Author Topic: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......  (Read 669 times)

Offline sunny2704

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Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« on: January 29, 2012, 12:21:58 PM »
Hi everyone,

Finally I bring to you all a little scrap of my work. i would love if you are brutal to my work and it would help me improve. I personally added the descriptions as per the suggestions of my friend. Let me know if I need to delete something as the first page.

Thanks in advance for all the comments :

An old adage says - ‘Morning shows the day’ but what if the morning starts with a bright sunshine but eventually leads to the onset of an unexpected storm accompanied by heavy rains. What if there is devastating rainfall with the sun shining bright. May be this saying was coined by people who lived in the world of black and white, where the there was light at the end of every tunnel.
But the world today does not live in black and white. The world is a complex place with complex cruelties and so the word ‘Grey’ came into existence. This was the way the people thought of instilling faith in the ‘goodness’ in the ones who had lost all hopes of reform. The story of Neon is one such journey of self discovery which does not rely on black and white characters but re-enforces the fact that every one is a hero is his own story. The only difference is that we do not act on a seventy mm screen so, fail to recognise the hero in ourselves.
Neon has had a very difficult upbringing ever since his father died. He had been a delightful child but ever since this dreadful incident happened, he had kept to himself. He had aged to his teens but not grown since that day. Even his mother had toiled hard in upbringing her only son in the capital city of India, New Delhi.
In this part of the world it was all the more difficult to raise a kid as a single mother. They had no one in the name of relatives. Kids at these ages are like wet mud on the potter’s wheel. Everything that happens around them moulds them into what they will in their future. Without a father, Neon has become hollow from inside. The only silver lining in their torrid life had been that she had been able to make a living as a primary teacher. He was the backbencher who seldom talked.
He would keep himself busy with something. While the other kids his age, loved playing, he kept himself glued to books. Even after returning from school he would get back to his world of books. Initially, as every other parent, his mother loved the fact but later, she became a little worried and tried to get him involved into other things. Neon realized the fact soon as became an obedient and good son for his mother but he seldom left the companionship of books.
It has now been twelve years and Neon had accepted his mechanical life. Everyday he would get up go to school but his love for books had grown by leaps and bounds, especially for Physics. He was about to complete his PhD in Astro-Physics and it was a remarkable feat for a child in his teens. His skinny silhouette justified his nerdy looks. Neon was a mid-sized teen dawning rimless glass that could easily disappear in the crowd except for the few people who knew his intellectual prowess. He had neck length straight hairs and he barely cared to shave. His silent, mysterious look made him all the more popular among girls. His extreme fondness of books had brought laurels for him but in return he had earned hatred of every other student. But neither did the laurel bring him happiness, nor did the anguish bring any curve on his forehead.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 12:33:47 PM »
Hi -- I think everything before Neon reaching 12 -- the last paragraph -- is a prelude to the actual story and could be cut -- use essential parts of it in his attitude and reactions to things and people, maybe with a little dialogue to help. You tend to 'tell' everything rather than immerse the reader in the experience of the character -- try to show that more. Actively show me Neon reading his Physics book while those around him played games or somesuch, refusing to join them, comments made about him. JMO ;)
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Re: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 06:31:33 PM »
I think you will hold the attention of many more readers if you jump right into the middle of a scene showing some interesting conflict or event in Neon's life. You have some nice vivid descriptions of his character (toward the end) but no interesting story yet. Put that interesting character to work. You said his mysterious looks made him loved by girls and hated by others, so let's see it! Don't bother telling me about it, I want to find out for myself and get to know this guy through the story. So make something exciting happen right from the very first sentence. Those first few sentences are philosophical and I don't care about them. That's my opinion. Good luck.

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Re: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 07:49:19 PM »

I think you should take this piece, place it aside for reference to emotions and reasons why your character acts certain ways, and begin your story with him in his teens. This will solve a lot of your tense issues.

I am not saying this is throw-away, because this is a history - but - it is his history narrated to me as a reader, and I want to know the character's life now, at your story's time. That doesn't mean also that you have to use flashbacks to show his past. It can be done many ways.

example: This could be Neon and a girl he might like or she likes him, sitting alone talking.

"Do you remember your father?"

"He left before I was born."

"So, only your mother raised you?"

Neon slammed his physic book down. "What?! Are you writing my blog or something?"

"No. Sorry. I-I just. . ." She placed a hand lightly on his. "You don't talk about your past much, that's all."

"Let it go, Melanie." / He softened but still pulled away from her hand. "We did our best."(leading to him revealing a bit about his past, using the data you wrote here. Not all at once, because not many want to talk about bad times.)


Again the above is only an example to show how to use what you have written, but use it as a cause. But also remember, the past doesn't continually guide our decisions. He would learn, adapt, live. So don't rely on his past too much. It is the character 'now' which the reader needs to empathise with.

