Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Jump

He sighed and opened his eyes. The time for praying was over…. The time for action had come. He walked slowly, treating every step as his last. Each step he took was one step closer to his destiny. He felt no longer fear, but disappointment. Disappointment that he could not complete what was required of him.

I leave a legacy of danger and destruction to those who follow me, he thought. As he looked behind at the endless masses of black behind him, he smiled grimly. His death would not be without cause. Choice is free for all living beings, and I am no exception.

He almost hesitated, but after that, he had no qualms of what he was about to do. He made sure he was being followed, then continued. He had often heard, that when men are about to die, their whole life flashes before their eyes. This was not the case with him. Instead, he saw every single failure, every single person who died due to his mistakes. Faces flashed in his mind, growing larger and larger, until everything else was blocked out.

He peered over the edge, his eyes unable to pierce the bottomless depths. He then took one last look behind him, and jumped…


  1. Hi Wordsmith,

    You continue to progress. The opening sentence is poetic and sets the tone well.
    The fragment that follows continues the tone, but, for me the logical conclusion "The time for action had come" is unnecessary.

    The italicized lines are strong. The phrase "endless masses of black behind him" is one of your best so far.

    I also love the fact that he makes sure someone is following him. It emphasizes the evident egotism.

    Did you consider writing this in the present tense? It might inject even more energy.

    Also, I think you need more detail, perhaps a few (or even one) specific image/face that "flashed in his mind." As it stands, the last paragraph is a bit flabby, a bit vague; but the final two sentences are good.

    The opening you chose is from a great novel (though in my
    opinion;-)) not the author's strongest or most important). I'm concerned that you seem a bit dismissive of the other openings, and unclear as to what you mean by "modern." Perhaps, I'm putting too much emphasis on your use of "simply." Nuthin' simple 'bout literary evaluation. Your work would benefit from experimentation, risks; and your growth as a writer will be stunted if you don't read a lot of work which might not be (at this time) to your taste. I'd just hate to think your genuine talent would go undernourished.

    Thanks, enjoyed your piece.


  2. oh meant to say that if (as I hope you do) read the rest of the novel you chose you'll get plenty of that nourishment and a few surprises



  3. Hello,

    I really enjoyed your piece this time. I feel like you've put a lot of effort into this piece. The tone flows well throughout the piece and I feel like the words are chosen and deliberate.

    I think that I would have enjoyed a few more clues about the background of your character, and the reasons behind his behaviour.
    I liked the mystery with knowing that he was being followed, but I felt like I would need more to sustain my interest. Who are the faces, and how did he let them down? What are the disappointments and failures?

    I liked the speech directly from the character, I thought it to be strong and added another dimension to your piece.
    Keep up the good work, enjoy the holidays,


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