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Within Temptation


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#1 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Oct 13 2011 - 09:18 PM

It starts so small; those things that will always ring in your memory as the reason why you cannot return, why the world is gray and cold.Why in fact, life seems no longer something to be lived.It was a rainy night; a rainy spring night, almost dawn in fact. The lovely smells of the new season were everywhere, and even the muddy ground seemed to live, despite the squelch sound as feet pounded through them.To say that the girl was sad would be an understatement. To say that she was torn by a heartrending ache of agonizing sadness and despair would be closer to the truth, as the wild but hunted look in her eyes told. As she stumbled through the rainy night, the fresh water soothed the bruise on her cheek, but did little to aid the wounds of her heart.Home had become a different kind of noun to her now. Instead of a place, it was nothing but a thing; a thing she somehow knew she would be forever barred from. It was heartrending, but a triumph came with it as well.Triumph at what? her conscience whispered sharply at her. Is it the filth on your soul? The hatred and anger you brought upon yourself by those you know and hold as dear?She cursed her conscience, hating it with every once of her being. It was a prick in her pleasure, one that sometimes drove in punishment better then any parent could inflict, and held on even after she threw it long out. It was better to ignore it, and as a slimy but pleasant - although repulsive at once - feeling enveloped her, she realized that the Other Voice had come. Where her conscience harmed and repulsed her while at the same forcing her to turn towards it, the Other Voice drew her in, while at once feeling her with repulsion; even yet, she loved it far more.Why are you so sad about this 'filth'? What have you to be sad about? You are no slave to the ancient system. You are free, free to do what you will. The voice was soft, its words soothing as she listened to it. But the first voice cut it off.He's lying, you know. His delusions of freedom are nothing. When it comes down to the truth, you'll find that you are still a slave, a slave to the pleasures and delights of this foolish world. Like an animal, who has no thought of the future. The words were cutting, although in their hardness a softness glowed, as that of a punishing parent. The wrong analogy, as a streak of anger flashed through the girl's head. She would not be talked to like a child again!Yes, that's right. You don't want to answer to anyone. You want to be free of those chains. Again the second voice sounded. It was soft and tempting, but if the girl had been in a calmer state of mind, she would have noticed the undercurrent of coldness in it. But she did not, and her attention became even more fixed. A smile crossed her face as the voice of her conscience grew more desperate.You don't get it, do you? You're being offered the forbidden fruit. What lies at the center of that fruit? It is always like that. The bitter cup is sweet, yet what seems the sweetest is always foul at the core. It will seem good now, but when you're lying awake one night, years from now, wondering how you could be so twisted. Will it seem so good then?The second voice was quick to counter, regaining the girl's ear.Pah, listen to him. Since when has a bitter cup been sweet and a delicious fruit sour? He's feeding you fairy tales; a bunch of rubbish. He's treating you like a wayward little child. Is that what you wanted?"No, no," the girl murmured, but she didn't look quite so confident now. Her conscience's remark about the future had gotten her thinking. But to her thought, the second voice was quick to dispel it, cutting off her conscience again.And what of the future? Live for the moment, I say! And let the devil take tomorrow. Why are you worrying about the thoughts you might have on the sickbed, some forty years after this? He's robbing you, robbing you blind. Feeding you with the rubbish of your life after you die. He's a wishful daydreamer. A fool. Not like you and me, oh no. we're sensible, aren't we?The girl nodded absently, still not quite reassured."Yes, yes, of course."You can't listen to him. It's all good at the moment, but trust me. It won't be like that. If all you live for is pleasure, then how are you anything different then an animal?Her conscience would have to find a weak spot. The second voice however, quickly countered.See? There he goes, acting like a parent, telling you what you can and can't do.You talk as if parents were some sort of blight. They aren't. Perhaps it's you that is the blight, and your parents are merely the blighted.Her conscience had used the wrong words. A string of curse flew of from the girl's mind as she told her conscience in no uncertain terms to shut its mouth.The second voice continued, its soothing tone relaxing her.See? He's gone. He's not like some dolt of a parent. he can be shut up. Now, you're free. Utterly free.The girl nodded, almost trancelike. the second voice was so absorbing. It dominated her entire focus.The spiritual slime around her entered as the Other Voice took full control: she no longer had any control over her body. She had surrendered to him. She found herself turning around, walking back towards her home, grasping a knife in her hand. A demonic grin spread across her face.By the next morning, family had changed, just like home. It was a thing she had none of. A thing she had caused the death of.But the second voice had left her; left her broken and empty.She was no longer a person.She no longer was a part of this world. She was a ghost, a demon, and she almost smiled at that - if she had the power to smile that is.People walked by, enjoying the lovely morning. The girl glared at them, her eyes full of bitter hatred.They were alive, she was nothing more than a ghost.A living ghost?This time she did smile. The knife she had used to butcher her family was still on her, and she drew it out.This was one problem she could change at least.Blackness filled her, filled her mind, filled her spirit.And all was left was a pale corpse, a knife buried in its chest.There truly was nothing left to live.

