Deliverance

Deliverance

A Story by jo

“Within yourself, deliverance must be searched for, because each man makes his own prison.”
Edwin Arnold

four years ago

“You think you know pain? He will make you long for something as sweet as pain.” Loki remembered The Other’s threatening words, his expression unreadable under his dark cloak. It had not mattered if Loki carried through on his word or if he’d decided to betray Thanos, his fate remained the same either way.

“You wish to be King but spend your existence in pathetic envy of a sibling you haven’t any relation to.” He felt the wrath of Thanos for over a year and it was apparent that The Other had kept good on his promise. “Bitterness towards a father that has fed you more lies than truth.” Loki’s skin was not his normal pale yet glowing complexion. Instead it was raw, red flesh, bloody and stinging in agonizing pain. A mere touch would send him writhing in anguish. “Your demeanor is that of a pouty child. You mewl about unjust treatment rather than seek justice yourself. You’re a disgrace to the word King.”

Another burst of pain had come, but it was unlike any pain he had ever experienced. It shook Loki to the very core of his being. His body was breaking inside of him, his mind unraveling. He had terrors every night in place of sleep, images of his brother’s coronation flashing endlessly in his head, Odin’s throne becoming Thor’s at last. This image repeated in his dreams - if you could refer to them as such - on an endless loop, but it was not this that stirred him. It was the celebration ceremony afterwards. Loki’s body, mounted lifelessly on the wall above the cheering Asgardians, enjoying fine wine and bountiful feast. He was dead, and that was what they celebrated.

“Your ambitions are trivial, small and worthless. You long for a throne, a father’s approval, a siblings’ failure. You fail to see the bigger picture, Laufeyson . . .” Loki had given up. He had let all of his tears fall. All of his pain and resentment had boiled over the surface at last, and after all of these years, he was letting himself feel all of it.

today, on asgard

The cell was a small white room with yellow translucent barriers on three sides. Much roomier and welcoming than his former, but still a cell, nonetheless. Loki could see outside of it which gave for some external stimulation, but considering no one came down to see the prisoners, it wasn’t much.

Within the last three years, he hasn’t had much to do but read the same book he’s had for the past two - mother had stopped giving him new ones when he insisted they were gifts driven by guilt and pity - and wallow in his own thoughts and self-deprecation.

But today was different.

All he could think about today was her beauty. The way her dark hair fell over her shoulders, her skin porcelain and pale in comparison. Her bright blue eyes, her full pink lips that he’d spent years craving. He recalled her rosy cheeks whenever she was embarrassed or angry, and the way she would pout when she was frustrated - with his mischievous antics, no doubt. 

Loki found himself thinking about her again, with nothing better to do for the last three years in this cell underneath all of Asgard. The solitude was enough to drive any man mad, but whenever Frigga would come to check on him, his illusion would show a strong-willed, bitter man, handling the situation like a true . . . king. This, of course, was all show. Loki couldn't help the feeling of vulnerability and loneliness. In this cell, he felt truly unloved. Uncared for. Forgotten

“Loki . . .” Frigga stood outside of the cell this time, rather than using her magic to project herself into the room. She looked into his cell to see the same thing she’d seen everyday for the past three years, but she’d taught him everything he knows about magic and illusions - he was not fooling her.

“Have you come to read me another bedtime story, mother?” The venom in his voice was apparent, and he made sure to add an extra sting to the sarcastic pronoun. Frigga simply stared at the illusion, shaking her head in response.

“I’ve come to deliver news I fear you will not take lightly.” The God of Mischief simply scoffed - rather, his illusion did - and smiled sarcastically.

“Has Odin finally given my dear brother the throne?” He didn’t wait for her to respond but kept on with his mirthless banter. “Or what is better, has he died in battle, fallen in servitude of Asgard? If it is the latter, I’d much rather be spared the sentiment.” One would think that so many years of solitude would ease Loki’s cold-hearted desperation for acceptance and equity, if only a little. But the time alone with his own thoughts only magnified his resentment and anger.

Frigga felt tears form in her eyes. She couldn’t decide if it was from his harsh words, or the news she had yet to give him. She decided she would just get it off of her chest before she could find out.

“It’s Lady Darcy, my son . . .” Loki’s heart leapt at her name and sank when he realized Frigga had told him it would be news he would not like. 

