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The Writing Thread

posted by DAISHI on - last edited - Viewed by 1.5K users

Herein lies the Writing Thread! Usually I just post something brief and then allow the participants to engage one another, unshackled by rules like a meeting of Tea Partiers in a debate with Muslims.

However! I propose the following rules to the writing thread, and what this thread should be about.

1.) This thread should obviously be about your own writing.

Your post should be about one of the following things.
2.) A pitch. A story you're thinking about writing, ideas you're tossing around to solicit for feedback.

3.) Brief poetry can be posted in full. Just don't make your poetry a full length story.

4.) A short story you've written that you would like to post, in part. Since a short story can run 2000 to 5000 words, do not post in full. You may post sensible length excerpts, preceded by synopsis of that portion of the story for context.

5.) A long story or novel you've written that you'd like to post, in part. Since a novel can run from 80000 words to 120000 words or more, do not post in full. You may post a sensible length excerpt, preceded by synopsis of that portion of the story for context.

Things to avoid.
Don't get in a hissy fit about criticism. It's the only way to grow as a writer.

Don't just criticize to criticize. In other words, don't be a Debby Downer. List what you think a writer did well, in addition to criticism. Tone means a lot. Don't be overly negative in the tone of your criticism.

178 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I think Daishi's idea is great.
    Definitely a lot of depth and lore to it.

    I myself the other day was thinking about a story about body snatchers.
    Well... Psychics who could posses other people, and the main two characters were two teens who develop these abilities (by switching with each other at first! XD), and after some goofy hijinks get recruited into a government agency to try to hunt down dangerous "body snatchers".

    Their powers would have grown with each others presence, which would have been their main advantage over most other psychics. (So they kinda get stronger over time anyway, but because they are so closely connected they can kind of synchronise that psychic energy with each other as well)

    One of their first targets is to track a known "body snatcher" who repeatedly "escapes" custody.
    (Intentionally most of the time since he has a tendency to lead the agency to bigger leads)
    He is at first hard to deal with because he has a secondary ability ontop of just mind control/possession, in a certain range he can remotely control certain body parts of others.
    It's a limited ability and quite tiring of him, so even though potentially dangerous (with enough focus he could stop someone's heart), he normally only uses it to make his escape or gain a cheap advantage.

    He's no good guy, but he's no monster. Just a bit of a cowardly rat with a big ego, and big greed.
    (Who occasionally has a good idea. Well... Good for him anyway! XD)

    So he would be a sort of re-appearing character. Eventually a nuisance, but sometimes oddly helpful.

    ...
    Yeah that's all I got. I was just mulling a little over it at work.
    Don't know if I'd want to take that idea any further, but it's decent enough to log for future reference.

  • @Saemunder said: Alcoremortis, I think you definitely write well, I enjoyed reading those stories. Chances are though that knowing the world in question brought the story more to life, not so sure what people unfamiliar to it would think.



    Yeah, recently, I've been exclusively been borrowing DnD and Pathfinder settings to write in, since I'm not a fan of world building. I can't even make an isolated town without wondering where the broader infrastructure comes from and such. Luckily Wizards of the Coast and Paizo are pretty good about allowing outside writers to borrow their settings.

    And of course, if I ever get beyond the vignette stage of writing, I'll actually make an attempt at talking about the world around the characters. But for now, I find myself more interested in what makes a person tick. And for that reason, I'll probably end up writing mysteries.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    @Saemunder said: That instantly makes me imagine a juxtapose of something fantastical and something real world (almost the way old childrens stories or old folklore would twist what was real and not) alternating which is which as the story goes given the idea you gave Vainamoinen. I mean the pictures being either real or fantastical then changing as the story progress's or is needed, same with the prose.



    I'd go for realism with the art if only I could, that much is for sure. And as to the philosophy of the narrative, the fantastical would be all on the cop's side, while the world around him should be as real as humanly possible.

  • Not sure how I forgot to post ES001! It's like, the most important one.


    ES001 - "PATIENT ZERO"
    Name: Jessica Iris
    Age: 74
    Classification: Omega

    HISTORY​
    The original Event Subject [ES] and the one to whom the modern success of the Supranormal World Research Detail [SWORD] is owed. In the early 1950s, a young girl, age 16, was discovered in Irving, Kansas, United States. She was brought to the attention of the United States government due to a series of mysterious incidents occurring in the region. Reports ranged from the mutilation of cows, to the dissaesmbly of machinery, mass hallucinations and the morphing of local terrain. Upon investigation, the source of the incidents were tracked to the young girl named Jessica Iris, from here on referred to as Patient Zero or Zero.

