Flashing the Forum...

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-K2-

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Considering I missed my 1,000th post beating, I thought I might present something so we can see if I have progressed, at all. With that in mind, I figured I'd 'flash the forum' with something I whipped up. The word count unfortunately varies with my numerous modes of confirming it. But, it should sit at roughly 1,000 words. Just for fun, I'll present it with a little header art and sound as I might elsewhere.

What will make this one more fun, is that I've decided to try checking grammar and so on myself, without the aid of available software. That should give a better indication of my advance or decline regarding writing skills. Please be blunt... this is so I may learn.

@Parson ; I'd like a comment from you regarding the theme if you care to make time.


jjsmall.jpg

Joyful Joyful...
by K2 ~
1,000 words approx.

The inevitable moment he never sought, Remmy’s nature demanded as the outcome. Bright light blinded him. His ears rang so loud, he could hear nothing else. Subdued comfort, found when lingering in the twilight threshold of sleep, replaced the brief excruciating pain.

‘Shake it off, get up--’ Remmy thought, abruptly interrupted when a resonant, harmonic voice silenced the ringing.

"There you are, all is well now. Fear not, you are safe. No one can hurt you anymore. You have shed your mortal husk. All the suffering of the world is behind you."

"Who—what? I can’t see you—who are you—where are you?" Remmy demanded in his usual threatening tone.

"There is nothing to see...yet. We first need to form your new life. Heal and raise you up. As to who I am, I am just one of many to help those in transition from one life to the next. Do not be afraid. I am here to help—"

"M***********," Remmy snapped, "I’ve never been afraid and never liked games. Go ahead then. I expected nothing, but fine—send me to Hell—just get on with it."

Irresistibly compelled to speak the truth, for once, Remmy did not lie. He had never known fear, regret, joy, or sadness. Emotions for lesser people, he believed. His demand to be cast down upon realizing there was something after, simply a statement of boredom. Hell or Heaven was of little consequence to him. He just wanted to get it over with.

"Those are human constructs," the voice gently answered. "There is no Hell or Heaven, as you envision it. There are no torments. Although, great reward when embraced by ‘him,’ as you imagine God to be. Hell or Heaven only exists in your mind. Rejoice."

"So, nothing in life mattered? No punishments, no sin, it was all just killing time?" Remmy asked.

"Well, it mattered to you. To those you affected and to God. But once you set your life aside and make peace with yourself, all is forgiven and you move on," the voice compassionately responded in soothing tones.

"You mean it’s like that guy Jesu--" Remmy began.

"Yes. All the Son of Light promised of the Father is true. All sins—as you view them—are forgiven. He hoped you would love his other children and wishes the best from you. Yet, he understands, and will always forgive. His love without limit or condition."

"So what now?" Remmy asked impatiently.

"Now we lay out your life so you may finish it. All that was, you may experience again in every detail. You may live it as you did, or change any part. That which happened, arrange in any way to suit you. Just as you may construct, all that did not. Anything, whatever you choose. As many times as you wish. Life exactly as it was, or how you wished and dreamed it to be."

"What about other people?" Remmy asked. "I hated most of them. The rest I didn’t give a damn about."

"Every person from your life, those you knew and those you did not, are there for you. Even those you only imagined and now wish to envision. Anyone and everyone, as often as you desire them to be. However, now you will know them as intimately as God. Their thoughts and feelings revealed to you; laid bare for you to know and understand fully."

"It’s over, so screw it. What good is rehashing it now? Skip it and go to the next step," Remmy countered.

"You cannot. This is a special time for you. A time for you to right the wrongs you feel. Shed your guilt and regret. Let go of the life that was, and what could have been—to begin anew—free of all life’s burdens. All your life that was, and what you wish for, will happen in an instant to remind you. Then you may do, as you see fit."

Remmy’s mind reeled at the possibilities. Life had been a disappointment, and he made everyone pay for that fact. As he considered the past, the bright light faded and the world he had known began to form. Every place, person, and each cusp of an event in his life, took shape before him.