“What’s happened?” He asks, his voice softer but urgent. Frigga stood as close to the cell as she could, Loki standing on the other side nearest the wall.

“She’s been sentenced to ten years in Asgardian prison.” Loki finally turned to face her now, becoming enraged at the thought of Odin delivering this sentence to someone so undeserving.

“What could she have possibly done to deserve such harsh punishment?” He shouts frantically, “And why does not her punishment rest in the hands of Midgard?” Frigga smiled sadly as Loki’s illusion faded away, a disgruntled young man standing right in her face. He was pallor, his eyes drooping with exhaustion. No doubt he was getting no more than two hours of sleep a night, if that. His hair was strewn in all different directions and he was barefoot, wearing nothing but a black shirt and deep green sleep pants. 

She felt a tear roll down her cheek as she said the words that broke her heart to hear aloud.

“She tried to free you from your cell, my son.” She uttered. Loki stared at her in disbelief. He couldn't believe it - despite what he’d thought all of these years, Darcy was serious. Years ago when he’d been arrested and held temporarily on the flying machine of the Avengers, Darcy had promised him one thing.

“I'm gonna come for you.” Tears brimming in her beautiful blue eyes, her hand slipping away from his cheek too soon, he didn't think much of it. Of course, he’d used his magic to help her on her quest, but she’s a human, after all. How could he have expected her to keep her word?

Loki and Frigga remain still, Loki contemplating the questions in his mind, but Frigga never tearing her gaze away from her son.

“Loki, dear, please say something.”

“I have to see her.” He says instantly, looking back up at her, tears welling in his eyes. Frigga’s expression gives away her next statement.

“You know you can’t do that, Loki-”

“I must!” He shouts, causing Frigga to jump at the sudden outburst. Loki regrets yelling at her so harshly but can’t get the image of Darcy suffering the same Hel he’s endured out of his mind. Ten years to him was nothing, but for Darcy it was almost a quarter of her life.

“If there was something I could do, I would do it in a heartbeat. But this is not in my hands and you know it.”

“But there must be a way, she’s being punished because of me-”

“She is being imprisoned here due to her own foolish actions, not yours. You had nothing to do with her foolishness.”

“I am the reason she’s being punished, mother. And you know it.” Frigga just shakes her head, getting ready to say her goodbyes. Loki responds quickly. “Let me speak with Odin.” She shoots him a look of disappointment.

“If you wish to speak to your father, I suggest you address him as such.” Loki sighs heavily, plopping onto a nearby foot stool.

“And if I don’t, then what? You forbid me from speaking to the only person that’s ever cared about me?”

“And I suppose your father and I, we haven’t cared for you? Shown you love and compassion? I suppose we’ve done nothing to deserve your gratitude?”

“And locking me away in a cell to rot, that was out of love and compassion!?” He shouts, rising from his seat yet again to face Frigga intimately. She lets out a mirthless laugh.

“You know what you’ve done, Loki. Do not act as if this is undeserving.” He watches her, scans her face, a look of betrayal on his.

“Why have you come to tell me this? If you won’t let me see her, what was the point?” He asked, genuinely incredulous. Frigga hesitated, he could see it, but she carried herself in a confident way that he knew she was doing for his benefit.

“She’s being escorted to these dungeons, so you may see her come past your cell. I simply didn’t want it to be a surprise to you. I know how dearly you’ve missed her.” Loki couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He felt an abundance of emotions at once and didn’t know which of the thousands was strongest.

Relief washed over him in a wave when he realized Darcy was alive and well. He had caused mass destruction on Midgard and wasn’t sure if she’d made out safely. His feelings towards the Avengers were bittersweet. Though they had defeated him and ultimately sent him to his doom on Asgard, they had managed to keep his precious Darcy safe from harm, and for that he was eternally grateful.

His heart raced at the thought of seeing her again, right in front of him after all of these years. What would he say? How would he react? He wasn’t even sure if she’d still feel the same about him. Midgardians don’t seem to have the same values and commitment that Asgardians have. What if this punishment makes her realize what a mistake she’s made, thinking he was worth the trouble?

After a moments silence and contemplation, Loki turned his back to Frigga.

“I wish to speak to Odin. Immediately.” He stood still, almost like a statue, avoiding her penetrating gaze. Frigga, without another word to her spiteful son, strode off down the hall in search for the Allfather. How she hoped this would go well.

today, on midgard

“I need to talk to Darcy,” Jane said firmly, a hard look on her face, “now.” She stood in front of Nick Fury and his group of service rats, all looking down on her like she was a child.

