The Beginning – Part 1

For this prose post I have used the first section of my writing coursework, which is why I am introducing it like this, which I would normally never do. I’m not sure about what the rules on posting work on the internet are but I know for a fact none of my classmates know about this blog so it’s not like they can copy my work, even if they did this post has a date on it and would serve as proof that I wrote the original copy. Also, by stating that this is my work there’s no way they could accuse me of plagiarism…I hope. Anyway, without further ado, the opening of my novel. It’s set in a near future England after the hostile takeover of a political party like the BNP (they’re a bit like British Nazis, at first glance the website looks harmless enough, but then you’ll start to notice a bit of casual racism here, a bit of sexism there, and a bit of elitism everywhere…you get the picture) who are trying to eradicate all diversity in the country. I hope you like it.

As I held my gun to another man’s head, time seemed to slow down, at least, my perception of time anyway; the few minutes before I pulled the trigger seemed much longer than they should have been. While Abdul Latif, the alleged traitor, pleaded for his life, I examined the room; it didn’t seem like the household of an evil man, just one of many freedoms. There was a small Qur’an tucked under a stack of papers on the mantelpiece, a chain hung loosely from within, like a bookmark. A small, unframed picture of Abdul showed him teaching in an African school; it was dated only a year ago, back when the new government had just come into power.

It was at this point that Abdul’s ramblings finally brought my attention back to him; he was begging.

“Please,” he said “I’m not a bad man; I was just trying to help-”

“Don’t,” I interrupted, “I either kill you, or I may as well kill myself. That’s how it works now, I’m sorry but I can’t save you. Think yourself lucky you got me, I was told to torture you before I kill you, not after.” At this he went quiet; I thought to myself then whether I was doing the right thing. It was true that I would be killed if he was found to be alive, but what if he wasn’t found? I tried to come up with an escape plan, a way to make it seem as if he’d gone by the time I got there, or that he had got the better of me and escaped. He would be found no matter what I did, and he would tell them everything; there was no fool proof way to ensure survival for both of us, so I pulled the trigger.

As his body hit the ground I shuddered, as if his death had a physical effect on me; I felt, different. It was hard for me to justify what I had done. I did it to save myself, not because I believe whole heartedly in the party’s propaganda. A tremendous guilt washed over me, pulling me into deeper emotions, deeper meaningless rationalisations of what I had done. Again, I shuddered; moving through the house and into the basement I began to hate myself. My work was not yet done.

Reading for University

As I have decided to attempt starting my book today, this post will be fairly short. I figured that because this segment is titled ‘literature’, I would share the literature I will be reading over the next few weeks, this picture on the right shows some of them (click to see in more detail), but I will also be reading some e-texts and extracts from larger novels.

The entire list consists of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations; Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey; Hari Kunzru’s Transmission; Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Caryl Phillips’ Cambridge; Ann Radcliife’s The Mysteries of Udolpho; Virginia Woolf’s The Mark On The Wall and Monday Or Tuesday; and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. That’s a fairly long list for someone with an exam on the 8th of May, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

A lot of these books will be reviewed in the Monday’s segment,  and seeing as how I’m already half way through Cambridge, I’ll probably start with that. If anyone has read these books, or even just one, feel free to comment and let me know what they’re like or suggest further reading; I like to know what I’m getting myself in for. Also I’m going to include my first poll in this post, vote for your favourite, or if you don’t have a favourite then vote for the ones you like (or think you’ll like, if you haven’t read any like me). May the best book win…