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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
Overused
33%
 33% [ 1 ]
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 67% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 3
Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

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Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Something for you all

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Michael Pasquale


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PostSubject: Something for you all   July 22nd 2008, 3:59 pm

Here is a small excerpt from something that I am working on. Would you all mind telling me your thoughts on it?


The land was black-as though all the color of life had been completely removed-though everything remained fully alive. The sky swirled a dull grey hue overhead, randomly littered with large looming clouds that partly blocked out the moonlight. Even the moon cast an eerie glow about the land, making everything seem even that much more chilling to behold. The trees creaked romantically as they swayed their canopy about in the warm night air, which seemingly was blowing in three very different directions that carried a strange, but faint melody within. The wildflowers that were scattered about danced to the winds, adding in their own parts to its song.
Peter walked through the tall grass, gently caressing the palms of his hands across their tops, trying to catch another glimpse of her. For what seemed like hours, he walked this land, chasing her here and there, if for only fragments of her: A brief glimpse of her sumptuously flowing white dress as she passed a small grove of tree’s, another peek of her satin, milky white skin, or even just another whiff of her completely captivating scent that sporadically would hitch a ride on the warm night air, and travel its way directly towards him. Then finally, he caught it. She was close by-of this he was certain-and for a moment, he thought he saw her in the tree’s just up ahead. Her fragrance permeated the air-lavender and jasmine-drawing him in closer and closer. Silently, he crept towards the trees trying to keep low; trying to stay well concealed. There she was, dancing through the tall grass. There was so much blocking his view of her: The trees, the grass, and even the limited amount of light, pouring down from the moon above.
Despite all these, he sat quietly (hidden), and simply watched. She danced. Round and round, she danced to the rhythmic melody being sung by the wind, being played through the trees. Round and round she danced, as her dress wrapped itself around her body, lovingly embracing her as a lover would. She danced, if not but for herself-a simple reminder of just how short life truly is; to enjoy everything about it while there was still time to do so-she danced, as if only for him; for his enjoyment. Her hair (long flowing strands of midnight black), seductively wisped around her body and face as she danced, swinging from one side to the other. Peter’s heart jumped, and his pulse quickened as he watched her frolic through the grass, twirling her body in-between the trees. Need to get a better view of her, he thought, trying to move his way a little closer. For every inch that he did get closer, she seemingly got a little further away from him. Frustrated, he tried to move even closer, stepping on a small stick that shattered underneath his weight.
Abruptly, she stopped dancing and was now facing his direction, peering directly at him; almost as if through him. Her moist, pink lips parted, just slightly in quick breaths, as her hair came tumbling down around her face. Peter dropped low, afraid that his presence was most certainly known. He watched her, peering now through the grass as she stood there motionless, looking back. Finally, she began stepping towards his direction, holding an outstretched hand towards him. His heart dropped and his stomach rose swiftly as she reached the halfway point between them. She stopped there and opened her mouth in an almost smile, but more of a grimace. Her voice began low, but steadily grew louder and louder, resembling the sounds of crows “Caw”, “Cawing” in a distorted kind of a way. For a brief moment, Peter closed his eyes to try and block that sound from entering his mind-fearful that should he listen to it, that he just might lose grip on his own reality-not wanting to look back towards her. After another moment longer, the sound subsided to the background. It was certainly still there, though only now, it seemed as though it were moving away from him. He opened his eyes (hesitantly), expecting to see her following her own voice, which positively seemed to be moving away from him.
She wasn’t far away from him as he had convinced himself. She was right there-her face directly in front of his-with her eyes looking right into his-eyes that were dead and alive-living and yet dead at the same time. Peter gasped aloud, sat straight upright in his bed, and was now completely awake and drenched with sweat.


That is all that I have thus far. What do you think?

Mike
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Michael Pasquale


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PostSubject: Hi   July 22nd 2008, 11:57 pm

Does anyone like this story? Sad
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TerishD


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PostSubject: Reply   July 23rd 2008, 12:18 am

Don't get into a rush, Michael. This is a forum, not a chat. We come when we can, but otherwise have lives (and, please, allow us the freedom to live them).

It is a good use of description to work in emotion. The initial urge is to remove my hat and bow in acknowledgement. My own experience however is that it does not last. Writing such text is a torturous search for the right words, and I know of few that had the fortitude to continue the struggle. Reading such text is refreshing for a short story with a clear message, although in any length it becomes a ponderous task of plodding through wordy paragraph after paragraph with little being truly done.

Back to your question - 'Did I like it?' Well, yes, I admitted that this style works very well in small doses. My question however is 'Where does it fit?' If this is part of a larger section, I cannot say that this section would stand out. All that imagery, but there is still quite a bit left unexplained, so I cannot say that I would follow the story. I thus will hold back any clear praise or debasing until I have a better sense of your ability to tell a story.

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Kellycakes


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PostSubject: Re: Something for you all   July 24th 2008, 6:07 pm

I actually enjoyed your descriptiveness. There are some things that disturbed me though; as you set the scene in the very beginning everything seems eerie and very dramatic then it calms into almost a romantic and amorous feeling as he pursues her then quickly jumps back into another eerie feeling. It give the reader the feeling of being on an emotional roller coaster. Depending on which way you are taking this particular story if you yo yo your readers they are going to give up after the first few paragraphs.

The detail is nice, the characters so far from little development are great too. Great story so far I hope you will continue it.

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Michael Pasquale


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PostSubject: Re: Something for you all   July 26th 2008, 1:39 am

Don't get into a rush, Michael. This is a forum, not a chat. We come when we can, but otherwise have lives (and, please, allow us the freedom to live them). - Chill out dude. I was just goof'n; no need to be high and tight now.

It is a good use of description to work in emotion. The initial urge is to remove my hat and bow in acknowledgement. My own experience however is that it does not last. - Again, to be honest with you... It was only intended to last exactly that long. My daughter, she loves horror movies, but then when bedtime comes, I end up spending like an hour convincing her that there are no monsters, etc.
Anyway, to make a short story long, she asked me to write her a scary bedtime story, so I did. That was it.


Back to your question - 'Did I like it?' Well, yes, I admitted that this style works very well in small doses. My question however is 'Where does it fit?' If this is part of a larger section - As stated... The story was written merely for the ending itself. I know it sounds cruel for this to be a bedtime story when her watching the movies scares her, but here is the genius behind this... It was her idea. It doesn't scare her like the shows do. It makes her make up more stories for me and her to now write together. It's like having writer in training classes.


But anyways, if shown to anyone else, I suppose its only point would be for descriptive purposes only - and not to be read as part of some bigger picture.
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Michael Pasquale


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PostSubject: Re: Something for you all   July 26th 2008, 1:43 am

Kellycakes wrote:
I actually enjoyed your descriptiveness. There are some things that disturbed me though; as you set the scene in the very beginning everything seems eerie and very dramatic then it calms into almost a romantic and amorous feeling as he pursues her then quickly jumps back into another eerie feeling. It give the reader the feeling of being on an emotional roller coaster. Depending on which way you are taking this particular story if you yo yo your readers they are going to give up after the first few paragraphs.

The detail is nice, the characters so far from little development are great too. Great story so far I hope you will continue it.

Thanks. It was only really intended for my daughter though. I know, I know... I kept tell'n her that she was a weirdo. LOL
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