The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by DarkRula » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:21 am

*applauds*

That's great. Nice one.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by shy guy 64 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:47 am

Nice poem orange

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Tafdolphin » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:33 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:The last longer poem I shared was about reading - this one is about writing. My repertoire is as expansive as it is diverse!

It's tentatively called "A Writer's Curse"

While all good authors want to find
A universe within the mind,
I only offer this short verse
Explaining of the writer's curse.

With pen in hand and tale to tell,
An empty page near stops me dead;
Confounded by all those who dwell
Within the story in my head.

They've built a wall to keep me out;
The world beyond removed from sight.
A mystery behind the shroud
With history I cannot write.

The page is blank, my efforts meek;
That wall remains a hopeless climb.
The source of my malaise I seek
Forever further back in time

Until I finally see at last
The force behind my fiction's strife;
A dragon from the mythic past,
The first idea brought to life.

Discerning his imagined state
He rages at this author's hand
And wages war against his fate
Across all of my fictive land.

The creature roars, my writing slows,
The story ends in faltering prose.
Upon my mind descends a fog;
A dragon's spell of writer's block.


I was talking to my wife about poetry last night actually, spurred on by introducing her to Longfella and John Cooper Clark, and it reminded me just how impenetrable I find the medium. Efficiency with words is a real talent (one reason why I love Cormac McCarthy so :wub: ) but I cannot for the life of me write anything poetic without it sounding pretentious as.

All of this is to say, this is really nice Orange. And I can empathise.

I wrote a review of Telling Lies. Reviews too are something I struggle with, that balance between pure informative writing and opinion. This one isn't bad, but isn't especially revalatory either.

http://rikgodwin.com/2019/09/11/review-telling-lies/

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Jenuall » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:39 pm

OR's poem has an inconsistent rhyming scheme.

2/10 wouldn't read anything from this author again.



Joking obviously, that's a nice poem OR! I always mean to pop in here and read the bits that people put up but never seem to find the time, it's nice to see some creative writing! :toot:

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by OrangeRKN » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:51 pm

It's ABAB book-ended by opening and closing stanzas of AABB - at least it's symmetrical! I think it adds weight to "stops me dead", as the unexpected rhyme change has a similar effect on the reader.

Thanks all for the comments! The "efficiency" of poetry does really appeal to me, I think it's similar to my like of highly constrained pixel art. The limitations help bring out my creativity.

Tafdolphin wrote:...but I cannot for the life of me write anything poetic without it sounding pretentious as.


I have to say I feel like I stumbled a little far in that direction with the phrase "this author's hand" (and that stanza in general) but I was aiming for a slightly more literative feel to reflect the brief moment of being able to write before once again being hit by writer's block... which I'm sure only makes me sound more pretentious :lol:

Tafdolphin wrote:I wrote a review of Telling Lies. Reviews too are something I struggle with, that balance between pure informative writing and opinion.


Another good review! I think that balance is largely a personal one, some reviewers (and outlets) lean more in one direction or the other. I appreciate the informative aspect when trying to learn about a game I'm undecided on playing, but the opinion is more lasting and interesting and can be revisited for discussion, so I think I prefer that.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by shy guy 64 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:58 pm

actually on second thoughts nevermind

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Tafdolphin » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:01 pm

So, who's doing NaNoWriMo this year and should we have a dedicated thread?

I'm going to try, and I think we should.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Karl_ » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:07 pm

Make a thread.

I won't be doing the challenge but I might try to finish off and post short story I've been working on. Fingers crossed :toot:

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by DarkRula » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:40 pm

Speaking of short stories, I've got a little Halloween-related one going up later on. Just need to do the final checks on it.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Balladeer » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:46 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:So, who's doing NaNoWriMo this year and should we have a dedicated thread?

I'm going to try, and I think we should.

Me. 7th year, first time rebel. Editing a previous attempt. What are you writing Taf?

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Jenuall » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:53 pm

NaNoWriMo?

