Creative Writing

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  • A thread to publish extracts and short stories for other members to comment on and provide feedback to the authors. Extracts of more than a page or two should be attached in a common format like MS Word (doc and docx) zipped or PDF.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • As requested by my fellow team members, an extract from my trilogy, second book (A consorts Quest) The prince had escaped from the black Queen and had been pursued for many days:



    I haven't looked at this for some time so I think a re-edit may be needed and some fleshing out of the third book. There is also the very bare outline of a sequel when the complex planes (Space-time and Astral) coincide at the conjuction.

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  • That sounds very intriguing, Heero. How long is the whole book?

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • I think all three add up to about 300,000 words, though the third book is not complete. First and last chapters are done but the middle is only in outline. BTW if you want an image of the black Queen, think Queen Gedrun in Red Sonja.


    Just got the stats out of Word and the three together are about 150,000 words.

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  • Are you thinking of publishing them?

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • Maybe once I get them finished. I think I'd put them up on my own website as I would like control. I actually wrote them for me and the OH as the content in places is a bit "challenging" though my younger sister said the society in the Pure City was very Greek and the sex scenes were rather Mills and Boon. Well I don't need to go into full squelchy detail.^^ Especially as they're up for it quite often.


    My late mother, who was a pagan, read the two first books and liked them especially the Gnome Jervas. (Earth elemental) Although he's evil he does come to respect the Prince. Actually as a character I'm rather pleased with him. I also discussed with my mother the properties of the four elementals: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. To get these right as well as the consequences to the summoner of the failure of control and proper dismissal.


    As a little bit of background: The setting is about ten millennia after an apocalyptic nuclear exchange wipes out the old civilisation except for a few enigmatic artifacts and the two glass deserts on Shydoria (Queen Darathea's realm), one of which is still lethally radioactive. The results also change the character, particularly sexually, of many of the remaining inhabitants except for the Dwarves who were sheltered by their mountain in the north of the Principality. They trade with the Principality for gold and in return fine rapier swords as well as other metal and crystal goods.


    The world is not Earth and is somewhat smaller.

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  • I'm also a pagan. I think you should look at all three manuscripts again and work them into a strong narrative that moves from one book to the next in the trilogy. The best way to get narrative integrity is to work through the story from the beginning to the end, bearing in mind all that has gone before and taking into account what might happen in the future, based on this.


    It doesn't matter whether one is writing pure fantasy, or magic realism or a novel about spies or theft or politics. The method is the same. I'm speaking now, with my literary hat on as this is my qualification. A good text is one the writer planned and then worked hard at. The texture of the language is woven into life by the use of metaphor and the better you are at being yourself in this regard, the more character your script will have because you won't be following anything but the guide of your own imagination and personal turn of phrase.


    From an artist's point of view, you may agree that a work of fiction belongs to the creator and not to the whims of "workshopping" (others replying to your questions, what should I do next, what should I call this, what should happen now, etc) by a readership group, who mostly like to tell you what to do, what to say and how to end things. Mostly because they like the power this gives them as they cannot write for toffee but love to tell everyone else how to do it. And they are self-appointed experts, every one.


    You don't lose control by self publishing because you can put anything you like in your own book. You might lose a great deal of independence by getting picked up by a publisher as these are only interested in the cash value of your stuff. They want to dictate length, breadth and subject matter as they have dollar signs in their eyes and film scripts on their horizon. They did this on steroids with Harry Potter.


    If you have a story and characters that can make a world and a scenario and a trilogy, then you can strike out, as I did, and make them your own without any worries about who likes them and who doesn't or whether they will be huge money spinners. We are the independents and in indy writing there are many who simply don't want to be dictated to.


    Do you put much effort into your trilogy, or did you conceive it as a fun thing? If you have a plot, characters with contextually believable personas and a beginning, middle and end, complete with build up, climax (to the story :) ) and denouement (ending, open-ended or final), then you have the skeleton of a narrative. If that narrative can extend itself over three books or seven or twenty, then you need those tools and that integration and a huge unrewarded effort to get it to delivery as a work of fiction.