    Zero's powers only manifested upon puberty and grew progressively stronger over the next few years, making her early life relatively uneventful. Detention occurred pre-SWORD, among the top military facilities within the United States. It was eventually found that while awake, Zero's powers were so strong that they manifested entirely without her knowledge. She exhibited a powerful ESP influence on surrounding minds and could alter physical reality at a fundamental. Under experimentation, it was found that even a small amount of focus could produce massive amounts of destruction. Two events, Zero Event One and Zero Event Two, were direct results of her active use of her powers.

    Zero Event One, which was conducted in an attempt to see if her focused powers could be constructively used, led to the death of all individuals in the experimentation chamber. Upon seeing what she had done, Patient Zero entered a panicked state. In her emotional distress, she consumed the entirety of the military facility and the town site built around it, which was meant to disguise its purpose. All buildings, human, plant and animal life vanished, leaving a twelve mile crater. This larger incident was deemed Zero Event Two.​

    Unconscious from such mass use of her power, Zero was retrieved from the site and transferred into the custody of the newly developing SWORD agency, charged with researching the escalating number of supranormal reports circulating throughout the United States.

    CONTAINMENT
    Further research determined that Patient Zero's abilities would continue to escalate as she aged. Because in a conscious state she was deemed too dangerous for either containment or release into the public, Zero was placed into a drug induced state that continues to this day. In her current state she exhibits none of the powerful, reality altering powers she did during her time awake.

    ​Zero is kept at Facility Zebulon under 24 hour surveillance. She is kept within a complex medical and production facility located 2 miles underground. The medical staff and operations are comparable to any standard hospital, with advanced equipment for scans such as MRIs and X-Rays. The facility deviates from a standard hospital facility in its production capabilities, which are meant to use Zero's blood for the weaponry used by field agents as well as transfusion into ESP subjects.

    The facility is also under heavy guard. Members of SWORD paramilitary forces are on constant rotation through the facility and are stationed for periods of six months in Zebulon sleeping quarters. The elevator responsible for transportation of staff and machinery is the primary access with a secondary personnel elevator used for the transportation of staff only in emergencies. Access to the facility requires no less than six administrative keycards from the ten overseers of the facility, and the emergency elevator only activates with these same keycards or the engagement of Protocol Zero.

    ​Protocol Zero itself involves a series of nuclear devices implanted throughout the facility, set to detonate in case of Patient Zero's awakening. Should this occur, Zebulon staff has 30 minutes to evacuate the facility. Casualties are anticipated under such circumstances, whether due to Zero's awakening or the detonation of the nuclear devices.

    ADDENDUM
    Patient Zero's powers are anticipated to be near infinite and is one of only a very few Class Omega supranormals monitored by SWORD. Her ability to change the fabric of reality around her, induce mass hallucinations in large amounts of the population, and control the behaviors of those within her field of influence make her the single greatest threat SWORD monitors to this day.

    However, she is also the reason for its success in its battles against other supranormals. Zero's powers include an inhibition field. When active, it is anticipated that her influence causes the powers of all other supranormal beings to become nonexistent. This influence is inherent within her blood, and is the reason it is a component of all SWORD agents' weaponry. SWORD bullets ignore almost all active fields produced by supranormals, be they telepathic, energy created, distortions of reality, and the like. Upon contact with a subject, the casing opens, depositing the blood within the target. This bullet transfusion inhibits the supranormal's powers until a more suitable, long term solution, often in the form of a constant blood transfusion, is settled upon.

    It has also been observed that Zero's blood has an active effect on the normal population inverse to its effects on supranormals. Blood transfusion can induce temporary supranormal powers in a typical human, though the effect is random and cannot be anticipated unless performed under very specific conditions, which results in an ESP Agent.

    ​​​

  • Two more chapters on my book to revise and edit. SO CLOSE.

  • Okay, I've got a pitch. It's a short pitch because it was just a weird idea that popped into my head. Here goes: it would be a hardboiled detective type of story, with an emphasis on archaeology. The twist is that the detective is a mummy. Because who doesn't like well-preserved corpses? Probably the first case would be something to do with the mummy's tomb getting robbed and the mummy having to go extract hideous vengeance on the tomb robbers, all the while trying to navigate the modern world (or a more modern world, at least).

    After that, I'd guess the cases would be given by other types of undead ("I suppose she could've been described as having a buxom figure, ruby red lips, and a look that spelt trouble, but only if I'd allowed my eyes to rot out and was going by memory. Well, except for the trouble part, but most ghouls came with that pre-attached.")