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Offline threenorns

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Re: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 09:15:31 PM »
there is a difference between "telling" a story and "writing" a story.  it seems to me that this is what i would hear if i were sitting on the floor cross-legged listening to a storyteller - but it doesn't have the facial expression, hand gestures, and the rest of the body language that fills in the gaps.

you have some really good bits here - children being like mud on the potter's wheel (except you specify that Neon is "hollow" - but isn't everything from the wheel hollow?  in that case, wouldn't he be like all the other children?).  children as mud to be shaped is awesome, and neon being a hollow vessel is fantastic - but there needs to be a way to show that children growing up in ideal situations are "solid" or "filled" as opposed to neon's hollow emptiness.

we do not act on a 70mm screen, so we fail to recognize the hero in ourselves - that whets my appetite for the story to come.

the thing with the books - it does kinda go on a bit, doesn't it? 

"mechanical life" - what a great way to say "boring routine"!

PhD in physics but he's only 12 and just in the previous sentence you'd said he was going to school every day - what kind of junior high gives degrees in astrophysics?  at 12, he'd be (in north america) in about grade 8.  you need to clarify how this remarkable situation came about because you don't mention that he's any intellectual genius - just that's he's a quiet, nerdy bookworm (and there's plenty of those who are *not* intellectually gifted!) and that he loves physics (again, plenty of ppl love physics who don't have the brain for it).

"dawning" rimless glasses - wrong word:  you want "donning", except that means he's just putting them on.  properly, "sporting" rimless glasses or don't even say it - he takes his rimless glasses off to clean them while in the dialogue that reveals his lonely childhood and attractiveness to women.

"neck length straight hairs" - not a good image:  "hairs" means a bunch of individual ones - think "gollum" or an old man with a bad comb-over.  "straight hair" means his hair was straight - what colour was it, anyway?  and instead of describing him statically, again, show him to us:  "Neon irritably brushed the hair from the back of his neck.  It had been too long since his last trim and it was starting to tickle."

how to show both his attraction to the ladies and the hatred from other, lesser gifted, students (except he's in university if he's getting a degree and in university, they really don't generally act like this - they're adults, not high-school kids).... and speaking of, at 12, he wouldn't be attractive to the ladies - that's a bit, um.... just not done.

or IS he 12?  is he actually older but it's been 12yrs since some significant event?

just for my comfort level and only for the sake of this example, let's make him 19, a good age to be wrapping up a PhD and still be precocious:

Neon, engrossed in the latest research news out of the Physics Department at Oxford, didn't notice the sun beating down on the back of his neck until a hand touched it.   The coolness of the long, slender fingers almost made him shiver.  From long practice, he did not immediately react.  He finished the paragraph and carefully marked his spot before he looked up to see Dhara's large black eyes fixed on him.  She smiled.  He stared.

"What?" he finally asked, just to break the silence.

"Your neck was burning," she replied without moving her hand.  She tilted her head so that her sleek black hair cascaded fetchingly - he was fairly certain she'd practiced that in a mirror, it was so well done - and a dimple appeared in her cheek. 

"Oh.  Well... okay," was all he managed.

"Dhara!  Hey, Dhara!  Stop wasting your time with that freak!  Let's go - lunch is on me!"  Neon kept his face averted, not looking at the three jocks who stood, carefully arranged and posed to display their fine physiques and handsome profiles, on the paved path.  It was no use - the leader, Raj, was already swaggering over.  "Hey, freak-boy!  You making time with my girl again, eh?  What did we talk about that?  Eh?  You hearing me or what?  Don't ignore me, freak-boy!"

"Raj," Dhara said, rolling her eyes and sighing with mock exasperation.  "Just stop.  He wasn't doing anything.  Leave him alone."  But she wasn't angry - if anything she seemed flattered.

Neon silently stacked his books, lining the edges up precisely, before stashing them under the bench out of harm's way.  No point getting blood on them.  Again.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 09:17:50 PM by threenorns »

Offline sunny2704

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Re: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 02:33:16 AM »
Thanks all for your helpful comments. My original draft had the opening with a dialogue but my friends told me to describe the situation for his current atrocities and this is the reason I incorporated these fillers in the start to set the mood and the background of the protagonist.

Thanks again to all the fellas. i would still need some more comments and will post the improved first page soon :)

@threenorns : Thanks for the heads up taking the story forward with immaculate descriptions but his nerdy looks does not consist of even an iota of the story ;)


Offline Pik

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Re: Fiction of Truth- Chapter 1: The stage is set ......
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 05:06:47 AM »
Hello Sunny2704.

There are some good descriptions here of Neon in all his geekiness, but I agree with the previous posts that the last paragraph is where the story really begins. Interesting that you should refer to the sections at the start as "fillers"  ???

Call me simple, but I also found it difficult to grasp what you were trying to say in certain sentences. E.g.,
This was the way the people thought of instilling faith in the ‘goodness’ in the ones who had lost all hopes of reform.

Kinda feels like you're dancing around the point, and that confuses laypersons such as myself.  :)

Maybe if you used more direct or simpler language?