    I like the fact that you consulted your Mum on things because this means you did research and you are doing something creative with what you know. When that happens, the whole thing gets your name and personality stamped on it. It isn't just a story in the fantasy genre like so many others, it becomes your story in your created world and that gives it extra appeal to anyone reading it who may have more than one brain cell. And, amazingly enough, there are a few of these folk left.


    I have published seven books and a couple of short stories and a book of poems. I started my fantasy sagas of five books when I was about twenty and still at university, with no time to write. I worked on the plot and characters and finally, after getting tired of being buggered about by the world of publishing, I went for the gap, thanks to the advice of a certain person, and self published.


    You are unknown, no one gives a solitary stuff about you, some like to gouge your literary eyeballs out with hot spikes and there is no money in it, but - you did it your way, you made it as long or as short as it needs to be and you put into it what you wanted and not what you were instructed to do, based on the whims and wants of the pool of consumers that is the publisher's necessary resource.


    I like the plot you've outlined. Go through everything from scratch and write also for the Muses on Mount Olympus. And for your Mum, who is standing beside you like a candle flame that can never go out.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • Thank you for your comments LW. I started it as a fun idea conceived when I was suffering bad insomnia. I would lie awake and work through bits of the story(s). Everytime I had a good bit clear in my mind I got up and punched it into the PC. I did get more organised, re-did a load of stuff and set out the chapters properly. That's when it resolved into a trilogy as each book is a distinct story. Though the whole is eventually dominated by the Black Queen's infatuation with the Prince and her attempts to capture and "cure" him at any costs including her soul and eventually her life.


    From the end of the second book:



    I find it fairly easy to visualise the scenes in my mind, feel the characters emotions and then to describe them on paper. I've drawn from a number of odd sources, for example the Princes palace with the green polished marble corridors, blue-white flameless lamps and the council chamber were inspired by a level from the PC game Doom.


    I remember a phrase just popping into my head: "He gazed out at the dim purple glow that hovered over the glass desert. No man ever returned from there" It became a whole chapter.


    There's traditional good vs evil, but there's also the conflict of man vs woman, barbarian vs civilised and gay vs straight woven together with swords and sorcery.


    I haven't looked at it for several years so when I have some time I must re-read from the start to ensure continuity and pacing is correct and finish the third book.

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  • Terrific! You have all sorts of good stuff in there for a delicious dance with evil, ambition and desire.


    Do you have any intention of ending the trilogy with some sort of outcome that is final? or do these entities have no existence in such a concept as "end" or "final"? Are they fluid entities? And so, is evil also a fluid force? Does it occupy or travel through various dimensions, etc.


    You have the themes and characters for a great set of books. Hope you're going to get stuck into the manuscripts and make them turn purple, orange and gold. :)


    Good luck and keep us posted on progress. :thumbup:

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • The trilogy ends when Darathea is incinerated in her throne room by two giant salamanders under Peters control. Shydoria becomes self governing with men and women equal but owes allegence to the Prince. The White lord visits Peter in Shydoria to confirm that their plane is now one of his and is safe.


    However the battle between the Dark and White lords to bring planes under their dominion continues after each intersection of the planes until the Singularity occures. This is a possible sequel and I might get the prince involved again.


    From the beginning of the third book where Peter's Guardian (Angel) takes him to meet the white Lord on his plane:


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  • Great extract, Heero.:thumbup::thumbup:


    Would I be correct to assume that the prince is in effect, yourself?

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  • Great extract, Heero.:thumbup::thumbup:


    Would I be correct to assume that the prince is in effect, yourself?

    Actually no, but some one I knew from secondary school.

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  • I could tell it was someone you know/knew.


    What I love about scifi/fantasy, is that if you take away all the space battles, wizards, magic, etc all that stuff, the stories are usually about real people just set in a different time and place.


