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The Writing Thread

posted by DAISHI on - last edited - Viewed by 2.3K 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.

179 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Alcoremortis said: Affection for your friends doesn't sound like a very good weapon. Unless it's a verbal one ("I love my friends more than you!").

    Now I'm just remembering the comic where the heroine's primary attack was kissing her demon buddy to give the demon superpowers for a limited time. So I guess that could work.

    As for the science, is it just "science!" or would they be in a specific field? I'd suggest something with big machines (but not an electron microscope because it lacks star potential. But a diffractometer looks like a ray gun and has a cool name)

    It's not hard science fiction. It's young adult fantasy.

  • I’m thinking of doing a western set in gold rush-era Alaska.

  • @Alcoremortis said: Affection for your friends doesn't sound like a very good weapon. Unless it's a verbal one ("I love my friends more than you!").

    Now I'm just remembering the comic where the heroine's primary attack was kissing her demon buddy to give the demon superpowers for a limited time. So I guess that could work.

    )

    That kind of reminds me of an idea I had once about a regular guy who's best friend has ungodly powers that could destroy the universe.
    However since this friend has to put so much concentration into controlling his power subconsciously, his concious state has been reduced to that of a blithering idiot. One that only responds to said protagonist, making him duty bound to this raving loonatic.

    (I always thought it would make a good manga. (I wish I could draw sometimes... :( ))

  • Started writing a Batman story I had in my head, in comic book script format. I recognize it's not going to be ultra-professional, I just wanted to get some ideas out of my head. Hope somebody out there enjoys this, if I even stick with it. Sticking with things isn't my strong suit, but I would appreciate feedback.

    BATMAN - SUPERSANITY
    BY MICHEAL CROSS

    PAGE ONE

    PICTURE ONE
    EXT- ARKHAM ASYLUM - DEAD OF NIGHT
    The night is still, and crickets are chirping. Musical notes drift from the large, stone structure. There is nothing sinister about the place for perhaps the first time in it's existence. It is completely serene.

    PICTURE TWO
    INT - ARKHAM ASYLUM - DEAD OF NIGHT
    A record spins on a gramophone, letting some odd measure of beauty flow throughout the walls, into the ears of people who can't understand it. Under the gramaphone, a record titled "Ennio Morricone - Finale" rests.

    PICTURE THREE
    A long panel on the left of the page, under the previous two. The notes of Morricone's work drifts throughout corridors, soothing uneasy guards. The guards are armed to the teeth, in large armored uniforms, carrying batons, stun rifles, and pistols.

    PICTURE FOUR
    A guard sits at a security station, dozing off in his chair. Coffee sits on a counter, and papers are scattered around file cabinets. Each security monitor, glowing with bright-white static, is trained on a cell.
    CAPTION - "MAXIMUM SECURITY"

    PAGES TWO - THREE
    SPLASH PAGE
    Musical notes drift over the cells of Arkham's "finest". Two-Face. Riddler. Scarecrow. Hatter. And Joker. They all sleep soundly, in uncomfortable positions on their small bunks. Except for one.
    Joker.
    Joker doesn't sleep. Joker never sleeps. He lies on the floor of his cell.

    PAGE FOUR

    PICTURE ONE
    A closeup of Joker's face. Drool escapes the corner's of his mouth. Tears form in his frozen eyes. His body can't keep up with his mind, and goes into a catatonic state.

    PICTURE TWO
    A small spark ignites in Joker's mind, and air escapes from his throat in a sickening wheeze.

    PICTURE THREE
    His bony-white arms move upwards in an arc around his head, and his legs follow suit.

    PICTURE FOUR
    His arms and legs move in the opposite direction. Snow angels.
    NARRATION - I GET MY BODY INTO A PATTERN SO I DON'T HAVE TO CONSCIOUSLY CONTROL IT.
    WEEEE. THE MOVEMENT AND THE BEATS OF MY HEART SLOW MY MIND AND ALLOW IT TO CALCULATE. WOWEE.

