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Author Topic: A little every day..  (Read 3257 times)

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Offline Kassy

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A little every day..
« on: April 15, 2012, 05:34:41 AM »
..can go a long way!

Note: I wasn't sure if this was the right section of the forum to start this thread, so if it isn't would a Moderator please move it?

Right, with that out of the way I can get to the point.

When I first discovered Strolen's 4 (or was it 5?) years ago I had just gotten into roleplaying having been introduced to AD&D 2nd Ed by my father. I have been an avid reader almost all my life, and have been writing short stories on a regular basis since I turned 13.

Roughly 2 years ago now I took a break from all these hobbies of mine because I had a whole host of problems threatening to consume me in real life.

As a result of which I'm now finding it very difficult to get back into the swing of things. No matter how much I try. I will have ideas, I will write them down, and then I have no clue how to turn them into a submission worthy of uploading to this here site.

I remember either Scrasamax or Moonhunter telling me to write a little each day (around 100-300 words) a day and to maybe go for 1 submission a week. I've now had the same advice given to me by Silveressa the other day.

So here is what I intend to do.

Take up my daily visit to the library and sit there reading for a few hours as I used to. Work a little on a submission each day for a week, uploading it on a Sunday.

Last but not least I shall do my best to use this here thread for my daily typing exercises.

After I have written something I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Be as harsh and critical as you like, after all my aim is to get better at what I love and rescue it from the neglect I have made it endure.

-Kassy

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Offline Pieh

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 05:52:24 AM »
I think this is a great idea. I've recently run into a similar situation: real life gets real, cut down on hobbies, and having a hard time getting back into them. I've been trying to write a bit every day, but I find myself jumping around a lot as far as what I want to write. Few hours ago I wrote that Familiar Elementals submission inspired by Freetext Friday and a short fantasy piece about an epic wizard duel. Neither were anything fantastic but I'm glad I managed to finish them.

This definitely inspires me to keep going at it, knowing someone else is having a similar issue. I'll do what I can to support your efforts. Comment/critique/etc when I can. Good luck!
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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 06:12:17 AM »
Thank you. Enough procrastinating already!

I need an idea to write to.. Brainfreeze >.<

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 09:37:10 AM »
i would suggest checking out the Freetext Friday challenge, or go into something esoteric, like the 100 Word Submission challenge, or write up a 30 submission. You might only get a few entries a day, but after a week or two you have a full submission.

I need to take my own advice.


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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 10:46:42 AM »
I have an idea in mind for a 30.

"30 Tavern Wenches / Serving Girls"

What do you think?

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 11:27:52 AM »
What we think isn't as important as what you think. If you're not interested in the idea, then regardless of whether we like it, you won't ever finish it. Conversely, if you love the idea, you'll finish it and someone is bound to like it eventually.

Also, one thing I've noticed that really helps with brainfreeze is to sit down with a piece of paper and spend 5-10 minutes just brainstorming ideas. Don't evaluate them, don't get into any depth with them, just dredge up random ideas and write them down. After your time is up, THEN go back and figure out which ones might be worthwhile and which ones should die a horribly painful death.
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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 11:30:34 AM »
Thank you for your advice Chaos :)

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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 02:34:38 PM »
Monday, first day of the week, late in the evening.

Without further ado I shall now begin to type.

The piercing howl of the wind woke Tyrus from his uneasy sleep. His one good hand gripping the broken shaft of what had just hours ago been his hammer.

Slowly he opened his eyes, surveying the scene around him. A small heap of goblins, must've been around six or seven lay on the ground a few meters away from the large boulder against which he had managed to prop himself up.

His brother in arms lay next to him, dead. Alas poor Ba'hrus had not survived the night, hardly surprising really when taken into account the beating he had to endure. At least he had held out until they had all been killed.

As he lent over towards his departed comrade a searing pain separated him from his thoughts. Gasping in agony he looked down at his chest, a splintered arrow protruding from his lower right side.

"A surgeon, I must get back to the fort!"

"But I can't leave my comrade here!"

He couldn't leave his brother in arms here, the order forbode anyone from leaving the dead alone without first tending to them and giving them the last rights. However commen sense and instinct were letting him know that it would be foolish to stay and weaken himself further. The fourteen mile hike back to the fort would be difficult enough in his present condition.

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Offline Pieh

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 03:09:22 PM »
A good start.

First thing: If they were meant to be Dwarves, then I'd say you did a good job. You didn't mention they were Dwarves but I got that distinct impression from a few things. The names are somewhat reminiscent of Dwarven ones, the hammer, the boulder helps the picture a little, brother-in-arms, taken a beating (Dwarven known for endurance), and the mention of the order and how seriously its rules are taken.

If they aren't suppose to be Dwarves... It might just be wishful thinking because I like Dwarves.

If my assumption is correct, then keep this up. Creating an aspect of the scene without calling it by a general name (Dwarf) is awesome.