“You know I can’t let you do that.” He said, his one good eye piercing with the force of two. Jane scoffed. She had expected him to wonder how she’d managed to sneak into the Avengers Tower without anyone noticing at the very least, but he couldn’t seem less curious.

“She’s my friend and you’re shipping her off to another realm without so much as an explanation!” She cried out when he went to move. He continued walking anyway, his black attire catching the wind as he strutted down the hall. The Avengers didn’t follow, but she caught Steve’s sad glance when she trailed behind Fury.

“It’s out of my hands, kid. I have duties to fulfill and to be quite frank with you,” He stopped, causing Jane to almost bump into him if she hadn’t caught herself in time, and looked down on her, “She annoyed the hell out of me.” Jane grew enraged at this, stomping closely behind him when he continued walking on.

“Where is she? Tell me that, at least!” She yelled, not wasting any more time with him. He stepped into the elevator in front of him, turned to face Jane and pressed a button on the wall. She stood there patiently as he did, awaiting his response. He cracked a slight smile, but it disappeared almost as quickly as it had come.

“Ask your boyfriend.” He said simply, the doors closing in front of him. Jane wasted no time standing there. She rushed back to the room in which the Avengers still inhabited. Steve and Natasha stood near each other by the window, both looking out and conversing quietly with each other. Bruce and Tony sat by the laptop in the back of the room, Vision watched Wanda create wisps of red in the air with her small fingers, and Clint sits at the table with his foot propped up on the edge, swaying himself back and forth as he fiddles with one of his arrows.

“Where’s Thor?” Each head whipped in her direction when they heard her voice sound through the room. She saw Bruce look awkwardly at Tony as he stood from his seat, slowly approaching Jane as he spoke.

“Oh . . . probably on the intersection between Heaven and Hell by now.” He jests, twirling a device Jane couldn’t recognize in his hand. She rolled her eyes at him, disapproving of his nonchalant behavior.

“Tony, I’m not in the mood for-”

“Do you want to know what I’m not in the mood for?” He asked, standing directly in front of her now. He towered over her with an arrogant confidence that she absolutely loathed.

“I don’t have time-”

“I’m not in the mood,” he continued, ignoring Jane’s interjection, “for a Little Einstein with a short temper who thinks she has any chance at getting her way with a little stomp of her tiny little foot.”

“She’s my friend, Tony. I need to know what’s going on.”

“All you need to know is that traffic is light, so if you leave now, you might get home in time to keep up with the Kardashians.” Jane heard a couple snickers from around the room, the loudest coming from Clint. When he made eye contact with Jane, his smile dropped instantly as did his gaze.

Jane couldn’t understand why none of them were taking this situation seriously. Nick Fury was allowing a human to be taken to another realm for punishment. And why? Because she was annoying? No, it had to be something else - something really bad.

Natasha stepped away from the window and moved toward Jane, moving Tony away with her hand. She gave him a hard look before turning to Jane, her eyes softening a bit.

“I understand what you must be going through-” She started, but Jane wasn’t hearing any of it.

“No, you clearly don’t. If you did I would be standing next to Darcy right now.”

“What’s going on is confidential. We’re under strict orders and unfortunately, we can’t tell you anything.” When she saw Jane about to blow, she continued, “But Thor knows how much your friend meant to you. He told me personally to inform you that he will take care of her. He promised it.” Oddly enough, this settled Jane a bit. She still wanted answers, but she trusted Thor’s words. She just wished she could have heard them from him.

Jane sighed through her nose, looking around at the people in the room. Steve looked sad again, but somehow, she thought it was because of something else.

Tony didn’t even look at Jane. He was too busy fiddling with that device again.

“Will I hear from her? From him?” She asked hopefully, but no one said anything. She had her answer. She only hoped Thor cared enough to speak to Jane himself.

today, on asgard

Darcy felt the weight of her actions at last. She couldn't decide which was worse; the consequences of said actions, or Loki’s reaction when he would come to discover them.

She lifted her head up at Thor, taking in his expression. Unfortunately for her, his face remained impassive. There was nothing there to give Darcy any idea as to what he was thinking. His jaw clenched as he took in deep breaths, though, and eventually he met her gaze. Darcy was surprised to see glossy eyes staring back at her, sad and welling with tears. She felt her own well up at the sight, the thought of disappointing Thor unbearably suffocating.