  • Not sure yet if I want to make it a Videogame or a story, but I decided to dig up an old idea today and add a little onto it.

    Right so imagine a futuristic universe combined with an almost old western twist.
    Where entire planets are controlled by mega corporations, and many planets have been almost ruined by a massive intergalactic war.
    Where bounty hunting is not only legal, but common place and supported by said corporations, even vital for their operations.
    (Because the fallout of war, both the physical and the political (the factions fractioned off after the war was over) attracted opportunists and organised crime syndicates, many of which consist of ex-merinaries and soldiers, and people forced into crime out of necessity due to their livelihoods and homes being ravaged by the war)

    Right so the story starts off in a distant world. A dark figure walks slowly through the desert dragging along something.
    You see this figure walking past old ruined structures and buildings.
    Eventually the figure reaches a massive dome structure.
    A close up reveals a cloaked figure dragging a body to the door.
    A robotic probe flies towards the cloaked figure and a red eye flashes from the hood.
    "Identification please."
    The drone scans the figure's face and immediately scurries off.
    "Identification confirmed. Deposit bounty and Insert KREDITZ card to receive credit"
    The figure then drops the body down a chute then takes off his hood and inserts his card.
    Turns out the figure is an ageing human, appearing to be in his late 50s.
    The cybernetic components on his body worn, almost antiquated and dirty from the sand.
    His body and face covered in scars from years of fighting, but still very strong looking. As if he still works out.
    This is our protagonist, a washed up old bounty hunter hunting low life's in a back ally of the galaxy.

    He enters this almost utopianistic and ultra clean city, but he doesnt hang around and immediately heads down steps and lifts with purpose.
    Down to the old district that's darker and more worn.

    He heads to a small arm shop, where the dealer seems to be expecting him.
    He turns around and heads back into his stocks and pills out a box of ammunition.

    "You know this kind of ammo is gettin' real hard to come by. I had to almost beg the salvagers to sell it to me this time. That pea shooter of yours belongs in a museum. You know I can cut you a good deal on a 5000 serie.."

    The old bounty hunter's eye flashes and he pulls out his card.

    "Maybe another time then. Jack...."
    "....you know... one of these days you're going to need to upgrade that arm holster of yours. It's getting harder and harder to get ammo for that 3260 model of yours..."

    "...."

    "Look Jack... You're still a good shot, and that arm of yours can still dish out a heavy hit. The ARMONI corporation is looking for as many bounty hunters they can get, and they pay alot better than freelance work, maybe you should sign up and get your kit looked at..."

    "I don't work for no stinking corporation..."
    He then takes his ammunition and walks off to a dingy local bar.

    ... So yeah. Alot to flesh out there, but basically the game/story is about this guy getting pulled back into the world of bounty hunting. You get to find out about this guys past ad how it relates to the present, and eventually the story evolves and escalates to epic proportions.

    As a game, I'd like it to be a little open-world Ish, story wise, but then the levels/missions would kinda be mega man-Ish, fighting unique bosses and areas.

    It would be a tale of survival, of heroism, and eventually revenge.

    But so far it's all very basic. I got a kind of idea where I would like to take the story, drawing in those scifi and western influences, but no real specifics on paper.

    Seems like it might be real fun to persue though, either way.

  • @Alcoremortis said: Yeah, recently, I've been exclusively been borrowing DnD and Pathfinder settings to write in, since I'm not a fan of world building. I can't even make an isolated town without wondering where the broader infrastructure comes from and such.



    Those worlds are rich with detail and very open to writing stuff for. I'm the same with towns, I remember as a kid thinking that building contractors must have been geniuses to build something so perfectly as to position all the needed wiring and pipes for future use. Never realised they just covered up what they needed to later on to make it look good and that it didn't start that way.
    Btw, the mummy detective put Lawrence of Arabia in my head. The part where he says "The trick mister Lawrence is not minding that it hurts.".


    @Alcoremortis said: I'd go for realism with the art if only I could, that much is for sure. And as to the philosophy of the narrative, the fantastical would be all on the cop's side, while the world around him should be as real as humanly possible.

    Well I say fantastical but that also includes anything just out of the norm for the two characters, something unlike what a cop would do, act or say. Would be interesting to see the story the way you envision it.


    I feel sorry for patient Zero. It reminds me of Elfien Lied and FEAR, you just know shit will hit the fan one day with those kind of imprisonments.


    And something I found, was written a while ago so I'll just blame that for it being the way it is. I think it was meant to give an idea for a game world though I'm really not sure, but I do know it's meant to be a pretty unforgiving story. Yes it's an apocalypse type thing but give a guy a break, wrote it when the news of the Hadron collider first started showing up, a good few years before zombies got to crazy levels.

