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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
Overused
33%
 33% [ 1 ]
Underused
67%
 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?

Writing Tip
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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VanillaPudding


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PostSubject: (nameless)   May 10th 2011, 6:13 pm

Wrote this a while ago, um well just tell me what you think --- hope its good! thanx for reading!





I am sitting at a table in the library a place I visited frequently, reading what I know will some day be one of my favorite books. I am in the middle of a sentence and a chair scrapes the floor directly across from me. The book is on the table and I am leaning over it, I do not look to see whom it is, for I do not care. People have a choice to sit anywhere they want in a public library, why should I be the barrier on their free will. The person clears their throat once, then after a minute or two they clear it again. And again. I look up very slowly, trying to finish the sentence their irritating noises have interrupted. The person sitting across from me is a boy about my age maybe older with dusty brown hair that reaches just below his ears and falls in soft waves around his face with brown eyes that are framed in lashes so long you would think they were fake. He is undeniably cute and his presence is indelible, but he is a stranger to me and I do not want to talk to him. He smiles at me with teeth so white they hurt my eyes and I notice he has dimples. I respond to his smile by pushing my own chair back and standing up, I look at him for a second more then push my chair in, turn away, and walk towards the entrance. He does not follow or say anything as I leave.

Outside the air is brisk and cool, and the sky is a milky blue, almost grayish. It feels good, and I make my way towards the beach at the end of the street. I am going to watch the sun set under the pier. The waves great me with a whispery sigh and I sit just at the water, close enough that my feet could get wet, but they don’t. The tide is very low today. The sun has made a ribbon of orange light on the water straight towards me, it is beautiful. This is why I love the beach. It is cold here and soon the sky is dark and the stars are out. This is another reason I love the beach, you can actually see the stars. There are no buildings and lights to drown them out and mask their beauty. The full moon has risen and it is time to go home, although now more than ever I wish to stay at the water line and stare at the moon until I am drunk on its secrets. The waves are calling me; they want me to join in their fun. To swim and roll with the currents and never return, but I turn away and start for the street.

“Hello”. I recognize him immediately; he is the one who smiled at me in the library. His voice is deep and soothing, yet mysterious and enticing all at once, but is resting on a hint of despair. I do not answer right away, but wait for a minute or two.

“Hello”. I finally respond back and my own voice sounds like it has been recycled about as many times as the earth has traveled around the sun. I wish I hadn’t said anything. I turn suddenly and start for the street again. I do not look back as I walk away, and he does not say anything else to stop me. When I reach the street, I chance a fleeting look back, and he is nowhere in site.

Later, when I reached one no one was there. This was not surprising, so I ate three pieces of left over pizza from the day before, cold, and went straight to my room. The book I was reading in the library is now sitting in the middle of my indigo bed spread. The faint grey vines seem to be moving and intertwining with each other right before my eyes. But this always happens in the dim lighting of my room. I went over to my window seat, peeked out of the opaque curtains, and looked out of the massive portrait window that faced towards the sea. My house was two-stories and it sat right on the beach. The scene was magnificent, with the full moon’s light shining down on everything, it was like a dream. That is until I saw him walking along the beach, leaving footprints in the sand. He stopped suddenly and turned around so that he was facing my direction. He can’t see me can he?

As if he’d heard my thoughts out loud, he slowly looked up and our eyes locked. He smiled briefly and then turned and walked slowly into the ocean, the waves breaking over him. I waited until maybe five minutes after he had completely disappeared under water. No one can hold their breath that long, certainly… I felt as though I needed to confirm that he wasn’t dead, so I put on my purple flats, and walked out of my room, and down the hall, but as soon as I got to the front door, the were four soft taps. I opened the door and there he was, shirtless, and gleaming in the moonlight. What? His hair is dripping and he looks slightly dazed but otherwise completely alert.

“What are you doing here?” I ask because it is a perfectly logical thing to say although, on the inside I am screaming at myself to shut the door in his face before I say something incredibly idiotic. He’s probably tired of me walking away from him, but he should be used to it by now.
“Aren’t you going to invite me inside?” he asks. His voice is like rich molasses, and I do not understand why I feel the need to agree with everything he says, like I have no free will, but I resist this urge and respond.

“I do not know you, and I am pretty sure that it is common sense not to let a complete and total stranger into your house.” I am becoming irritated very quickly, because my voice has changed from questioning to deadly calm but he probably has not even noticed the difference. Although his shirtless upper body and dimples aren’t helping me cope with the situation any better.