He rested his huge hand gently on her shoulder as they walked, a gesture meant to calm her, though it only made her heart race faster. She felt a tear escape as she looked away from him, his hand weighing down on her like the world around her. It was as if she couldn't breathe, like there was pressure on her chest that prevented her from doing so. She started to panic but took deep breaths in order to prevent hyperventilation. Thor noticed her behavior and squeezed her shoulder reassuringly.

“I'm so sorry.” Was all he could say. What else was there to say? She had made a mistake that she couldn't take back and now she was paying for it. Thor knew she meant well, and that despite how drastic her foolishness, she acted purely out of love. Still, he couldn't help but feel sorry for her, because he knew how harshly Odin chose to punish those he believed deserved it. How harshly he chose to punish his own brother. His own son.

The heavy doors opened to the King’s chambers, a large room of gold and marble centered against the wall ahead with the Throne in which Odin sat readily, staff in hand and eyes cold and hard on the two. Each step they took dragged on and Darcy felt as though gravity pulled her entire body down. All she wanted to do was collapse to the ground and weep, but she wouldn't give Odin the satisfaction.

Once they finally halted in front of Odin, Darcy realized how much larger than her he was. Her legs began trembling involuntarily and she mentally slapped herself for showing any sign of weakness. Odin noticed her nervousness, but showed no signs of guilt, sympathy or even pity. He simply didn't care.

“Father,” Thor’s loud voice frightened Darcy. Maybe it was her nerves, but he sounded louder than was necessary. She looked over to see him kneeling before the King, one fist over his heart and head down, his golden locks draping before him.

“Retreat to your chambers.” Odin replied, earning a shocked reaction from his son. Darcy’s heart raced at his request. She couldn't possibly do this without him!

“But Darcy-”

“Will be escorted to the dungeons without your aid.”

“But father-” Her small voice sounded so quiet in this large room, especially compared to the gods before her, but Odin heard her, alright.

“Do not speak!” His voice boomed throughout the room, and it was at this that Darcy felt an instant tear fall down her cheek. She looked away, humiliated and terrified, and expected Thor to obey his father’s orders. But a very familiar voice called to Odin from the door in which they had come, and for the first time since she arrived, she felt safe, if for only a second.

“Thor will escort her.” Frigga stopped next to Darcy, Thor smiling slightly on the opposite side of her. “As will I.” Darcy felt her own lips twitch with a slight grin. Still, she found it difficult to find any shred of happiness in this moment. Odin gave them all cold stares before proceeding with the sentencing.

“Darcy Lewis, within the past week you've managed, not only to nearly free a prisoner from his cell, but also put two of my best guards in medical.” Darcy’s heart felt as though it would pound right out of her chest. Her vision blurred as tears welled in her eyes, a sweat breaking out on the back of her neck. “I'm not quite sure what kind of punishment you'd endure on Midgard, but this will not be tolerated on this realm.” Frigga placed a reassuring hand on Darcy’s shoulder, her eyes piercing through Odin’s.

“I understand what I've done.” Darcy found the courage to speak again, her voice even smaller than the first time. Odin watched her cautiously, awaiting her conclusion. She swallowed a lump in her throat before she continued. “I'm willing to accept whatever punishment you decide to give me, but I won't apologize for what I did.” Odin’s face hardened at this, making Darcy feel even more terrified. She continued with a shaky breath. “I love him, and he doesn't deserve this.”

“Enough!” He boomed again, striking the step beneath him with his staff. Frigga jumped at the sudden outburst, her hand clutching Darcy’s shoulder a bit tighter.

“Father . . .” Thor cautioned, stepping forward a bit. Odin stood from his throne, his staff aiding him. He looked at each person in the room, Frigga first. He could see the anger in her face, her nostrils flared and eyes hard on him. Thor’s nostrils were flared in the same way his mother's was, but he didn't look at Odin. His eyes were directed toward Darcy, who was finally letting the tears stream down her flushed cheeks. Thor apologized with his eyes, and Darcy pleaded with hers.

“You are sentenced to ten years in Asgardian prison with no visitations.” He struck his staff on the ground in conclusion as Darcy collapsed into Thor’s arms. He pulled her into him, whispering I’m Sorry’s as Frigga did the same from behind her. Frigga knew that there were much harsher punishments, but she understood the severity of this punishment to a Midgardian. Odin’s expression remained ever impassive as Thor and Frigga escorted Darcy to the dungeons.