    PICTURE FIVE
    The view switches, putting Joker on the left, upright, the floor a wall, and the wall a floor.
    NARRATION - THE WHITE CEILING MAKES MY EYES GLAZE. I CAN PAINT ANY PICTURE THERE. I KNOW IT'S TRUE FACE...ITS TWO FACE...TRUE FACE....TWO FACE...AND EVERYTHING FALLS AWAY.

    PAGE FIVE

    PICTURE ONE
    Joker leaps out of his body, ballet-style, in what looks almost like an out of body experience.
    JOKER: I'm free!

    PICTURE TWO
    Joker dances through the walls of the mentally-constructed cells of the other maximum security inmates, stopping at the end of the panel to blow a raspberry at a mental projection of Edward Nygma.
    JOKER: Free to plot and plan and scheme to my little heart's content....and not even you with all of your gray cells can pull this off, can you?
    Can you?

    PICTURE THREE
    Joker walks through Edward's transparent cell window and down the outside corridor toward the secure iron doors.
    JOKER: What am I saying? Of course you can!

    PICTURE FOUR
    The wrought iron door in front of Joker disappears down another long corridor, this one made up of strong brick and rusty, iron fence. There are balloons everywhere, and plastic sheets hang down throughout the halls. The pale, blue light that shimmers and floats throughout the area is eerie and unpleasant to behold.
    JOKER: Not that you would. You're too busy dreaming of conundrums for this sort of fun to interest you. But you're not the only one who dreams.

    PAGE SIX

    PICTURE ONE
    From the viewpoint of the Joker, plastic sheets part around the man. Red light glows behind them, shining like a demon beacon. In front of his eyes is displayed a gurney, with a black, cloth sheet draped over it. Behind the gurney, the wall is a giant record with the label "The Strong - Ennio Morricone". The record is spinning, but the label is legible. A projection of the music that is being played over asylum loudspeakers in the real world.

    PICTURE TWO
    The Joker's face leers down at the gurney, red light reflecting on him, shadows from the record flickering across his harsh crimson skin. The music is loud, and would be unbearable for any normal man. Joker's hand pulls away the black sheet, and everything else begins to fade slightly, so intent is he on the subject underneath.
    Joker: What do you dream about, Batman?

    PICTURE THREE
    The corpse of Batman lies across the gurney, spread naked, a Batman symbol carved into his chest. There is a frown carved across his face, and his head has been sliced down the middle, his nasal cavity shaped cruelly to look like the nosepiece of the Bat-cowl. His brain matter is splayed out above the crater in his skull, arranged to look like a flattened cowl behind it.
    Joker: Oh, I hope it's me!

    PICTURE FOUR
    A pale brow wrinkles in an emotion quite the opposite of glee or anger. Instead, the eyes that behold the sight show terror and horror. They gleam, reflecting what's left of the face of the man below in their sickening pools of red.

    PAGE SEVEN

    PICTURE ONE
    Commisioner Gordon turns away from the gurney, his hand over his mouth to stop any flow of vomit that might come forward. His eyes are squeezed shut, his brow wrinkled, and his facial skin deep red from the pain he shoots into his own forehead to shut out the image of what he has just seen. Red reflects off of him from behind, and green reflects off of him from the front.
    Thought Bubble: NO! NO!

    PICTURE TWO
    Joker walks by the construct of the Commissioner, placing a reassuring hand on his should as he passes by.
    Joker: Don't worry, Commish. If you don't like that corpse....

    PICTURE THREE
    Joker walks into an intersection covered in Batman corpses. Mutilated, decapitated, stabbed, shot, poisoned, and more all litter the walls and floor.
    Joker: I've got hundreds more!

    PICTURE FOUR
    A larger image shows the intersection from another angle, in green lighting. Batmen and Joker fight on all sides, some Jokers dying and some Batmen meeting their end. Others are discovered by the Bat's allies. Gordons and Robins lament over Batmen dead and gone. There is blood everywhere.
    NARRATION: EVERY SINGLE WAY I COULD KILL OR HUMILIATE HIM...I'VE THOUGHT OF THEM ALL. I'VE LITTERED MY OWN LITTLE WORLD WITH THEM. I CAN RELIVE THEM OVER AND OVER AND OVER. IT'S GLORIOUS.
    MAYBE I HAVE. ON NO. I CAN'T REMEMBER. WHO CARES?

