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  Sam Tyler walks alone.   He treads the night-empty… - dorsetgirl
November 6th, 2008
01:20 pm
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Sam Tyler walks alone.

 

He treads the night-empty city in silence, passing alleys and entrances as the street lights gleam softly on dark leather.

 

Heels click softly as he paces Gene’s city; night and dark hide him from those who would ask questions.

 

He stops at the entry to another dark lane; a match flares, shading the planes of his face as he brings the flame closer. Sam’s lips pout as he takes his first drag, sparking Gene’s last cigarette into life.

 

Early morning mist lends crystal highlights to lashes that move faster as the familiar scented smoke wreathes around him.

 

Now the shadow of Gene paces this empty street with him, its heartbeat in Sam’s ears louder than his own. He slips quietly into a passageway, stands and waits; he hears steps behind, and turns, but the city sleeps.

 

Gene lies silent, but Sam walks on into the dark, dreams breaking and dying in the shadows.

He walks alone.







With humble apologies to Billie Joe Armstrong; I took his words and haunting imagery and fucked it up. I would like to move my writing in this direction occasionally, but I know this hasn't worked although the image is so clear in my mind. If anyone has any beta-type comments or suggestions (other than "bin it"), I'd be very pleased to hear them.
 
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From:mikes_grrl
Date:November 6th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
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I never would suggest that you bin this. It is very evocative of loneliness and desperation, and it conjures up the word 'hauting' in a variety of ways.

Maybe because this is third person objective -- you usually write third person limited. Here, you are not sharing Sam's thoughts or feelings at all, you are just showing us his actions/reactions, and we have to infer his mindset from those clues. In that regard, I personally think you did a blazingly good job.

My 2 cents, which, alas, won't even buy you a coffee.... :)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 6th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
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very evocative of loneliness and desperation

Thank you! The song is full of loneliness imo, and very haunting, and I'm thrilled that came over.

this is third person objective -- you usually write third person limited

Oh. Um, yeah - I hadn't realised! Looking back at my handwritten original, there are a lot of Sam's thoughts in there; I never made a decision to cut them all out, but gone they have! Individually, they didn't seem to fit the mood I was trying for. Different in more ways than I'd thought, then.

Thank you for a lovely comment.
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From:gritsinmisery
Date:November 6th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Don't you dare bin it. It made my lower lip wobble. 'Tis brilliant.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 6th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!
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From:nepthys_uk
Date:November 6th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
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Oooooh - this sent shivers up my spine. Haunting, as Mikey says, and quite a different writing style from your usual. I'm not familiar with the song, but I thought this was very atmospheric and evocative, and the imagery was very strong - so it definitely worked on that front. I think I was left slightly confused as to Gene's role - am I right in thinking that its just Sam thinking about him as he walks? (am hungover today so not at my sharpest..)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 6th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
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its just Sam thinking about him as he walks?

Um, yes, maybe a bit stronger than just thinking, but that's about it. I'm not sure if the song was obvious to people, but it's Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, and the chorus includes the words "My shadow's [the] only one that walks beside me / My shadow heart's the only thing that's beating".

Gene lies silent, his shade walks with Sam while Sam smokes his last cigarette - make of it what you will!
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From:lozenger8
Date:November 7th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)
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Oh yes, beautifully evocative. Like Mikey says, I like that you used third person omniscient; it's the neglected perspective of fanfic. ETA: one tiny suggestion, but maybe the confusion was deliberate; I wasn't immediately tuned into the fact it was Sam who lit Gene's cigarette, so if that was unintentional, you could say "Sam's lips pout..." However, if it is deliberate, get you with your ambiguity ;)

Edited at 2008-11-07 08:56 (UTC)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 7th, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)
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Thank you!

you used third person omniscient

Ooh, get me! As I said to Mikey, it wasn't deliberate, it was more a question of chipping away everything in my original that didn't look like the lonely Sam I wanted to portray. I appears that I've learned something from this - that if you want to make someone look alone, stand well back! This was used in LOM2.08 of course, where we see Sam walking around the city in 2006, and - unusually - the camera is well back from him, and there are people between him and us.

I made the change you suggested; I hadn't seen that at all. In fact I had another read and it still looked quite clear to me, but then again I know Gene isn't there! Thanks for that - it was meant to be quite clear that Sam really was completely alone, the ambiguity being over what has happened to Gene.
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From:lozenger8
Date:November 7th, 2008 11:18 am (UTC)
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♥ Sometimes it just happens like that. I rarely make a conscious decision about how far or near my writing is to a character's thoughts. My default is third person limited, but quite far for Life on Mars, but I find that it's third person limited and close for Psych.

This was used in LOM2.08 of course, where we see Sam walking around the city in 2006, and - unusually - the camera is well back from him, and there are people between him and us.

Yes! That and the depressing as fuck colour palette made those 2006/07 (damn you Cameron for confusing us as to what year he's actually gone back to. And no, I shall not use A2A as canon) scenes so very manipulative and heart-rending. All those people on mobile phones; technology replacing actual communication. It was probably the second best bit of the entire episode in terms of the construction of the scene (the first being the 1.01 parallel shot for the jump --- which sounds like an Olympic event), although, to SJ's credit, there were many beautiful shots to choose from. Apart from the weird 'you betrayed us' scene, it was a visually gorgeous episode.

Oh dear, you got me started.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 7th, 2008 11:34 am (UTC)
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Oh dear, you got me started.