“Take her to her cell,” Frigga instructed Thor, “I wish to speak with your father.” Thor simply nodded once in comprehension, continuing on down the long hallway and disappearing around the corner with a weeping Darcy in his arms.

Frigga arrived in the King’s chambers quick enough to catch him before he departed.

“Where are you going?” She asked him, placing her hand on his chest to stop him from continuing further. He sighed heavily, refusing to meet her gaze.

“I need rest, dear, it’s been quite a long day.” She scoffed at this, following him as he strode out of the room.

“You just sentenced a young girl to the dungeons for almost a quarter of her life. Have you no guilt?”

“That young girl must pay for her wrongdoings just like any other wrongdoer on this realm.”

“She is not of this realm.” She spat. When he didn't respond, she tried a different tactic. “And your son, I suppose his opinion is of no importance?”

“Loki has nothing to do with this, Frigga.” He sighed, finally stopping in his tracks to look exasperatedly at his wife. “He, too, must answer for his actions.”

“She is the reason he clings so dearly to his humanity, Odin!” She cried, “The only person who's ever made him truly happy!” Odin watched her pleading face for a moment, and finally she saw realization sink in. His face grew hard yet again.

“I’ve told you time and time again, Frigga,” Odin said softly but sternly, “You must cease your useless visits and just leave the boy to think of his actions.”

“We cannot simply leave him down there unoccupied with no company. He has nothing to do except drown in his own self-loathing.”

“Self-loathing?” He echoed, a mirthless laugh escaping his lips, “That boy has been hellbent on proving his worth as King of Asgard, attempting to murder his own brother and an entire race to do so. Not to mention the . . . havoc he caused on Midgard!”

“He’s prideful, yes, but he’s also broken. He feels betrayed and confused and . . . alone.” Odin scoffed, breaking his gaze with Frigga, unable to truly hear her words. “He’s suffered long enough. I demand you lift his sentence-”

“He deserves to rot in that place for what he’s done!” His booming voice bellowed down the halls, even Sif could hear his screams from her own chambers. Frigga stared at him incredulously, unable to comprehend his hatred for a boy he used to call son.

She stood there in silence, as did he, each waiting for the other to break the swallowing tension.

“What is this really about, Odin?” She asked at last, earning a sincerely confused look from her husband, “What is truly bothering you? Because with all of this anger inside of you,” She crept closer to him, her hand gently moving up his armored chest, “I have trouble understanding how it could possibly be about Loki.” Odin hesitated, his expression unreadable at first, but at last he turned away, leaving Frigga’s hand in the air behind him.

“Loki is selfish, vain, and evil. I could have ordered him dead, yet I didn’t. You should be thankful.”

Thankful? She thought, Thankful that our son isn’t dead by the orders of the King?

“And what of Thor? He was once selfish and vain . . . yet you banished him to teach him a valuable lesson that would help to shape him into the man and king you always wished him to be. Loki deserves the same chance-”

“I will not!” He shouted even louder this time, whipping his head toward her again and giving her a cold stare of finality. She understood this glare all too well, counting in her head all of the times he wouldn’t let anyone but himself make decisions.

“He is your son.” She said finally, not backing down this time. She had put up with his demands for too long and, as queen, she had say in what happened to their son and to his love, Lady Darcy.

Odin looked at her, tired and sad eyes twinkling in the light.

“No,” he uttered, “not this day.”

© 2020 jo


Author's Note

jo
Real quick; my description was too long for the description box so I'm putting it here-

'Three years following the Battle of New York, Loki is imprisoned in the dungeons of Asgard. When someone very dear to his heart is sentenced to the same fate, Loki risks his freedom to save the one who's wrongfully lost hers.'

Now that that's out of the way...

This is the first chapter in what was supposed to be a full length story I wrote based on the events in the MCU films. For some reason, despite having lost my obsession with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (though I still admire it), I keep coming back to this story. I believe it's my best writing to date, but of course I don't believe it's the best writing to have ever been written.

This is the first chapter in what was supposed to be a long chapter story (15-30 chapters, roughly). Disclaimer: I only wrote three. I've since abandoned this story due to school and life, but I'm ready to re-explore the characters and plot and would love any feedback you might have regarding anything from technical to creative issues.