    --------

    No one wants to remember how much of it began, perhaps too many bad memories or maybe some that remind of better times. Truthfully I'm sketchy on the details myself and I lived through it. Everything was as it should be, people went about there business content to live their lives in whatever ever way they felt too. In the news it was a historic time, we were possibly going to be able to see and look at things that we as humans never had the capability to until now. Many of course claimed that it was heresy. That we were looking into matters that only god should be privy to. That there wasn't enough caution to temper the insatiable desire to know. Whatever the outlook of many people it didn't affect the basic things of life on what needed to be done nor how to go about living so I always feel that regardless of the outcome now, the tests would always have happened. No one noticed anything on the first few trials of the mega collider, meant to allow scientists a chance to decipher the very beginnings of time and give a greater understanding of what the future may hold for us. All speculation about the dangers died. Life went on as normal.

    Perhaps then it really was a shock then that we had actually changed the way physics works in our world. No one had of course noticed anything up till that point since there was nothing to notice. Maybe there was and we just weren't paying enough attention to it at the time. Life for myself had gone surprisingly well, well enough in fact to take that trip to parts of the world I had always wanted to visit. First off a trip to America. While there a strange occurance happened that not everyone seemed capable of noticing. A large distortion that traveled across the world. It was the largest sensation to hit the media for a long time. The questions they asked had valid points. Why were only some people capable of noticing it? Why did it seem to change some things yet leave others intact? Why were some people dead after this wave passed when no identifiable source of their demise could be identified? It was curious, it made us all curious and it probably kept many of the greatest minds occupied. What people should probably have been paying attention to alot more was the outbreak as I called it. It never had a name. By the time it was officially deemed an epidemic it was impossible to control or identify who was infected. Like rabies there was a way to see if a person was infected or not but that meant being able to have access to the said person's brain. Something that anyone alive isn't to eager to part with. The effects of this outbreak was what shocked everyone. They become ravenous, like ghouls or zombies that people had always seen in the movies. Rage and other lower base human functions were all that seemed to drive them. What was terrifying was the footage smuggled onto the news networks that showed not only how difficult these people were to take down but showed how they didn't really die at all. No one, no matter what they are on gets up after three quarters of their head is missing and you can clearly see a major lack of brain in the cavity left behind. Everyone panicked, a mass exodus of people trying to run the other direction broke out. It didn't help though cause these things were everywhere. That was also when the last wave passed over that I ever remember seeing. We had spent days just surviving, fleeing from one place to another. Always being chased, always having more and more people die. Some gave up, others took their own lives. In all the hysteria, all that confusion no one seemed to notice the large mounds of knotted flesh that clung to the darker places of streets. They scared the hell out of me, I knew something was living in them, just waiting to come out.

    I remember months must have passed, many of those that once were alive were now dead. There wasn't that much screaming anymore in the night. People were getting used to just surviving, scrounging what you could from the dead. Hoping they wouldn't attack as you pilfered their pockets. The constant anxiety whenever you had to enter a building because you never knew what kind of horrors it held. Recently the latest of these abominations had been released on us. Monstrous being's, hideously misshapen, with great strength, durability and even abilities that no one even knew were capable of existing in our world. By this point much of what was taken for granted as working under our laws of physics stopped working. Atleast that's what I believe, how else do you explain a car with not a single mechanical fault, no damage and with petrol in the tank not working. The petrol still burned like petrol but it's like someone took the will out of the actual metal of the engine for it to function as it should. Solid state electronic devices that just stopped working, electrical wiring that no longer had the desire or maybe ability to carry current. Even ammunition wasn't always gauranteed to work. I remember several people around that time seemed to be making progress into what could only be described as magic. Able to create effects out of nothing with what might only be the power of the mind. Life got harder very quickly, if what had happened in the 3 months before seemed like hell, this was worse. The new horrors that came with seemingly endless numbers didn't always kill, not always did you know what became of the people captured. The few that I remember seeing made me wish I never had. Taken over, ranting to be killed, asking for forgiveness while something seemed to control them and eat them from the inside out. I think all of those controlled must have gone insane, gods I pray they did.

