View Full Version : Show and tell
April 28th, 2003, 04:52 PM
OK, this is for you writers.
Sometimes when I am writing I just can't tear myself away from a scene, I am in the zone and love being in my characters' heads. Or I may not have been in the zone at the time of writing but I find a part that I just love re-reading.
So, this thread is not about critique, because it is about what YOU loved writing, show us this part of work you loved writing or re-reading and tell us why you enjoyed/enjoy it so much...
Lurkers, feel free to comment if you too enjoyed the examples and commentaries but please, leave grammar and general crit for the crit threads... Thank you.
April 29th, 2003, 01:28 AM
I won't say I loved writing this. It has never been edited since it was written. I couldn't do it. So it stands bad grammar and all. It was written at about 3.00am two years ago. That day I had held my father's hand while he slipped from this world to another..... I wrote a lot during the time he was ill. Most I will never show anyone...... This was posted on another forum for a few friends so....... Also a Friend in the US sent it round on a chain e.mail after 9/11 with my permission... For some reason he felt it fitted...(The reference to a sword and battle is metaphorical. It equals life.)
Ritual, chaos, the battlefield and what lies beyond.
Ritual: - the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony. Stereotyped activity or behaviour.
Rituals, of faith, custom or personal convictions, bind our life, even if we try to deny it. From the moment we open our eyes to this existence, newly formed in body and mind, we become involved in the ritual of life. This measure flows from the frenzied rat a tat, tat of a side drum, to the stately glide of a waltz. Are we the piper or he that follows?
Does what god or physics you believe that brought us into being give us any free will?
Or is our three score years and ten mapped and planned?
Are those with us in the ritual meant to be together?
Or is chance a dice thrown?
Many see the answer to these questions in the pages of a holy book. Some in the stars. Others in science.
I have no answers. For me the part of the ritual I have reached, has torn away much of the foundations of my strength. It has cast me deep into a mire of chaos, from which, in moments of extreme tiredness I have cried with frustration.
To see that which you had always seen since your eyes could first focus, as strong, sure and confident. Now confused, weak frightened and in pain cuts to the very centre of mind, soul and heart.
To be held in the grip of a ritual, a measured dance from which one can see no escape save for loss.
For I see the battlefield.
I do not see it in the chill pale light of dawn, but in the glow of sunset. A deep burnished sky hangs above. The breeze is soft, the air warm. No bitterness or regret coats my heart, for the death I have seen left no room for it.
To die in battle. To not give one inch of ground. To see the sword shatter in your hand and continue, knowing only death awaits, marks man out from other creatures. To witness this struggle, to stand in spirit alongside the one who fights, scars you as much as any blade. How you bare and carry these scars shows others in the ritual the nature of your soul.
I am not ashamed of my scars; I will not hide them or deny them. To do so would belittle the warrior at whose side I stood. What path he now treads, I know not, but I know what has been left behind is not him.
The essence, spirit, soul has gone beyond this ritual. It has begun a stately dance in another sphere, one which in time I too shall dance.
April 29th, 2003, 04:51 AM
I started a whole novel based on the following scene that I had been chewing on for a few weeks, basically the 2 protagonists are deciding how to make money, until one of them (the stereotypical reader of magic spells) hits upon an idea:
‘We could always go adventuring?’ Morgan suggested. ‘You know, the honest hard graft of slaying dragons, avoiding devilishly difficult traps, rescuing maidens from high towers, and all that stuff.’
Limpit stared at Morgan in disgust.
‘I think you’re forgetting that the odds of us actually surviving a proper adventure rate somewhere below the existence of little blue men, talking lemmings, and intelligent life found on Butwin.’
‘Oh, come on, Limpit! We’ll be heroes! Women will be throwing themselves at us! We’ll be rich beyond our wildest dreams! There’ll be feasts, and parties, and orgies! Yes, huge orgies, with millions of well-oiled young virgins to obey our every whim.’
Limpit interrupted Morgan’s fantasy before it got all gooey.
‘Morgan, you’re drooling!’ he said. ‘Anyway, what good is all that if we’re dead? No, we need a more practical solution. Our cash-flow is at crisis point, and I’m not sure how long I can keep putting everything on credit. One month of this and the bailiffs will be called in, and you know what the bailiffs are like: they don’t so much go around knocking on doors asking people to settle up as go right through the door, slay the occupants, and pillage what they can. They make the most uncouth Ogre look like pleasant company for an evening of drinks and after-dinner chit-chat.’
