...no girlfriend...no mother...
He did, however have a reason for killing his dad. It wasn't an act of unprovoked evil.

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Rob Roy
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First, what Bent Tree said: you've made your character a murderer without a conscience; that's not likeable. You've made him disdain his victim; that's not likeable. You've made him exult in his schadenfreude. Even if Old Nikolai was a child molester and mass murderer, I'd want your MC to feel at least a little bit conflicted about having killed him.

If I don't like the MC, I won't like the story, however well written it might otherwise be.

One technical point. This passage:

"Now heís off burning in Hell. I am glad to have killed him. But the price I have to pay for purging the world."

The last sentence doesn't work as is. Did you mean to say "but *that's* the price I have to pay for purging the world"?

Ard-choille,
Rob Roy


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AmieeRock
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Does you MC refer to old nikolai as "old nikolai" because he is "young nikolai?" forgive my lack of capitols, i have an infant draped over one arm.

Perhaps if you mentioned more openly that the murder wasn't an unprovoked act of evil, your 13 might be more titilating;it would give us the promise of an interesting story. I am more a student of crime writing, and find the villain a more interesting character than many others. Perhaps you may consider submitting this story to a mystery mag, like alfred hitchcock's mystery magazine.

I agree that the style of speech needs work. what social class is your character? That would effect his speech patterns, especially in that era. is there a slang term that was common to the time and place that you could put in your 13 that would give us a hint of locality, or social class or educational background of the character?

i like the journal entry idea. will we see mc spiral into madness, or repentance? perhaps we will see his intellect degrade like in flowers for algernon!! potential here, i think, for the right audience.


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Darth Petra
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Yes, I meant "that's". Thank you for catching that.

As for conflicted about it...he has at least a page of freaking out about it after this point...


Anyway, I'm always glad to get constructive crit. I'm so tired of people telling me I'm great and talented.


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