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No title yet - Something different

Icarus

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#1
This is a book I am starting. I just started writing it tonight (I have had ideas for a while now) and I am nearly done with the first chapter, but I have to go to sleep now (it's nearly 5:00 AM). The idea is this: I take the personalities, attributes, and mannerisms of all my friends, my family, and people I know, and I redistribite and apply them to six or seven characters. These characters are twentysomethings fresh out of college with shitty jobs. The main character, Jake, struggles with his thoughts and his sense of "purpose". Here's what I have so far:

Ch 1

Jake felt the sun hit his face, got up, and closed the blinds. The boss always wanted them open, but in the late afternoons it was just too hard with the sun in his eyes.

“I had a horrible time sleeping last night”, Jake offered to his co worker, Sam. Sam grunted in return and didn’t look up from his desk, where he was fiddling with something. Jake didn’t like Sam very much, the kind of dislike that isn’t strong at first but festers near the bottom of the stomach into hate. Sam was pale, almost too blonde, and overweight. He wasn’t fat, he often reminded himself, but his utter lack of a chin accentuated his round face in such a way that he seemed almost obese. He had been trying to grow a beard to make his chin more defined. So far, it hadn’t worked. Sam didn’t like Jake very much either, but Sam didn’t like anybody. For that matter, nobody really liked Sam.

“I couldn’t sleep a wink”, Jake tried again. He could tell Sam wasn’t interested but he wanted to tell his story.

“I kept dreaming the alarm was going off.” Jake paused, and Sam didn’t look up. “I kept dreaming the alarm was going off, I could hear it in my sleep. I kept waking up.”

Sam grunted again and kept his attention on whatever he was playing with. Jake sighed and turned around to face his computer screen. 3 hours until he was off work.

Jake thought constantly. Sometimes, not on any real topic, just a chain of association, one thought linking to another. Others, Jake would become focused, and he usually ended up depressed or discouraged. Today, he thought about work. Something struck him and he turned his chair back to Sam.

“Hey.” Sam didn’t even grunt this time. “Hey. Do you ever think?” Sam looked up, didn’t make eye contact, and his eyes returned to the earth.

“I guess.”

“I mean, see, look. We work in a park, it’s summer time, and we sit inside all day on computers.”

Sam made eye contact when he looked up this time. His eyes were a pale, almost translucent blue. “I guess.”

“We went to college and we worked for a diploma, and now we’re adults, and what are we doing here? What are we working for?”

Sam made a face. He didn’t want to hear that. He liked working at the park, with the dark red-brown desks, the computers, and the kids outside. He liked aimlessly driving around in a golf cart on the park’s sprawling grass.

He turned his head back to his little project in his hands and mumbled. “Whatever”.

Jake’s shift was almost over now. He won his game of solitaire and watched as the green background became slowly flooded with white. That was the reward, he thought, his favorite part of solitaire. There was a reward to everything. What was the reward for working at the park?

He looked at the clock on the wall, even though there was one on his monitor. Only an hour left. The door swung open and a man with graying hair walked in. Jake welcomed him and started to ask how he could be of service, when the boss walked out from the back.

“Randy!” His boss had heard the door open and was expecting company. Jake rolled his eyes because he knew what was coming next. The boss turned to Jake and Sam, and motioning to Randy with one arm while shaking his hand with the other, said “This guy saved my life.” The boss, whenever introducing somebody, said it. “This guy saved my life.” The same, every time. Jake’s blood rushed to his cheeks and he forced out a surprised look and an “Oh.” It was the kind of bland half humor you needed to fill a management position.

“Why’s it so dark in here?” the boss asked, and opened the blinds. Jake had once asked his boss if he could wear sunglasses in the afternoons, and had been told no, it looked quite unprofessional. It also probably looked unprofessional to be squinting and squirming while trying to talk to visitors, but Jake kept that to himself. He didn’t like his boss either.

Randy started talking and Jake zoned out. He started thinking again. His boss had probably come to the park the same way, starting in college to pay the bills and then never moving on. He had a winning smile and he looked great in a pinstripe business suit. Those seemed to be the only requirements to be the boss of a place like a park.