Morgan wasn’t finished though.
‘I could always read up some gold!’ he enthused. ‘You know, using some of my more powerful spells.’
Morgan awaited Limpit’s response to this latest suggestion with hopeful expectancy.
‘I think I’d rather face the bailiffs, if that’s all the same with you,’ Limpit said, crushing the magician’s mindless, but fragile, optimism.
‘Your reputation as one of the world’s most unreliable readers of spells is not without foundation. You’ve managed to make the Earl’s niece vanish to God knows where, you caused the inhabitants of Blackbrook to sprout huge beards – it wouldn’t have been so bad if there actually were some men in the village at the time – and you deep-fried the Archdeacon Paisley III alive!’
Morgan looked defensive.
‘You know full well that the disappearance of the Earl’s niece was nothing to do with my spells, and as for the others, they were the intended results! That Archdeacon,’ he spat, ‘did call me a womanising scoundrel and a dishonourable braggart with all the manners of a mouldy goat.’
‘Weren’t you in bed with his wife at the time?’ Limpit countered.
‘Well, technically speaking, I suppose I was, yes,’ Morgan admitted.
‘And his brother!’ Limpit added.
‘Okay, okay, I won’t read any spells then. Can we please change the subject now?’
‘And the whole New Church Choir.’
‘I said OKAY!’
‘Heh heh!’ Limpit cackled. ‘Touched a nerve there, I think.’
‘I’ll touch more than that in a minute!’ Morgan warned him.
Limpit was off again.
‘Isn’t that what his wife said to you?’
Simply Morgan’s eyes narrowed. He could blast the Halfman where he sat, if only he could recall the pronunciation of that Fireball spell.
Hold on! Morgan suddenly thought, a faint light appearing in an otherwise soupy gloom. No, that’s not it. Maybe it’s…no, that’s Melvin’s Magic Mousse, and as tempting as it is to fire after-dinner desserts at the Halfman I feel that it might end up being somewhat unimpressive as a combat spell.
April 29th, 2003, 10:04 AM
From D'rakken Mahre: always liked this scene, though none of the major characters are in it.
All was quiet within the corridors inside the gate complex. Major Urnat and a few dozen men were the first to reach the top of the staircase where Major Howat and his men had made their stand.
Silence and bloody corpses were all they found.
Within the defensive perimeter were the hacked and still forms of Major Howat’s men. Outside of the wall of casks and chests were the piled bodies of the attackers. “Hell and blood,” swore Major Urnat. “There must be a hundred and fifty dead enemy soldiers! Varsnya take you, Major Howat, it must have been a valiant fight!”
Major Urnat’s men were pouring into the chamber, and fanning out to secure it. Major Urnat began to examine the bodies. “Men, find the Major’s body! He, and all of these men will be buried with all honors!”
From his left croaked a horse voice. “Save it for later, Urnat. I’m not finished with this fight yet.”
Major Urnat, and several men turned to see a bloody form rising from the floor. Major Howat, bleeding from more wounds than could easily be counted, slowly rose and stood. “Sorry I didn’t say anything sooner, but I didn’t have the energy. The fighting didn’t stop until the explosion at the door. There were several dozen men in the chamber--they fled through the northern door. There should be a few score of the rats hiding about the place. Send a hundred men and clean it out.”
Major Urnat relayed the orders and the men hurried to carry them out, buoyed by the display of bravery and prowess of Major Howat and his men.
Major Howat, trembling slightly, looked around. “Now, don’t bury anyone yet. There were five men standing with me when you broke in, and they are in this mess, unconscious or resting somewhere. Find them!”
After a quick search, Major Urnat’s men found four men alive, if barely, amongst the bodies on the floor. Major Howat himself located the fifth man. The man had opened his eyes and began to rise, holding his weapon in bloody fingers. Major Howat grabbed the man’s sword arm. “It’s all right, soldier. They are all dead, we have won a great battle today.” The man looked about, eyes only half open. Finding himself surrounded by friendly soldiers, he nodded to Major Howat. “I have met my Soldier’s Oath--I am tired, Sir. Permission to rest?”
Major Howat nodded to the man. “Permission granted, soldier.” With a sigh, he lowered the man to the floor. The soldier, whose name he never knew, was dead before he reached the floor, his sword still grasped in locked fingers.
“Major Urnat,” Major Howat spoke with the intensity of death incarnate, “ready the men to take the castle.”
