Aching Heart

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Monday’s finish the story’s picture is thus and my continuation is below!

They say that life is a game of chess. Personally if life is a game it is a more random and brutal competition than orderly squares on a board would have you believe. I recalled the game piece that had rolled into a crack in the ship’s deck, a silent reminder that I’d been playing a game with my beloved when the storm blew in. One moment just a clouded sky and the next a howling wind and pounding rain. She ran to grab Linnet and then. I slammed my fist into the stone wall beside the bookcase. The hole in my chest burned and ached fiercely and not for the first time did I look with hatred toward the metal cask that contained my heart. Even encased in a crystal shell it sent echoes of pain, of love lost, of my destroyed life. No, I’d find a way to continue my work, and stop the pain as well.

I hope you like this one, it was a lot of fun to write!

I’ll be honest, this is from the perspective of the villain in the story I’m writing at the moment. He’ll be introduced in the third chapter I think but it won’t necessarily be obvious. Really it is more of a bit of foreshadowing because he just seems like a victim in the beginning!

Lines of Power

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A big of flash fiction from Monday’s Finish The Story

The inspiration was this image and I had 150 words to work with, not including the opening sentence provided. I didn’t see that part originally and wrote a ridiculous amount more because it had been so long since I’d done flash fiction. I used to write single page stories and figured that was what I would do. I managed to get it to exactly 150 words which makes me pretty happy. I used to challenge myself to write flash fiction at precisely 100 words, no more or less, and I loved being able to get it exactly. Anyway on with it!

Donning her fins and snorkel, she headed out into the deep water. There was a steep drop off at the edge of the rocky beach and Ansel dropped down into the cold water with a gasp. The water was calm here, no wavelets to disturb the glassy expanse of the lake, and she kicked off and lowered her face into it. She fought another gasp as goosebumps rippled her flesh, tightening the skin of her cheeks, and began to search the bottom.

Beneath the lake there was no calm, rivulets of writhing power squirming and rushed along the bottom, leaving deep furrows in the sandy bottom. She fought a shudder as she found the nexus point and grabbed hold of it. It struggled as she pulled it free and all the magic snapped away, soothed, and becoming normal ley lines again. The university was going to be pleased to finally be able to examine this. She grinned and paddled for the shore.

Hope you liked my interpretation!

Permission isn’t required to write your story…

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I’m a member of a couple of writing groups on Facebook and lurk a few on Reddit now and again. One thing I’ve seen over and over is that people seem to think they need permission to write things into their stories.

“Is this allowed in Science Fiction?”

“Can I do this thing in a Fantasy setting?”

Isn’t the point of creating your own universe is to create your own rules? Only once or twice have I seen anything in these questions that might not be a good idea. Most of the time these are things that with a good reason and explanation is perfectly possible if they want it to be. Plausibility is really the only limitation in fantasy and scifi, so long as you can make it sound like it could be happen go do your thing and write that into your story. You can have an island floating in the sky if you explain that it’s bedrock is laced with a magical material that defies the laws of physics. If you just say ‘because it does’ it is less plausible, but you don’t necessarily have to explain it although it is a good idea to do so.

The only people you are accountable to for what you can and cannot do in your own created world is yourself and your readers, if you see a reason for why something works and you can explain it in a way that your readers understand it and find it believable you are in the clear! Stop asking permission to write your story. The only thing you should go to your writing group for is “I’m doing this thing, help me make it work!”

30 Watchers???

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HI! I totally didn’t realize till today that I have so many people reading this blog. Now I’m all self conscious and need to plan out my posts better in advance! I hope I’m entertaining you guys!

Fantasy Tropes (I hate) part 2

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I’m going to preface this by saying not all of the tropes I dislike are bad, and I’ve highly enjoyed and continue to enjoy some of these. I just think that they can be overdone, and because they’ve been done so often there are a lot of them that are done badly.  A lot of people see these big themes are so successful for big name authors and decide to get in on the action. The problem is not everyone is good at these things. Alright on to the things I get tired of.

Part II – The ultimate battle against ultimate evil!

Since the beginning of time Lord Blah has ruled over the land, first as a man and then as an evil immortal something or other. Etc Etc. Our heroes must then go on a fearful quest into a land usually entirely populated by bad guys to destroy the Evil Thing, or kill the Evil One.

Ultimate evil is boring. There I said it. I want a bad guy who at least at some point was trying to do the right thing. Maybe he turned to evil because he thought it was the only way to accomplish a good goal, or to save someone. Maybe he was a good king who was corrupted, I don’t even care if he was corrupted by some evil artifact and you have to kill the evil artifact. Most people don’t decide to do evil things for the sake of evil, barring sociopaths of course. Sometimes sociopaths can even do good things ala Dexter.

Also in the evil land of evil doom who is feeding this ultimate evil if he/she (it’s usually a he let’s be honest) is mortal enough to need sustenance? Who is feeding his minions? Most of them are mortal most of the time. Even orcs need to eat! No wonder they are trying to take over the rest of the world because they’ve screwed everything up with lava and an evil miasma and now nothing will grow. Not that they seem to have any peasants to do any of the farming. Or to build the evil fortress, or barracks for the minions…

In my opinion, and these are my opinions not guidelines, it is far more interesting to have the villain have at least a few sympathetic qualities. Since everyone is talking about Episode 7 I’ll use a Star Wars example. As much as I’m annoyed with Return of the Sith and think Anakin Skywalker was a whiny little shit anyway, Darth Vader has some sympathetic qualities. He’s a genocidal bastard with zero self control and a catastrophic temper, but he didn’t start that way. I personally think that having all those nightmares of his mother being tortured and murdered drove him a bit crazy. It never says how long he had those dreams, but it implies it was more than long enough to have been able to save her, and the fact no Jedi ever suggested maybe it would be better not to have their chosen one worrying about his enslaved mother and rescued her bothers me too. Then he started having the same visions about his wife, who he’d been keeping a secret for a really long time. A little more crazy injection. In the EU it is implied that the Dark Side makes you paranoid and inhibits your ability to control yourself. He did horrible things but all in an effort to save the only person he thinks cares about him. He has been so twisted up that he thinks all the Jedi are afraid of him and are holding him back on purpose so he only trusts Padme.

That is so much more believable to me than a villain holed up in the wasteland of his kingdom and occasionally coming out to destroy humanity once an eon. Alright that is my two cents for awhile, I’m going to go write and work on my own villain!

Why do I want to write when I need to sleep?

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I haven’t been able to write a lot lately, but I’ve been doing a little worldbuilding and writing little notes here and there. This afternoon I collected all the little scraps of paper that have been floating around on my desk and in my wallet and put them in little note cards in Scrivener and after having a really cool moment a bit ago I’m super pumped and excited to start writing again. Too bad I’m super tired and just want to curl under the covers and go to sleep at the same time. This usually happens when I lost momentum, I’ll lose heart and sort of linger over what I’ve written and start to second guess myself. Then something wonderful or interesting can happen and it will all come back why I love writing so much! I went too many years without doing it because I convinced myself I could never finish anything. This. This I’m going to finish!

Tomorrow will be a writing day, somewhere in there I also have to work on making presents and going to the grocery store but mostly I really want to start typing!

Here is a little drawing I did of Marten and Amba a while back, with a little help from my friend Jindalay, she is a much better artist than me and drew out the poses for me!

His face is all wonky :/