“My name is Daniel Carter, nice to meet you.” He says while holding out his hand. I do not shake his hand but, take three steps back and do an about face. I get him a towel and some of my dads’ old sweatpants. He changes in the hall bathroom and I chastise myself because I didn’t get him a shirt. When he emerges from the bathroom, I am in the kitchen and as he walks in I throw and t-shirt at him. he puts it on, and stares at me for a little while. My wavy chestnut colored hair is escaping the braid I platted in and little strand of hair are getting in my face.

“What do you want,” I ask him, “because you’ve been following me all day, so something is definitely up.”

“I have something to tell you…” he trails off, and I wait a minute or two, before asking,

“Which would be?”

“About your heritage, your history, about the things that make you a naiad.” he says, and I am so shocked by this because it was not at all what I was expecting to hear.

“There is no way on this green Earth that I am a naiad, a water nymph, are you crazy?”

“You know what that means?” he is stunned and somehow this makes it better.

“Why shouldn’t I?” I ask.

“Because most humans don’t know what a naiad means let alone what it is…” he says this and comes at me with a different tactic.
“You know your original father was Poseidon? You are a very old soul, you’ve had multiple reincarnations because every war of the titans you don’t survive and every war I –” He breaks off, seeming to think he might have begun to say too much. He looks like he might start crying and I am overcome with the feeling of wanting to comfort him in some way, but I stand my ground and wait until he’s gathered himself.

After he seems to be in more control I ask, “And every war you what?” It takes him a while to answer my question, so long that I think he won’t answer it at all, until he says “And every war I give myself up until you’ve returned to this world again, then I return as well, and find you, so that you might be informed and survive the war that is sure to come with your arrival.”

“My arrival to where?” I ask because now I am confused. Where does he think I am going?

“Your arrival to the sea.” he states this with so much passion that his eyes gleam and he can’t sit still. He gets up and starts pacing while I think trough what I have just heard. My arrival to the sea? Does he mean the ocean? Why would I arrive there, I live right on the beach, I am already here. Why does he think I am a naiad? Oh – I finally understand what he has been trying to tell me.
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PostSubject: Reply   May 10th 2011, 11:38 pm

Well, actually good. Don't know really what to tell you, so I will tell you what I can.

First, I am not certain if the dry tone was proper. Considering the topic, it might work, although dealing with the Roman/Greek gods one tends to expect more emotion. Still, you were consistent, so I have to give you credit.

Second, watch your sentence structure. Complex and run-on sentences do not make friends with editors. It did slightly work with your dry tone, but it would have been better to use periods instead of commas in places.

Oh, I spotted these errors --

he is nowhere in site
SIGHT. Site is a place, maybe a virtual one but still a place.

Later, when I reached one no one was there.
One what? Looking back, it would have to be a street -- so there was leftover pizza on the street and you ate it? Need to rework that.

Okay, that was it. I probably could have been harsh, but it really was not bad. By the way, I know what nymphs, nixies, nereids, nekands, oreads -- and I could probably search my map for a few more names for lovely water ladies (I am presently writing a story based on a 1920 map of Fairyland).

Keep writing.

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PostSubject: Re: (nameless)   May 11th 2011, 1:34 am

Wow, ok thanks that helps lol, yea i know what a site is lol that was probly written at like midnight and the pizza thing was i think supposed to be "home" not "one no one was there."

. . . But to tell you the truth the reason this story isn't longer is because I got stuck, so is there any possible way that you know of to help me become "un-stuck" :/

oooh are you going to post that story, it sounds fascinating, I'd love to read it!
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PostSubject: Reply   May 11th 2011, 10:06 am

Excuse me, but you are not stuck. You are at a point of decision. You are having to decide exactly who the lady is, who the man is, and a lot of specifics concerning your story. I would call what you have done a toss-out. I write things like this simply because it is in my head. If I like it, I then sit down and begin making some decisions and working on a rough outline. I hate outlines, but a writer needs some sense of where the story is taking place, who the main characters are, and what type of outcome will result. Without a firm foundation, a structure will not stand. That is where you are, you are needing to build a foundation. Get to work.

Oh, and the story is being posted. It is on the front page of ADnD.Com. The start of that story begins here (check the Story Archives for later installments). Note that you are free to harass me about your thoughts and problems that you find. I post a new installment every five days, just as I do here with my zombie story.

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