Facebook Prompt #8

This (not) suggestion was (not) made by my friend Josef. People from Facebook will understand.

“shift enter”

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Facebook Prompt #6

I enjoyed this prompt as it was obvious fodder for a fantasy piece, my preferred genre. The biggest issue I had with this is wondering which of the concepts that it brought to mind I should run with, and I’m currently tempted to go back and knock at least one more piece out based on it.

I eventually went with a concept inspired by Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series of books. I’ve not read the books yet (sorry Andrzej, they’re on my list) but have played the two videogames based on them and tried to evoke the same feel in this piece. I also tried not to add any humour, something I did in a few of the other stories that weren’t necessarily supposed to be funny; strangely I found writing straight harder than allowing myself the freedom to slip in gags.

This was suggested by my friend and old housemate Adam. Thanks for the enjoyable prompt!

EDIT: I have been trying not to go back and tinker with these but someone pointed out a pretty annoying flaw in the original so a small amount of patch-work has been done to the piece below.

“A swirl of dark essence rippled around her arm as she completed the incantation sending a blast of power across the void between them as the final word of the spell left her blue lips.”

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A Six Cities pacing exercise

The piece below is the result of some experimentation with the pacing of my work.

A lot of my older pieces are very descriptive, I tend to get carried away trying to get a lot of detail about a scene down on paper when a lot of it isn’t necessary to the audience’s understanding of what’s going on and I frequently get feedback that this causes the pace of the piece to drag. A picture paints a thousand words, so I suppose this is an outcome of my latent desire to be a landscape and character artist – something I’ve not pursued since I was around 16 after realising I was about as good at drawing as I was at flying.

Before starting the piece below I thought about what I’d been reading recently that moved at a very fast pace. Focusing on the Tales of the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding I went back to look at the level of description vs dialogue and action that made up the book, and made an effort to shift the tone of this piece away from the description-heavy style that I normally use and more towards Chris’s style. I deliberately didn’t push it to his extreme, the snippet I had in mind didn’t contain enough action to get away with his frugal use of description, but it was certainly a different experience to write whilst watching the descriptive word-count.

I should say a little about Six Cities. People paying attention may have noticed the tag appended to a number of older posts here without there being much explanation as to what it is. In my head I have two settings bouncing around and swapping ideas between them. Neither has a proper name, but as “Project Two” took over more and more time in my imagination and started spilling out onto paper I thought it needed some form of identity. I doubt it’ll stick in the long run, but for now everything written in the second of my two settings will have this tag. I hope one day to get “Project One” out to the world a little more, but “Project Two” has done the mental equivalent of stealing it’s lunch money and taken a lot of it’s good ideas so there’s more work to be done to get that one ready for prime-time.

This piece was originally written in late November 2014, over a long weekend at my partner’s parents house away from my normal distractions.

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“Six Cities” teaser piece

Well, it’s finished. Not anything major, mind, just the first draft of the teaser piece I mentioned, oh… two months ago now.

I’ll be honest, this piece became a bit of a nightmare to finish as, whilst I was writing it, I fell out of love with the project and lost steam with my writing, not helped by a number of other distractions coming up that gave me a convenient excuse to stay away. I remembered three days ago that I was writing this piece (and that I had a blog) so set myself the task of finishing it in some form, even if it wasn’t quite what I originally had in mind.

I am not overly happy with the finished product but I have learned a number of lessons whilst working on it that are going to both make things easier for me in future and help me produce more interesting reads. I will talk about a few specifics at the end of the piece but, for those of you who do read it, I’d like to give you the opportunity to form your own opinion first.

I haven’t yet had feedback from my regular goof-checker so expect an edit shortly to fix any big bloopers I have somehow missed. EDIT: Goof-checking feedback now rolled into the text below. Apologies all who read the previous typo-filled version!

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Fate Search entry

A few posts back I mentioned that I’d submitted an application to write for Evil Hat Productions, who produce the Fate Core line of roleplaying books (amongst other things). I’ve finally heard back and unfortunately wasn’t successful, but I thought I’d put my application and the response up for people to see. For what it’s worth, this post probably won’t mean much to you if you don’t know the Fate Core rules, you have been warned! Continue reading

Character Writeup: Sasuvara Reika

Well, it’s been a while.

I had been putting off updating this blog in the hopes the next thing I would post would be a completed first draft of a slightly longer teaser piece I’ve been working on but, due to some distractions (Geralt and Eli, I’m looking at you) I still haven’t finished it. Instead, here’s another character writeup from the same world to keep things ticking over.

This exercise was harder with Reika than it was for Tamina as her role in the overall plot was less well defined when I started. She eventually became a meld of her original character and another who didn’t really have enough to do to justify their existence but I’m now concerned she’s become too useful; I’ll just have to think up some interesting and crippling problems in addition to those below to stop her running the show.

In reading over the text below before posting it I’m not really happy with it, so as usual everything remains subject to change!

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Character Writeup: Tamina

This is a writeup of a character I’m playing with for inclusion in a project, created using the character creation exercise mentioned in the previous post. Whilst the character concept didn’t change a huge amount during the writing of this (the biggest changes happened when I redid her mother’s concept and had to adjust their relationship, but this will be talked about in a later post), but I did end up doing two ‘test drives’ for her as I found the first one to be a bit boring after completing it.

Tamina’s plotline is a largely personal one so her problems and solutions are very inward looking. This made her quite an easy character to start this exercise with as I didn’t have to make any concrete decisions about a lot of the rest of the setting, though all details should still be considered subject to change. Be warned, there be minor spoilers within.

EDIT: Let this be a lesson in why you shouldn’t write something on a tablet whilst on a train then proof-read it whilst pretty sleepy, stories below edited to remove bloopers.

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