#1
Part One(And explanation of what this was written for.)

I've done some editing. Here goes.


In the heart of the Mediterranean, a little port town called Adriennia hugs the supple curves of the land and brushes the sea with light butterfly kisses. It has never seen a map or known the extravagant bustle of commercial tourism. It has never been exposed to a camera’s flash or seen itself on the face of a postcard. It is largely unknown. A labyrinth of ancient alleyways snakes through the town and dumps its empty contents out onto the narrow streets at random intervals. Echoes of the gentle tug of sea lapping up against seawall ring throughout the city and permeate the souls of the people who live here. The people of this town are hardy, good natured people with an inbred gentle toughness resulting from a long lineage full of fishermen and sailors. These people live and die on the sea. If you look deeply enough into their eyes, you can see the soft caress of the sea that has been infused into their very beings. The word stranger doesn’t exist in this place.

A couple of blocks to the east of the center of town is a small tavern with disproportionately large windows that overlook the bay. It is unusual to find a place like this in a small Mediterranean town. There are always empty seats and the alcohol flows freely. The regulars that frequent this bar have deep, drunken conversations about important things such as Italy being a top seed in the next World Cup. There is an old, blind man who sits in the farthest corner of the bar every day and always has. He lives in the apartment above the tavern, and nobody has any idea how he manages to pay his rent on time each month. He is referred to as Papa by the regulars in the tavern, mostly because nobody knows--or cares to find out--his real name. He is generally left to his business, which entails sitting in a chair and appearing to sleep all day. Sometimes people think he is dead, but nobody ever bothers to make sure he is alright.

Every day, the same group of three or four men will sit at the counter facing the oversized windows, watching people walk by and seagulls circle overhead. Every once in a while, a woman will pass by and will be accompanied by whistles and comments like “That’s a beauty, right there.” which are in turn followed by grunts of agreement. Safe inside the confines of the bar, this is a major pastime for anybody who frequents this place.

When they say these things, Papa looks up from his waking slumber, slaps his cane on the ground to get attention and says something like “You fools. You know nothing of beauty. Nothing at all. You know nothing. Nothing.” And one of the men says “You are blind, Papa. What do you know about beauty?” There is a long, disconcerting pause which makes each man hope that maybe for once Papa has given up and gone back to sleep. And then, abruptly, he says “I know more about beauty than any of you idiots. I can see perfectly fine. I see the gnarled wood of this table sliding underneath my hands; I see each impression and bump in the floor when my feet shuffle over it. I see how drunk you all get every day with each *clink* that signifies an empty mug being ceremoniously pounded onto the counter. Do not speak of beauty. I see the beauty of the sea as it lovingly strokes the seawall, I see the beauty of the seagulls soaring high in corkscrew circles as they squawk with innocent hunger. I see the wind ruffling the hair of the trees, and I see the beauty of each individual leaf as it brushes up against a brother, driven by the breeze. I see the beauty of people which cannot be seen by a normal person.”

“Okay then, Papa”, says the Bartender, “How do I see this so-called beauty?” And Papa replies “All you have to do is look past those women into the rippling flow of the sea. Look up at that gull that floats effortlessly so far above our heads. All you have to do is open your eyes.”

With the end of Papas speech, he is dismissed as insane and someone makes a comment about his worsening dementia. A chorus of laughter and the men return to their vigilant people watch.

Papa leans his head back against the wall, resuming his nap in solitude.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Last edited by Ganoosh at Oct 4, 2009,
#2
I really enjoyed this. You did not use as much vocabulary as in the previous piece. You might want to add in or change words to make it a step up, more intelligent sounding. I know you can do it because i've seen it from you before. Maybe not during dialogue because they are sailors who usually don't care to speak languages "perfectly". But when describing the town and such, that could really help you. The story was great, not too short, not too long and it got the point across beautifuly. It built up to the point of the piece which is good and it ended nicely as well. If you edit this, I would choose this as the entry in my opinion. Sorry my crits not too informative and lengthy but that's the best I can give you right now. Finish this up because it could be great.
#3
Pretty excellent, awesome pacing. The only thing I would work on is the dialogue, and as there is so little of it, it means there's not much to work on. It unfortunately also means that the little you do have is integral to get right. It just didn't feel natural or fit in with the rest of the story, some it was kind of...abrupt and broke the mood and flow.
Quote by Ganoosh
“You fools. You know nothing of beauty. Nothing at all. You know nothing. Nothing.”
Kind of awkard in the way the multiple periods stop the flow, also could be a bit more forceful, because the old man is interjecting and wanting to be heard. Also, I find using the word "nothing" four times in succession is kind of...redundant and ultimately fails to get the point across.

“You are blind, Papa. What do you know about beauty?”
This is good, it fits in with the kind of naivete and idiocy reflected in the young men when they say earlier "that's beauty." This is kind of what I'm looking for, having your dialogue reflect the characters while saying what they want to say, because the rest of the story constructed everything else so wonderfully, the little town, the sea and the bar.

