WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


My private game (436 words)

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-11-2014, 05:32 AM
salgoud (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 175
Thanks: 74
Thanks 43
Default My private game (436 words)


As ever, I continue to find myself doing too much academic writing and not enough for my own enjoyment. Any feedback on this piece by a rusty novice would be much appreciated.

----------

Waking up to find a steady stream of piss involuntarily leaving my urethra and rapidly covering my legs, soaking the bed - that should have been the wake-up call. That should still be the wake-up call, but in reality there is no one event that can change an addiction; nor do they build up over time until eventually you say “okay, enough is enough.” Until a couple of years ago, the last time I had wet the bed or otherwise pissed myself was over two decades previous, when my parents would lovingly wrap my as yet innocent and incontinent nethers with a nappy.

Now ostensibly a grown man, living on my own, studying, working, I woke up from the restless sleep of a novice alcoholic. Between that and the booze, it took me a good few seconds to comprehend that not only had I wet the bed; I still was. I thought about what to do for a moment and realised I should probably hold it for a second and finish off in the bathroom, which I did. I also knew that the sensible thing to do would be to change my bedding, but it was 4 in the morning and I figured that could wait a few hours, so I didn’t. I didn’t even change sides and sleep on the dry half of my double; that half had always been hers, and it still didn’t feel natural to sleep there. It wasn’t my space, at least not yet.

When something like that happens, only a fool would be unable to deduce the cause. Admitting to yourself that you can and should change, that takes considerably more. When others start to notice you tell yourself that it’s a game, one you win by outsmarting them and smugly enjoy their ignorance as you carry out an evening of flagrant conversation despite being deeply intoxicated. As for losing, that’s only a temporary setback caused by momentarily raising their suspicion, perhaps even enough to ask if you’ve fallen back into your old ways. If you can fool them again tomorrow, you’re still winning. And life is good.

Eventually, a few years later, you find yourself excelling at that game to the point of boredom, yet you can’t quit. Not because it’s an addiction; that’s the territory of the poor, the disillusioned, the ill-educated. Because it’s in you, it is you, it has become such an ingrained part of your personality that you now longer know who you are without it. The person you know as yourself fails to emerge. He’s inside the hand-crafted, artisanal gin waiting behind the bar.

__________________
Deciphering tools: Opinion, Confusion/inconsistency, Possibly/slightly incorrect, Incorrect/Remove. I don't really know anything - all I can offer is my opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-11-2014, 06:32 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 404
Default

I'm going to assume this is just fiction, although it reads like something that should be prefaced with 'Hello my name is Bill and I'm an alcoholic.'
if that was your intent then you hit the nail right on the head.

In my opinion something like this should be taken 'as is' and that's what I'm going to do.

nice piece.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to max crash For This Useful Post:
salgoud (07-11-2014)
  #3  
Old 07-11-2014, 07:51 AM
salgoud (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 175
Thanks: 74
Thanks 43
Default

Originally Posted by max crash View Post
I'm going to assume this is just fiction, although it reads like something that should be prefaced with 'Hello my name is Bill and I'm an alcoholic.'
if that was your intent then you hit the nail right on the head.

In my opinion something like this should be taken 'as is' and that's what I'm going to do.

nice piece.
To my mind the best fiction contains within it a small truth about its author. In some cases it's right up front, sometimes it's deep in subtext. My pieces can go either way or both, and I would be lying if I said there wasn't a part of this that's true of myself. Luckily the details are untrue to my own experience, but I feel I have been deep enough into this character's situation to understand where you might end up. The girl, I had someone in mind; the booze, I've come close. The rest, well, we all have families, don't we? All of which is partly why I've had a recurring urge to write a longer piece along these lines - just testing the waters first, I guess.

Thanks for your feedback, I really do appreciate it.
__________________
Deciphering tools: Opinion, Confusion/inconsistency, Possibly/slightly incorrect, Incorrect/Remove. I don't really know anything - all I can offer is my opinion.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to salgoud For This Useful Post:
ericjohn (07-16-2014)
  #4  
Old 07-14-2014, 06:00 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

Hey Doug,

It has been a while for me too. I like where this piece is heading and what it is doing. There is a deep self loathing simmering under this (I mean of the character, not the author )

I thought I would lend my two cents. As usual, take what you feel is useful, ditch the rest.

Originally Posted by salgoud View Post


Waking up to find a steady stream of piss involuntarily leaving my urethra and rapidly covering my legs, soaking the bed - that should have been the wake-up call. That should still be the wake-up call, but in reality there is no one event that can change an addiction; nor do they build up over time until eventually you say ďokay, enough is enough.Ē Until a couple of years ago, the last time I had wet the bed or otherwise pissed myself was over two decades previous, when my parents would lovingly wrap my as yet innocent and incontinent nethers with a nappy.


Found the start a bit repetitive, as you can see through my highlighting of the instances of wake and it's cousin. Personally, I would combine sentences one and two into something like this:

Finding a steady stream of piss involuantarily leaving my uretha and rapidly soaking my legs and the bed should have been the wake up call.

And carry on the rest as is (except remove eventually, it appears a needless modifier).

Originally Posted by salgoud View Post
Now ostensibly a grown man, living on my own, studying, working, I woke up from the restless sleep of a novice alcoholic. Between that and the booze, it took me a good few seconds to comprehend that not only had I wet the bed; I still was.
These sentences read awkwardly to my eyes. "The restless sleep of a novice alcoholic" and "Between that and the booze" in particular jarred for me. I think this is because the booze soaked sleep and the booze are essentially the same thing and saying "between the booze soaked sleep and the booze" sounds funny. I would remove the "between that and the booze". See what you think.

