Weekend Writing Warriors #6

wewriwa

This weekend I’m participating in a blog hop known as Weekend Writing Warriors.  A bunch of writers share 8 sentences from a story they are writing or have written.  If you would like to participate, here is the link: http://www.wewriwa.com/

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted so I thought I would start over with a new excerpt from the same story.  Not sure if I’ll go back to the last one.  Maybe. . .  In this snippet, Hojo (a mad scientist) put Zack and Cloud into solitary confinement because they tried to escape from the lab.  Also, this is more of a dungeon than a jail so it’s pitch-black to add to the psychological torture.  Zack was injected with the cells of an alien, Jenova, and she’s trying to take control of him in this moment of weakness.  It was difficult to write a character losing his sanity to an alien hell-bent on world domination.  I have no experience with that, obviously XD  This was my interpretation. . .

If you would like more of the back story it is provided in the introduction to my first Weekend Warriors Post.

***

In the vast sea of darkness, the sound of her voice swept over him, trying to pull him down into the depths of his subconsciousness. With nothing to hold onto he started to sink.  It began with a whisper in the back of his mind about a reunion, so faint it seemed like an auditory hallucination.  Shortly after he became accustomed to her rambling, her voice transformed into a screech, grating his eardrums like nails on a chalkboard, interjecting into his thoughts at random.  The period of silence was like hiding behind a barricade during the Wutain War, shaking with anticipation and ready to piss himself waiting for the enemy.

His most recent memories were the first to disappear, the Nibelheim mission, his meeting with Cloud, and his ascension to First Class SOLDIER. All of it was gone, and he couldn’t remember what it was that he forgot, only that he felt empty, born anew into this implacable darkness as a ghost of his former self.

With a shaky finger he drew his name on the wall, ZACK FAIR, each letter standing tall and proud in his mind, like a SOLDIER reporting for duty.

***

Every time I look at this snippet I revise it, lol, so if something could be phrased better let me know 🙂

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25 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors #6

  1. This seems really difficult to write, because as he forgets how can you narrate what he’s forgotten from his POV. I’m feeling stressed out for him..,having an alien take over your brain…yikes!

    • Yeah, I referred to him in this chapter as not-Zack, lol. He ends up having amnesia, so this whole chapter was really hard to write. Because he’s still kind of Zack, but he doesn’t remember who he is or anything. Memories are a huge part of who we are. Thanks for the comment ^^

  2. The writing is beautiful and deep, but “slowly started to sink” jarred me. Is he physically sinking into the mud or is his mind sinking? I got that his mind sank, but it wasn’t until I read what came after. I was already jarred before I got there. Sinking probably is not a good word choice for a soldier outside.

    If her voice was like nails on a chalkboard, why would periods of silence be the worst? Nails on a chalkboard are SO annoying that I would long for the silence.

    The comparison to war is very strong and pulls in the reader as is “ghost of his former self.” I got a strong feel for his angst. I love the way he wrote his name on the wall. It seems like he did it so that he won’t forget who he is.

    I’m not sure why you always shout the word, SOLDIER.

    This is an intriguing story. I love the concept!

    • You make some good points Joyce 🙂 This whole thing is an extended metaphor. He’s not literally sinking. The line before implies that she’s trying to pull him under to the depths of his subconsciousness. So the fact that he was sinking is in reference to the earlier line and he is sinking into his subconsciousness and losing himself. And I guess what I was going after with the silence being the worst is the anticipation he felt. Knowing that that horrible noise could come anytime renders him unable to sleep or focus. Kind of like the short story Harrison Bergeron. Not sure if you have read that? Is there a better way to communicate that? I realize it’s kind of an obscure point :/ I thought the war analogy would clarify it. . . If you are in the middle of the war and waiting for an attack to come, the anticipation is horrible. When it’s going on you are too much in the moment to be terrified. Maybe if I don’t say the silence was the worst. Both the silence and the screeching are horrible. I’ll try to go about it like that. The name of his military division is SOLDIER, so that’s why I use it so often, lol. It’s tied to his identity because it’s everything that he is. Thanks again for your insight 😀 Always appreciated ^^

    • Okay, so I did a quick fix for now, “The period of silence was like hiding behind a barricade during the Wutain War, shaking with anticipation and ready to piss himself waiting for the enemy.” If I think of something better or you have a good suggestion I’ll change it 🙂 Thanks again! It’s hard to tell if I’m communicating my point effectively because I know what it means so it makes sense to me, lol. And yeah, he is trying not to forget who he is. It was a difficult scene to write :$

  3. I think you captured his mind getting taken over by the alien very well, frighteningly so. I read what you wrote about why you capitalize SOLDIER, I don’t know if it is explained better in the earlier parts of the story, but the capitalization sort of jarred me. Very creepy, good job.