The dark places and hundreds of men and women he savagely brutalized, tortured, and killed materialized, awaiting him. His countless acts of cruelty toward those in need, prepared for his pleasure. Remmy’s life lived for the moment, only for self, there for him to live again. And Remmy shivered in excitement.

Remmy also realized, he knew what the people were thinking and could feel their terror at his hands; filling him with the sense of power, he always sought. He could do it all again, yet this time, savor every second. He could be more precise, cruel beyond imagination. Most of all, he could do it all to more people than his short life allowed.

"You said I could also—what if—" and as Remmy thought it, every ideal victim appeared. When he wondered what it would be like to vaporize a city, holding the power only governments had, formed off in the distance.

"This ‘is’ my Heaven. I might do this forever," Remmy moaned in lustful anticipation.

"Few do. Are you ready to be healed so you may arise and begin?" When the being sensed his answer, Remmy felt a light pressure to his shoulders and the entity spoke.

"Thus...rise and rejoice."

Remmy began to stand, then faltered. Every event of his life, real and wished for, replayed before him in an instant. Unable to shriek his anguish so great, Remmy collapsed, curling into a ball as he sobbed.

The entity cooed, enraptured by the wonder and grace before him. "How magnificent...he has been healed. Thank you my Lord. Although, I believe he was right, and will choose to remain."

Remmy had been healed. Empathy, compassion, and remorse restored to him. A life of shame he could never resolve. And the demon began to sing.


OPTIONAL video replacement text:
"Joyful, joyful, we adore thee. God of glory, Lord of love. Hearts unfold like flowers before thee…"

K2
 
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The Judge

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Belated congratulations on your 1,000th! And well done for honouring the ancient custom of putting work up in Critiques to commemorate the event (albeit also belatedly)!

You asked for frank so I won't pull any punches. So first impressions on a quick read (which might not reflect my thoughts on a more careful perusal).

For the story -- too long, too verbose, too much dialogue, too repetitive in concept if not in words, too confusing as to what's happening especially at the beginning, too confusing as to what is meant in the dialogue, inadequate scene-setting, too radical a change from crueller-than-ever-before tyrant to a weeping mess, too sudden a resolution, and for this reader total confusion as to the ending which could simply be because I'm particularly thick this Sunday evening, but might mean you've not set up the twist properly. (If it is a twist -- as I say, I'm confused. But if it is the twist I half-think it is, it's a very clever idea and I like it.)

For the prose -- repeated confusing sentence construction, occasional overuse or poor use of adjectives, and for me and my personal prejudice, too many long dashes (some of which perhaps should be ellipses).

You say you've whipped it up, and to me it does feel as the first heady rush where the important thing is to get down the idea and twist (if twist there be...). What it needs is a long and slow consideration to whip it into proper shape.

I'll leave it there for the moment, but I'll try and come back and give this the more careful read it deserves, at which time I may well have second thoughts, or alternatively give specifics where at present I've just given a litany of generalities.

Meanwhile, sorry to be so very negative. (I wouldn't have written this, though, if I didn't think your shoulders were broad enough to take it, and your intelligence great enough to know its purpose is to help you in improving your craft.)
 

-K2-

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@The Judge ; Thanks for taking the time to read it. I'm thrilled at your comment regarding EM dashes vs. ellipsis'. Originally, I only used EM dashes where there was an interruption, which I actually like using them very much for that. However, attempting to properly apply punctuation, I added a few in and took a number of ellipsis' out (I'm an ellipsis abuser, if you haven't noticed). Except for the one interruption by Remmy, I initially used JUST ellipsis for the entity. The softer result worked beautifully (IMO). Better still, if I applied just ellipsis' to the entity, EM dashes to just Remmy (to show his curt nature), that's how I wanted it. That said, there are indeed many places where a comma or period would have been sufficient.

Personally, I wish EM dashes worked differently. The hard pauses or parentheses substitutions--they're meant to be used for--I really don't care for. I 'wish' they could be used like this: Kay squat-- twisted-- then gripped her pistol... Alas, I discovered that's just wrong :( So noted.