    I am sure LW could guide you into turning your writing into proper books, she's done it herself. You're almost there.


    Aren't I lucky to have such talented people on my forum?:)


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  • I like that last extract, Heero. It answers my questions about the planes and it's deep and complex and fabulous.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • Thank you for your comments.


    The Black Queen (Darathea) as I see her:


    Gedren.jpg


    Having a character in mind that you can "see" really helps (This is Sandahl Bergman) A number of the characters in the books come from other places either real life, books or films though altered as needed. For the Dwarves and their mountain I thought of the Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings, once I could see the images, describing the Dwarves and their mines was relatively easy and adding some different stuff like the water powered lift, the huge panoramic crystal windows in the great hall on the fiftieth level and the area where tin was mined

    (Stopes in Cornish mines) helped make it unique.


    The concept of the planes comes from physics and the conjecture of additional dimensions over and above the 4 we know of. Adding the 5th "Astral" dimension allows for fantasy stuff like the Elementals and Guardians to exist in coincidence with the "real" world. Who knows, maybe it does and we just aren't aware of it most of the time? (Ghosts, poltergeists, angels, demons?)


    Throughout I've tried to make the characters act and react as you would expect normal people to do. There's a bit of toungue-in-cheek occasionally with the mirrored ceilings in the bedchambers to Peter's council deputy being named Oberon.

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  • Hang on, without turning this into a science thread, but what is the 4th dimension? I thought we lived in a three dimensional world.


    Agree with what you say about the 5th dimension, I'm sure in time science may well prove this stuff.

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  • Hang on, without turning this into a science thread, but what is the 4th dimension? I thought we lived in a three dimensional world.


    Agree with what you say about the 5th dimension, I'm sure in time science may well prove this stuff.

    4th dimension is time, the four collectively are referred to as "Space-Time"


    I've also written some fan fiction style stuff for some of the characters from Gundam Wing. This is somewhat easier than pure fantasy as the characters and the way they look and act are already familiar from the animé and other fan fiction so you can get straight into the story.

    Files

    • Flatline.PDF

      (283.35 kB, downloaded 72 times, last: )

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  • My previous extracts were of sorcery, now try one of sword from the end of the first book: Peter and a few citizens have entered the Pure City by stealth using the power of the altars in the temple complexes. This is after Queen Darathea's womens army invaded the principality while Peter was away. Her name is Varana:



    I did look at human anatomy to see if this might be possible.


    Richard was Peters first consort and was killed at the end of the first book by a poison arrow. After a dark time He finds David.

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  • Now that everyone has buggered off and I have the house to myself again, I can say more without having to run round like chicken without a head.


    I don't know the whole script, of course, but this previous extract has a lot of powerful juxtapositions in it. Male/female, purity/impurity, light/dark, good/evil and it has the phallic symbol of the sword cutting out the heart of the head of the female army.


    It also has this act as one that required precision and learning at some academy of these arts.


    In fact it also has the juxtaposition of the animalistic (in the spitting, hissing female) and the advanced human in the calm golden man with the sword.


    Which also brings out the polar opposites of the angelic and the demonic.


    Plus the suggestion of male love associated with the purity of the golden man and the hostility toward this from the animal-like female warrior.


    A lot of volatile ideas in that passage. An outcome that is shocking in its precision and controversial in meaning. The sword of the golden man cuts out the heart of the demonic, animalistic female.


    Ooh, la la on steroids 8).

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • Thank you LW. I'd had Peter learn this method of killing an opponent long before I needed it in this scene. It was before the expedition to find Shydoria and the consequences of Queen Darathea knowing of the prince and his land.


    It seemed a fitting way of him getting some revenge. There is a simpler stroke that just severs the aorta. My younger sister has accused me of being somewhat misogynistic particularly in the first chapter when a woman mysteriously appears in the altar room in the Temple. It wasn't deliberate, it just evolved that way.