Accepting the other man’s leadership, Major Urnat began to plan the assault that would free the city from the leadership of The Rulers military lackeys.
April 29th, 2003, 10:16 AM
Heck, I like show and tell so much I am going to post something totally different too: this is one of my favorite (darker) bits of miscellaneous thought that I jotted down about ten years ago:
I waver between thoughts of reality,
and flights of fantasy.
I keep to myself these thoughts,
to avoid questions I do not wish to answer.
Those spectres of fear,
and misguided hobgoblins that speak to me
whisper quietly, only in the privacy of my mind.
Strange though it seems,
I am tired of the endless infliction of
reality upon me,
and will extract payment.
Even in my thoughts dangers abound,
and I am most grateful that,
thus far, I have always been alone
when the dragons come.
May 1st, 2003, 01:07 AM
Holbrook, I especially like the last three paragraphs.
I only wish I had the ability to translate them into an older language for you right now!
May 1st, 2003, 02:52 PM
The inn is just like any other in its class. There are wooden chairs surrounding circular tables in the main dining hall, a long narrow table near the back of the room behind which are bottles upon bottles of all kinds of drinks, and stairs adjacent to the table leading to a second floor full of bedrooms. Left of the stack of drinks is a flapping door that leads to the kitchen.
But there is something unique: the entire mob of customers are packed together in the right corner of the room, watching a woman standing on a small table and playing a small golden instrument that looks very much like a trumpet. They are all speechless, eyes glazed and bedazzled by the beautiful sounds they hear. Though I don't like the looks of their imbecile-like dazes, I myself feel compelled to join the crowd, to observe and listen to the spectacle. Rufus moves in my direction as well.
Within minutes, I am captivated. I don't know whether to focus on the trumpeter or the sounds she is making. Both are compelling....
I decide to start with the former. Shiny black hair cascades from the top of a red-skinned face like a dark water fall. It seems to catch the light and reflect it back brighter than it originally was. She has eyes that are very rare, those that are purely black. In effect, they glimmer, shine, and pierce whenever she opens them. Her nose is small, placed above full lips that are currently pursed behind the mouthpiece of her instrument. Long fingers flicker and push the well-oiled valve keys of her trumpet. The rest of her thin, supple, yet well-endowed body is clothed in forest green tights, with an extra layer of green cloth lain over her upper chest area and hips. She wears high, shiny black boots that rise almost to her knees and then send off an excess strip of leather to either side, springing out like little fountains. Taking all of her in my vision, she reminds me of a female version of one of my favorite heroes as a child, who stole gold from the rich and lived with his mates in Redgreen Forest. The effect is very, very pretty somehow.
But then, I believe that the music with which she accompanies herself must certainly add to the effect, for she moves and sways to the enchanting sounds as if she is one with it. The small trumpet emits notes much like it is singing with an altered human voice, like it is speaking words of another language. It digs into my heart with a deep whine, then pulls pieces away with rising notes. Sometimes the notes come slow and soothing, making me want to close my eyes and be carried away in a rhythmic current. Other times they are fast and I eagerly jerk my head to follow wherever she and the music flows.
The melody makes me daydream....I think of knights riding faithful horses through golden grains, under a moon so bright and large...I think of weeping maidens, who lean from high balconies, shedding drops of tears that fall, fall, fall until they splash and ripple in crystal moats...I think of magical swords, dragon-skin armor, foreboding tattoos, powerful rings...all essential parts of any typical fairy tale...
Then the song comes to a calm, pleasant end. I regain my normal senses, looking around to see that everyone else is quiet and stunned, still staring ahead at the beautiful musician. I look at her as well, as she lowers her trumpet. Due to her distant expression, even she seems to be waiting until she comes back into reality. Then, she widens her deep black eyes, smiles, looks around, and leaps through the crowd toward the bar. Everyone is silent as she leaps over the table, places her instrument on a high shelf between bottles, and says in a loud, yet sing-song voice,
"Anybody want something t'drink?"
I liked writing and I life reading this piece because, to me, it seems to romanticize and glorify the genre of fantasy.
And uhh...I love writing about beautiful women.
May 2nd, 2003, 12:33 AM
I find I am really good at describing places, i really enjoy it, this is fight scene between two youths; a boy and a girl. I think it's really good and gives the impression of being right next to them as they are fighting.
Jiar ducked around the corner and pressed himself against the wall, making himself as inconspicuous as he could. He stood there counting off the seconds that it would take for her to come around the corner. Jiar saw a leather booted foot stride around the corner.
