Tag Archives: howIwrite

Old writing: Moon Story

My first attempt at sci-fi from about 2006! I might go back to this someday, or see how it goes into something else…I did like the story, but it never got fully fleshed out. I’d be interested to see how it does morph if I pick it up again.

As soon as she entered her small, neat room, Tanine knew that there was someone else there. Was it just her thoughts? Was she being silly, just because she had just been…no! But the presence was there, she knew – it was almost tangible to the senses. She shut the door firmly and looked around, but there was no one to be seen. It was her imagination! But no, it wasn’t…the slender girl licked her lips nervously and spoke, feeling a little silly at speaking to empty air.

“Who…who are you?”

Butterfly.

They had answered? As the shock faded, the girl quickly assessed the voice. It seemed to be in her head, not heard, but still there. It was a light tone, neither masculine nor feminine, but with the slight stilted accent that spoke of computers. But the accent could be stimulated. What did they want with her?

“What are you?”

I am a computer programme, similar to the IHEG system. My access code is Butterfly.

A computer. Tanine sat down on the bed and activated the screen to her personal monitor. She shook her head slightly, dismissing the jumble of thoughts and emotions and concentrating on the task at hand.

“What do you want with me?” she asked softly as she ran a search on the name. Oddly, she was not afraid of the silent presence – she knew that it would not stop her; that it was strangely friendly towards her. How did she know that? she wondered.

It is more what do you want with me. You found me.

That brought reality crashing back down to the girl as the computer brought up no results for the search. Several days earlier, she had found a locked system while searching for something for school on the network. It had been pure accident that she had happened across the gateway, and she was fairly certain that no one had come across it before. But she had no password for it and hurriedly retreated before security was triggered. So was the thing now talking to her whatever was behind that locked gate?

Yes. I am Butterfly, created by Aleut Hume. I am a purely personal system, but I have access to most of the network. More than your systems have, at any rate.

The voice seemed to be laughing. Had this system been given more human characteristics than the normal ones? How…what was it? Questions revolved round Tanine’s head. And…it had answered her thoughts. The thought sent an icy shiver down her back. It could hear her thoughts?

Maybe I had better explain. Aleut created me as a companion, but also as a protector. Butterfly said. I know everything that goes on in this base, and a lot of what goes on in the others. I was given an almost human character. Go back to the gateway you found three days ago.

The girl did as she was told, remembering the pathways with ease. Her memory tricks were one of the few things she was proud of at school, but she chose not to let on about it – it would attract too much attention. She went quickly through the network, accompanied by silence from the computer-person. And then there was the gateway, a blank screen with the simple word across it:

PASSWORD

I told you what it was. Butterfly reminded her softly.

Password…access code. Butterfly.

Tanine typed it in. Nothing happened.

You have to speak it as well as type. Put your hands on the access plates so I can get your prints as well, and your datachip. the mental voice instructed.

The girl spoke the password softly, and touched the screen. She suddenly felt a deep wave of fear sweep over her, but if faded as fast as it had come, leaving her nervous and puzzled.

ACCESS GIVEN

As soon as the words on the screen came up, the blackness dissolved into a whirl of colour. Then, on the screen, came the hazy figure of a person. It resolved into a human, a slender woman wearing a subtly coloured cape of all colours, an old-fashioned style from another century, times ago. The hood covered her face, leaving darkness beneath it, hiding the features. She seemed to be looking directly at Tanine. She seemed almost…real.

Old writing: The Towers

I think everyone raised on fantasy goes through a stage of writing person-with-magical-powers and weird-eye-colours and magic-keys…this was part of mine. The other part morphed into GreenSky, and luckily got a bit less cliché as it went. I’ve still got some affection for this world, but I think I prefer Toru to Oak!

