Posted in Writing

Writing Prompt – The Shot

“I only have one shot.”

“Good,” she smiled. “One shot is all you need.”

Frowning, I looked at exaggeratedly large bullseye. The gun was too small in my hands. I could grasp it with one hand and even then, it wasn’t such an easy shot. Did she really think I could hit the center with such a tiny gun?

Didn’t she know that I had terrible depth perception? I turned to look at her again. Her hands were clasped to her chest and she nibbled on her worn out thumb nail.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a crowd had gathered at the booth.

Great.

“You got this. Just point and shoot.”

Like it was so easy. I took a deep breath and rubbed my hands against my jeans. First the right hand then the left. I could do this. Sure, I had never shot a gun before but I had shot a toy gun before. My brothers and I used to run around the backyard all the time. I had prepared for this. I had trained for this.

My gaze flickered to the left. The panda’s  bug eyes stared lifelessly at me. There it was the source of my misery and perhaps happiness. It was its fault if this went sideways. It already cost $12 and it was totally not worth it.

I could probably sew something better. I’m sure there were some store that sold that puke colored pink material. Amazon could have it too.

“You got this,” she whispered. She did a little hop.

Maybe she wanted the bunny instead.

“Just one shot,” said the carny behind the booth.

Why was everyone reminding me? I took my stance and aimed the little orange gun. The height mattered. It couldn’t be too high or two low . . . something in between. I closed one eye then the other and decided to keep them both open. I could barely see as it stood.

I’ll do it in three, I told myself. One . . . two . . . deep breath . . . three.

For a moment, everything stood still. No one said anything. Then . . .

“Would you like to try again?”

I heard her speak one word. “Please.”

 

 

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Posted in Events, Writing

Comicpalooza

Comicpalooza is upon us and I’ll be attending this weekend. I’ll make sure to bring back lots of new knowledge from the literature panels.

I’ve been looking forward to this all year. It will be my 2nd year attending and so far, I like it. I’ve got to meet a lot of authors with valuable information.

I feel like it’s going to be a fun weekend.

Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – Gray Eyes

And just like that, the man I’d been kissing moments ago became the most dangerous man on the planet.

His face flashed across the platform’s screen. Somewhere behind me, the train screeched to a halt. Shoulders moved past me but all I could look at was at those gray eyes.

The picture was terrible. His face was blurred, distorted. Anybody who didn’t know him wouldn’t recognize him. I guess I didn’t know him as well as I thought.

It been only moments ago, when we said goodbye, that I was looking at those same gray eyes.

“Suspect is charged with arson, theft, murder, kidnapping . . .”

The list just went on and on. Apparently, he was behind the recent Ouji attack where a government building had exploded. The news didn’t say it but it the building had been a research facility. I should know. I used to work there until recently. That was where I first met him.

Terrorist was what the media called him. Yeah, with a rep list like that I would do and yet, was it really him? Was this the same guy who brought me dinner when I worked late? Or gave me a ride because my car wouldn’t start?

He had even helped me buy groceries. It couldn’t be him and yet, how could I not know those gray eyes. They looked like a thunder storm. The way the sky once moved, the way it is portrayed in videos.

“Train to Zanx will depart in five minutes. Train to Zanx . . .”

Had it all been a lie? Was that just one of his many personas? It would make sense. If it was true, everything he ever said and did would be a lie.

My gut twisted. It was a lie. Pressure build behind my eyes. I blinked rapidly. Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted. It didn’t mean anything, not really. I knew it wouldn’t last. That was obvious.

Somewhere close by, heavy footsteps approached. They came to a stop around me.

“Miss Alex Wight. Please come with us.”

I turned to the voice that had spoken. Surrounding me, there were seven individuals in tactical armor. They all point their weapons at me. The woman who had spoken stepped forward. She had cuffs in her hands.

“What is all this for?” I asked.

Most of the platform was empty but there were a few who loitered around waiting for the next train. They kept a wide berth from us.

“You’re charged with aiding a terrorist,” the woman answered, “please come with us.”

I shoved my hands in my pockets. And just like that, I was a suspect.

Posted in Methods, Writing

The Magic System – Part 2

Creating the magic system for you world can be a lot of work. It also takes a lot of time. Personally, I have never created a full magic system for any of my stories that require one. However, I have understood the rules of magic.

What can magic do?

This is an important question I like to answer. Can magic raise the dead? If so, why aren’t zombies roaming around? Is this type of necromancy magic forbidden? What is the penalty of being caught performing such magic? Have a lot of magic users tried?

These question bring to mind a certain character where his family or someone close to him/her has died. if such magic existed, would they go out and find a way to raise the dead or find someone to do it for them? That simple fact – whether or not magic can raise the dead – cane create an entire story for that character. I also think about the popular manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa. After failed attempt to resurrect their mother by using alchemy, the boys lose body parts and go on a journey to find a way to restore their bodies.

Can magic turn copper into gold? Or can magic users turn anything in general into gold?

It’s the transmutation question. This questions brings to mind a thief/peddler who is not really good at magic but he does have a small gift to transmute certain things to appear like gold. With the system I created, this is possible. However, I put in place limitations.

The transmuted object will always return to its original form. The effect is not permanent otherwise the economy wouldn’t exactly work.

What does magic require?

For example, if someone tries casting a spell, do they need certain ingredients? Can those ingredients be replaced? Do they need candles? Or perhaps a magic circle? Does it need the person’s willpower? What fuels magic? Does it burn away people’s life-force? Does it need “mana” or other forms of energy?

With this, remaining consistent is key. Otherwise readers might feel like there’s nothing concrete. There’s only so far suspense of disbelief will stretch.

Any limitations on magic?

This questions goes back to the beginning. It’s important to know what magic can’t do. There are times when I need to start backwards. I need to place limitations on what magic can do because otherwise there might be plot holes. Why couldn’t a character do this spell at the end when he could do it at the beginning without any problem?

The rules are up to you to decide. Personally, I like to keep things consistent. It also helps to keep a notebook with all the rules for magic. If I ever need to go back and double check something, I have a place to go for easy access.

Finally, beta readers are a good resource to use. Those who read your story will, hopefully, point out things that don’t make sense.

Posted in updates, Writing

Finding the Middle

Another week comes to an end. Progress has been slow but there has been progress. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a post Monday. I got caught up with errands and school work. I promised myself I’ll do better.

I did go back and take a look at Crimson Queen, the story I worked on for Camp NaNoWriMo. Reading through, I realized that the beginning worked. The middle on the other hand didn’t. There was no direction. So, I went back through it and wrote down the main plot points that I found. There was a couple of them but they were just buried under unnecessary scenes/ words.

Moving forward, I need to fill in the blanks to get from one point to another. That “filling” has to be relevant to the story and has to contribute. Otherwise, the words become unnecessary and I don’t want that. Plus, I have the information, the filling if you will, I just have to find a way to add everything together.

With school going on now, I have to steal time to write until I get a schedule down. It’s going slower than I would like to. For sure this upcoming week, there’s going to be a post Monday. Wednesday is still writing prompt day. I’m having really fun with those prompts. They’re different but I need a way to get out of my comfort zone. I need to write something I wouldn’t normally write. Is there a website for random writing prompts? I definitely have to look for that.

If anyone has any suggest, send a message/ comment and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for reading.