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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
  • @RetroVortex said: Lawyers aren't born silly!
    Their manufactured out of raw lawdonium, a jet black mineral unique only to Lawdonia
    (how exactly they are created has been kept a secret till this day, but secret import documents leaked from their government suggest that eel hearts and lizard blood are key ingredients)

    Great Scott! Incredible!

  • Their chief import... IS PEOPLE!

  • I decided to scrap everything I've done and rewrite. What I've got now is much better. Instead of my Prelude chapter feeling like a highly condensed and rushed-through book, it feels more like a story being told. I changed it to being narrated by a character who will appear later in the novel as a sage.

    I also progressed a bit more with my plan. I've now reached the point where the main character uses his new found powers for the first time in front of people, and they encounter the villain of novel.

    I then realised that two of my characters are called Sam and Max. ¬_¬

  • A sample of a Batman novella I’m working on:

    The Joker sat atop a throne made of scrap metal painted green and purple, a monument sitting atop an enormous pile of what from a distance looked like dead babies, but in reality was just hundreds of dolls that had their arms, legs, and heads torn off. Every single one had a gruesome smile painted on their faces.
    Joker came down from his chair, sliding down Dead Baby Mountain with a “Whee!” and came to his feet right in front of a long table. His men all sat around it, their faces painted like mimes and his main guys made to look like brawny versions of The Three Stooges. At the other end, opposite of an exact replica of the chair atop Dead Baby Mountain, was Harley Quinn, in her tight red and black outfit. She filed her nails and whistled “Pop-Goes-The-Weasel” while her feet were kicked up onto the table.
    Joker sat down.
    “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I have an announcement. Due to our little... setback at the bank last night, caused by the rodent in long underwear, we must come up with a new kind of plan. The table is open for new ideas, and no answer is wrong.” He leaned forward. “Any suggestions?”
    A hand went up.
    “Yes, you, fat one!”
    “Um... maybe we could, y’know, rob a jewelry store, sumthin?”
    Joker’s grin disappeared.
    “WRONG!”
    Before the henchman knew it, Harley came up behind him with a baseball bat, and bashed his head in. The other henchman cringed, even Joker, as the bat made continuous crunching noises as it slammed home down onto his skull. He slumped from his chair, dead, his head a bloody mess.
    “Baby, your the best,” he said, winking and clicking his tongue.
    Harley giggled and skipped back to her chair with the baseball bat, sticky with the henchman’s blood.
    “First of all, I need to make a point here. I have the feeling that I carelessly hired too many guys. Sure, there is a saying, the more the merrier, but this lot isn’t very merry. I mean look at Pudding Face down there.” He pointed to the dead henchman. “There are so many new faces here, yet I never, ever see a smile. So, I’ve come to a desicion. Everyone in here must smile while in my employment, even went they aren’t working. If you don’t smile, say you maybe would rather join up with Half-and-Half or the Birdman, then consider yourself fired. And by fired, I literally mean fired. I’ll have Harley here lock you in an oven. Am I understood?”
    Nothing.
    “Good. Now, I’m kinda bored. I’m going to kill one of you just for the hell of it.” He pointed at the one closest to him.
    The man tried to jump from his chair to run and Joker grabbed him by his collar and grabbed his hand. An electric shock burst from his palm, and the henchman screamed as every volt in Joker’s hand buzzer fried him like an egg.
    When Joker let go, the henchman’s body had burned to a crisp, and as beginning to stink up the air.
    “Harles,” he said, “it smells like doodie in here. Have one of the boys clean it up, will you?”
    “Yessir, Mr. J. Alright you,” she pointed at the Three Stooges, “you dumb asses clean up that carcass for Mr. J.”

  • @Friar said: I decided to scrap everything I've done and rewrite. What I've got now is much better. Instead of my Prelude chapter feeling like a highly condensed and rushed-through book, it feels more like a story being told. I changed it to being narrated by a character who will appear later in the novel as a sage.

    I also progressed a bit more with my plan. I've now reached the point where the main character uses his new found powers for the first time in front of people, and they encounter the villain of novel.