Whoops, sorry! I got home this morning with five minutes' worth of quick jobs to do before heading out to do banking, shopping etc. 1.5 hours later and I'm still here, so I'll end up in the bank at lunchtime. Friday lunchtime. *headdesk*

Anyway, just before I log off, I wondered this morning if John will get next week's Radio Times cover - that would be very fitting with Phil on it this week! *hopes*

The world is round, the Pope is Catholic, A2A is AU. Unless Sam comes back in a way I approve of.
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From:silvaa
Date:November 7th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
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As soon as I saw the title and summary I hoped it was that song, because I love it. This was as beautiful as the song (which is pretty fucked up anyway "I'm walking down the line that divides me somewhere in my mind, on the borderline of the edge and where I walk alone" ) I think you did both justice, and I especially loved this line:

Early morning mist lends crystal highlights to lashes that move faster as the familiar scented smoke wreathes around him. *mems*
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 7th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
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I only heard the song for the first time last week when my nine-year-old was playing it on holiday (it's my job as a parent to be utterly, embarrassingly out of touch, right?) and I liked it musically straight away. Then I got it on my mp3 and started listening to the words and totally fell in love with it (I think it was "Check my vital signs to know I'm still alive And I walk alone" that screamed "Sam" at me.) I've been playing it all the time ever since.

I'm glad it's not just me that thinks some of the words don't actually make sense! And I'm very happy that you think I did it justice - thank you very much indeed, and for picking out your favourite line.
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From:skywise012000
Date:November 7th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
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I'm not literary enough to make any suggestions or comments on the perspective in which you've written this.

All I can say is that it's beautiful and heartbreaking without being maudlin.

Just a tiny perfect piece of wonderfulness.

Don't you dare bin it. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 7th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm not literary enough to make any suggestions

That's fine, because I'm not literary enough to understand them! Thank you for a seriously lovely comment; I'm really pleased it worked for you.

I saw reference on the SMUT thread the other day to new smut from yourself - should I go looking? or is it Galex? (so funny the way some people are gobsmacked by the idea of Gene/Sam *g*)
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From:saintvic
Date:November 7th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
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This is wonderfully atmospheric and moving and it works very well. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 7th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
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Thank you very much; it didn't come out quite how I'd hoped, but as Mikey and Loz kindly pointed out, I'm using a different point of view, or voice, or something (I never got no literary edumacation) and clearly it requires practice. I'm pleased you liked it and thank you very much for commenting.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 8th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)

edzel 2 but forgot my password & can't wait to post lol

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Defintely no bin for this - it's beautiful. I'm with you - I don't quite get the literary terminolgy (my 15 yr old son knows more about it than I do!)and since rejoining the wonderful world of fanfic reading/writing I've wished contstantly that I'd paid more attention at school and/or done further study. BUT I know what I like, and this is great. My impression of where Gene is (if I'm allowed to say?) is that he is no longer alive (sobs) which is heart-rending.
I love songs for fic inspiration, and usually write whilst listening to music. I suppose its hardly surprising that what you listen to when writing can influence the work but it took me a surprisingly long time to twig this simple fact. And don't worry, you're not alone in only just having discovered bands that have been around for ages - I've only just discovered Velvet Underground.... (yes, really, and that was only thanks to iTunes 'genuis' software which recced them to me) Oh, the shame!

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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 8th, 2008 11:56 am (UTC)

Re: edzel 2 but forgot my password & can't wait to post lol

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Thank you for a lovely comment! I wanted to leave it ambiguous about Gene, but at this point, so far as Sam knows, Gene is dead or about to die.

Personally, I don't think I could ever write Sam death or Gene death, so for me this story fits into a so far unpublished arc called Dying Inside, which may or may not ever amount to anything. In that universe, Gene is in a coma for a long time and Sam has to manage without him, personally and at work. This fic would be the first night, when survival is uncertain.
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From:jean_geanie
Date:November 8th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
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This is heartbreakingly beautiful.

I think my favourite part is Sam lighting Gene's last cigarette, I love how previously health-concious Sam has been smoking the cigarettes down to Gene's last for the fleeting connection it provides.

Really, awful lonely angst but just beautifully done :)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 8th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that's exactly it - Sam would do anything to keep that connection with Gene, however tenuous.

Thank you for commenting, I'm really pleased you think it worked!
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From:andres00
Date:November 9th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
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Creepy! It feels like very sharp thorn on my spine, no, I feel something sharp stabbing me, but I don't kno what it is. I think Sam is ghost, so the living people Gene looks like shadow to him, or the reverse? Anyway you frighten me with just 9 sentences which are so beautifull that they sounded like poem.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 9th, 2008 11:04 am (UTC)
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Wow! And again you come up with a reading that is different - and brilliant!

Sam is a ghost, so living people, like Gene, look like shadows to him

That isn't what I meant, but it works, it really does. So well in fact that when I read it again with your interpretation it made me cry. If that's what it means, then perhaps Sam doesn't know he's a ghost, which is heartbreaking.

With this lovely comment you have given me a gift - I can now read this as if someone else wrote it, and react to it as a reader. Thank you so much for that.
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From:dakfinv
Date:November 9th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
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Oh this is heartbreaking! The imagery is just so evocative. It was Sam lighting Gene's last cigarette that really tore me up. Beautiful.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:November 10th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
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Thank you so much; it seems to have come over for people far better than I could have hoped.

It was Sam lighting Gene's last cigarette that really tore me up

Me too; such desperate clinging-on to whatever shred of a link remains. Thanks again for commenting.
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