Note: One thing I've recently come to realize is the lack of variation and rhythm in my dialogue. I feel I might interrupt the flow of a conversation with breaks for narration too often - would you agree? Or does it work to exemplify the scene and the emotions felt in it?

Thank you for your help!

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Featured Review

I’m not going to make you happy, but since there are some things holding you back, and you are thinking of committing to completing the story, I thought you’d want to know.

Look at the story, not as the author, who knows the situation, the characters, and the setting, but as a reader who hears no other emotion in the narrator’s voice than punctuation suggests, and has no meaning for the words other than what their own life-history suggests and what context you provide.

• Loki remembered The Other’s threatening words, his expression unreadable under his dark cloak.

“The Other? Loki is part of Norse Mythology, but who in the hell is “The Other.” You can’t assume the reader watches the same films and listens to the same music that you do. And while Loki might remember those words the reader just got here They can't remember anything.

So, we've read line one and the reader is saying “Huh?”

• It had not mattered if Loki carried through on his word or if he’d decided to betray Thanos, his fate remained the same either way.

"Carried through" on what? You know so this makes sense. Loki and The Other also know. But who did you write this for? The reader. And for that reader, who cannot know your intent, the backstory, or anything you don’t either give them or call up, the entire first section lacks context.

In fiction, context is EVERYTHING.

• The cell was a small white room with yellow translucent barriers on three sides.

“The cell?” Without knowing where we are in time and space this says little. And what’s a transluscent barrier? Most cells have walls. And given that we can’t see the things you mention, why do we care what color they are? Does Loki care in this scene? If the color doesn’t matter to the story, or him in the scene, who cares what color they are? That’s visual information about things the reader doesn’t see and has no reason to care about.

• Much roomier and welcoming than his former, but still a cell, nonetheless.

Why in the plueperfect hells does a reader care about what kind of cell he was in for an unknown time, an unknown time before the story began? It's irrelevant to THIS scene, so the time it takes to read it slows the pace of the story.

Here’s the deal, and it’s critical: Story happens. It’s never talked about or summed up. Reports are boring and this section is a report. Open with the cell catching fire. Have a body drop from the overhead. Have Loki plotting a jailbreak. Have-something-happen. Readers are looking for action not movement, and emotion, not facts. They don't want to read that aq character is angry, they want you to make THEM angry. They want the story to seem so real that if someone hits Loki the reader feels the pain. And noting in all thise reports ad essays you wrote in school prepared you for that task.

The reader can’t hear the narrator’s voice so it’s dispassionate and boring. And no one wants you to open a story with a lecture about what happened before the story began. It’s Loki’s story, not yours. So what matters to him in the moment he calls “now” matters to the reader. What matters to you, history, opinion, gossip, etc. Has no place in a scene. As Sol Stein said, “In sum, if you want to improve your chances of publication, keep your story visible on stage and yourself mum.”

But of more importance, because all we learn in our school days are nonfiction writing skills you’re focused on detail and events, and are—as you were taught—reporting and explaining. In fiction that is, literally, the kiss of death. It will get you rejected in a single paragraph—usually less. Not good news, I know, but it is the world we live and work in. And remember, you, and everyone you know, have selected only fiction created with the professional skills the pros take for granted. It’s what you expect in what you read and what others expect from yours.

But…not one teacher explained what the elements of a scene on the page are, and why they differ so much from one on the screen. Not a one talked about the nuance of dialog and how best to use tags. None talked about the three issues we need to address quickly on entering a scene, or how to end one. And if we don’t know what a scene is, how can we write one?

Bottom line: It’s not your fault that you learned only report-writing skills, but still, you need to fix the problem. And that requires significant study and practice because it’s not list of, “Do this not that.” It’s an entirely different set of writing techniques.

Only you can tell if the work is worth the time, of course. But to help you judge that, and see how different the approach to fiction is, you might look at an article or two in my writing blog. And if you’re truly meant to write you’ll find the learning fun. If not? Well, you’ll have learned something important. So it’s win/win.

And if after a look it still seems like something you want to do you can find lots of books on the subject in the library’s fiction-writing section. One very good one is available for download here:
https://b-ok.org/book/2476039/ac87b9

Not good news, I know, but you did ask. And as they say, be careful what you wish for. 😳 Still, while it’s not something you’d want to hear, it is something you need to know. So dig in.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/


Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I’m not going to make you happy, but since there are some things holding you back, and you are thinking of committing to completing the story, I thought you’d want to know.