The statement "I still was" confused me as well. It might be because I am sleep deprived myself, but I found this a bit of awkward syntax. Perhaps something along the lines of "...that not only had I wet the bed, the piss was still flowing freely" or something better?


The next couple of paragraphs read fine and have some powerful images associated with them. For me, these were the highlight of the piece. Watch the number of adverbs though. I think you could trim a couple from this section without compromising the text.


Originally Posted by salgoud View Post
Eventually, a few years later, you find yourself excelling at that game to the point of boredom, yet you canít quit. Not because itís an addiction; thatís the territory of the poor, the disillusioned, the ill-educated. Because itís in you, it is you, it has become such an ingrained part of your personality that you now longer know who you are without it. The person you know as yourself fails to emerge. Heís inside the hand-crafted, artisanal gin waiting behind the bar.
I think "eventually, few years later..." a bit of a tautology. I would remove one or the other. The part in blue - I would make this three seperate sentences; this seems to provide more of an impact.

Finally, your last line is great, but I think could be enhanced like this:

"The person you know as yourself: he's inside the hand-crafted, artisanal gin waiting behind the bar."

It provides a deeper subtext instead of socking the reader in the face with the failure to emerge bit - at least it does for me

Anyway, as usual, a compelling short Salgoud. Thanks for sharing, and I am glad it is not totally autobiographical
__________________
TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to risk10 For This Useful Post:
salgoud (07-15-2014)
  #5  
Old 07-15-2014, 01:41 AM
salgoud (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 175
Thanks: 74
Thanks 43
Default

Hey Risk,

I have to say, this board wouldn't be the same without you. You've commented on several of my little stories now, and you always provide insightful comments, whether on the story as such, grammar, or word choices. You have a keen eye for the little details that so easily escape my own eyes, and I really appreciate your feedback.

I absolutely agree with your suggestions. Thanks again! Now, I should probably go wash my face to get this brown hue off my nose.
__________________
Deciphering tools: Opinion, Confusion/inconsistency, Possibly/slightly incorrect, Incorrect/Remove. I don't really know anything - all I can offer is my opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-15-2014, 05:58 AM
Michael D's Avatar
Michael D (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Oz (Wichita, KS.)
Posts: 448
Thanks: 30
Thanks 103
Default

Risk pretty much painted the entire picture, (accurately) so I won't even bother adding anything as it would be superfluous.

Subjects such as this can be diffucult to put to paper, especially if that partial truth is in there, concerning the writer. I will say that it is interesting and honest, even for so short a piece. That being said, please keep it so. The grit and truth about alcoholism is not supposed to be pretty and neat, because the disease is not pretty and neat.
Carry on -

M
__________________
"I believed what I was told. I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found something that changed it all..."


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Michael D For This Useful Post:
salgoud (07-15-2014)
  #7  
Old 07-16-2014, 11:05 AM
Escriber* (Offline)
Word Wizard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Sarasota, Fl
Posts: 561
Thanks: 31
Thanks 120
Default My private game

Brief. Words are saying what they mean. In 436 words you present the Man vs Self conflict in which the narrator deals with adulthood. He is in the struggle to gain control over the things that happen to him.

A pretty active narrator, you sway between the first and second person points of view. This is good technique. Keep. Shows your lot as a writer. The narration keeps the reader active. You manage to do so even with a narrator who is not making the strongest attempt to resolve his conflict.

You are creating a round character who lacks motivation at the time. He is disconnected from the outer world, but somehow has to make amends for how the outer forces may be taking over.

Adding a scene where the narrator comes to some sort resolution will improve this draft. It should be a change in the way the narrator is thinking. All he would have to do is move from one mind to the other.
__________________
As the saying goes,
first the Dread,
so remember to Dream the Descent.
No despair- it is the Decision.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-16-2014, 03:04 PM
Nick Pierce's Avatar
Nick Pierce (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,551
Thanks: 2,100
Thanks 1,388
Default

Originally Posted by salgoud View Post
To my mind the best fiction contains within it a small truth about its author.


"I am lying as truthfully as I can."

Charles Bukowski
__________________
Through the smoke and fog there comes a form ... shape shifting ... could this be the Future?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-16-2014, 03:18 PM
Nick Pierce's Avatar
Nick Pierce (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,551
Thanks: 2,100
Thanks 1,388
Default

Real drunks flip the mattress when they come back from the head.

Thought you might want to know.
__________________
Through the smoke and fog there comes a form ... shape shifting ... could this be the Future?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-17-2014, 09:45 AM
NeveredingOpera (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Originally Posted by salgoud View Post
To my mind the best fiction contains within it a small truth about its author. In some cases it's right up front, sometimes it's deep in subtext. My pieces can go either way or both, and I would be lying if I said there wasn't a part of this that's true of myself. Luckily the details are untrue to my own experience, but I feel I have been deep enough into this character's situation to understand where you might end up. The girl, I had someone in mind; the booze, I've come close. The rest, well, we all have families, don't we? All of which is partly why I've had a recurring urge to write a longer piece along these lines - just testing the waters first, I guess.

Thanks for your feedback, I really do appreciate it.
I agree. It's the truth that is in a writers words that makes them powerful, no matter how grounded or fantastical their environment.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Creep World (WIP) MalReynolds Fiction 21 09-07-2017 06:06 AM
Abstract text game? Otviss Writing Markets 5 12-08-2013 04:26 PM
Thee Game Cityboy Non-Fiction 0 08-15-2013 03:03 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:06 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.