    I then realised that two of my characters are called Sam and Max. ¬_¬

    Best Avatar of all time.

  • 3 Page Synopsis.

    Maximus Douglas is a 17 year old high school student who has consistently underachieved since he left middle school. A creative soul who prefers to spend his time reading books, drawing and writing stories, he finds himself spending more and more time away from home and at the book store, trying to escape his parents and their concerns over his performance. His best friend, Heidi Trevino, is a mathematics and science genius, a young girl whose consistent achievements at the top of her class have led to her role as Max's tutor. They are best friends, fellow students, and members of the local Archeology Club, which was the place the initially met. On a day like many others, when Max is trying to escape his home, he finds himself having a strange conversation at the book store with a man named Geoff, a man looking for "maps of worlds that don't exist". The elder gentleman encourages Max to continue being a dreamer, leaving the boy confused. Days later, Max finds himself at Singularity Technologies, where Heidi's father works developing new, efficient energy that could potentially solve the energy crisis on earth. However, at the height of the experiment, everything goes wrong. Left behind in the stampede to escape the facility, Max finds himself staring face to face with Geoff, who happens to be the lead researcher and president of the company. Moments later, both are consumed in a flash of blue green light as the energy reactor overloads.
    Where Max finds himself for only a few brief moments is flying above a floating island, dotted with ancient ruins that are mixed with unbelievable technologies, silver towers and mammoth computers. All around these cities are jungles, plains and mountains stretching toward the edges of the island, where waters drop away at the edge and into the swirling black clouds below. At the center of the island is an immense beam of green energy light that he's hurled toward, disappearing within, only to reappear in the ruins of the lab facility.
    In the days and weeks that followed, Max would continue to swear he traveled to another world. His dreams become more vivid, and he continuously writes and draws more and more, leaving his school work further behind. His friendship with Heidi becomes strained as she struggles to understand what happened to Max. As a girl following afte rher father, a man of science, she can't believe Max's stories until she has solid evidence. That would occur one day when, as Max stared over a map based on the fantasy novel The Laguna Dragon Lords, he vanishes. While she sets out to tell her father about this impossible occurrence, Max finds himself in the city of Vespra, the same capital of the island nations he'd seen on the map.
    Dragged before the king and accussed of being in league with a sorcerer warring on the country, Max is imprisoned, only to have his stay interrupted by a breaching of the prison by gigantic, eyeless beats with pale skin and unhinged jaws. Grotesquely elongated arms and claws like blades meet the steel of knights that rush to defend the palace, but Max's life is saved by the blue fire cast from the hands of a mysterious rescuer, clad in all white robes and whose gloves toss flame. The two, hauled before the king by Sir Christopher, the Ivory Knight, quickly spill truths. She is the warrior princess of the kingdom, a skilled archer, swordsman and most critically, a Pyromancer, wielder of the blue flame. Forced to divulge his origins, as a traveler from another world, Max also argues that he is not in league with the sorcerer and has no idea how he arrived in their world.
    Discussions quickly reveal that the kingdom is besieged by an ancient sorcerer once thought to be only a myth. Magic does not exist in their world, the same as in Max's. The gloves Princess Katherine uses to cast her flames are coated with the dust of Pyrolith stones, which spark and cast the fire outward. Only in myths and legends does magic exist, or did, until the return of the sorcerer, who rules from the sister palace of Castle Zavan, located across the calm straits separating LaGuna Island from Deja's Rock. Unable to counter his pale beasts, the Abominations, they seek the attention of the dragons. If the sorcerer is not a myth, perhaps the dragons exist, as well. These are the same creatures who once helped drive back the sorcerer long ago. Hoping that Max's unique existence and role from outside will help get their attention should they sail to the end of the world, where the souls of dead men cross at the Gate of the Sun, they hope to urge Max to travel along on an expedition. He initially refuses, though after private discussions with the princess he relents, consenting to travel with them only to be forcibly removed from their world, yanked back to his own.
    There he finds that Geoff, after weeks missing, has returned. The experiment they held, while creating a new form of energy, also helped breach dimensions. Somehow that residual energy lingered with Max, allowing him to travel to other worlds. Geoff explains that they'd had hopes of using the breaches to travel between distant locations on earth instantly, a role valued by the U.S. military. However, to be able to travel to completely different dimensions was never intended.
    Max is forced to languish for some time in his own world, driven mad by the thought of the people he left behind and the possibility they might all day. By good fortune, Geoff follows up with the boy, bringing him back to the laboratory where this all began. It's a good move, as Geoff is partially hoping to avoid legal action by the boy's parents, who are in the dark about Max's journey but are greatly troubled by the lab accident. Once back in the lab for a final round of tests to ensure Max is safely anchored to their world, he, with Heidi's help, break for the room where the map of LaGuna is being held. As Heidi holds back the local security with the help of her Personal Electronic Discharger, which blasts arcs of energy, disabling their pursuers, he gets to the map. Grabbing hold of her as he focuses on it, they vanish from their world and into LaGuna.
    There, they find the war has escalated in the weeks since Max vanished. Sir Christopher has disappeared during his voyage to the distant Shattered Isles, mythological home of the dragons and resting place of the Gate of the Sun. Princess Katherine has been sent to Tower Town Hemsley to save her from the onslaught of the Abominations raiding the city. However, Max pledges to helping the king, who sends the two to board the great ship, the Star Cutter. Led by Admiral Edward Rowley and Captain James Terrance, they set out along the same course Sir Christopher took weeks before, hoping to retrace his voyage. Off the coast of the merchant island of Kappan, trading center of the Stretch, they find themselves trailed by a silver vessel. Worried, they soon find that same vessel being raided by the black sailed pirate ships whose home is located in the distant southern coves of Kappan. Using their cannons, slabs of stone coated with Pyrolith dust that create grand explosions of blue fire, the rescue the vessel to find it manned by Princess Katherine and her coterie of Pyromancers, who began to pursue the Star Cutter immediately after hearing Max had returned to LaGuna.
    Now a trio, Max, Heidi and Katherine brave the storms raging off the coasts of Tobra, LaGuna's greatest military rival in the Stretch. Nearly torn apart by the battering waves, Max's ignorance of the sea leads to him being swept overboard. Recovered by expert seaman Andres, Max gains a new respect for how delicate life is. Their vessel reaches the edge of all the world, the island of Goran, where they find the soul survivor of Sir Christopher's ship. They quickly learn that dragons do, indeed, dwell in the Shattered Isles, and that the vessel was most likely destroyed. They desperately follow to the edge of all things, vanishing into a fog and passing into a sea torn by ivory towers of rock jutting up from the sea. They are soon assaulted by a single dragon, and while the men attack with bows and arrows, and Princess Katherine unleashes blasts of blue green fire alongside her coterie, Heidi unleashes a weapon she has worked on since Kappan. Much like a primitive laser it focuses light into a single heated beam, except using Pyrolith stones to create lenses that energize the beam and unleashes a blast of incredible power. It successfully injures the dragon, but the creature is too strong. Destroying the deck, it nearly consumes Heidi when Max, desperate to save his friend, attacks it with his sword. It's a useless gesture, the blade snapping on the creature's nose, but the beast seems to flee anyway.
    Their ship is finally carried by unseen forces to the Gate of the Sun. Dragons line all sides of the cliffs they pass through, and a gigantic, golden dragon descends from the peak of the Gate, a huge tower of stone that dwarfs all others. The beast releases Sir Christopher to them, who reveals it is his fault, as well as the king's that the sorcerer has returned. They initially set out to claim his power, which had been quiet for a thousand years, and only managed to awaken him. Katherine argues for the dragons help, out of the love she has for her people, but they will not hear her. However, Max, a traveler from outside their world, is capable of using a unique weapon which comes from beyond the dimensions. It is the same the ancient hero Marcus wielded, who was also a traveler from beyond the limits of the world of LaGuan. It is Fang, crafted from the tooth of Siev-Alm, king of the dragons. While the dragons will no longer be used by men to decide their fate, as they once did not only to defeat the sorcerer, but to enslave all the island Stretch to the LaGuna monarchy, they will at least grant them a weapon that can destroy the warlock.
    Their return to LaGuna is grim. They now know it was men who drove the dragons to the Shattered Isles, thus leaving the Stretch vulnerable to the first war with the sorcerer. Then, with the king desperate to fight Tobra and reestablish military dominance over the islands, they accidentally awoke the wizard yet again. Their arrival home, though, finds a welcome sight. All the islands are united in a single effort to drive back the sorcerer, though they will claim their independence at the conclusion of the war. Heidi sets to work developing more advanced versions of her Pyrolith cannon, and is called upon to create a mammoth version, created from fifty lenses and mounted in the observatory of the palace. With Castle Vazan guarded by an energy barrier too strong to breach by any other means, their mammoth Pyrolith cannon, created from the old telescope of the palace, generates a beam of such force that the explosion that results from its beam striking the barrier creates a shock wave that creates tsunamis off the coast of LaGuna and rips the roof from the observatory.
    However, the way is clear for a united assault. Led on the sea by Admiral Rowley and on the Ground by Sir Christopher, they make a concentrated assault on Castle Zavan, only to be met by the tens of thousands of Abominations guarding it. Unable to make a focused stand within its walls, Katherine and Max make a desperate run within its towers, leaving the battle outside to Christopher, aided by the Pyrolith Cannons Heidi has created to tear apart the castle's walls. Max and Katherine, though, battle their way to the heights of the castle fortress, to the Tomb of Vazan, where the sorcerer once slept. There they find a pale, ebony armored figure in scarlet robes, who claims to have known the dragons before they arrived in LaGuna, and who ruled the Stretch before mankind could use tools and before dragons had even seen that world from their journey beyond the dimensions. The throne room, a mix of the sinister, medieval and the technological, looks nothing like any other place in the entire Stretch. In the end, unable to overcome the sorcerer's power even with Fang's help, Katherine sacrifices herself to pin the man to the wall, forcing her blade through him and holding on even as her life withers. Unable to move, the sorcerer can do nothing as Max applies the final blow, only to have Katherine, who lived and fought for her people, go unconscious and nearly die in his arms.
    The Abominations collapse at the death of their master, and their victory is greeted by a parting of the clouds as Siev-Alm arrives, flying to the highest tower of Vazan, where he finds Max holding the lifeless body of Katherine. Her soul, the dragon claims, has not yet passed beyond the Gate of the Sun, but the time is soon. Only at full strength can the dragon join her spirit to her body yet again, since the act of creation is far more difficult than the act of destruction, and so Max, who has never been a warrior or cared about more than his friends, eagerly gives back the blade Fang. Her life quickly returns to her, and the dragon king blesses her, wishing her a long rule as queen of LaGuna, a time that is nearing. As to Max, he warns him to be content at home, because there are far greater threats between the worlds than even a sorcerer.
    The return to Vespra is met within days by cheering crowds, parades and celebrations. Both king and queen ride in the procession, along with Sir Christopher and Princess Katherine. Max and Heidi watch from the second floor of a small building along the parade route, reserved for them by Katherine. They both know it is time to go home, and though Max hasn't told Katherine, somehow he knows she's aware of what's about to happen. As the tail of the parade winds by, the princess waves to him from her carriage, understanding what's about to transpire. Max returns the gesture, sad but happy that their world is saved, and unfolds a map of earth. With Heidi's arms wrapped around him, he says a final goodbye to LaGuna, and the two friends return back to the world where they belong.

  • Returning to another round of editing. Feedback is saying the narrator jumps between too many characters and is heavy handed, so I'm going to rework that angle.

  • 50 pages of 183 into my rewrite.

  • Now at 164 pages of 189. SO CLOSE TO BEING DONE WITH EDITING!!

  • The editing is never done.

    Avi, a favorite children's author of mine, reportedly would rewrite every book he wrote about forty times before even sending the first copy to the editor.

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