Look at the story, not as the author, who knows the situation, the characters, and the setting, but as a reader who hears no other emotion in the narrator’s voice than punctuation suggests, and has no meaning for the words other than what their own life-history suggests and what context you provide.

• Loki remembered The Other’s threatening words, his expression unreadable under his dark cloak.

“The Other? Loki is part of Norse Mythology, but who in the hell is “The Other.” You can’t assume the reader watches the same films and listens to the same music that you do. And while Loki might remember those words the reader just got here They can't remember anything.

So, we've read line one and the reader is saying “Huh?”

• It had not mattered if Loki carried through on his word or if he’d decided to betray Thanos, his fate remained the same either way.

"Carried through" on what? You know so this makes sense. Loki and The Other also know. But who did you write this for? The reader. And for that reader, who cannot know your intent, the backstory, or anything you don’t either give them or call up, the entire first section lacks context.

In fiction, context is EVERYTHING.

• The cell was a small white room with yellow translucent barriers on three sides.

“The cell?” Without knowing where we are in time and space this says little. And what’s a transluscent barrier? Most cells have walls. And given that we can’t see the things you mention, why do we care what color they are? Does Loki care in this scene? If the color doesn’t matter to the story, or him in the scene, who cares what color they are? That’s visual information about things the reader doesn’t see and has no reason to care about.

• Much roomier and welcoming than his former, but still a cell, nonetheless.

Why in the plueperfect hells does a reader care about what kind of cell he was in for an unknown time, an unknown time before the story began? It's irrelevant to THIS scene, so the time it takes to read it slows the pace of the story.

Here’s the deal, and it’s critical: Story happens. It’s never talked about or summed up. Reports are boring and this section is a report. Open with the cell catching fire. Have a body drop from the overhead. Have Loki plotting a jailbreak. Have-something-happen. Readers are looking for action not movement, and emotion, not facts. They don't want to read that aq character is angry, they want you to make THEM angry. They want the story to seem so real that if someone hits Loki the reader feels the pain. And noting in all thise reports ad essays you wrote in school prepared you for that task.

The reader can’t hear the narrator’s voice so it’s dispassionate and boring. And no one wants you to open a story with a lecture about what happened before the story began. It’s Loki’s story, not yours. So what matters to him in the moment he calls “now” matters to the reader. What matters to you, history, opinion, gossip, etc. Has no place in a scene. As Sol Stein said, “In sum, if you want to improve your chances of publication, keep your story visible on stage and yourself mum.”

But of more importance, because all we learn in our school days are nonfiction writing skills you’re focused on detail and events, and are—as you were taught—reporting and explaining. In fiction that is, literally, the kiss of death. It will get you rejected in a single paragraph—usually less. Not good news, I know, but it is the world we live and work in. And remember, you, and everyone you know, have selected only fiction created with the professional skills the pros take for granted. It’s what you expect in what you read and what others expect from yours.

But…not one teacher explained what the elements of a scene on the page are, and why they differ so much from one on the screen. Not a one talked about the nuance of dialog and how best to use tags. None talked about the three issues we need to address quickly on entering a scene, or how to end one. And if we don’t know what a scene is, how can we write one?

Bottom line: It’s not your fault that you learned only report-writing skills, but still, you need to fix the problem. And that requires significant study and practice because it’s not list of, “Do this not that.” It’s an entirely different set of writing techniques.

Only you can tell if the work is worth the time, of course. But to help you judge that, and see how different the approach to fiction is, you might look at an article or two in my writing blog. And if you’re truly meant to write you’ll find the learning fun. If not? Well, you’ll have learned something important. So it’s win/win.

And if after a look it still seems like something you want to do you can find lots of books on the subject in the library’s fiction-writing section. One very good one is available for download here:
https://b-ok.org/book/2476039/ac87b9

Not good news, I know, but you did ask. And as they say, be careful what you wish for. 😳 Still, while it’s not something you’d want to hear, it is something you need to know. So dig in.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/


Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

11 Views
1 Review
Added on May 26, 2020
Last Updated on May 26, 2020
Tags: marvel, loki, avengers, fanfiction, drama, action, adventure, romance

Author

jo
jo

About
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valu.. more..

Writing
ever drifting ever drifting

A Story by jo