I do see one unintentional typo: 'only governments had, formed off in the distance.' Should read: 'it formed off in the distance.'

Was the confusing sentence construction just with the entity or throughout? That I believe is the toughest battle I've been fighting. If just the entity speaking...I'll have to think on it. I had a definite thought in mind when writing the dialogue. One I'm hesitant to say until others chime in. Regardless, if it is confusing or difficult to read, then it doesn't matter what my intentions were. So, there is that nevertheless.

I'm going to pause there, to see if it strikes anyone else, 'as I intended' (wanting to see if it is recognized, or not...Chalking you up as the first 'or not').

Thank you so much for taking the time to struggle through it. If anything else strikes you or you wish to elaborate, please do. It all helps.

K2
 
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.matthew.

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I'm not great at critiques but I'll give this a try as I'd like to be an active participant where I can.

For some reason, I read the first paragraph as almost a poem. I'm not sure why.
The inevitable moment he never sought, Remmy’s nature demanded as the outcome.
Bright light blinded him. His ears rang so loud,
he could hear nothing else. Subdued comfort, found
when lingering in the twilight threshold
of sleep, replaced the brief excruciating pain.
I don't do poetry but that's how my mind read it (might be being half two over here).

"M***********," Remmy snapped, "I’ve never been afraid and never liked games. Go ahead then. I expected nothing, but fine—send me to Hell—just get on with it."
This threw me a little, not on this line but rather the next paragraph. I think because of the 'snapped' it sounded angry but then the next paragraph explained his nature and what he was actually feeling (or lack of feeling). It could have worked better if the bit about his state of mind came just before the dialogue and in the same paragraph.

The sentences from the demon seemed to rely heavily on sharp pointed statements and while that ramps up the tension, it seems out of character for what at that point is supposed to be an angel or entity granting compassion and forgiveness. Imagine you have given the same speech a million times... you'd probably have it down. Elegant and calming structure would be the way to go for me.

I liked the twist (if I'm reading it right). The entity doesn't judge but allows the soul of the person to be the measure or guilt? When he was able to feel the pain he caused that he could never resolve he was unable to move on to the next place? This could use some extra flavour, maybe just a bit more on the descriptions of what's happening or something (not being very helpful in this case I'm afraid).
 

-K2-

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@.matthew. ; Thank you for taking the time to read that and to comment. For the moment, I'm not going to respond to your points--because--how you viewed it, is close to how it was intended. One line I wish was different by the entity was this: ...the voice compassionately responded in soothing tones. Compassionately should not be there. I want the entity to be exactly as you suggest, almost reading from a script, detached, as unempathetic as Remmy is.

I don't want to say more, yet. But your review let me know that it wasn't so out in left field that no one would get it.

Thanks for chiming in. I'll answer your remarks in greater detail after others have a chance to voice their thoughts (if they don't, then in a couple days).

K2
 

Star-child

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The confusing sentences are throughout, not just in dialogue. Many sentences are fragments or punctuated poorly, disguising their intent.
 

-K2-

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The confusing sentences are throughout, not just in dialogue. Many sentences are fragments or punctuated poorly, disguising their intent.


Thanks for taking a look. If you would, might you select a few examples and repost them so I'll get a better idea of what you mean?

Thanks for taking the time to comment,

K2
 

Star-child

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His demand to be cast down upon realizing there was something after, simply a statement of boredom.
This has neither a verb nor the semicolon that would bind the two phrases with cause and effect.


Every place, person, and each cusp of an event in his life, took shape before him.
The comma after "life" devides the sentence unnecessarily.
Then you may do, as you see fit.
Same problem.



Otherwise, you have what appears to he a regular American or Brit who has killed hundreds yet has no context given how and where he was able to do so. It's as if he's from an unreal place and now he's in a place that consists only of voices and gravity.



And the final two paragraphs are unclear whether they are a type of redemption and choice or the first tortures of hell.
 
