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.

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Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt -Summons

You attempt to pronounce some of the furniture names at IKEA. In doing so, you’ve summoned a demon.

A strange smell wafted from behind me. Wrinkling my nose, I turned around looking for an outbreak of fire. But there was no fire.

Instead, I found a small boy. He had khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt. He looked around eight years old? I wasn’t good with guessing age but he couldn’t be too old. With a frown on his face, he looked around the bedroom display area.

“Hey, there,” I called out. “Are you lost? Do you need help looking for your parents?”

The boy finally looked at me. Dark red eyes narrowed.

“You summoned me?”

Wow. Deep voice. He must be hitting puberty early. Was that normal? Then again, the size of kids these days – well, they were growing rapidly. People still mistook me as someone in middle school.

I looked around, hoping to flag an associate down but I didn’t see anyone. Great.

“Um, so, I can take you to the check-out area. They got these things that announce information throughout the store. They can help you find your parents.” I added a smile for a good measure.

“So, you’re deaf and dumb.”

My eye twitched. This – this – okay, let’s take a deep breath. I forced a smile.

“Do you need help?” I asked.

He crossed his arms. “I’d say you need help. That is why you’ve summoned me, yes?”

“Summoned?”

The boy sighed. His foot began to tap. “Yes, summoned.”

“Uh huh.”

I opened my mouth and closed it. Right, I wasn’t getting through to him.

“Let’s take a step back. What’s your name?”

The stare was back. “You’ve summoned me and yet you do not know.” His eyes glowed. “Tell me what you need so I can return to my own world.”

I took a step back. My foot stuck the bottom of the bed. I teetered for a moment before regaining my balance. He was something else entirely. It had to be a trick of the light.

“Listen, let’s go find your parents. They’re really worried right now.”

“I’m a thousand year old demon,” the boy intoned. “I have no parents.

This wasn’t working. I chewed on my lip.

“Okay,” I said, slowly. “So, let’s make a deal.”

His eyes lit up. “Finally.”

“Help me, help you find your parents.”

The boy sighed. He shook his head muttering in a weird language.

“I am a demon. You summoned me. Tell me what you want.”

I frowned. “No, I didn’t.”

“Yes you did.”

“I already told you!”

“Fine. I’m leaving.”

He clapped his hands once, but nothing happened. He sighed. We stared at each other for a moment.

“Fine,” he finally said, “let’s go.”

We were finally getting somewhere. I cleared my throat. “Well, the check-out is downstairs.”

“Just, just lead the way.”

I started walking towards the stairs. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure he was still there. He kept muttering to himself in that strange language. I couldn’t place it at all. Maybe Google translate could help.

At the thought, I shook my head. I could only imagine how that would go. No, the best thing was to find this “demon’s” parents.

Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – D&D Adventure

“There used to be six of us . . . Now I am alone.”

Five pair of various colored eyes turned around and looked at me. Their brows were creased.

“What are you talking about?” the book loving wizard asked. “We’re about to be rich!”

I shook my head and didn’t respond.

“We have just liberated a cultist infected castle,” the beast of a barbarian spoke up. “We deserved to get paid.”

His smaller companion, only four feet in height nodded in agreement. “When you hired us, you said we could keep what we found.”

They were mercenaries after all. I wasn’t surprised not really. Sure, I liked loot too but if this was anything like the other chest, we were probably going to get our faces melted off like the lightning strucked sorcerer.

You would think he learned his lesson but no, he was up there along with the others staring at the red wardrobed.

It leaned against a dark wall. Beside it was a desk with documents spread all across it. The dwarf was there. Shifting through the parchment, trying to find any clues as to where the leaders of the cultists had gone.

“Good luck,” I told them.

“Then you get no loot,” the wizard piped up.

“You guys ready?” the small roguish mercenary asked.

She stepped forward, theives tools in hand. As she did, I walked out of the room. I pressed my back against the wall. There was no way I was going to get caught in the trap.

I heard the wardrobe open and a hiss. Cries of pain and shock echoed from the room. I waited for a few moments before peeking into the room. Acid bubbled and hissed across the ground. My companions laid on the ground, moaning in agony. The smell of burnt flesh wafted through the room.

