Critique of This Was My Dream
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Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
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This was my dream:
Five hundred words. He had five hundred words to tell a story.

Great. Because writing’s totally not hard enough already. Sure. Fine. Whatever.

Fine. Fine. I can write it. But what to write? Something short, simple…why not just write down a dream? Dreams make good stories sometimes. Dreams are like butterflies…they’re beautiful, and if you don’t pin them to the page quickly they’re gone too soon. Who said that, anyway? Neil Gaiman? No, that was Fragile Things, it had a butterfly on the cover. I must have made it up when I was feeling poetic, then.

The pen met the page, and the dream met the words.

This was my dream:
It was ever and always silent in the town of the dead. The silence rang, funeral bells amongst the wicked, twisted yellow graveston—

No, no, no. Too generic. I always write horror, anyway. Hmmm…


This was my dream:
This realm was like a vast chessboard, and it was where mages played. The pieces were those fools who’d dared offend the Wizard Kings, and as directed moved and checked and slayed to entertain the Magi, and there was no homecoming.

That’s the plot of Dungeon Siege: Mageworld. I can’t write that.

But what?

This was my dream:
Michaeli struggled under the weight of the marble statue on his back. Why couldn’t he have a coffin like most vampires? But NO, it HAD to be the giant marble grave mark—

NO! Writing about one of the games I’m playing? No way. I did that with Robert and nobody understood the story. It has to be good. It has to make sense. And, just for fun, let’s say it also has to be exactly five hundred freakin’ words. The Playground Writers Workshop: Bringing a whole new layer of meaning to writer’s block since 2009. Beata Discordia. Ok, ok, I can do this. I have lots of weird dreams to make into a story.

Oh, man. This is going to be harder than I thought.

I might need a few days.

Ok, try again…


This was my dream:
It was a dark and stormy night. Do you know why that’s become a cliché? It was good enough to keep being used. Because the weather has a sense of humor, perhaps. Anyway, cliché or not, it was true.

It was a dark and stormy night, and the only sound besides the booming scream of the thunder was a whispered prayer...

Please, Dear God, don’t let them find me. Don’t let them find me. Don’t—

“You, there! Under the tree! Hands in the air! I said hands--”

The gunshot split the night, one more thunderous blast lost in the fury of the storm, one more life extinguished.

The soldiers moved on. They’d done their job, after all. All Hail Big Brother!

Ok, what the hell was that? 1984 fan-fic? Really? God, the well of inspiration is running dry indeed.

And then it hit him.

He knew exactly what to write.
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I loved it, I really did. Usually I find that just writing about wondering what to write about a rather cheeky and lazy way to get out of writing a story, but this worked perfectly, and I found it just as good as a proper narrative plot that a story might have. Good job!
Am I right in assuming that italics are thoughts and speech, and non-italics are the narrative bits or what he is writing? That is what it seemed like, and if so then there is a little bit where that does not fit. You wrote: "It was a dark and stormy night. Do you know why that’s become a cliché? It was good enough to keep being used. Because the weather has a sense of humor, perhaps. Anyway, cliché or not, it was true." and I think that what would have made more sense is "It was a dark and stormy night. Do you know why that’s become a cliché? It was good enough to keep being used. Because the weather has a sense of humor, perhaps. Anyway, cliché or not, it was true." Sorry if I am wrong, but that bit seemed a little confusing and this seemed like the only explanation I could think of.
I also enjoyed the various references to common clichés that writing tends to veer towards no matter how hard you veer it away, and I also liked that first paragraph with the grumpy writer complaining about what he had to do.
I also think you ended it well - that last line kept us geussing. Do you have in mind what you thought he should wirte about? Because I think that it would have made a very good rigmarole, and the thing he wrote in the end was our story.