  4. I really love your voice and writing style, It has a deep flowing feel that lets you sink into the character. I am really, really looking forward to reading more of your work!! 🙂

  5. I like this! I can see why it would be difficult to write, but I definitely got the strong sense of him losing himself.

  6. I agree that the writing of his name is powerful. The entire scene is very well done. The one thing that jarred me was the chalkboard- everything else is so unique to this world, while the chalkboard is rather cliche, it seems sort of out of place. Great eight, P. B.

    • Okay, I had to reread the snippet to see what I actually wrote. It’s not a chalkboard. It’s just a blank wall of the prison cell. I said he wrote it with his finger, and that the letters stood out in his mind. He’s not actually writing anything. It’s kind of like if you write something in the air with your finger, instead he’s doing it on the wall with his finger. Nothing is actually being written, and he’s just going through the motions. Is there a better way to convey this point? I didn’t mean to make it confusing :$ Glad you enjoyed it as a whole 🙂

  7. I loved, loved, LOVED this excerpt *rushes off to find some more*
    Your writing style was deep, and I could imagine the entire scene. Very beautiful! My favourite line was actually the first: In the vast sea of darkness, the sound of her voice swept over him, trying to pull him down into the depths of his subconsciousness.
    By the way, i’ve also tagged you to do a book tag here: http://nirvanaamjad.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/harry-potter-spell-book-tag-mo-in-inkheart-photos-of-the-best-books-ever/
    It would be awesome if you find the time to do it 😀

    • You’re too sweet :$ Not all of my writing is like this because a whole chapter written in poetic prose would be difficult to read through XD I’m glad you enjoyed it though 😀 I had a lot of fun writing this part. It’s not every day you get to write a character losing his mind to an alien hell-bent on world domination XD

      Thanks for the tag! I’ll do it sometime this week 🙂 I just skimmed through yours and it looks really interesting ^^ I’m about to sleep, but I’ll comment tomorrow 😉

  8. I think you pulled the reader in quite well. And you’ve done a great job of showing the emptiness and confusion he feels.

    As far as the POV issues? I’ve struggled with a similar conundrum. And in the process, have talked with a lot of writers and a lot of readers in the real world. The overwhelming opinion is this: as long is it doesn’t cause confusion for the reader, and as long as it doesn’t push the boundaries beyond what’s acceptable when suspending their disbelief, then there is no problem. I have to add to that, though. My freelance editor warned me to use caution about the POV issue I was wrangling with. He pointed out that if I intended to self-publish the book, it’s alright to go with what works for the reader. But if I intended to shop the story around to try to find an agent and aim for a traditional publishing deal , then I’d better stick to the rules.

    • I’m a bit confused? I thought this was written in 3rd person limited like all of my other snippets. This scene is in 3rd person, but it’s through Zack’s perspective, which makes it 3rd person limited, right? Are you referring to the fact that I’ve switched characters? In 3rd person limited you can have multiple narrators as long as you keep it in 3rd person limited, but you can only switch at scene breaks or chapter breaks. You can’t hop into someone else’s head mid-scene. At least this is my understanding of it after reading several articles about it online. The majority of the story is from Zack’s POV, but occasionally I switch to a few other characters, only at scene or chapter breaks though. I read and reread your comment and I’m still not sure what you are trying to say :/ You specify that their is a POV problem without telling me what it is. If you could clarify this issue I’d be most appreciative 🙂 I certainly wasn’t trying to break any POV rules, and would like to fix this issue if possible :$

  9. Pingback: Weekend Warriors #7 | The Paper Butterfly

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