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-K2-

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@Star-child ; thanks for the examples regarding comma use. I'll look over each in detail. Off the top of my head regarding the first, I agree a semicolon could have been used, though I'm not sure it's wrong as is... What is off, is the phrasing. In the second, I agree. The third, I'm not so sure... each half has a verb and a noun, yes? Anywho, I',, look into it.

Otherwise, you have what appears to he a regular American or Brit who has killed hundreds yet has no context given how and where he was able to do so. It's as if he's from an unreal place and now he's in a place that consists only of voices and gravity.

Hmm... How and where, even what he did in detail, really doesn't apply to the story. In fact, though Remmy is the protagonist and we're seeing it focused around what he experiences and how he responds, he is just the example used to tell us what happens after he/someone dies (in this story), and that we shape our own Heaven or Hell. There is a little more to it, but what Remmy did is inconsequential.

Nevertheless, I'll consider that and determine if it needs to be elaborated on, or the actual theme enhanced.

And the final two paragraphs are unclear whether they are a type of redemption and choice or the first tortures of hell.

Well, consider if everyone (not just Remmy) faced this scenario. As it was directly stated:
"But once you set your life aside and make peace with yourself, all is forgiven and you move on," (let go of your old life and forgive yourself)
"A time for you to right the wrongs you feel. Shed your guilt and regret." (self-explanatory)
"Let go of the life that was, and what could have been—to begin anewfree of all (old) life’s burdens."

Regret weighs on everyone (without psychological issues). For myself, it's not whether I turned right or left, but the times I let someone down, turned a cold shoulder to someone in need, and did for self instead of others... There is a FANTASTIC speech in the movie The Big Kahuna regarding 'character and regret.' I urge everyone to watch the entire movie, but that speech is here:
(sorry, I can't link it without the software automatically inserting it)

Most people wish that they could go back and fix the past. Dealing with that regret in a new life, would only soil the innocence of it. So, here is a chance for them to do so. The entity--again--said specifically: "There is no Hell or Heaven, as you envision it. There are no torments....Hell or Heaven only exists in your mind."

So, what happens if someone doesn't understand regret/empathy... and then has a lifetime of events smack them in the face, now having those qualities?

Whether Remmy in the future atones for his life or not, forgives himself or casts himself into a personal Hell and so on, doesn't matter to the story. In fact, you'll note the demon/angel doesn't really even care either way, only focusing on his own love of God. Again, the entity was very specific: "I am just one of many to help those in transition from one life to the next."

Remmy will determine his own fate... past that, I'll not say more to allow any others who wish to comment to determine what the story said to them first.

Thanks for helping out!

K2
 
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Star-child

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There is a little more to it, but what Remmy did is inconsequential.
It should be inconsequential, but you made it important to the reader by making the MC one of the biggest mass murders in modern history. If you didn't intend to draw focus to his life, don't make that life extraordinary.



Well, consider if everyone (not just Remmy) faced this scenario.
I did consider it. What you wrote is simply too vague. Not mysterious; unclear. You revealed the demon in the end, creating the impression that the MC had no choice as he was always in the hands of an evil being who is likely to lie as part of the torment. A set up. The reader has no good reason to believe anything a demon says, erasing the impression of choice.
 

tinkerdan

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This is interesting.
I feel that it is drawn out; and the key to this is that you have a large amount of telling that is unnecessary and seems to be there to guide the reader in your direction while at the same time you try to be obscure in your conclusion. I think that if you leave off the telling and just get to the guts of your character's reactions that it would make the story better and leave the reader room to draw their own conclusions.

The begining seems to beg a feel for disorientation.
The inevitable moment he never sought, Remmy’s nature demanded as the outcome. Bright light blinded him. His ears rang so loud, he could hear nothing else. Subdued comfort, found when lingering in the twilight threshold of sleep, replaced the brief excruciating pain.
However it almost sounds like bad poetry-lacking rhythm and rhyme and mostly disorienting the reader. I'm not sure how to fix except perhaps to just shorten it all.