Jake’s shift ended and he walked out into the warm Florida air. The sun was almost down. It was Friday night. He slid into his car and cut somebody off too close pulling out of the parking lot.

As he drove, he started thinking again. He thought about his car. He had bought it used his sophomore year of college, because he could afford it. It was a generic sedan, and for the first time he noticed it was the exact same color as his desk at work. The same nondescript dark red. It had never had any real problems and it got decent gas mileage. Jake decided that he hated his car. It was boring. He drove home and checked his message machine. He had one new message.

“Hey man, it’s me. There’s gonna be a little get together tonight at Wesley’s place. You know the deal. Be there at nine. See ya there!” That was Nick. Nick was Jake’s best friend. Jake got in the shower, got dressed, and walked to his car.

He stopped before putting the keys into the door. He hated his car. After a minute of personal debate, he sunk into the driver’s seat and hated himself for it. He drove to the party, hoping he would crash.

Wesley’s house was the designated place for parties. The house was big, with lots of small, intimate rooms, and a huge backyard with a pool and a fire pit. Wes still lived with his parents, but they were gone all the time on business. Now that he thought about it, Jake had never met Wesley’s parents. They had to be rich to afford such a house, and Wesley didn’t work. The street was crowded with cars, more than usual.

Jake walked in and there was loud music. There were a lot of people he nodded and smiled at, and a lot of people with who he made eye contact without formal recognition. He pushed his way through the living room to the kitchen, and then to the den where he knew Nick would be. He opened the door and shut it behind him, and sat down.

Somebody passed him a joint. Jake looked at it. It was more than halfway gone, so he inhaled deeply. He felt the smoke hit his throat, and felt it hit his lungs. He passed it the other way and held in the smoke for a little bit before he said anything.

Jake let out the smoke, and an uneasy “Hey” at the same time. Nick was on his left, and Jaime was on his right. Both Jaime and Nick were dark looking, with curly black hair. They could be mistaken for brother and sister if not for their enormous difference in stature. Nick was tall, and Jaime was not. The small circle was completed, counterclockwise, with Wesley, Ryan, Amanda, and Amanda. The jokes about the two Amandas had gotten old long ago. The Amandas were either best friends or worst enemies, depending on the day of the week. Most of the group was there, which was pretty good for a Friday night with only a couple hours of notice. Jake wondered if anybody else would show up.

Jake exchanged pleasantries and settled in. He was comfortable now, with his best friends. There was already a discussion.

“When are they playing?”

“The 27th, at the Gun House.” That was two weeks away.

Jake knew by the way they were talking that it was their favorite band, The Blankenships.

“I have work”, somebody said.

“Call in sick!” one of the Amandas yelled.
 

Icarus

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#3
I finished chapter 1 and edited it into the first post.
 
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#4
not to discourage, but your writing lacks detail. Things like "Sam grunted again and kept his attention on whatever he was playing with" don't give the reader ANY idea what is going on ... he could be playing with himself for all we know.

I think the general plot will come along nicely, and overall your writing flows nicely, but there are some awkward sentences in there. Try reading it out loud to yourself or, better yet, if you have someone that would read it to you, listen carefully and make marks of things you can improve as he/she reads it to you.

It's awesome that you're writing a book. Good luck and keep going with it until you're satisfied that you're done with it.. if you'd ever be interested in writing a movie script, let me know, I'm looking for a script to make into a directing project in my free time.
 

Icarus

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#5
teh anarchist said:
not to discourage, but your writing lacks detail. Things like "Sam grunted again and kept his attention on whatever he was playing with" don't give the reader ANY idea what is going on ... he could be playing with himself for all we know.

I think the general plot will come along nicely, and overall your writing flows nicely, but there are some awkward sentences in there. Try reading it out loud to yourself or, better yet, if you have someone that would read it to you, listen carefully and make marks of things you can improve as he/she reads it to you.

It's awesome that you're writing a book. Good luck and keep going with it until you're satisfied that you're done with it.. if you'd ever be interested in writing a movie script, let me know, I'm looking for a script to make into a directing project in my free time.
Thanks for the criticism. I will look for things that I think need more description.