This was the girl I loved, the girl I would give my soul to if she asked me. I did not know if she loved me or not, and I was too scared to ask. I was afraid that she would turn me down, turn me away. But the reality that I saw in her eyes terrified me. I understood for the first time why she was blind, and what had happened to her. I did not know how it had happened, or why, but I knew what it meant. For her eyes were silver, like my father’s, like the Lady’s – the silver of the balance, of the power. She was one of the keys. And the only power she could be key to was the Circle. The girl I loved was one of the most powerful sorceresses that had ever lived, even though she did not know it – and I doubted that anyone else did. But what I saw in her eyes was the reflection of eternity. And that terrified me.

“I’m a key?” Mari said in terrified incomprehension as Oak finished explaining, his voice dull and lifeless. “But I don’t have any power…how can I be?”

“Mari, stop that.” Sienna told her sharply. “Oak, are you sure?”

“My father’s eyes are that colour, the Lady’s are as well…when my father dies and I take over his duty, my eyes will become silver.” Oak told her dully, but the shock was beginning to fade. “It is the colour of the power. I have never heard of anyone else with silver eyes – there have been no others but those who care for the Towers.”

Ruel had not spoken, and Oak began to guess what lay behind his silence. If he had looked after Mari since she had gone blind, surely he had seen her eyes? Did he know what had caused her blindness? Ruel, realising his line of thought, shook his head.

“I knew your eyes were silver, but didn’t understand what it meant.” he said quietly to them. “But you have to admit that the silver is striking and unusual…it attracted far too much attention and far to many wary glances. They were beginning to think of you as strange, Mari, and with those eyes…that was why I suggested you cover them, and took you away from your home and family.”

Mari nodded, accepting the explanation with an oddly calm air. Had she already known? Oak didn’t know. There was far too much about this strange girl that he didn’t know – there was a lot of mystery about all of them.

New writing: Speaking Names

Necromancer Allie hasn’t been outside her basement in three years, but when a messenger arrives with an unusual request and a bag of money, her skull forces her to face the daylight. After all, the task of finding the pieces of a rich, dead woman’s soul can’t be that hard…

But there’s more than riches to be had, and more than lives at stake. What is life worth when all that is left are memories, and all that remains are dreams?

A new story, I hope – and one that’s getting plotted! I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but it’s going to be fun 🙂

They say a man is not truly forgotten while his name is still spoken.

The necromancers of ___ take this one step further. If a man’s name is not forgotten, and he is still remembered – then he can be brought back.

Shady business happens at night. The dark hours are best for skulduggery, nefarious deeds and general misdemeanors. However, it was mostly incidental that Allie’s latest visitor had arrived in the small hours of the morning, for it was well know that the streets of ____ never slept. If it was not the chill sun lighting the dank, misty streets, then it was marsh-lights and gas-lanterns, revealing shops that never stopped trading.

That didn’t stop Allie from feeling tired. She had drawn the day and night shift thanks to her partner in the shop being on a trading mission, and she was cursing his lateness for the fifth time when the visitor walked in.

He was so in love, Allie thought. The shady walk. The sneaking. He was trying not to be obvious about coming in, and that just made him stick out like a sore thumb. He was obviously going to get hit on something, soon.

“What a loser,” the skull whispered from behind her. “He’d be perfect for you.”

Old writing: Into the Woods

Anthro-fiction before it got popular! This would have been about 2004-2005, and turned into a slightly X-Men story that meandered out before I really got anywhere. As you may be guessing, plots weren’t my strong point!

James sped along the path, dodging trees and bushes. The path seemed to be vanishing, and he was having to jump grass and branches. His lungs felt as if they were going to burst, and his legs were giving out. He dodged a tree and fell flat on his face as his foot caught a root. Pushing himself up, he tried to get up but found his legs had given out. But someone was chasing him…he had to keep going. He pushed himself up again, using the last of his strength, and staggered onwards.

Something hit his back and he fell face-down into the forest floor. Raising his head, panic and pain from running shooting through his stomach in agonising jerks, he saw something human-like crouching in front of him, watching curiously. Human-like…his stomach froze…but not quite human. Humans didn’t have tails, or ears…but this thing was wearing a jerkin and rough trousers, and wore a dagger…what was it? He tried to push himself up but his arms wouldn’t support him. It would kill him…he didn’t want to die!