Something like:
The inevitable that Remmy never sought, yet his nature demanded.
Brightness blinding, ringing drowning out everything else; until subdued comfort in the lingering twilight's threshold of sleep replaced a breif yet excruciating pain.

Still makes little sense--but it is shorter. So reach for something like that.
------
What I do get out of the story is.
-------
Remmy has left life and entered into something he never expected.
He demands quick justice and his place in hell.

He is instructed that he's been living a disillusioned life that he needs to shed; that he must chose now how he would have lived his life and that he will then relive the way he chooses, only he'll experience everything from everyone' POV. After which he will be healed. He can't be healed until he experiences this.

Thinking that this could be the key to his kind of heaven he, by nature, devises his new life to be twice as despicable as he old.

While experiencing this he is healed or returned to true humanity and has to endure the hell he has just created for himself.
------------------
So if I have it right then I think you succeeded; however you draw it out too much by leading the reader with all of the extra telling.

Show the reader through his dialogue, what Remmy is all about and tighten and shorten the piece and let the reader judge as everything falls in place.

Trust the reader to lead himself to where you want him to go.
 

-K2-

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It should be inconsequential, but you made it important to the reader by making the MC one of the biggest mass murders in modern history. If you didn't intend to draw focus to his life, don't make that life extraordinary.

@Star-child ; noted. So I guess the questions are, if I said 'Hitler' who has a lot more history, would it matter or just be accepted. In contrast, if I said, 'average Joe,' I suspect significantly more history would be needed... and then a long detailed description of how he dealt with this opportunity.

I did consider it. What you wrote is simply too vague. Not mysterious; unclear. You revealed the demon in the end, creating the impression that the MC had no choice as he was always in the hands of an evil being who is likely to lie as part of the torment. A set up. The reader has no good reason to believe anything a demon says, erasing the impression of choice.

Vague and unclear is fine. That I can work with.

That said, I suppose I could remove the word 'demon,' and not use 'angel,' because preconceived notions about that seems to be the issue with this part. Who is to say that a demon is bad and an angel good? If God created ALL things... You know, angels wipe out whole cities and civilizations, yet demons try to coax you to have a little fun. I could use 'entity,' but then I suppose it would require a detailed explanation. That said, you then go back and apply that word to everything altering its meaning... That has a point, which I'll get to in a subsequent post.

Thanks for clarifying, I'll follow up in a bit.

K2
 

-K2-

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Thanks @tinkerdan for taking the time to read that over. If I take score at this point, I think we're at 3:1:0 regarding 'don't get it, maybe, get it.' ...I'll get to that in a moment. Thanks for the detailed response. I'll read through it many times before I'm done and adjust where I can.

In any case... @The Judge , @.matthew. , @Star-child & @tinkerdan ; thanks for the input... Poor writing is likely the biggest issue. But, what if there is no mystery to this? No big surprise, turning point and so on. What if you took everything at face value, bluntly? No hidden meanings and so on. That's what I intended to portray--which I guess--I didn't do.

The biggest problem with the whole thing, seems to be the very first line. Essentially, he's dead/got killed. Don't seek to die, it's inevitable, live by the sword-die by it... It wasn't meant to be poetic, I was just trying to cram all that in to a single line. Remmy dead...Dead Remmy :LOL: The entity even states that right after: "You have shed your mortal husk. All the suffering of the world is behind you."

The rest of that paragraph sets up the scene, and directly relates to something @The Judge mentioned regarding 'inadequate scene setting and dialogue.' I really don't want scenery, a world, a place, sensations, etc.. So, there is nothing to see, nothing to hear, nothing to feel. Then there is a voice, and Remmy's. That's it for much of it. Two people/voices, nothing more.

I'm a little pressed for time at the moment, so I'll try and post a better response later.

Thank you @tinkerdan and everyone who commented. I'll try and respond shortly.