“I know more about beauty than any of you idiots.
Good starting, but the use of "idiots" takes away its effect, also like above, it needs to be longer! Expand, or erode this in with the next sentences, they are all short too! Maybe use buffoons, to get an alliterative flow with beauty, or something along that line.

I can see perfectly fine. I see the gnarled wood of this table sliding underneath my hands; I see each impression and bump in the floor when my feet shuffle over it.
I hate to keep saying it, but again, the periods cut off the flow of the words! Replace the first period with a comma, and take out that semicolon! Throw in "and" to replace the semicolon and it would be great. I would even combine this with later sentences as they share similar ideas, but that's ultimately up to you.

I see how drunk you all get every day with each *clink* that signifies an empty mug being ceremoniously pounded onto the counter.
Only thing I can say here is remove the *'s, I don't think it really makes sense for someone to pronounce *'s, but that is artistic license really, so just personal preference from me. I also personally don't think that "ceremoniously" fits in with the rest of the sentence, maybe switch it for something with less syllables, but ultimately if you like the way it sounds and flows and the connotations, use it.

Do not speak of beauty.
Too short as is! Combine this with either the sentence before or the sentence after. On the other hand, it does kind of provide a respite, a halfway point between the paragraph, but I think this would only work if you model the first part of your paragraph a bit like the second part.

I see the beauty of the sea as it lovingly strokes the seawall, I see the beauty of the seagulls soaring high in corkscrew circles as they squawk with innocent hunger. I see the wind ruffling the hair of the trees, and I see the beauty of each individual leaf as it brushes up against a brother, driven by the breeze.
This is way better than the first part, this is more what I'm looking for, it doesn't stop awkwardly and it says everything you want to say!

I see the beauty of people which cannot be seen by a normal person.”
This feels to me kind of like a cop out, and I mean it just kind of tails off the most important paragraph in the story with an indecipherable, almost useless, sentence. Trust me, I've done this enough times to recognize it they suck, but in my case I throw them in when I'm shot for ideas and that's basically when I know that my ideas for writing that piece are all used up. Whether that's the case with you is irrelevant, because you can change it to actually mean something. To me, it's repetitive and ultimately could be left out, with the preceding sentence ending your paragraph quite nicely. If you're stuck to keep it in though, avoid using versions of the word "people" more than once, maybe say something like "I see the beauty that surrounds us, the beauty that many people with two more eyes than I have fail to see every day that they think they live their lives." blegh, not a good example, but something like that would work, really letting readers know why the guys in the bar aren't seeing the beauty that Papa's talking about. This is ultimately what you're looking for to end your sentence, something decisive and tangible, not vague and impenetrable.

Again, not sure if you meant for the old man's dialogue to be awkwardly paced, but I just feel it falls on its face and it trips me up when I'm reading. Which it really shouldn't, because this is the climax of the piece, this is what you really want to say, so don't hide behind periods and haltingly take it one step at a time, proclaim it loud and throw it out there so readers can see it from a mile away and once they're finished reading, they go "wow." Yeah, reading it over again, it's just so frustrating because I know what you want to say, it's just not quite getting there, and every sentence is stop and go and stop and go, it just breaks up the mood.

“Okay then, Papa”, says the Bartender, “How do I see this so-called beauty?”
I like the way how you've constructed the flat characters who, despite themselves, are hanging onto Papa's every word.

And Papa replies “All you have to do is look past those women into the rippling flow of the sea. Look up at that gull that floats effortlessly so far above our heads.
I would elongate this sentence, switch the period with "and," and if you like throw in a comma to show a separate thought but keep those ideas together. Also, take out the first "that" and replace it with "the," this would definitely help with the flow I think. "...flow of the sea and look up at the gull that floats effortlessly so far above our heads."

All you have to do is open your eyes.”
On its own, this is kind of a weak, short sentence that doesn't go anywhere as it's the end of the man's monologue, especially if you choose to combine the preceding sentence, I would either take this out or expand on it and really let loose with what you want to say. If the above paragraph gets fixed up I could see this fitting very nicely.

Basically, don't shy away from making your sentences longer, the rest of the story is excellent and everything you need for the dialogue is right there, it just needs a bit of reworking and it'll be great! I read your other Beauty, and I think you should definitely submit this one, the other didn't do much to hold my attention (no offense!). I really hope you get the scholarship, so good luck! Hope this helped, blegh and sorry about the wall of text.
#4
Thanks for that. I guess I have some work to do on that part. Most things I write don't have much dialogue in them, so I'm really not very used to it. Thanks a bazillion, really. At this point I have decided that I'm definitely submitting this one.

Thank you. If there's anything you want me to take a look at, just say so.

Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black