    PAGE EIGHT
    SPLASH
    Joker stands amidst gargoyles and stone, outside the Asylum, hands raised toward the dark, stormy sky. The courtyard before him is like a battlefield. There is also a pink demon rabbit that is feeding on corpses.
    NARRATION: I consider each and every scenario. Some way to get him to see the joke. To give up his moral code. To take a pie in the face. He never changes. Maybe that's why this is so easy.
    I have days...weeks.....months...years to discover new eventualities. Sometimes I test them out on the real thing, if the old football injury isn't hurting the next day. Heh heh! I can recreate this asylum and every scenario that could occur within its walls.

    (next to the rabbit) Sometimes I embellish a little.

  • Since you guys asked nicely (read: Since I'm basically an attention-seeking person) I've decided to let you read (read: I'm posting) the sample chapters (read: the sample chapters) here (read: on this link: [Download]).

    Note that it's not in any way the final version so anything can change (for example, I might rewrite the beginning of chapter three, and add stuff to chapter two), and, since I'm using lean publishing, I can publish the story while writing. Until I send it out to print.

    EDIT: BEEEEEEEEEH, the download link isn't that clear.

    [Download]

  • I'm heading out for Fat Thursday but I'll give it a look. Uh, did you want feedback?

  • Of course, it's why I posted it, and why I like the lean publishing idea.

  • Ok, I’ve begun plotting my western story. This is what I got so far.

    It is essentially about a man named Walter Shackler, who was once a gunslinger known for specifically carrying a Colt Patterson, which he lost in a gunfight long before the story began. After he reaches the age of 35, he hears that gold is being found by the plenty in Alaska, so he travels up to the mountains there and builds a cabin outside a large lake surrounded by stones. He heads into the nearby town of Red River one day and stops in the Dawdson Saloon and Cathouse, where he almost gets into a fight with a drunk named Big Johnny Jameson. Jameson intimidates Walter to the point of where a brutal fight ensures between the two of them, in which Walter gouges one of Jameson’s eyes. Walter comes very close to killing him before he is stopped at gunpoint by Deacon Miller, the sheriff of Red River. Deacon’s brother, Osias Miller, is the leader of a group claim jumpers who have been killing anyone who refuses to cooperate with them, and Jameson happens to be one of his cronies. Walter rides out of town to find Osias waiting for him on his front porch. Osias offers Walter money for his land if he gives it up and moves elsewhere, but Walter refuses. Osias throws a tantrum, threatens to come back with his gang and force him off before Walter pulls up a shotgun and tells Osias is he doesn’t get off his property, he will kill him. Osias then rushes out the door. The next day, Walter is mining by a creek leading from the lake and discovers a large amount of nuggets in the river. He rides into town to buy new clothes and equipment when an outlaw recognizes him and challenges him to a duel. Walter reluctantly agrees, pulling his old Colt Navy 1861 revolver out his saddlebag. Walter kills the outlaw in the duel, and a deputy comes along and gives him a reward for killing him. Shackler then places his revolver in his side holster and walks into the General Store, where he goes to buy supplies. A young man, who also recognizes Shackler, comes in and starts asking him about what he did when he was a gunslinger. Shackler humors the boy by telling him of a time he was in Dallas, Texas and how he killed three men in a gunfight after one of them brutally beat a child in the streets. The boy is mesmerized, and reveals that he works for a newspaper, and offers to write a story about him in a later edition.

    That’s all I got so far.

  • So I've been reading my book on creative writing some more, and mulling over the activities, and at work I thought about Jack some more. Specifically his past

    I concluded that Jack was the son of who he believed for a large part of his life to be a trader.
    He learned the way of life from his father as they travelled around the galaxy doing business.
    (Which explains his good knowledge of the various species and cultures that inhabit the galaxy, and of trade routes and other transaction stuff (though he doesn't think too deeply about it))
    He did not really bond well with most children. Only the children of certain traders they came across more often.