K2
 

Star-child

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So, there is nothing to see, nothing to hear, nothing to feel. Then there is a voice, and Remmy's. That's it for much of it. Two people/voices, nothing more.
This is an unnatural setting, and like casually mentioning hundreds of murders, is conspicuous. Readers are smart - they look for clues in what they're reading, and one clue is a lack of information. You could have dealt with it via "A voice rang out of the darkness" and the reader would have been satisfied that the lack of setting was due to what little the MC could sense, rather than what the author is holding back to reveal.

I know that sounds like I'm overthinking this, but virtually all fiction is riddled with mysteries and reveals - which is why we have terms like "foreshadowing". You have to be mindful of what you're presenting to the reader, because they are sophisticated - or they wouldn't be reading.
 

-K2-

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Yes @Star-child ; it's an unnatural setting. But, I bet folks used to alien worlds and fantastical realms can understand a void. What I will say in my defense is, every reader can interject their own versions and reasons for anything. But, they also need to take the text for what it is, and not disregard it for their guesses.

Remmy is dead. We find out he's a really bad guy, that's enough. He's in what is essentially oblivion, the void, nothing (some of you might call it limbo)... an entity shows up, now there is a voice. The voice tells Remmy he is dead, and even that there is nothing to see... that's pretty straight forward. He says there is no Heaven or Hell (so we don't need those depictions), it's all in his mind (and very possibly, the voice, the world forming, the people filling it, etc.). The voice then describes what will happen; he will be healed, he will get to relive his life to any extent and in any way, then he is forgiven (by himself and God), and then moves on. We then see Remmy's life history form, he is healed, and he can't take it now knowing regret. So, might/not be able to forgive himself. The End...

In any case... @The Judge , @.matthew. , @Star-child & @tinkerdan ; thanks for the input... Poor writing is likely the biggest issue. I'll make a subsequent post to explain my intentions... though, what it says bluntly, answers that simply.

Thanks again. I'll consider everything said and try to apply it.

K2
 

The Judge

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If I'm reading your comments right, then I'm in the definitely didn't get it camp. I like to write twist endings, so when in very last line I encounter the word "demon" when up until then the speaker has been called only "entity" and has all the kind, compassionate aspects of an angel, then it means I'm going to see that revelation as a twist. So my reading of the last line (which doesn't, admittedly, sit well with the previous lines/paragraph, hence my confusion) is that the demon has all along been trying to get Remmy to acknowledge his evil and feel remorse so that he, Remmy, will suffer intolerably, casting Remmy into the most terrible hell. And so the demon has fulfilled his demonic purpose.

Obviously, it's not your fault that I'm predisposed to see a twist ending where there isn't one. But if you're not going for a twist, why drop "demon" into that last line without previously referring to it as such? And as much as you might want to cavil at readers assuming a demon is bad and angels good, you're not going to subvert that without putting in a lot more work.

I did get that he's dead and he's in a kind of limbo, or perhaps bardo is more accurate, though it certainly wasn't the first line that gave me that, not least because the construction of that line is itself confusing. At the first para he could be anywhere and my first thought was he's undergoing torture in some kind of interrogation all of which fits with a bright light, terrible noise, release only in unconscious. Failing that, I thought he might be in hospital and he's exaggerating both light and noise because of the after-effects of an accident or operation -- which could also fit in with the "inevitable" of that first line (eg he's a drink-driver who inevitably ended up in surgery because he took one risk too many). If you were going for mystery as to where he is which only gradually makes sense, as I did with a recent 300 worder, then that initial teasing obscurity is fine. But you're not, because almost immediately you make it clear what's going on. So that first para has done nothing but confuse.

I can understand you want a limbo that is, literally, nothingness. But in that case why start with blinding light and deafening noise? Presumably this is the moment of death? If so, why talk about the twilight of sleep when it isn't sleep? And if it is death, why not make that clear eg by having a bullet hit him and him hearing something like "Die, you bastard."? That's what I meant by inadequate scene setting. You've dropped us into something and we're not given enough to tell us what it is and what is given seems to contradict itself. But if you want him in limbo, why not start there instead of that opening para? And whether you start there or not, why not tell us there's nothingness? Even a para like "He floated in nothing. There was nothing. Nothing to see or touch or smell or hear. Then a quiet voice burst upon him." gives us something and as poor as that is, it's still adequate as wording and setting.