The first sentence was, to me, cliche but passable in this style of story. I like the broken hammer introduced in the second sentence and would like to see it appear again, making this some nice foreshadowing.

The dialogue was a bit rough. Mostly, I think, because it was presented as external. This gives it a bit of a glaring weirdness when put into the perspective of: Mentally - Ouch, I found an injury. Then verbally - I am injured and need help but I am conflicted.

I simplified your dialogue to represent the ideas expressed and show what the situation was neutrally.

Overally, really, good start.

Hope that helps and I didn't insult at all.
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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 03:24:05 PM »
Thank you for your feedback.

Hmm, yes I suppose it is a bit cliche. I had two options in mind to open up with; dialogue or the weather. What sort of cliche?

Hmm, I'll try something different with the dialogue tomorrow. If I include any.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 11:54:16 AM »
Blood, it has a peculiar smell, and an even more peculiar taste, like ashes and rusty coins. The smell of it intrudes into your dreams. It lingers there, and your dreams have an unpleasant tinge to them.

A lone figure slumps against a stone, his fingers are caked in dried blood and grime, some his own, the rest formerly belonging to the corpses of the goblins around him. It is a scene of cold carnage, shattered skulls, mangled limbs and crushed rib cages. It is the sort of death that comes at the end of a hammer. Arrows pierce deep and kill quickly, swords separate flesh and bone, and blood loss kills in minutes. This is a slow and brutal sort of death. The goblin with the shattered shoulder and collapsed chest lingered for an hour. He was only able to drag agonizing slow breaths. They grew shorter and farther apart until the creature died a wretched death.

The hammer rose and fell, like the arm of a steam hammer, but it was flesh and blood that drove it, relentlessly over and over. The goblins had screamed their war cries, their death rattles, but the men of the mountains had fought in near silence. They grunted as hammers hit targets, or when a goblin managed to score a wound against them. Almost no words were spoken.

Tyrus stirs, pain creeping back into his body as he wakes. His hands are sore from his grip on the hammer,his arms and legs ache like dull coals. The waterskin is dry, save for the arrow protruding from it. Three others found flesh but were little more than scar makers. A fourth had found deeper purchase. Tyrus moved a bit, and felt pain down his side. Pain was good, mortal wounds didn't hurt. That's at least what the older warriors had said in years past. He cut the shaft of the arrow, the healers back at the temple would have to deal with the rest of it. Ba'Hrus's hammer was not far from him. The haft was shattered, the splintered wood was dark with blood.

Ba'Hrus stared at the ceiling of their temporary shelter turned killing ground. His eyes were cold and sightless. His spirit was gone again to the Earth from which it sprung. Tyrus knelt next to his slain brother in arms. He wanted to shed tears for brave Ba'Hrus and his jokes and boasting in the Great Hall, and for Koila who hadn't admitted her feelings for him. There was no outlet for his anger, for his grief. He closed Ba'Hrus's eyes and stood. The goblins were on the move again, and in great number.

If he did not move, bringing the message to the elders, then there would be many deaths. The goblins would lose, but the cost to the men of the mountain would be high. But he looked back at the still form of his brother. The men of the mountain do not leave their dead behind. Tyrus knew he couldn't carry or drag Ba'Hrus back to the temple in time. Or possibly at all, given his own condition.

The wind rose, whistling through the rocks, the breath of the gods of the mountains...


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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 02:16:38 PM »
Well I'm impressed Scrasamax!

Hmm, tonight I'm a wee bit stumped on how to continue my daily writing exercise..

I'll try again in a bit.

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Offline Dossta

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 12:06:57 PM »
This is a very good idea, Kassy.  Allow me to inject my own 2c . . .

When I am stumped and need to write, I've found that taking a walk is very helpful.  My mind tends to work more freely when I'm far away from the computer.  If I'm imagining a new fantasy creature, for example, I might gaze around me and imagine that creature in the world with me.  Where does it live?  Under that bridge?  Over that hill?  Down that drainage pipe?  I try to put myself into its shoes as much as possible, and really get a feel for it.

Next, having something highly formulaic can help.  Take a look at this: http://strolen.com/viewing/How_To_Create_Great_Magic_Items_In_Just_Three_Minutes.  I found that by following a common outline, I can spur my mind to fill in the "gaps" that kept me from finishing a submission.  If you're going to attempt a 30s submission, adopting your own abbreviated formula like this will help you keep the piece consistent and make it more complete.

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Offline Kassy

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Re: A little every day..
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 08:56:06 AM »
Thanks for the advice Dossta, I go for quite a lot of walks, which is where many of my ideas come from.

Although going for walks and trying to envision my submission living over yonder hill, in the midst of those bushes etc is something new that I hadn't looked at before. I'll give it a shot.

Thanks for the link as well, I didn't know we had such a guide.

Kassandra Quilldancer
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