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Author Topic: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___  (Read 190102 times)

Halaratha

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1905 on: May 09, 2019, 07:24:07 am »

There are lots of numbers, the greatest one is 6.
A Short Story

How many stars are in the sky, Grandpa? 6. Really? There must be more. Count them yourself! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ... there, another star! No, you counted that one already. There--- 6, just like I said, don't frown at me child. The truth is often simple.

But Grandpa! Yes child? I have more than 6 fingers! Show me. See! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and on this hand ... Ah, ah ah. That's a different hand. But. You have 5 here. And 5 here. And 2 hands. But, if I count them together. You can't! Left fingers are different than right fingers, that would make no sense! Now Grandpa is tired.

But Grandpa! I have more than 6 hairs! Really? Count them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ... and another! No, you already counted it. Child I grow weary of your nonsense. But Grandpa! What? Nothing.

I have all these hairs. And there are more on my head. Those are pulled hairs, and those are hairs on my head.

Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed this even if it's not what I'd typically read. Maybe the message of the story is unclear to me, or maybe I'm easily bored but the repetition beyond the first two sections of counting didn't add much more to me. Beyond that the big one - speech marks for each character to differentiate who's speaking would really help me on a first glance. Cheers!
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1906 on: May 09, 2019, 09:26:04 am »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 05:25:49 pm by Th4DwArfY1 »
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Halaratha

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1907 on: May 09, 2019, 02:59:41 pm »

I'd love to see a version of this where Illien isn't merciful - I think that would be an interesting twist.
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Halaratha

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1908 on: May 15, 2019, 04:52:46 am »

Hey hey , sorry to double - post. I wrote the beginning of a story based on Plot Armour (the way main characters can't die to a nameless goon for example). The premise is that if you say this litany, your life is thereafter owned by the Gods who write for as long as your story lasts.
===III===

 Amril the Damned.


“Scribe, Vixen, Key, Hammer, Reader let it be now as it once was,” he whispered. The pull at his chains stopped and he stopped with it as hands turned him roughly the right way. Just remember the words. Don’t shaft the order. Say it right. Ignore the rest. Just like Kinter told you. “Take me into the black. Rend my fate from the unknown chaos-” the blindfold came off then. “-bring me to Order and choose me for your work.”

He squinted through the blue-tint of the castle courtyard. It was Igor van Delte before him, shrouded in the morning. Goddamn Igor van Delte of all people there standing opposite in the gravel that dug into your naked heels and made wet sloshes as you sunk in. Igor van Delte had shoes. Igor van Delte had medals.

What comes next? For fuck’s sake. There was a deep set pit down somewhere in him now. And he tried his best. Two more lines came to him through the memories of those afternoons in red cloaks and bronze gauntlets. “For though I am not worthy, and I’ve given no time or effort of my own, I make now my plea and offer my pledge to be a man of the pages for as long as you so shall desire.”

He looked out onto the high walls and the pale white morning sky that felt so wrong. Something fell and grated and the weight fell off him. He felt lighter. The chains were off. He rubbed his wrists.

“It’s been a fine few weeks, Amril. A fine few. Farewell.”

He recognized the voice. It was the one he’d played cards with, who he’d taken for six gilded bears and two silvers that he still had somewhere in his pockets. ‘You’re a right cheat, Amril. Where you’re going you don’t need money’. To which he’d said ‘go on then, wage me for the cell key. Go on. I dare you’, and the guard had only laughed, and given him another contraband beer. Yttriy was it? Guard Captain Yttriy? The limping frame shifted off to one side and didn’t look back. It was him.

“I am your hero, or your villain. I am yours to keep or to kill. To the Scribe I pledge to never presume my actions mine own. I thank Him for his Trials. To the Vixen I pledge to never sink but to try with all my might as She has done to save our lands. By the Key-”

 And then what? What about the key? When did I last hear this litany? In the high steppes? When? Eight years? Ten? More? People dreaded the litany there. They knew what it meant to say it, and to really mean it. The litany to the Gods of Black and White. It was High Armourer Kinter who’d given him the words out there in the sparse woods where the grass grew thin and the granite rocks jutted out like giant barbs on the hills between the pines. Three left. The Key pledge, the Hammer pledge and the Reader.