He stuck his foot out, grabbed her back and pushed here forward. She fell onto the ground, rolled a couple of paces away, then stood on her feet, a bared blade in each hand. Seeing Jiar, she tucked only one of the blades in her robes, clutching the other tightly.
Jiar growled, then rolled into her legs, knocking her over again. He reached forward and grabbed her wrist, forcing the blade out of her clutches. Still holding her wrist, he forced her arm up behind her back, into a position where he could inflict pain at will. Reaching around to grab her other arm, which was reaching for the other knife, Jiar grabbed it too and held it in a similar position to the other. Lying face down on the ground, Jiar sat on top of her making her grunt. She began to kick wildly, but Jiar was to far out of her reach.
‘Give up?’ Jiar asked mockingly.
‘Never!’ Growled the girl, as Jiar now realized it was, not a lady as he had first thought. Jiar bounced on her back and she grunted again.
‘Give up?’ Jiar asked again. The girl made an effort to wrestle him off her back, but Jiar pushed her arms upward, making the girl groan in pain.
‘Hold off, I give up!’ she cried, tear streaming from her eyes, ‘Please stop!’
Jiar released the pressure on her arms, but didn’t relax his grip or let go of her arms.
‘I want you to answer some questions,’ said Jiar angrily, ‘first one being why you were following me!’
‘I was not following you,’ she said, ‘you must have an active imagination.’
‘Liar,’ growled Jiar in her ear, ‘you were following me almost all the way from the gate.’
‘I was not following you’ she said again. Jiar wrenched her arm.
‘Why were you following me?’
‘Agh, I was following you because you looked different to everyone else,’ she gasped, barely able to talk over the pain, ‘I was interested in you.’ That was true, even if not the whole truth. Jiar released her arm a little.
‘That’s not completely true, because no one else has looked at me twice since I came here,’ he said, releasing her arm a little more.
Taking him by surprise, the girl wrenched one of her arms free, twisted so she could grab his leg, pushed up onto her feet and threw Jiar up into the air. He flew across the lane and landed on his back, winding himself. Jiar groaned and lifted his head, just in time to see the hilt of the dagger coming towards him. Everything went black.
May 5th, 2003, 02:44 AM
NB - Cabers (http://www.caberworld.com/cabers/cabers.htm), as mentioned in the following piece, are four-legged characters I've had going for a long time.
I like the stillness of this piece.
The human character (who only seems to be known as "He", here!) is male, in his late 30's.
The timber was old, weather worn.
Nearly as high as his hip, it was carved in the likeness of an upright caber, holding one foot.
One eye was of a dull greenish stone. The other eye socket was empty.
The area was overgrown.
He pulled away some of the weeds.
Little bones - a fledgling bird - rested at the base, next to the remains of a tumbledown nest.
Broken strings with bits of shell, lay tangled about from where they had fallen off the croos - rotted and worn by the elements.
The musty smell made him cough.
A little way down the slope he could see a knot of old peruati bushes.
Beating a way down through the long tussocky grass with his hands, he could see berries amid the thorns, dark purple - verging on overripe.
No caber had been here for a long time.
Carefully reaching in, he plucked one and put it in hs mouth. It was juicy, sweet with the warmth of late summer.
As he stepped forward for a better reach, the sound of breaking twigs came underfoot.
He moved his foot about. Peruati had nasty thorns.
Another sound came, like snapping.
He looked down.
Stepping back, he crouched to clear the grass.
His efforts uncovered a small shinbone, snapped in two.
Further clearing, the collapse of a fragile cage of ribs where his foot had been.
And a skull, all picked clean by scavengers long ago.
In the stillness of the day, cicadas shirred and the pods of broom bushes popped in the heat.
There was nobody else around.
The skeleton had been there for a long time. The caber would have been very young - by the size, he estimated it to have been about three or four years old.
He pulled the grass over the little bones with care, and stepped away.
There were stumps of old peruati leading off to his right. And another lone bush further along to his left.
He followed the line of bushes, the planting seemed to have been deliberate.
This was an old enclosure, but long since abandoned.
A movement in the grass ahead caused him to freeze, but it turned out to only be a ground-hen, blue plumage and red beak. It goggled at him momentarily, before darting past in drunken bounds, croaking its agitation.
July 15th, 2005, 08:36 AM
Plenty of new writers around so... Bump!
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