    The major turning point in his life was when he was about 14, where he got his first taste of fighting when he wondered a little to far into the back allies and got into a fight with some older teens.
    Naturally he was scared at first, but was exhilerated like a dog unleashed at a park, and fought unhinged and dirty, badly hurting one of the youths.

    He then realised after the battle his dad would be furious with him and he took a long time getting back.
    His father had already heard what happened and was waiting for him.
    But instead of anger, he saw for a brief moment a look of disappointment, and then a laugh.

    You see, his father revealed to him that night that he was one of many fighters in his family, and that the man he had thought to be a simple trader, had once been a soldier in the war.
    (Who he later found out had been a general)

    The next day he wakes early to a serious stern face, and some clothes are thrown at him.
    "Hmmph... I promised your mother the night she died that I would keep you safe. Its a promise I intend to keep till the very end. If youre going to go out there and fight, then we need to make sure you good enough to get to that point"
    And for the next few years they trained when the time was spare.
    Well... Until the old man died from choking on a nut.
    (Something his father loved to eat all the time.)

    A death that could have been recovered from even then, but despite Jacks frantic scrambling, he couldn't get the money together to pay for the revival, and it was too late.
    (You see certain deaths can be prevented as long as the body is still fresh and enough brain and nerve tissue is there for the augments to work. However its a luxury for the rich, and particularily more difficult for humans)

    So with his father dead, and the trade being hard without him, Jack drifted from place to place, and often drowned his sorrows in bars.
    And one day he met a man that reminded him a little of his father, and with a fellow trader friend who itched for action, signed up for bounty hunting.

    Thats just off the top of my head. Needs loads of refining but its a good sign Im making some progress. :D

    Also I've been thinking of alien species and I came up with two interesting ones.
    OK so the first isn't so interesting. Like a kind of cowardly and sly kind.
    (That's all I got)

    But this one is very interesting.
    So it plays on the idea of humans being an invasive species.
    We have throughout time accidentally tampered with nature and this time we interacted with a species that have thrived in this galactic scene.
    OK, so they are humanoid, usually sleek, and dark. Not exceptionally intelligent but some have become very sly due to human influence.
    You see their DNA is very malleable. They can shape shift and hybridise with other creatures and of course exposure and encrouagement from humans caused a rapid change inthem.

    They became cultured within two generations, (which are shorter than humans, about 40-50 years), and unlike humans operate on a more basic need level.
    They make for good labourers, but even better criminals, and espionage.
    Some have even learned to overcome their imperfect speech with neural augments.
    His old man taught Jack to always be cautious around people and aliens with neck augments, because there's a good chance its a very sly Doppler in disguise.
    (Doppler is a temporary named BTW. All of these are...)

  • Meant to put this here.

    There was a house, it hasn't been lived in for a long time. Two friends bought it as a sort of college bachelor pad. One would live in the living room on the couch, the other in the bedroom. The house needed some reconstruction. The garage especially. It was in a lower income neighborhood. Part of the garage was sealed off by wooden frames, like where a wall had once existed. Through the gaps in the wall they could see what looked like an old vinyl record in its cover. The exterior was a misty gray. A girl with a panicked expression, with her hand facing the viewer as if he was pressed against glass, stared out from the mist, waist up, so she was pretty near the front of the cover. Across the too of the record cover, which say propped up on the ground, the title said "Jessica Whildon's Numbers". It was a confusing title. They didn't know what it meant. At night they began hearing scratches on the walls. In their dreams they saw a recurring series of numbers. One day a police officer outside struck up a conversation with the pair. The last owner of the house suffered from extreme obsessive compulsion and delusional visions. At night they began to see a creature in their dreams, walking the halls of the house, something like a massive broad elephant drunk forming most if its body so It had no distinguishable head, short stumpy feet and hands emerging from the trunk, a pair of eyes at the top, it's body covered in a tattered brown cloak. It dragged its hands along the walls, nails scratching them, a low guttural voice speaking a series of numbers. They began waking up drenched in sweat, hearts beating hard, the face of Jessica Whildon the last image they saw before awakening.

    Living without ending the life that never dies, Jessica Whildon speaks from life that's not alive.

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