I have no idea how polished this is in its current state, but i thought i'd give a bit of free writing a go. I have no real backstory to the guy in this bit of writing, apart from what is written there.
It's not really well written as of yet, but i'm posting it in its preliminary stages in the hope that i can get some feedback on...
A. The content. i.e. the actual story/message withing the writing
B. Any kind of structuring that would improve it.
Part B will probably be improved upon anyway, but I though i'd check if there were any glaringly obvious mistakes. Enjoy!
As I write, I am held prisoner of a skewed judicial system partly of my own creation. The Cyrodillic rule of law is out of hand as I am currently under house arrest. Given that the only people I have contact with are those who want to keep me here, I have no hope of ever seeing my final days in with friends as I so often dream I will. My only hope of getting my message across is the method I try as I write. I am writing on this parchment, hoping that someday it shall be unearthed by others disillusioned with Emperor Uriel Septim VII.
As far as I am concerned, the manner in which such an esteemed theorist as I have been treated is unfounded. This is why I write, I am disassociating myself with this tyrannical system of ‘punishment’ that I am in part responsible for. Those familiar with any of my earlier works, of which surely few remain, will be aware of my utter distain towards unnecessary force in relation to public order and criminals, and although I have not been subject to any physical force, the mental pressure that these ghastly men have put upon me over the time I have spent in my own home is equally as bad, if not worse. Much like the archer who would devote his life to a greater proficiency with a bow and arrow, effort made evident by trophies and scalps he collects, I devote my life to my writings, and this effort is rewarded by seeing my works make an impact on the life of everyday people. If the archer were to commit a crime, I have no doubt that the punishment this tyrannical rule would exact would be to remove the hand of the archer. Likewise, I am left in no doubt that none of my works survive now.
This treatment is something that I feared may happen after I once advised on various punishments within the empire. I once put forward the idea of deterrence as a means of controlling citizens of the empire. That is to say, we should exact punishment on the criminal to show them that certain behaviour, such as stealing and rape, are not acceptable within a modern empire such as this. The key to this idea being that this punishment is on the criminal, in the hope that he should realise that what he has done is wrong...
…in retrospect I may have explained myself more clearly, as the next day I awoke to find that a man had been killed in the street for stealing a few loaves of bread. Yes, stealing is wrong, but is it wrong enough to kill a man? I immediately asked those whom i had convinced to follow the idea of deterrence why this had been done, and apparently what the others had thought I meant by ‘deterrence’ is what my fellow scholar Harmod Narga calls ‘communal deterrence’. Apparently, they had thought that idea of deterrence to be a good one, but it seems that they used this in a way I was not meaning it to be used. It appears that as people slept, officials had picked up a local skooma addict from a gutter and thrown him in a cell for the evening. I am in no doubt that it was more comfortable than the gutter he was accustomed to, but that is really no comfort. When day broke, they proceeded to hang him for stealing, in the hope that this would deter any others from thinking of stealing. Unfortunately this is not what i had in mind. My idea of deterrence involves showing the criminal that what they did is wrong by punishing them, and only them. This is not done publicly, and is only intended to change them, not everybody within the city walls.
Obviously, I publicly distanced myself from this action, and as a result I find myself labelled a heretic and find myself forced into living out my life within these walls. I apologise to anybody who notices my lack of discipline as I write, but I hastily write this note as I lie in my bed. I felt that it was of the utmost importance to clear my name and to give spirit to others who are disillusioned with the rulers. I say, speak up and leave your mind in peace. I only hope that this note finds its way into noble hands, and not destroyed like the rest of my work surely has been.
~ Denud Sotherson, Scholar
Any advice, comments or criticisms are welcome, since this is the only real piece of fiction based writing i've ever done.