I think part of the problem for me, in trying to appreciate your writing, is that from my perspective you have a tendency to over-complicate things, even to the level of how you construct some sentences (and it's not just the demon's dialogue -- the very first sentence is a case in point). I see it also in many of your ordinary posts, so it's clearly your style of writing generally. I wonder if you might get on better in your stories, though, if you adopted the KIS principle -- namely Keep It Simple. Simple not being the same as simplistic or simple-minded, of course.

I'm still thinking about the piece generally, and I'll try and get back with some more helpful comments later or tomorrow.
 
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Star-child

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But, I bet folks used to alien worlds and fantastical realms can understand a void.
You didn't write about a void or even suggest one. I think I may be confusing the issue by giving you the reasons that failing to describe the scene is a problem, because you are arguing with those reasons. The problem is that you didn't set the scene, and are now arguing that readers shouldn't guess what's not on the page, yet they should have guessed it is a void.

So please ignore the rationales offered for why you need to describe the scene, and describe the scene to make your writing stronger.
 

tinkerdan

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You should never try to explain what you are doing....
Remmy is dead. We find out he's a really bad guy, that's enough. He's in what is essentially oblivion, the void, nothing (some of you might call it limbo)... an entity shows up, now there is a voice. The voice tells Remmy he is dead, and even that there is nothing to see... that's pretty straight forward. He says there is no Heaven or Hell (so we don't need those depictions), it's all in his mind (and very possibly, the voice, the world forming, the people filling it, etc.). The voice then describes what will happen; he will be healed, he will get to relive his life to any extent and in any way, then he is forgiven (by himself and God), and then moves on. We then see Remmy's life history form, he is healed, and he can't take it now knowing regret. So, might/not be able to forgive himself. The End...
If you have to explain this much then you simply have missed the mark.
From there you should go back over the whole thing and try to figure out where you went wrong--that no one understood what you were doing.
 

Parson

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*Note I am writing this before I have read any of the many comments so there may be some overlap.

Hmm, I'm not sure exactly what you are asking for when you ask for a comment "regarding theme." If you mean the theme of a "reckoning or judgment after death." I believe that it's a legitimate theme, and wearing my Parson's hat, --- too little written and especially thought about anywhere but in hyper-religious circles. There was a time that it was a major thread of normal life and that was better, but it was often used as coercion and that was most certainly worse.

Now, if you mean "regarding theme" in the sense of how it lines up with Christian theology. From my tradition, and from what I know of other traditions, --- not well at all, but there is more ambiguity in the Biblical doctrine of God's judgement after death than most Christians, and certainly most Protestants would believe. In Acts 17:30 Paul is recorded as saying "In the past God overlooked such ignorance..." referring to the worshiping of idols . And in 2 Peter 3:9 "It is not God's will that any should perish..." So such a scenario as your story proposes isn't an unthinkable one.

If you meant something else let me know I'll try to deal with what you are asking.
 

Parson

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Okay, a bit on the story itself.

The beginning was anything but clear. Given my evangelical Christian background I thought we were dealing with the Rapture. It took me a while to discern that Remmy was actually in some sort of in between state. Second, I kept seeing the entity as God, and not a Demon, when we end with a "Demon" I'm disappointed and more importantly, there should have been some clue as to who the entity was going to be if you are going to name it at the end. I will echo what everyone else has said regarding the "mass murder" aspect. I found it off putting and I think the story would have been better if Remmy was a common person with common sins who realizes s/he's not good enough and grabs at the second chance.

I will also agree with the Judge. This sounded like a "first draft." There were just too many errors in punctuation, grammar, and especially I got the feeling of jumping from this to that without transition for this to be a strong story.

This story needs a lot of tightening up. But I think you have an interesting concept which could very well fly in the end.
 
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