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Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

one month ago
“Humankind will never change!” came the first shout. Instantly, thousands of voices began screaming, as if this one person had pulled the cork keeping all their opinions inside… “This is ludicrous!” “We have rights!” “You can’t do this!” “It’ll never work!” so on and so forth, late into the night. Eventually, the fighting began, as the Retopia General knew it would. They knew humanity like no other, every impulse, every thought. They knew it, and they had created a solution. Now they awaited the inevitable realization and submission.

BANG! The sound rang out over the crowd. Some jumped at the noise, startled, while others froze in terror.

“Mommy! Mommy!” the voice of a small child cried out. “Mommy, no!”

Suddenly, the fighting ceased as the crowd realized what they had done. The Retopia General, every member, watched with smug smiles as the people backed away in revulsion. There, in the middle of them all, was a young woman bent over on the ground, her child next to her, a little boy with dark hair matted with his mother’s blood and bright green eyes overtaken with tears. “Mommy…” he said, shaking her shoulder. A bullet lay deep and deadly near the center of her chest.

The crowd seemed to hold its collective breath as they waited for the young woman to open her eyes, to talk to her child and show the world she was not dead, they had not killed her.

She never did… she never would. As the crowd slowly dissipated, the only noise heard was the heartbroken sobs of the dead woman’s child.

Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

one month ago

Is this a story concept for Gay and Depressed 2?

Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

one month ago
Lol, no. Is there any way you could help me make it better? Maybe less gay?

Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

one month ago
So the village elders created a black powder gun to kill dissenting villagers, and neither of these groups have ever seen modern weaponry? Generic shouts of cynicism and disbelief don't tell me much of anything about what's supposed to be happening and the world it's taking place in. Not that I can bring myself to care because the characters you've introduced have the personality of a cardboard cutout.

Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

one month ago
It’s a prologue- not to introduce characters, but to set the tone. The actual story has characters and that kind of thing, but not this part. It just gets i in your head that the Retopia General are actually the bad guys, or at least not great, before the main character of the story tries to tell you they’re wonderful and the saviors of mankind.

Does that make any kind of sense?

Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

one month ago
I understood what you were trying to do with your prologue, you're just doing a terrible job at it. If I was writing this, I would've had the prologue told from the mother's PoV. She would be the one shouting, "Humankind will never change!" (Which begs the question: Are the bad guys aliens taking over Earth or are they humans taking over an alien planet? I don't know what the fuck is supposed to be happening here or why.) Then I'd ask myself:
  • Why is she there with her kid?
  • Are these people captured or have they gathered in the town square to protest?
  • What did the big bad do that affected her and her child's life so horribly?
  • What the fuck did the big bad do, other than kill a random woman, that makes them a reprehensible lowlife that the readers will hate?
  • Murder is a statistic, and your average person will likely only care if the character is likeable or if the fictional society was murderless before the bad guy showed up. Also, the main character shouldn't be trying to tell us anything; we already know the bad guy is evil. He should be trying to convince himself that the bad guy is Jesus or a legion of Jesuses.

    Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

    one month ago

    Here, I'll try to explain what's happening so you can help me get that point across, even though it IS supposed to be a "what's going on here" moment that you figure out as you read. Actually, it's modeled after one of my favorite books. After a scene in "Matched" by Ally Condie.

    The Retopia General is a potential oligarchy attempting to overtake the world after it has descended into virtually The Purge. All that's left of humankind is gathered before them to protest, hence the woman and her child. They are prone to violent outbreaks because of being raised in a lawless and anything-goes environment. Fighting breaks out because of their heightened emotions and predescribed violent tendencies. 

    Eventually, the riot gets out of hand, with one of the mob brandishing a gun. They pull the trigger randomly, perhaps even accidentally, and it hits the mother of the child. 

    Though I think the idea of it being from her perspective is intriguing.

    Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

    one month ago
    I have neither read "Matched" nor watched The Purge. Anyway, you should've shown us all of this.
    The Retopia General is a potential oligarchy attempting to overtake the world after it has descended into virtually The Purge.
    Ignoring the fact that oligarchies are inherently immoral shitbags, and considering your world's current situation, what makes these guys worse? Did they orchestrate society's decline and wait for the right moment to reap the benefits? Is there a secret police that kidnaps people for "reeducation"? Does anyone remember what the world was like before shit hit the fan? Are any of the wannabe oligarchs recognizable public figures?
    All that's left of humankind is gathered before them to protest, hence the woman and her child.
    I wouldn't bring a child to a protest, but personal feelings aside you can ignore this paragraph if your story isn't taking place on Earth. I imagine those still alive would've been scattered across the globe and form tribal societies after civilization collapsed. So, how do you get all of those people on the same continent? With saccharine promises of a better world? Are they forced to comply? It may be me, but when a character says humankind instead of people or something similar, it makes me think either the speaker is an alien or the speaker is talking to an alien. Stating that the RG knows humanity like no other and whatnot doesn't help.
    They are prone to violent outbreaks because of being raised in a lawless and anything-goes environment. Fighting breaks out because of their heightened emotions and predescribed violent tendencies.
    Is there any dissent amongst this group of people? If not, why aren't they directing this at the bad guys? Why does a single gunshot and a dead woman make it stop? Why does the crowd act like she'll get up from a bullet to the chest (especially if it's a hollow point)?
    Eventually, the riot gets out of hand, with one of the mob brandishing a gun. They pull the trigger randomly, perhaps even accidentally, and it hits the mother of the child.
    To me, the way your prologue is worded makes it sound as if the RG or their goons shot her instead of someone in the crowd. You suggest that the RG has something to control the people with and later bring out a gun that calms the crowd down and gets them to walk away while the RG is smug about it. I'd either write the prologue from the mother's or the child's perspective. Maybe mommy is sad because some scary men took daddy away to "school". Maybe the RG makes a speech in the town square and sways half of the angry villagers to their side and the riot breaks out because of it. Shit, have some RG guards shoot the mother and instigate the riot, maybe her kid saw the guard shoot her. Make the RG look like the good guys to everyone except the PoV character. Whatever you do, show more. And please keep all of the answers to these questions to yourself.

    Dead Woman’s Child: a prologue for maybe a story

    one month ago

    Thanks for your help. I'll definitely use it when I rewrite it for the story.