The Vault is empty! I’ve finally hit the end of my back catalogue and from this point onward will have to write anything new that I want to upload! I actually have a few small pieces prepared now, but I won’t speak about them too much as I’d run out of things to say in their updates.
The last item in the Vault goes out with somewhat of a whimper rather than a bang as it’s the last chapter of the unfinished Whispering Rock; it isn’t even much of a cliffhanger to go out on! Regardless, hopefully you’ll enjoy it as it’s both the longest and most recent work I’ve produced and thus is a pretty good example of how I currently write. If anyone who actually can write is reading this blog I’d love to hear any feedback you have about the Whispering Rock pieces (as the pinnacle of the back catalogue) and about anything I upload from this point out. TIA!
The final chapter can be found here: Whispering Rock, Chapter 3
Work is now underway! In the last few days (partially prompted by realising this is the penultimate Vault piece I have to upload) I have been working on a few new things; an original piece that’ll serve as a teaser for a larger project I want to start working on and an application to write freelance for Evil Hat Productions.
In all honesty I found the process of sitting down and starting to put things on paper again pretty tough. I’ll release the first draft of the original piece on here when it’s complete and if you do take time to read it you’ll probably see how clunky the first few hundred words are; I honestly felt like a rusty machine finally lurching back into life and it’s going to take me a little while to reacquaint myself with how to actually produce something passable. Regardless, I feel pretty good at finally sitting down and getting something done, and since starting have found myself pottering back to the document every hour or so to tweak something or add a few more lines; it’s not quite the floodgates finally opening but there’s a little leak there at least.
Anyway, to keep you punters flocking back in the meantime you can find part two of Whispering Rock here: Whispering Rock, Chapter 2
I’m at the stage where I’m perilously close to running out of old work to upload here now and beginning to feel the pressure mount to write something new that I can begin uploading once I’ve finished with all my old pieces. In that respect, I suppose, this site is working, but I am a little disappointed in myself that it’s got to this stage without me having made anything new in the last month.
Today’s piece is the first chapter of some fan-fiction set back in White Wolf’s Exalted universe (see From The Vault #3). For those entirely unfamiliar with it (and too lazy to click the links), Exalted is a pen-and-paper roleplaying game where a group of people get together around a table with one person playing the Storyteller and the rest creating characters to participate in the story. Think “Dungeons and Dragons” without either dungeons or dragons (unless you like that kind of thing), and with more emphasis on creating a rounded character and interacting with story elements than just going into holes in ground, killing baddies and coming out with a slightly shinier sword.
I tell you that so you can understand how this piece came into being. I normally play a character in these games rather than a Storyteller as I find being ‘in charge’ a pretty stressful experience. However, I get the urge to try it every now and again and will concoct a story for everyone else to play. In this instance I created a plot and then never got around to running it with others, so rather than let it go to waste I created some characters of my own and wrote it up as prose rather than playing it out with others.
It lasts a few chapters before, as usual, abruptly ending. In this case though it was because I finally got around to running the game for some friends and saw the plot mostly through with them playing the roles of the characters, at which point I didn’t want to continue writing it alongside running it. It’s good that it finally achieved it’s status as a game, but a shame it never finished life as a story.
I was only able to locate PDF copies of this work, so rather than the full text being after the break you can find it here: Whispering Rock, Chapter 1.
And now for something completely longer.
The following piece was written in 2010 (though the idea had been bouncing around in my head since 2008). It’s the closest I’ve come to having a real go at writing an original novel, it certainly had the most planning and thought put into it of anything I’d written up until this point and probably since. It’s the first chapter of a planned rustpunk fantasy story that I’m not going to spill too many beans on as I may one day return to it – the novel was planned in its entirety but I just never got round to writing more than what you find after the break.
The reason I gave up on this project is because I lost faith in my own plot. When I’d stripped away all the fancy trappings I’d given it (my own setting, unique fantastical elements and non-Medieval European styling, woo) it was just another story about a small town boy making big, something the fantasy genre is pretty rammed with already. Sure, some of them can be good (Star Wars, Eragon, Harry Potter etc.) they’re all also pretty same-y at the end of the day (Star Wars, Ergaon, Harry Potter etc.) and I wanted to do something more original. Also at the time I’d just read Scott Lynch‘s incredible début “The Lies of Locke Lamora” and what I had planned out in no way matched up to the standard he’d entered the field with.
Oddly, whilst at the time I was put off by thinking I couldn’t match someone like Scott he did also give me some nudges back towards writing after I’d fallen out with it. He was in email contact with a friend of mine, Richard Bellingham, and Richard mentioned to him my problems; Scott sent me some messages of encouragement via Richard that eventually convinced me to pick up the (metaphorical) pen again after a year of sulking and get back into it. Scott, if you’re reading this (as unlikely as that is), thanks.
Please excuse the god-awful cheese of the opening.
The following piece is set in the Eclipse Phase universe, a far-future science fiction setting in which mind cloning and body swapping have become commonplace and mankind has begun it’s colonisation of the stars (more information on Wikipedia). This was also written in 2010 and is another character piece I wrote for a character I’d designed called Cognite AGI-RP7(M) DR21 (or Dr. 21 for short), a robotic psychologist. It’s good fun being a little mad.
Consider it 12A for language.
The following piece was written in the summer of 2007 and is based in the Exalted universe, a high-magic fantasy setting used in a line of role playing games by White Wolf (more information on Exalted can be found on Wikipedia, if you’re interested). Once again it was a scene setting piece for me; I liked to write fiction around the characters I designed for the games as it allowed me to get under their skin a bit more than I otherwise could. This piece was the start of an ‘origin story’ for Weeping Crystal, a priestess chased from her home into the world, but, like many of the pieces you’ll see on here it never really progressed passed the first few pages.
This nugget of story was written at some point between 2001 and 2006 (though probably earlier rather than later) and was salvaged from an old hard drive that was about to get binned. I actually have no idea what I was writing at this point; I think it was the start of a short story that stalled before it really got off the ground, something you’ll soon see is a bit of a theme for me.
It’s far less polished than the previous piece as it was never gone over for editing, let alone ‘finished’ as the other piece was. I have deliberately not re-read this before posting it as I found my urge to tinker with the Opal Spheres piece quite overwhelming and I don’t think I’d be able to resist this time.
I am going to continue posting old works in date order until I get up to the present so people can see how my writing has (hopefully) matured over time. Bear with me through a few more From The Vault pieces and we’ll be up to the present soon.