Edited by Zarayna, Nov 18 2012 - 07:19 PM.

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#2 Offline Aderia

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Posted Oct 16 2011 - 02:26 PM

Dark, twisted, psycotic, gruesome, suicidal, morbid, tragic ending, I do believe I have just read a work of Zarayna Sigur Foireann. I'd really like to know how you came up with this idea. Internal conflict was illustrated beatifully, said with 150% honesty. I didn't spot any spelling/grammar, but on the other hand, I wasn't exactly looking very hard. The whole thing reminds me of Golem, and I like the dialogue you had going with the two halves of her. Keep up the good work! *end long overdue review*

Edited by Aderia: Toa of Ducklings, Oct 16 2011 - 02:27 PM.

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(Aderia)

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#3 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Oct 16 2011 - 08:33 PM

Dark, twisted, psycotic, gruesome, suicidal, morbid, tragic ending, I do believe I have just read a work of Zarayna Sigur Foireann.

This totally will head my next library. XD

I'd really like to know how you came up with this idea.

Well, long story, but basically me blowing off steam after being caught in massive family drama last winter. :/

Internal conflict was illustrated beatifully, said with 150% honesty. I didn't spot any spelling/grammar, but on the other hand, I wasn't exactly looking very hard.

Thanks. I also had my mouse over the ones so I read it as '50%' :P

The whole thing reminds me of Golem, and I like the dialogue you had going with the two halves of her. Keep up the good work!

Honestly, Golem was the last thing on my mind there, but the concept is the same.

*end long overdue review*

Yes, it took you over six months, but thanks. :P Your tired POBZPC,Zarayna

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#4 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Sep 27 2012 - 12:54 AM

Official Short Stories Critics Club Charity ReviewWell, that was depressing.Or it should have been depressing, anyway. I like the idea you have here, but I feel like there wasn't quite enough detail to pull it through. Psychological horror is deliciously fun to write, but you have to really get inside the character's head. Dissociative identity disorder is a real thing, so do some research and try to give the voices more personality. They both sound like the same person (well I mean, they are the same person, but you know what I mean), and there are trifle generic. One's good and one's evil, that's all we get. And give them more interesting names than "her consciousness." If it has a voice, it has a name.What I'm trying to say is that psychological horror is best viewed from the inside. You need to immerse us in the character's experience, and for that you need to show, not tell. For example:

To say that the girl was sad would be an understatement. To say that she was torn by a heartrending ache of agonizing sadness and despair would be closer to the truth. As she stumbled through the rainy night, the fresh water soothed both the bruise on her cheek, and her aching heart

You see all those bold words? Those are adjectives that don't really add anything but extra emoting. What is sad? Don't tell me how the girl feels, show me how she's feeling.

The girl stumbled through the night. She wrapped both arms around herself, holding her ribcage in place. Her heart hurt, not like heartburn, but a throbbing ache, as if it was bruised. Her bruised cheek hurt too, but the cold rain soothed the pain. She imagined the rain soaking into her sweatshirt and numbing her aching heart.

Of course this is how I would write it, not you, but I hope I gave you somewhat more of an idea. By showing us the girl's actions and feelings instead of trying to boil those feelings down into words like "despair" and "sadness", you can make here much more a of person to us. It will be all the more creepy when she snaps.I apologize if this came across as grumpy; it's late. >< If you need clarification on anything, feel free to ask for it. Keep writing, I adore this genre and wish people would write more stories in it. ^^

Edited by Yukiko, Sep 27 2012 - 11:00 PM.

