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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Writer of the Future

   
Author Topic: Writer of the Future
JoBird
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This is something small I'm working on in my spare time. I'm figuring it's going to be about 15k when I'm done, maybe a little less.

***

As it has become clear that I am going to be too busy in the future to write my autobiography Iíll have to do it now. Sigh.

There is very little to say about the past thirty years, so Iíll just go ahead and jump into the good stuff if you donít mind. Iíll try to limit myself to the sizzle and steak of the story. I know that most of you will appreciate that.

The next year of my life will be spent writing this autobiography. Itíll only be modestly received at first, but will gain in popularity as the events of my life unfold. Some surprising things that happen will be when I win the race for governor, unlock the secrets of perpetual motion, and fall in love.

My great honor is knowing how many of you will be sad when I die. I loved you too. I wouldnít have changed a thing. Even if could.

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babooher
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Sounds a bit like Slaughterhouse 5.
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JoBird
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quote:
Sounds a bit like Slaughterhouse 5.
Hmm.

I didn't see the connection before you mentioned that, but I suppose I can -- story about someone who knows the future and whatnot.

Suddenly and oddly, I'm less inclined to want to finish this.

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babooher
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No, don't let me kill that. It was an observation of what could be resonance. You know, "if you liked Slaughterhouse 5 then check out Writer of the Future!" type thing.

I mean, is your protagonist flipping in and out of time? Does he get a hot babe while he's a pet for aliens? Is he in WWII? If you said yes to two or more of these, then...yeah, don't bother writing it, but if you said no then carry on.

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Tiergan
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No true nits here. The voice was good, and writing solid. Doesnt pull me in as far as a hook though.
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StephenAZ
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Third paragraph, third sentence.

That sentence will keep me reading.

I very much enjoy the contrasting moods the character displays. Feels it is important to write a personal memoir. Feels sad about having to do so. Not the normal thing for people of great accomplishment, who often aspire to have a street, building, or city named after them, but not so abnormal as to warrant a chapter in the DSM-V.

Vonnegut had his day. If the WotF cannot build on what has already been written, then what is the point? Of course if the WotF comes up with something totally fresh and interesting that doesn't reflect past greatness, then write-on, write-on..."Tales of Genji" needs a successor.

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JoBird
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My point behind writing this was to try to do something in the future tense, to see if I could make it interesting.

Once upon a time I heard a fellow describe a future tense short story to me. I can't really do the description justice here, but suffice to say it fascinated me. The story was essentially: I'm going to do this, and I'm going to do that. And then I'm going to do this, and this, and that. But you know what? I'm never going to do it again. Because it won't matter. That's pretty much how the story ended. The guy who told me about it did so with a lot of verve. His fist sort of punched the air, or pounded a table every time he said he was going to do something. His voice died to a whisper when he said he would never do it again, his resignation was clear despite the earlier enthusiasm of his pretend boxing. It moved me.

The reason I'm not fond of the comparison to something by Vonnegut isn't that I'm worried about originality. I'm not so deluded as to think I'll ever capture something new circling the sun. It's more because I'm loathe to write something that will fall flat when juxtaposed against the cleverness of Vonnegut. If it begs for the comparison, then I find myself preferring to bow out gracefully.

Third paragraph, third sentence. Yes, that is designed to be the promise of the story, the bumps of fanciful worthiness in an otherwise worthless life -- the dreams of a man who is lost to escapism and fantasy. The piece is supposed to deal with the lies we tell ourselves when our lives of inaction finally coalesce into the whole bunch of nothing we created.

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