    That's when things got hazy for me, maybe it was fatigue or not careing about being alive anymore. Maybe I wanted to die but I just remember feeling so tired. I think I saw some some of the horrors, some of the zombies. I can't remember if it was real or not. Fleshy something's, feelings of things creeping further, tendrils of unseen things that slithered between the nightmares. It felt like time passed, it felt like a terrible sleep that I couldn't awaken from. Next true thing I remember is standing in the street with a woman rushing to my side. I couldn't understand her but I remember feeling cold. I remember the feeling of fresh blood on me. As she draped the coat over my shoulders I remember looking down and thinking it was so strange that I was naked and how weird that big woman seemed to be. Later I was told I was out cold in the hospital beds for almost a week. They say they have no idea how a young boy survived for so long on his own out there but obviously some major psychological trauma must have been inflicted. The fact that I wasn't the age I remember took me by surprise, I looked young. Maybe 10 or so, the doctors said I was severely malnourished and exhausted. Now I'm trying to figure out what the hell happened, where did the time inbetween go? Why am I in this body? I know I have information they don't know about but they aren't too keen to listen to the rambling's of a child, atleast not yet.

  • @Saemunder said: Those worlds are rich with detail and very open to writing stuff for. I'm the same with towns, I remember as a kid thinking that building contractors must have been geniuses to build something so perfectly as to position all the needed wiring and pipes for future use. Never realised they just covered up what they needed to later on to make it look good and that it didn't start that way.
    Btw, the mummy detective put Lawrence of Arabia in my head. The part where he says "The trick mister Lawrence is not minding that it hurts.".



    It's funny you should mention that because Lawrence of Arabia happens to be one of my favorite movies. I dunno why I came up with a mummy of all things. I guess I just like the idea of sticking undead into genres they shouldn't be involved in and vampires and zombies are overdone.

    Also, prebuilt worlds are the most useful things ever. It's a lovely feeling to just research possibilities for where the plot might happen instead of inventing them and then stressing about whether or not the locations seem contrived. You know, as if the characters have been railroaded from the start and if they were to stray but a little, they'd fall of the edge of the plot. Sure, that's how it is, but I like to give the impression that there were alternatives for them. I always worry about it, though.

  • From the book, not the heroes project:

    "With a sudden yank of the rope the gray cloth that had covered the Pyrolith above fell to the ground in a big flop, the sun that had been seeping in from above passing directly onto the stone. For a moment nothing happened and they all could only stand and watch as the stone began to glow brightly, its faces slowly ignited with sparkling energy. With a burst of power, eight beams exploded from the bottom of the stone, emitted out of the eight, carefully crafted facets of the Pyrolith. Beneath the stone, the lens array caught each beam of supercharged light, reflecting them in untold directions, so that a maze of rainbow colored beams were flying around the room. They bounced off lenses attached to the ground, reflected again off of lenses on the walls and columns, crossing and crisscrossing each other like a puzzle until they all converged in a few second’s time on the master lens. For a moment the beams did not seem to reflect back again, instead a halo of rainbow aura circling around the lens before a powerful beam burst forward, streaming toward the eyepiece of the Pyrolith Cannon. With a bizarre and ear piercing sound the beam surged into the final lens, the halo aura sucking into the cannon like a vortex, particles of energy streaming into what had been the eyepiece of the telescope. For a long moment the barrel started to tremble, its joints shaking, bolts popping from its surface as the cannon received the supercharged beam. Then, with a roar as loud as any dragon Max had heard in the Shattered Isles, a beam of incredible power, as wide as the telescope’s broad end, burst out from the tower. It cut over the town and the distant port, over ships and blue waters, the black clouds above seeming to part as the beam crossed the distance to Deja’s Rock, the waves below drawn skyward as it streamed out from the cannon. The room trembled as the roaring noise filled their ears, each man and woman glancing away as the beams of light that filled the room seemed to grow in intensity, the Pyrolith above glowing with such sheer ferocity that the entire chamber glowed with an intense brightness that threatened to blind them. Their ears rang with the sound while miles away, the massive blast of power collided against the black and purple shield of Castle Vazan. The rainbow blast coursed into the dark energy shield, the two powers raging against each other, the shield pulsing as it absorbed the power of the blast, blue green light saturating its dark surface. Finally, in one grand second, the shield became entirely consumed, a detonating boom erupting with such intensity that it carried back across the ocean channel. Waves were rocked, the boats in the harbor cast about like they were in the midst of a hurricane, while a storm of wind smacked the tower with such intensity that the roof above was torn to shreds, holes ripping open all across its surface. A grand surge of light pulsed outward with such strength that it crossed the same distance, engulfing them in a brightness so incredible they could no longer see, the lenses in the room shattering with the impact of the sound wave that roared with ferocious rage. Glass splintered and broke, the Pyrolith above detonating into a thousand pieces that scattered to the ground, metal, stone, tile and glass littering the floor in a tremendous rain that scattered all about, many pieces of it exploding outward from the tower and falling hundreds of feet to the ground below."

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