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#5 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Sep 27 2012 - 01:18 AM

And if anyone knows about dark depressing psychological horror then it's Yukiko.I think it's a little haunting because those kind of thoughts, those voices we get in our heads, are the reasons we give ourselves when we feel undecided about something. Of course not many of us have had to question whether or not we'll kill people in our family... but on the small stuff that we face daily, this seemed kinda realistic. It's pretty easy to get into that, "live for the moment", thinking.Really good writing, but I do agree with the comments above me. I feel like the main character should have done a little more or there should have been more hints as to why she was even thinking this way. Is she mentally sick? Was she harmed by members of her family?Either way, it was creepy and the idea was a good one, so pretty nice job Zar! (though I know you wrote this last year and your current stuff is better!)
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#6 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Sep 27 2012 - 01:27 PM

And if anyone knows about dark depressing psychological horror then it's Yukiko.

Lol, thanks. :sigh:

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#7 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Sep 27 2012 - 02:10 PM

Official Short Stories Critics Club Review

You mean 'Official Short Stories Critics Club Charity Review' right? Because it totally baffled me when I first saw this. :P

Or it should have been depressing, anyway. I like the idea you have here, but I feel like there wasn't quite enough detail to pull it through. Psychological horror is deliciously fun to write, but you have to really get inside the character's head. Dissociative identity disorder is a real thing, so do some research and try to give the voices more personality. They both sound like the same person (well I mean, they are the same person, but you know what I mean), and there are trifle generic. One's good and one's evil, that's all we get. And give them more interesting names than "her consciousness." If it has a voice, it has a name.

I may not have explicitly said this... But there were two distinct and separate persons in this story; one of them, obviously, was preternatural, aka a demon. I might also add that consciousness=/= conscience. It was meant to be distinctly a battle between her conscience (aka her) and the demon tempting her. In short, it's not physiological at all, but simple demonic horror. Although this may not have been explicitly stated, I thought that the description of her turning back was a good implication. But then... I would have probably have had to read cases of actual demonic possession form the point of view of the possessed person to really understand this. But then, this was during my period of vagueness, where I would write about a particular instant, making up backstory as I went along.

You see all those bold words? Those are adjectives that don't really add anything but extra emoting. What is sad? Don't tell me how the girl feels, show me how she's feeling.

The thing was, I was trying to start out with a remote perspective, not explicitly from the point of view of the girl, but more form an observer. Your rewritten paragraph made me think that her ribcage had somehow been broken off, and that she had to hold it in place, which I found a little confusing. Also, ironically, the problems in the quoted paragraph that I saw were not the descriptive words, but the choppy sentences. It would have looked a lot better with a semicolon or two.

Really good writing, but I do agree with the comments above me. I feel like the main character should have done a little more or there should have been more hints as to why she was even thinking this way. Is she mentally sick? Was she harmed by members of her family?

GAH IT'S NOT REALLY GOOD WRITING IT'S MY 2011 STYLE WHICH MEANS WAY TOO FEW SEMICOLONS WAY TOO MANY CHOPPY SENTENCES AND OVERALL LOWER QUALITY WRITING THAN MY CURRENT STYLESorry, I felt the need to critique my own work. It needs a lot of revision, and the shortness of the paragraphs makes me feel revolted by glancing at it...Also, as I said above, the way I wrote this was by taking an instant (the girl running through the rain) and building off that. I really have no idea what was her case at home, only that she had for some reason ran away from home.Thanks, both of you, for the reviews.

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#8 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Sep 27 2012 - 11:00 PM

The thing was, I was trying to start out with a remote perspective, not explicitly from the point of view of the girl, but more form an observer. Your rewritten paragraph made me think that her ribcage had somehow been broken off, and that she had to hold it in place, which I found a little confusing. Also, ironically, the problems in the quoted paragraph that I saw were not the descriptive words, but the choppy sentences. It would have looked a lot better with a semicolon or two.

Semi-colons are for wimps who are afraid of closer. :closedeyes:JK. All your criticisms were valid, though in my defense it was about 12:30 at night and I was rushing it to meet the deadline. BUT THAT IS WHY WE HAVE EDITING, GLORIOUS EDITING AND REVISION. (Semicolons are not a cure all, however. Use them when you need them only. If you can merge two clauses with a conjunction, it often creates more flow than just replacing the period with a semicolon.)If you want to start with an observer's perspective, I would suggest describing how she looks, not telling us directly how she feels.

Edited by Yukiko, Sep 27 2012 - 11:03 PM.

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#9 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Sep 28 2012 - 09:01 AM

An overuse of semicolons is weird, but an underuse is just clunky.Nonetheless, I mainly agree that that passage, along with pretty much the rest of the story, needs reworking.
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