“Are you alive?” the creature said, cocking its head to regard the boy sprawled in the leaves. It was the same voice that had been pursuing him, but somehow seemed a lot friendlier coming from this creature, rather than a hidden shadow, threatening and vague. It was a very human voice, warm, cocky and pedantic, a voice that was slightly at odds with the creature itself.

James was still staring as he pushed himself up, realising that they were standing in a patch of shining moonlight. The creature gave a half-smile and reached out a hand to steady him as the boy wavered slightly. As the hand grasped his arm hard, James felt the leathery skin and faint prick of nails…his stomach went cold again as he realised that he couldn’t run, not now. The rough skin of the hand had a fine covering of reddish hair on the back. James’s eyes travelled up the arm to the leather jerkin, and then to the head. Raggedly cropped hair framed a delicate, elfin face and green-brown eyes that sparkled in frank curiosity. Fox-like ears poked out of the reddish hair, and the human ears seemed to be missing. James found that he was staring as frankly as the creature was staring at him, the fear gone from both of them.

“You’re full human.” it said finally. “What are you doing this far into the forest?”

“I got lost…” James said hoarsely, suddenly fearful again.

“Aw, nothing to be scared of. I don’t eat humans. They’re too big.” the creature said, a mischievous smile flitting across the slim-boned face. “What’s your name, human boy?”

“James.”

“Very boring.” The creature wrinkled its pert nose. “I’m Treen. You’d better come with me. And don’t try and run anymore – there are worse things than me around. You won’t get far.”

Settling for ‘Good Enough’

Not in your love life (hell no!). But in writing.

I know the ideal is to always strive for perfection, and to keep working until something is the best that it can be, both for yourself and for the thing. It’s Art, dahling.

Frankly? F*** that. In a general sense, I think that striving for perfection damages you. It will never be perfect. It will never be exactly how you want it to. My choice has always been to get it as good as I can, admit the flaws, then move on. I take what I’ve learned and I do better with the next piece.

However, in a specific sense, I do try to get the best I can. I do aim for some level of perfection. I want to write the best work I can; I want to iron out the flaws, fill the plot holes, make the characters tug at the heartstrings. I want my readers to immerse themselves in a story without getting dragged out by flaws or problems.

And most of the time, I succeed. If it’s three major edits and countless minor ones…or another proofread on top of the one I’ve just done…or a complete rewrite…I do want what I push out into the world to be as perfect as it can.

Unfortunately, for one piece that I’ve just completed, I’ve had to just say f*** that. It’s done.

It’s not perfect. It’s good, sure. It’s ok. It’s probably got some flaws and some holes. But meh. It’s as good as it’s going to get.

Part of the problem is that I’ve had so much criticism of the piece that I can’t see where the flaws are any more. I don’t have any distance or confidence in myself to be able to fight back. I’ve been advised to almost completely re-write it, and that is a bit of a shock when I considered something pretty good. Is my judgement flawed? Am I wrong? Am I truly as crap as I feel when I’m reading the critique? I have tried to take the advice on board, tried to be reasonable, and some of it I have accepted and changed. But…at the point that I’m shouting at the screen? At the point I’m nearly in tears? At the point I’m considering giving up writing, because I obviously can’t do this? No. I can’t do more work on this; I just can’t. It’s finished. And that means that my choice at this stage is simple. I put this work out in a format that’s Good But Not Great, or I scrap it. That’s it.

So much as it frustrates me, I have to accept my limitations. I am not perfect, and in this case, I have not achieved the perfection I wanted. It’s not awful, sure. But it’s not as good as I want it to be.

And in this case, I’m fine with that. I make that choice, and move on. I’ll do better next time. I have to do better next time.

And I think that’s what matters: keep learning. Always keep learning.