“Never start it unless you plan to finish. They are the Gods of Black. Never say it in vain. Better men than you have, and you’ve heard how that ends,” Kinter had said.

“Thank you for your faith in us, High Armourer, and for all your help,” Amril had replied then. “Gods willing it’ll be a short war. I’ll do as you commanded, and the Armourers will always be welcome in our King’s council.” But it hadn’t been a short war. The siege had gone wrong, hadn’t it? It was before he’d known.

He could remember the way the High Armourer flung his hood back, surrounded by the boulders and the hills and pines and then slapped him, a colonel with all his finery, on the back so hard that he jingled. “Well now. That’s enough pledging and honour and swearing. Let’s go eat. The food’s shit down in Polto, and shitter the further you go.”

“That’s the least of my worries now,” said Amril.

“And that’s the most heretical thing you’ve said all day.”

But now the row of soldiers parted and he was back here, now, with half a litany in the castle courtyard. And van Delte stepped through the salutes towards him with his sword at his side and a flask.  He stepped up to the prisoner and blocked out the sun, then held something out. It was the flask. He took it from Igor van Delte and felt it burn deep heat all the way down. Brandy. Good brandy. Al-Zadrian brandy.

“You’re a sad-looking prick aren’t you, Amril.”

He took a break from the flask and wiped his face. It burned. It was worst where it all scabbed over. They weren’t deep cuts. They’d heal. If only he’d had time to let them heal. “Piss off.”

“Those your last words? To me? After everything? Piss off? Have an imagination, Colonel Amril and don’t die a sad prick behind enemy lines.
You’ve had days to prepare. Give them something they can at least write songs about.”

“Die? I was hoping you’d got me out in front of your nice people with their sub-standard rifles to give me a pardon.”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Now it makes sense why you got the good brandy out. Go on.” Amril tossed the empty flask aside. “Let’s do it then. Get it over with.”

“I wanted to tell you I think you’re a humorless bastard,” said van Delte.

“A real achievement to be considered that by you, animal-fucker.”

“I’ll miss you, Amril. You know you almost got me at the Derne Bridge? I saw you up there, maybe not fifty paces.”

Amril shrugged. “I need a piss. Either kill me or don’t.”

Van Delte turned. So he whispered when he was sure the man who’d recognize at least some of the words wouldn’t hear.

“By the Key I pledge to know my place and remember I will end, for it has the power to give and take away, to add and to annihilate.”

The man clad in navy splendour reached the line of soldiers who looked almost unreal here in the sunlight, their faces dark, all alike. Mirrored. Please. Please let me be right. The order was given and the riflemen reloaded. The bolts slid home on fresh rounds. Rounds stolen from his munitions. I’ll die by my own damn bullets. Amril focused on the closest man. Two pledges. You have only two. “By the Hammer I pledge to forge my path, to bring glory and joy to the Gods of Black and White as the hammer brings to the arena.”

“Aim!” The rifles came down level and it was then that van Delte’s sabre gleamed a white crescent in the blaze of the sun.

“And to the Reader I pledge my memory, and stand before them naked in all that I am.” Amril stepped forward, arms outstretched.

“Fire!”

And the line detonated. The rifles struck the rounds and bulged as they tried to fire. They ignited. And the build quality never was quite right, was it? In a split second steel buckled and eviscerated the men firing into a red cloud as the ammo turned defective and ripped itself free through the steel and slammed its way through flesh. How deep can we go? Through your skull? Your eyes? Out through the top of your head? How deep? Can we make it all the way through? Can we? Now Amril has plot armour. You can’t kill him, you don’t have names in this story. And only someone with a name who’s a main character can kill him. Just like Kinter said. When he said the words his fate was sealed in black and white. For better or for worse, he’s a plaything of the Gods who write. The Gods of Black and White.

And Amril watched as the faces of his firing squad melted in shrapnelled metal and heard the screams and the guttural chokes. There was one man standing. There. Third from the left. One is always given a blank cartridge, isn’t he? It’s a tradition, isn’t it, that one man is not the executioner. And Amril forgot about the gravel, ran and barrelled through him past the bayonet to wrestle it free. One rifle. I need just a clear shot. He yanked the rifle and buried the bayonet deep into the last man. Black chunks fell and slopped from the wound as Amril roared and pulled the bayonet through with chalk-board vibrations where it jammed into bone and held. He reloaded and fired. The man’s torso exploded into chunks that wrenched the bayonet free in a sickening crunch. He reloaded again. It was empty.