Whatever the wardrobe held at one point was gone. It now stood as a blob of melted wood. I squatted down by the doorway.

“So,” I said, “who needs healing?”

Groan answered me.

Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Developing The Magic System – Part 1

There are a lot of how-to and tips on how to write a magic system for a story. It may be fantasy, it might not. In Part 1, I will focus on the questions I tend to ask myself when creating first. The questions about what magic can do, consequences, etc. will be addressed later.

To begin with, the first question you must ask yourself before anything else is:

Do you have magic in your world?

Assuming you are here because you do have magic in the world, then the next question you need to answer is:

Where does the magic come from?

Does it come from the earth? Mystical beings? Through study? What is the origin of magic?

Next, how do the people in your world access magic? Do they have to have special devices? Tombs? Spellbooks? Focus?

Once you’ve established this all of this. The next step is to think about who can use this magic. Can magic be used by anyone? Peasants? Nobility? How does this impact society? Are those with magic elevated in status or not?

Do people practice in the open, in school, or in hiding? These questions will impact how magic interacts with your world.

Some other questions that I like to ask myself when I create a magic system are: how widespread is magic? Are there specific regions that only have magic or the entire continent/ kingdom? Does every citizen in these regions accept magic or do they mistrust it?

How are magic users treated? This also has to deal with their social status and whether or not they have to hide their magic. If people do have to hide their magic, what caused this? Was there a specific event?

Do the magic users have their own government? Most importantly, who governs them? Is there a special task force that steps in when magic goes wrong? Does this government have their own power? Or are they overseen by a ‘non-magic’ user group?

What is allowed? Meaning, what can magic users do? Is there a specific rule that says, you cannot reanimate dead bodies? Or bring back the dead? Is this even possible at all?

These are a lot of questions and perhaps you might not have all the information and it can feel overwhelming. While these might not be all the questions available, I believe these are some questions just to get you started on exploring your magic system.

Lastly, I would like to add that these questions also help with world building. Society, trade, class systems, etc. are all affected by just one element. Every society, world, the regions of your story are different. There are endless possibilities but it’s up to you to make yours unique.

Thanks for reading. Part 2 will be up next Monday.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Dealing with Boredom

Earlier this week I sat down to write the daily 1,667 words needed to complete Camp NaNoWriMo and I didn’t want to. Just the thought of writing filled me with dread. I couldn’t really pinpoint the feeling.

It was then that I asked myself a question. Why didn’t I want to write? I was doing so well before. After a few moments of thinking to myself, I knew the answer. The story was boring. I was bored because the story felt boring to me. The characters were at a stand still. They were looking for clues but weren’t getting anywhere. I wasn’t getting anywhere.

I knew that I didn’t want to stop writing Crimson Queen. I’d told myself that I wanted to complete most of the story this month. If not most, then all. I didn’t want to change my goal completely.

Coming to terms with this, I looked back at all my plot and character notes. While some of it had changed, the intention and direction was still there. I still so much content left to write.

So, I finished the scene I started the day before. After doing this, I forced myself to move on to the next scene. I needed to move forward. And so I did. Saying this, I wasn’t always capable of skipping a scene and moving on to the next one. It took baby steps like summarising, leaving comments for myself to go back to, and even writing a different version of the scene all together. It was enough to get me to this point.

Once I had a ‘fresh’ start, I wasn’t bored anymore. I was excited. Writing the daily goal for that day didn’t take very long. My fingers ached by the end of it but I was done. Goal complete.

Looking back at it, I’ve come to realize how far I have come since starting out. Being able to skip scene is huge for me. I was the type of writer who had to get every word perfect. The scene had to be perfect. I could not and would not move on until it was. I remembered getting so fustrated and stressed out because the words weren’t coming out like they were suppose to. It got to a point where I stopped writing the story altogether for weeks on end and focused on something else.

I am very grateful that I am not that writer anymore. I have the strength to move forward and focus on the scenes I want to write. Sure, I still have to remind myself that I can always come back to something but that doesn’t always happen. Then I start asking myself, ‘would I regret not finishing this story?’ and the answer is ‘yes’ all the time. It’s the small things that keep me going and I know that I am not alone. I just can’t let my struggles stop me.