    The actual heart coming out as a method of execution was inspired by a scene from the film "The sword and the Sorcerer" where Xusha pulls the heart out of a witch by mental force alone.



    Once I can get some work off the desktop I think it's time to revisit this and try to get it finished. It's funny all day I deal with the real world and tech stuff. Escaping into fantasy comes as a relief.

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  • Yes, I love moving into my various fictional realms too.


    I don't think something like misogyny is a valid criticism if one is looking at the text from a literary analytic point of view, as I do. I am going through the metaphorical language, checking out the conceptual presentations and delving into character depth and integrity (that is, examining whether the characters act according to their natures, etc) , action, movement, climax and finale. If it all hangs together and the web is strong, then the content is holding up, no matter what anyone happens to like or dislike about it.


    I am becoming the word weave when I read it, suspending disbelief and seeing if the fabric holds, if you know what I mean. It isn't important what I personally might think of anything. What matters is how the writer has crafted it to fit into the sense and intention of the narrative.


    You seem to have constructed a complex set of realms and a number of elemental forces, represented by the characters to make these forces work in the worlds and on one another. This I like. :)


    It's your story. You can do whatever you like as long as the elements of literary integrity work together to illuminate the sense and intention.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • Nice. I can really visualise the scene.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • I will probably need to read this thread at least a half dozen more times, as I kind of got lost between dimensions there somewhere and cannot absorb all the information. Wish I had a half decent brain!


    Just read LW's extract. Very dark and intense....:) Note to self, keep on her good side!^^

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  • Here's a little ficlet for Heero and Duo. It's the first one I wrote from one of the characters point of view:


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  • Nice writing, Heero. I am not familiar with the fan fiction thing but know fanart which I see a lot of on Deviantart.


    Can I take it that this "ficlet" is fan fiction where you create something based on two characters from an actual story? In your excerpt, I would then say they weren't OCs because they are the actual characters with their names. So would this be a kind of "what-if" piece from you that might have happened had we been invisible observers of an interlude between the two characters that is apart from the original story but related directly to it by means of fan fiction?

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • Yes, the fiction is created from the characters but also has some basis in the series: Heero and Duo save each-other from death several times when the actual "correct" course would have been to kill each-other. This implies a deeper relationship especially when Heero rescues Duo from jail and execution on space colony C102


    They are also seen in juxtaposition more often than with the other main characters. There is also other material such as Episode Zero that gives more background to the characters

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  • This is anime and manga, of which I know next to nothing but the few references to it image-wise I get on Deviantart. Thanks for that link, it opens a whole new universe. Amazing amount of work for writers and artists, I should imagine. Must have done for Japan what Disney did for America.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

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  • Just the Gundam animé franchise is big in its own right, over 18 TV series (~50 x 25 minute in each) and a number of feature length films I didn't know anything about animé or manga until I stumbled across one of the characters (Duo below) during a Google search a good few years ago.


    gwduo08.jpg


    After more searches I came across a number of clips from the series and found that Amazon had the DVDs, so I bought the first one, I liked it so much I ended up buying the full Gundam Wing series of 10 DVDs and the Endless Waltz feature film. I have a number of derivative art books and Dojinshi (visual comic books) plus five more fan-subbed series including the very first one from 1979 and a lot of fan art.


    One art book I tracked down to a specialist art dealer in Japan. It's a first edition and is in perfect unused condition complete with its ISBN cover. It's called "La Partita" by female artist Azumi Tohru. Really beautiful, fortunately I have a set of scans so I don't need to open the book and can keep its spine in tact. I also found a translation of the Japanese texts for each drawing and an interview with the artist in the book.


    Artwork here


    There are some officially sanctioned (Sunrise, Sotsu and ANB copyright) artworks that show Heero and Duo in intimate moments so it appears that the owners of the characters are comfortable with this.


    I wish I could draw. :(

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    Edited once, last by Heero Yuy ().

  • Yes, the animé style is one that can be learned, like the Disney style, and there are lots of excellent anime and manga artists out there.

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore