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Fantasy Writers

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  • #135811
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @joelle-stone

    Hi Joelle,

    Oh, I would so love to hear this, but the link did not work for some reason. Did you upload it on something like Google Docs and then make it shareable?

    If it doesn’t work could you, perhaps email it to me, and I will help make it accessible? Psst: my email is: Excavatia(at)hotmail.com

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135859
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world,

    Hrm. I can’t share my email, but maybe this will work? Seen

    "For love is strong as death." -God

    #135875
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @joelle-stone

    Hi Joelle,

    Yay! Success! Yes, it did. So looking forward to hearing it!  Thank you, thank you!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135877
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Good morning Cathy! I so enjoy hearing your thoughts and reading your insights.  You have such a clear perception that you amaze me and I always look forward to reading what you say. Thank you for responding to this section as well.  You are correct that there are several vagueries in this “Prologue” but there are deliberate reasons for them.

    Thank you so much! I grew up studying a lot of writing analysis and rhetoric courses for school so it’s…XD I really enjoyed listening to your prologue! I think really the only thing that made it seem too vague were how spaced out the samples were; reading the prologue all at once definitely would have it flow much more naturally and as a novel that would be how most people read it 😉

    The Dust Dragon is only one of the three total “Dragons” occupying the Mid-World, though the other one, A Leviathan (Job 41 & Isaiah 27:1), was killed in the prior failed quest that the MC (later called O’Brian) is called back to lead.  The earliest Dragon to enter the Mid-World is trapped and “sleeping” in the High Mountain range, a formidable and imposing wall of jagged stone towering to the sky. Only “the Ancients” of the Mid-World know of its existence and that it attempted to steal the massive golden Dominion Crown once atop The Marker Stone, from which the three virtue stones fell out of their settings as it attempted to fly off and ascend the crest of the massive Stone Walls, clutching its prized possession.

    (Ha I knew I wasn’t the only one caught on the dragons in Job! I firmly argue with anyone willing to argue that dragons existed and we call them dinosaurs but they were dragons and who knows but they really did breath fire! Scientists can’t disprove it with skeletons!!!)
    I love the worldbuilding and I can’t wait to meet all your interesting creatures in-depth!

    here also is a sinister connection between what Noadiah actually is (an elemental wind spirit [See Colossians 2:8 NET version]) and the way she gets a body by cooperating with a “dragon” who pulverizes rock and eats “dust”.  A saliva/plasma substance that encapsulates and incorporates both human blood and the rock and dust of the land into a golem form which shifts and takes on the visual aspect of the DNA characteristics of the person whose blood was taken to form it, but it lacks a soul and can only be animated by an elemental wind spirit to give it the semblance of life, if not the truth of it.

    This particularly I can’t wait to see more of, it sounds like it can really drive both the plot and the themes forward used well.

    As to your question about the Virtue stones, even though others believe differently (even the MC for a long time), these stones have no internal power of themselves. They are focusing stones that channel effects of supernatural power through the yielded Surface Worlder who bears them, only when the person yields to their calling by The One True God who equips them to do what must be done in pursuit of that calling.  The bearer cannot use them to conjure power or work these to serve their own selfish ends.  These only serve and channel the divine authority of The One who directs His instruments to surrender to His Will. God does not lend His power to mortal men to serve themselves, but does work supernaturally through them when yield to Him and they ask according to His Will. (Matt. 18:19, John 5:20-21, John 14:13-14, 15:7 & 1 John 5:14)

    Ah, I’ve read several novels that try that technique. It’s a rather difficult one to handle without seeming contrived or unnatural, it takes a lot of prayer and discerning to not simply tag it on the end of a character arc or a plot point to keep things challenging but then magically fix it. Especially as it is the fantasy equivalent to real miracles and we can’t apply any “rules” to miracles really it’s so beyond. I do have something similar in my book though XD and it’ll be great seeing how you handle it!

    Look up the term “quickening” in the Scripture, and you will see it is associated with miraculous accounts in both the OT and the NT.

    Oh yes! It also refers to the first movements in the womb so it’s such a beautiful, meaningful term! Are there any particular verses you have in mind I can look up there? I believe that term was used in Genesis at the creation…

     


    @joelle-stone

    OH I KNOW THAT PROMPT!! That’s beautiful, I love how you personified the wind for that theme, it’s so warm and sweet to read! Breaking up the paragraphs with her thoughts really accents…no wait, that could be either a boy or a girl and that makes it even more angelic. It’s like a moment seeing through a guardian angel’s perspective, also like a continuation of the end of the Little Mermaid (the original shortstory not the movie. That I’ve never seen. XD). That’s so layered!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #135885
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Hi Cathy,

    To answer your question,…

    Are there any particular verses you have in mind I can look up there?

    …I am extracting a section from the Mythology and Symbolism section I have on my blog site:

    There is no specific “magic” system in the story, but there are supernatural elements that have a correlation in the biblical account of history.

    For instance, the biblical idea of “quickening” as is shown in the examples of Elijah out running a chariot (1 Kings 18:46) and Sampson slaying thousands with a jawbone (Judges 15:14) carrying off city gates (16:13) or pushing down the support columns in the house of a wealthy Philistine (16:29-30).

    1 Corinthians 15:45 identifies this connection as God’s empowerment for specific circumstances, even go so far as to state that Christ, the “last Adam” was made a “quickening spirit”. And Romans 8:11 states that Christ has the ability to “quicken” our “mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in” us.

    The result of these special interventions is not merely gratuitous usage of “deus ex machina” to resolve a particular conflict, but specifically and very sparingly used to accomplish God’s ordained Purpose by connection with Him.

    The point being, there are real-world historical examples were God supernaturally equipped a human yielded according to His purpose, rather than the fictive scenario of the power of God serving the whims of human direction or desire. We do not direct Almighty God. He directs us. Sometimes He calls us to do what might be the unthinkable, such as Peter stepping out of a boat in a sea storm because Christ bid him to do so. There are modern testimonial and documented examples of God’s present-day supernatural intervention, i.e. cancer being healed, the lame walking again, sight restored, etc.

    Does that help?

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135887
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @this-is-not-an-alien,

    Yay, I’m glad you write it! *realizes that I never did specify the wind’s gender* *had her envisioned as a woman anyway and is glad that was your first thought*

    *cackles* Yes indeedy, you do know that prompt!! *more evil cackling*

     also like a continuation of the end of the Little Mermaid (the original shortstory…

    Ooh, I never thought of it like that! It kinda is. *ponders the ending sadly*

    "For love is strong as death." -God

    #135900

    Hi All,

    Here’s my first go at this – it’s a story about a student in my WIP, the year before my WIP. After hearing it read out loud, pretty sure I missed areas I could have expanded.

    Moniker: @bclarke

    Jade’s Side Story Audio

    Text: 658 words [3 min 50 sec audio]

    Jade was used to changing schools. Although the rumours about her weren’t that vicious or exciting, she was always nervous the rumours would precede her at the next school. Even if they did though, she was pretty sure she’d still be able to make friends. She wasn’t skilled at many things, but she’d always been able to make friends.

    Sighing, she arrived at the classroom early and picked a seat before groups could complain. Dropping her bag on the desk, she walked over to the other female present.

    “Hi, I’m Jade.” Holding out her hand, she smiled.

    “Um, Charlise,” the girl responded, taking her hand. “And this is Will.”

    “Hi,” he managed, looking confused.

    “I’m new here. Mind showing me around?”

    Will just turned to Charlise who smiled back at Jade,

    “Us too. How about we all go around and learn together?”

    “Ah, sorry!” Jade’s eyes widened, “It’s not often someone other than me is new. And seeing the two of you knew each other already, I just assumed you’d be from here.”

    “They ain’t the only people in class y’know.” The only other person in class this early was a gangly boy who walked up to them.

    “But I can show all three of you around.”

    “Yes please,” Jade perked up. Charlise nodded, smiling, as William tried to hide behind her. They arranged to go around the school during recess. As the gangly boy showed them around he introduced them to nearly everyone they crossed paths with.

    At lunch, Jade sat with a group of girls and was told that the gangly boy was a ‘friend of everyone, but lover of none’ amidst giggles. A forever friend-zoned type of guy.

    “That won’t last,” was Jade’s response. “He might look gangly now, but give it a few years and he’ll give most guys a run for their money.”

    She could say so confidently as it had just happened to her cousin. However, the boy being spoken about was nearby and had no way of knowing this as her overheard her, face flushing.

    Although Jade seemed to fit in naturally, it wasn’t quite the case for the other two. Charlise would have been fine, but she had to take care of William. And he didn’t want to talk to anyone other than Charlise. So Jade would take time to sit with Charlise and William. The (for now) gangly boy often joined them, with Jade smiling at him as she thought it was obvious that he had the same thoughts as herself.

    As they hung out more and more, Charlise seemed to ‘get’ Jade. Even when Jade didn’t speak, Charlise seemed to always know what was needed.

    ‘This must be what it feels like to have a best friend,’ thought Jade, before becoming troubled.

    “What should I do for her, then?”

    The gangly boy overheard her muttered query and after Jade shared what was on her mind, he offered his help. Jade gladly took him in as her collaboration partner and soon found out that Charlise had organised for him and William to interact with each other more and more as school went on. As well as many other things Charlise did to help William overcome his shyness.

    Jade turned to the gangly boy, grinning strangely, “I’m sorry. You can’t have Charlise as she needs to be with William.”

    “Eh?!”

    Jade pat him on the shoulder,

    “I know you’ve been keen on Charlise for a while now, helping me so much and all. Don’t worry, you won’t be Forever Friend-zoned for life.” Her grin widened as she moved her face closer to his,

    “But I’ve found my true goal in life. I used to not have any goal, but now I do. I will make sure Charlise and William get together and I will be the maid of honour at their wedding.”

    She scurried off, newfound determination in her steps, leaving a frozen gangly boy far behind in the friend-zone.

     

    #135923
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @bclarke
    I absolutely love this, Bronte!

    I love hearing your animated and impassioned reading of it!  Nothing “cringy” in it whatsoever (as you mentioned separately)!

    See what dimensionality is added by giving us another way to perceive the text?  I know you have that secret advantage over us too, but this makes feeling the text and your passion behind it a force of nature.

    It allows you to step back and appreciate your writing as a reader does and that gives valuable insight.

    I could feel the emotions with the characters, and sense how they interact, and I’ll bet it gives you some rounded possibilities as well.

    Scene Questions
    1) Is there anything that stood out to you as intriguing about this scene?
    It embraces the newness of entering social circles. I like that Jade takes the bold first step in the introductions, rather than wait for others to present themselves to her. It shows some spunkiness about her, and I admire her right away for doing it.
    2) What would you say the mood was of this scene?
    Upbeat and pleasant. Conversational and flows well between the characters.
    3) What character(s) in this scene would you like to know more about?
    I do wish I knew more about Jade, for we don’t get a whole lot of her internal thoughts. I’d like to see just a bit more of her initial uncertainty and trepidation in entering the new environment without knowing anyone. I would love to hear some of her internal struggles and then see her bravely and resolutely decide that she will make the first move to be friendly.

    I am reminded of the verse: “A man [who has] friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend [who] sticks closer than a brother.” [Proverbs 18:24 NKJV]

    Which does prove to be true. A person seeking friends, must themselves be friendly, and that is the key that gets her into the door of this community. I think her brave step towards Charlise and William, does her great credit, and perhaps it is what catches the eye of the gangly boy, and he amplifies her action by offering to introduce them to the others, but Jade is the catalyst. It is slightly odd that we don’t know “the gangly boy’s” name. One might expect that he would have told them before he turns to introduce them around the schoolyard. I think I am pulled between wanting to know more about Jade, but I also would like to know more about “the gangly boy” still in the friend zone. Why does he make friendly gestures, but avoid any deeper personal relationships, and tend to laugh it off? I think he is secretly hurt by this seeming fact and perhaps uses his gregariousness to guard as cover against anyone seriously thinking about his internal fear of a more intimate relationship. Perhaps he has been a little jaded by a hurtful rejection in the past. This is what further intrigues me about him, but it could side-bar Jade’s story.
    4) Which character, if any, do you feel the most empathy toward in this scene alone?
    The gangly boy, for the reasons, stated above. What hurtful rejection may he be hiding behind an overshow of friendliness?
    5) Which of the following, as a reader, do you wish I had developed more fully in this scene?
    a) Setting
    It would be nice to get a view of the environment around Jade as she attempts to orient herself physically before she does so emotionally. What would she need to know as a new student? Where is her first class and in which building? Where is the lunchroom or snack bar if she gets hungry? Where is the bathroom if she needs to freshen up? Where is the sports field if she is an athlete? Where does she want to take a break and sit with some friends or read a book, or go over her class notes? Is the area shaded? What is around the school? A city or a park-like area? What architecture do the school buildings have? What might they remind her of? Is it a sunny day? Overcast with clouds? Is rain coming? Is it early morning or late afternoon?
    b) Character thoughts and motivations
    I would love to hear more of Jade’s internal dialog. What does she feel about being new? Does she look at it as an adventure, or is she used to it? What reason might she have for making the following statement: “It’s not often someone other than me is new.” Does her family move a lot? Is her family on a military assignment or is there something else that causes them to move more frequently?
    c) Character appearance and/or mood expressions
    I would like to be able to see a little more of the characters. What they choose to wear, the colors, textures, their expressions. Any particular features that might stand out. Any signs of quirkiness or something individual about them that may be their trademark signature style. Perhaps something they are even a little self-conscious about. Is there something about William that makes him feel insecure about himself? Why does he feel the need to be protected by Charlise? What secrets does Charlise keep for William?
    6) Do you feel that the dialogue in this scene flows or is mechanical and stilted?
    Yes. The dialogue was animated and strong and flows effortlessly.
    7) Did you learn something in this scene that you wondered about in a previous scene?
    Yes. This scene does have a layer of an intriguing backstory that is just enough revealed to make us wonder about the levels upon which it might play out. Good job with these nicely planted subtleties.
    8) Did this scene make you want to read more scenes? (Why or why not?)
    Yes. It generates several questions and draws the readers into wanting to find the answers to who these characters are and what their motivations and further actions might be to show us.
    9) Is there any part of the scene that you personally felt did not belong?
    All of the sequences seemed nicely fitted and energetic. There is a dancing pace to this that is almost music in delivery. Allegro forte!
    10) What, if anything, would you change about this scene to make it more interesting to you?
    I might develop the internal voice of Jade more. I admire her but want to find myself more empathetic with her so we can celebrate what she does next. Why does she suddenly want to play matchmaker? Does she really know enough about what may tie William and Charlise together that might even make them a suitable couple? Could there be a side to their relationship that might be—sinister in some way? If so, Jade might be getting herself into more trouble than she realizes.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Brian Stansell. Reason: some duplicate text

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135963

    @joelle-stone

    Ooh I liked it 🙂 And I loved all the bits that relate to wind (like Life Breather and Breathed).

     

    Scene Questions

    1. Is there anything that stood out to you as intriguing about this scene?

    I loved the clearness of the writing of the moment it portrayed.

    2. What would you say the mood was of this scene?

    Tendrils of love, longing, fear, excitement, wonder, shock, confusion, nostalgia all swirled together to come into the warmth of receiving acknowledgement/recognition.

    I wasn’t sure whether it would be a positive thing for the child to have been able to see the wind at the start, but it flowed really well and left quite the satisfying end.

    3. What character(s) in this scene would you like to know more about?

    I would like to know more about the wind and the child. It feels as if they (the wind character) have now been acknowledged as a being and I’d like to see how this plays out further on. Do they meet the child again? Is the child able to still see them? Does the child remember the encounter later on? Or even recognise the wind as a being later on? It was a really lovely piece and I want it to continue.

    4. Which character, if any, do you feel the most empathy toward in this scene alone?

    The wind character – the longing for something that digs deep inside.

    5. Which of the following, as a reader, do you wish I had developed more fully in this scene?

    a. Setting – Perhaps a bit more, earlier on. But then again, I liked that it was in the background.

     

    6. Do you feel that the dialogue in this scene flows or is mechanical and stilted?

    I think it flowed pretty well.

    7. Did you learn something in this scene that you wondered about in a previous scene?

     

    8. Did this scene make you want to read more scenes? (Why or why not?)

    Yes (see Q3).

    9. Is there any part of the scene that you personally felt did not belong?

    No.

    10. What, if anything, would you change about this scene to make it more interesting to you?

    I don’t know why the child can see the wind character. Seemed to be the case was at first, but then later ‘normal eyes’ were mentioned, so now I’m unsure if that is the case. I’d like this clarified.

     

    Overall ~ I loved it. And your reading just added to it 🙂

    #135973
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @bclarke,

    Yay, I’m glad you liked it! It was supposed to be a piece of microfiction and I’m not quite sure where it came from. XD Hm, now that I read your input, though, it’s inspiring ideas for my other projects… Thank you so much for investing your time in listening/reading/critiquing!! It means a lot. 😀

    "For love is strong as death." -God

    #136056
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    …I am extracting a section from the Mythology and Symbolism section I have on my blog site:

    Does that help?

    Oh yes! Thank you! That explains it very well and makes me very excited to read more! I was rather worried about that deus ex machina…XD


    @bclarke

    I agree with @obrian-of-the-surface-world you’re reading was so animated! And your’s too @joelle-stone both y’all’s reading really fit with stories and was so fresh!

    Yay, I’m glad you write it! *realizes that I never did specify the wind’s gender* *had her envisioned as a woman anyway and is glad that was your first thought* *cackles* Yes indeedy, you do know that prompt!! *more evil cackling*  also like a continuation of the end of the Little Mermaid (the original shortstory… Ooh, I never thought of it like that! It kinda is. *ponders the ending sadly*

    Heheh *grins sheepishly, turns red and nearly falls over*
    You style definitely made a woman fit in so naturally you never even had to state it and that’s very skillful! <3

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #136058
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @this-is-not-an-alien,

    Heheh *grins sheepishly, turns red and nearly falls over*

    *grins and catches you, pushing you upright* *pats your shoulder* There there, darling Cathy, no need to be bashful over winning a contest… XD

    You style definitely made a woman fit in so naturally you never even had to state it and that’s very skillful! <3

    Oh good! I wasn’t even thinking about all that. XD

    "For love is strong as death." -God

    #136066
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    So here’s a scene further into my WIP.

    Book title: Excavatia: From Dust Arise [Book 1]
    Moniker: @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Audio Link: Chapter 005 – The  Incident Behind The Inn_(Scene 10)

    Text: (1658 Words) [13 minutes 50 seconds audio]

    Begglar’s wife, Nell came down from the upstairs and helped us all get a late meal, get situated in the rooms upstairs, and stow our belongings. I saw no sign of Begglar the rest of the evening, so I assumed he had gone off to drink privately or had gone on to bed.
    There was some trouble getting Miray settled down with one of the other girls, but Nell and one of the women eventually worked out an arrangement.
    I opted to sleep in the hayloft, as Begglar had suggested, and to keep the first watch of the night. Nell stoked the fire in the fireplace and recommended that I get warmed up before going out into the wet and damp, foggy night, so I sat at one of the long tables and drank some of the warm black tea she had brewed for me.
    When she and her maidservant retired for the night and most of the others had settled into the guestrooms, the girl, whom the Troll threatened, came quietly down from the upstairs to the table where I was sitting.
    Her head was down, and she could not seem to look at me for more than a brief glance. It is clear she wants to say something but can’t seem to find the proper words to do it. She paces a moment and then finally, she sat down across from me and put her hands on the table, one palm over the other. I looked up at her and smiled gently, “It’s okay if you want to leave. I do understand and I won’t hold it against you.”
    With tears brimming in her eyes, she faltered and then swallowed and began, “It’s just that it wasn’t like what I expected it to be. There is something more here that I did not bargain for. That thing out there…” She broke off, gathering her courage, but never truly find it.
    “I’m sorry,” she said again, “I’m not ready to take on this quest. I can’t face another situation like that. I’m not strong enough yet. It hurts too much…”
    She broke down and wept. Long, deep, waves of pain and memory washing over her. Her head down and her hair covering her face as the dam of long-held emotion broke and the hurt washed out in pressure waves built up over far too long a time.
    I put my hand over her hand and just let her cry. Tears are healing. We need them for release. She had carried these burdens and wounds far too long by herself. No words came to mind that could help her. She just needed someone to be there while she cried. Someone who didn’t judge her for it. Someone who would just listen.
    After some time, she lifted her tear-stained eyes, her cheeks brighten in the firelight from the hearth.
    “I’m so sorry,” she said once more, and the silent tears continued to rain as she struggled to catch her breath and composure. She half laughed and almost broke again when she said, “Back there with the Troll, memories I had pressed down and never dealt with suddenly came back to me. And I couldn’t…”
    Her hand went to her mouth, covering her trembling lips, again try to hold back the sobs.
    “I haven’t dealt with it. I wouldn’t…deal with it. But now I’ll have to. Won’t I?” again with a defensive laugh.
    “Only I can’t do it here. I can’t do it now.” She wiped her eyes with the heels of her hands.
    “I understand,” I assured her again, “No one here judges or condemns you if you don’t continue. There will be another time for you. If not here, somewhere where you can feel safe.”
    She laughed at me, with a nervous and cynical sound full of doubt, yet wanting to believe it.
    “There is no place safe enough for that,” she wiped her mouth and looked away into the firelight, taking in a few shuddering breaths.
    “That thing out there. What is it exactly? How can it do what it does?”
    I sighed and slightly shook my head.
    “No one truly know the how about things that happen here. We say we do, but in some way, we are deceiving ourselves into some semblance of security. Are we safe? I don’t know that we are either here or back in our lives in the Surface World. What I do know is that, wherever we might be, we are loved, and wanted and uniquely special to a perfect Father.”
    “Father!” she fidgeted with her fingers. Her eyes growing distant and narrowing, as she seemed to be transported back into a memory she looked at with a certain defensive disconnectedness.
    She dug at her fingernails abstractly, narrowing her eyes.
    “That is what the Troll zeroed in on. My relationship with my father. I want to believe what you say about this all loving and all caring Father, but I can’t. I can’t get past the prosaic reality and image of my own father.”
    She was silent a moment. Continuing to dig at her nails and brushed a wing of her hair out of her face where it hung against her cheek.
    Finally she said, “Daddy said I’d never amount to much. Said I’d probably be pregnant by sixteen and living on the street. Never hold a decent job and be passed around from man to man. That was his assessment of me at the age of seven years old. That my life would be just some dirty joke told in a smoky pool hall. That my phone number would be written somewhere on a bathroom wall for pervert to call me and ask me for a date. That was what he told me before he left us for some floozy in Florida.”
    She swallowed back her tears, shivered a bit, and seemed to find a certain calm. Her eyes grew distant again as her sight probed and sifted through piles of buried memory. She wiped her eyes as she raised her head again.
    “It was raining the night he left us,” she said quietly.
    “You know that verse that says, the rain falls on the just and the unjust?”
    I cleared my throat and nodded.
    “Well, it was sure falling that night. Coming down in sheets.”
    She sniffed.
    “Mom, acted like she never saw it coming. Her entire world came crashing down on her, when he told her. She begged him to stay. Said he could keep his new girlfriend, if only he wouldn’t abandon us. That was to moment I lost all respect for my mom. Crying and watching them fight through the window on the front lawn as he packed up our only vehicle. I saw mom grab his arm as he dragged her through the dirt. I saw when he cuffed her in the side of the head, and punched her in the stomach. Later, my mom would tell me that it was my fault that he left.”
    She said all these things in a detached calm that was eerie to listen to and gut wrenching to hear it so quietly told as if none of it mattered.
    “My last image of my father was him driving away in our only car, my mother doubled over in pain on the front lawn for all of the neighbors to see and do nothing. And all of this, while the rain continued to pour down.”
    She was silent again, her eyes unfocused and now unreadable. She stared vacantly at her hands on the table before us. My comforting hand still over hers. She took in a long breath, and at last, her eyes raised to mine.
    “So.”
    “So?” I asked.
    “So, I need to leave here. Back to the real world, where there are no such things as Trolls that make you divulge your deepest, darkest secrets to strangers who can do nothing for you. My problems are my problems. Yours are yours. Back to the ‘Big Girl’ world. Back to another day of proving my “father” wrong.”
    It hurts so much to see the shroud of toughness and bravery be pulled back over her wounds like a winter sweater. I don’t know exactly what to say to her. I have had no context for such pain and any words I could muster would seem so empty now that she has put the tough-girl exterior back on.
    Quietly I ask her, “Do you mind if I ask you your name?”
    She stares at me for a hard moment and pulls her hands away, wrapping herself in them as if feeling a sudden chill in the air.
    “Why?” she asks, with challenging eyes.
    I flatten my hands on the table as if smoothing out an imaginary tablecloth, feeling the wood grain beneath. I almost say something, then hesitate and check myself.
    “Alright. No need for names. I just want you to know and remember, as you return to the Surface World tomorrow that there are people here that imperfect as they may be, do want to have you as a friend and could care about you, if you ever gave us a chance. Fair enough?”
    Her arms were still folded as she slowly stood up and watched me for a moment, measuring my words.
    “You are welcome to come back anytime. I’ll have one of the others provide an escort back in the morning. Be sure and keep your torch. It is yours to light at any time, should you wish to return. No one will judge you for leaving. And if you one day come back here, your arrival will be celebrated by all.”
    Quietly she turned to go up the stairs to one of the upper rooms she would share with one of the girls.
    At the bottom of the stairs, she turned once again, and whispered, “I’m sorry.” And then quickly and quietly ascended the stairs.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #136071

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Thank you 🙂


    @joelle-stone

    If it helped inspire you for any writing, that’s awesome!


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Thank you! (for both the challenge & the feedback~)

    I will definitely add to this story, based on your response (more of Jade’s thoughts & struggles/fears, a little more on the school setting, character styles (could be interesting to see a different ‘sight’ of some of the characters to main story MC),

    I’m planning to add this as a side story / back story in my main story, so the undercurrents not listed here will be known by the readers of the main story, but not yet to the characters as they interact with each other for the first time. (So I should put more on her first impressions of Charlise & Willem too.) Yeah, Jade was walking into something (not necessarily to hurt her but she ends up making friends out of it without realising, so I’m not sure how much of this I should show.)

    Eh heh ~ the Gangly Boy ~ He does have a name, but I purposely left it out here. He will pop up again in the main story later (about Adventure 6 in the current plan, which is halfway through the school year). I am glad you liked him.

    #136073
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    Hey, y’all!

    I found a scene in my WIP that is the right length and stands well on its own. I’m currently quite busy, but I would like to try to record it sometime soon.

    Does anyone know a good recording app for Android? Audacity isn’t available, and I couldn’t find anything that could edit audio. I only want to cut out long pauses, mistakes, etc, so nothing fancy.

    Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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