Of course it will be empty, thought Amril. That would be too easy. So he dropped the gun and ran, and wasn’t surprised when there was a horse in the stable saddled or when the gate happened to be open. You’ve done it now, Amril. You’re the Scribe’s plaything now. And the Scribe is writing, oh yes. He’s tapping the keys, though they’re not any keys you’ve ever seen. He’s taken notice of you, Amril. The moment you started speaking the litany he started writing your fate. And he won’t stop until either you’re dead or the story is done.




« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 05:04:15 am by Halaratha »
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itisnotlogical

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1909 on: May 18, 2019, 02:54:10 am »

I wrote some. Trying to combine ideas that have been rattling around in my head for many, many years in the hopes that they add up to a complete, interesting story.

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Levity

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1910 on: May 22, 2019, 08:53:35 am »

That's really cool logical! I love the mixed-media/prose posing as internet at the beginning. Never seen that before, it's an awesome idea!

I would say there's a lot going on in the next section though! It's actually all really solid, but just overwhelming. The idea of news being so impersonal in reality is super interesting and could probably warrant an entire book on it's own! I would suggest practicing slowing down your writing and focusing on one thing at a time, because you clearly have some great ideas.

Here's a chapter from something I'm working on. I know it needs a bit of extending because there's some pacing problems:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I posted a little bit on here as SirFinbar in the past.
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itisnotlogical

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1911 on: May 26, 2019, 02:30:28 am »

I'm not sure who Hylen is in the context of the story, but he seems to speak in a pretty flowery manner for a former slave. It seems like he's speaking with the same voice as the narrator.

That's really cool logical! I love the mixed-media/prose posing as internet at the beginning. Never seen that before, it's an awesome idea!

I would say there's a lot going on in the next section though! It's actually all really solid, but just overwhelming. The idea of news being so impersonal in reality is super interesting and could probably warrant an entire book on it's own! I would suggest practicing slowing down your writing and focusing on one thing at a time, because you clearly have some great ideas.

I tend to write what the characters are thinking about and forget to have them actually do anything. :-X I guess that's what second and third passes are for though. I just feel like I'm boring the reader when I start on descriptions and exposition.
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MorleyDev

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1912 on: July 03, 2019, 05:18:29 am »

No idea where to take it after, but had this idea as an introduction to a story and felt the need to write it:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 04:14:00 am by MorleyDev »
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itisnotlogical

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1913 on: October 11, 2019, 05:12:34 am »

I wrote an article about the Blizzard/Hong Kong situation. It's not political; it's from the heart.
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itisnotlogical

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1914 on: December 12, 2019, 11:46:34 pm »

Short story idea I came up with recently:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Skynet

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1915 on: December 27, 2019, 09:53:01 pm »

I was a big fan of KOTOR/KOTOR 2, and a semi-fan of the Star Wars Legends continuity in general. After Disney bought out LucasArts, they rebooted the Star Wars universe, creating a new continuity (Story Group Canon)...and ending the Legends continuity.

Recently, I thought about linking both continuities together (Legends and "Story Group Canon"), while also providing a conclusion to the "True Sith" subplot in KOTOR 2 (let's just say that I didn't really agree with the direction The Old Republic took).

So I wrote a fanfic: Remember the True Sith (which is actually a prequel to another fanfic: The Machine, by KarbonMarx). Hope you enjoyed reading it.

Also, as a side-note, I used to post in this thread under the name "Servant Corps".

EDIT: I also enjoyed itisnotlogical's "SPACE ELEVATOR DESTROYED BY TERRORIST ATTACK" story as well; the introductory news story followed Willis' reaction were really good worldbuilding pieces and could very well be a standalone story. Sometimes there are no answers, only endless speculations.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 10:02:09 pm by Skynet »
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1916 on: May 05, 2020, 05:25:16 pm »

Illien stamped his boots, eyeing nearby flames. The northern stars burned crystalline above, but by the Deified Emperor, a man needed more than starlight to warm his blood. He shuffled closer to the fire. Night vision be cursed – if the enemy killed him, he would at least die warm.
The North lay beyond his circle of light. Scored hills, ravaged by the General and his savages. Illien could see pinpricks of light around the old fox’s final battle. A goodbye ceremony?
Why not, Illien thought, caressing his blade. So long as they leave the Pass be. He spat to the side and snorted. The flames licked the chill from his back, encouraging sleep. But he was awake to see the fires below extinguish, one by one.
Soon, there was only one left. Then this too dipped into the land’s contours and was lost. Illien grunted, imagining them returning to their crude homes. Beating their wives and shouting at their children; whatever it was they did.

Bezren. Sorry.” Illien jerked upright, blinking.
“What? Who?” He said. A man was near him on the path, illuminated in the banked firelight. He was old, with long drooping moustaches.
“A messenger. I… bear something precious to the Pass,” the old man said. His words were unrefined, Northern. Illien looked around, examining the dark shadows. But his night vision was ruined. He cursed.
“What’s in your bag?” Illien asked. The man stooped under its weight. After a moment, he drew his sword. “And how many of you are there?”
“One,” the man said. Illien snorted. He strained his ears but heard nothing.
“Well, turn back. You don’t want to cross the Pass,” he said. “Lord Grideon has it well fortified.” The man smiled, toothy and wide. He sat on the path, unstrapping his pack.
“I fear not. The patch does not pretend to be whole, so says Hazar Ba’lam.” He tugged on his own much-patched tunic. “See! Hah.”
“Ba’lam… the dead General?” Illien said, blinking. “And get up!” The messenger did not move.
“Yes, Ba’lam,” he said instead. He stretched his hands to the embers. “He made cloth from many colours. I honour him now with my message.”
“Which is?” Illien said, glancing around. He sighed, sheathing his sword. Everything seemed normal.
“For his family,” the man said, shrugging. “Is mainly his effects.”
Illien shook his head. “I cannot let you past and you cannot stay. Your General…”
“Ba’lam led us in war, but he was no general.” The old man’s face seemed grim. “He was our…Father. He held us, many patches, made us one cloth. He spoke and we made war until your Father had him killed.”
“The Emperor is beyond reproach, for he is god.” Illien said the words without thought. The old man smiled.
“Duty. That’s good. But no love for your Emperor? Our Father loved us even as we burned the world. Perhaps… maybe both need rebuked. I can not say.”
Illien passed a hand over his face. The Northman was an enemy, but he was old. Turning him away in this weather could be murder. Silence fell.
“This land was green once,” the old man said. “When it wasn’t choked with living ice. Our last Father, Jez’ran, would weep. The earth bears no fruit. His family is broken.” He paused. “Let me stay. Tomorrow, I will cross the mountains. Ba’lam’s words will survive his family. This I swear.”
Illien cursed again.

The morning was only slightly warmer than night. The Northman woke early. He laughed when Illien jerked upright from his failed watch, then pulled out supplies. He cooked breakfast and shared it with Illien.
“I can’t let you,” the scout said, eating. “Go to the Pass. It’s my duty to warn of any approach. They will turn you back.”
“I will go,” said the Northman. “The Pass is near, but I will take other trails if I need to.” Illien knew there were none. The mountains were impenetrable, which was why the Emperor was taking such pains to secure the Pass.
The only entrance. And exit.
   He caressed his sword and sighed. “Hang to the east of the encampment, then. Go by night. They might not notice you. Might,” he emphasised. “You will probably be killed.”
   “The patch is not the whole,” the old man said, laughing. He clapped the scout on the shoulder. “Thank you, friend,” he said. “Ba’lam be with you.”
   Illien groaned, rubbing a hand across his face. “And with you,” he said as the man turned to go. The wind blew and Illien pulled his cloak close. “Good luck,” he said.
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Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination
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MorleyDev

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1917 on: August 22, 2020, 06:45:10 am »

Trying to design my own little fantasy setting for the heck of it.

My current setting creation myth:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This is my idea for the backstory for the humans of the setting, wanting to the do a spin on the 'beserker vikings' concept:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 06:57:40 am by MorleyDev »
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