November Contest Entry: Sacrifice (PG-13)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Nerys Ghemor, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2003
    The Fifth Dimension
    Good work. It reminded me of something Spencer Tracy's character says toward the end of Judgment at Nuremberg:

    Sometimes, mere survival is not sufficient. Is life worth living without freedom, without dignity? From my admittedly non-spiritual perspective, this is the story of a man who decides that it's better to die on his feet than to live on his knees.

    The alternate universe you describe is fascinating, and I was both surprised and pleased to discover the main character's identity toward the end.

    The only criticism I have to offer is that the story consists almost entirely of backfill: instead of showing us what happened to bring the main characters to this pass, you tell us. I think your story would have been even more effective if you had found some way to show instead of tell.
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    That's a very apt quote. This Dukat sees HOW he survives as even more important than IF his body survives. And even shivering naked inside a coldbox, by refusing to give up their faith, he and his daughter have dignity even if that's not how it would look to the outside world.

    I can understand why some might not like the style I adopted. But when I was writing, I had certain examples in my head--short narratives from a couple of books called Jesus Freaks. Those particular narratives were very short devotionals, about this length, in fact, and often had to explain (in a very short space) the political and historical backgrounds in which these stories took place. It might not be quite like living every single one of his flashbacks like he lives the one where Tora taunted him and Ziyal, but at least to me it evokes the feel of those true narratives.

    On another note...Dukat's mind is all over the place here, for varying reasons. I think he's experiencing the life review--which I suspect you're thinking of in terms of the "life flashing before one's eyes," but I think it's not just a case of memories revisiting. Something in him is also trying to string it all together, trying to make sense of it all, because that sense, that purpose makes all the difference to him.

    That's a sense I remember from my more direct experience, the dream I've alluded to in some of the comments. I remember how desperately important it was to put it all together how and why I'd wound up in the circumstances I was in, how that kept me going, how it focused me--and how it gave me peace as I realized my life was coming to an end, faith that bridged the gap until I directly experienced peace.

    I don't expect that last part to mean much to you, because there's no way for me to fully convey something like that to anyone else in a way that would make complete sense. So I hope you will simply accept that it meant a great deal to me.