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by DarkRula » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:56 pm

National Novel Writing Month. Write a book in a month of 50,000 words.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Jenuall » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:03 pm

Ah cool!

Might check that out - but more out of curiosity than anything, I've had 35 years to write a novel and haven't managed it so I'm unlikely to bash one out in a month! :lol:

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by Tafdolphin » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:06 pm

Balladeer wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:So, who's doing NaNoWriMo this year and should we have a dedicated thread?

I'm going to try, and I think we should.

Me. 7th year, first time rebel. Editing a previous attempt. What are you writing Taf?


Good lord. Congrats on 7 years.

No idea, I remembered it was starting literally 2 minutes before posting the above! I'll plan out some broad strokes this afternoon.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by DarkRula » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:06 pm

Shorts of the Rula has seen a new addition to celebrate Halloween, and while I could just link you to that, I'll allow you the choice of where you want to read it. Here, or Wattpad. So, I give you...

The Forgotten House of Greenwich Hill
Heading back from college with my friend Jim, we take the usual road that acts as a shortcut. When within my house and emptying my bag of a few things, I noticed an invitation for a party taking place on that road. No-one had given it to us, and I hadn’t noticed anyone around who could have put it there.

But a Halloween party is a party that’s sure to be good. I talked to Jim about it, and he wants to go, so we’ll both be heading there just after six for what is sure to be a great night.
__________

Kevin wasn’t much for elaborate costumes, but he had at least made the effort. With a face currently the whitest of whites, a black suit with white shirt and gloves, he called himself a newly-created zombie whose former profession was a butler, though Jim said he looked more like a modern vampire.

As for Jim, he had gone all out as usual. Being something of a maker of helmets, he had built one that looked like a pumpkin head, the face of which was upside down, as the rest of him was covered in green. On the cuffs of the trousers he wore were a variety of brown stripes of some thick material he had used to give the impression he had been rooted from the ground.

“So which house is it?” Jim asked.

“The one at the highest point of the hill,” Kevin replied.

The road of Greenwich Hill wasn’t that steep of a slope on its longest side, but the road was a long one, so the top of it was quite a few meters higher than its lowest point.

The two had reached the top of the road, where the tight curve turned to the left to join onto the main road.

“So what house are we going to?” Jim asked.

Kevin pulled the invitation from his pocket. “It’s on the outside of the turn… Level with where you’re currently standing… Why is there no number on this thing?”

“I’d say maybe it’s a quest, where those worthy of joining the party are able to find its location, but if that were the case, it wouldn’t have given a road to be going to.”

“Well, we can’t just stand around in the dark all night,” Kevin said, sitting on the edge of a low wall that marked the driveway of a house. “Maybe we should… Has that house always been there?”

Jim took a step forward, looking bewildered. “What house?”

“The one to my right. The one whose wall I’m sat on.”

Jim walked to stand in front of his friend. “These houses have always been… Okay… I don’t remember this one. Are we sure we haven’t seen it before and just forgot it, though? After all, why should we be remembering every house on a road?”

“But I’m sure there was nothi… Let’s get in and join the party.”

Jumping up from the wall, Kevin walked up to the door that was within a small alcove with Jim following behind.

Knocking on the door, it opened after a few seconds. No music could be heard inside the house. No chattering people or laughter.
“Are we early?” Kevin asked.

“No, no. Come in,” said a voice from inside.

Kevin turned to Jim before stepping inside to quietly say, “This is obviously going to be a surprise or something, where everyone else will try to scare us. Try not to overdo the reaction.”

Jim smiled at that, then followed Kevin inside.

Inside was cream-coloured walls with wood floor panelling, and the only light available to see all that being a single lamp in the far corner of the hallway sat upon a wooden stool.

Taking a few more steps inside to look around, Jim asked, “So where is this surprise you said would be coming?”

“Welcome to you both,” the same voice as before said. The door closed behind them with a quiet thud. “I was hoping to see you both.”

The voice had sounded from behind them, so turning around to face their greeter, they both jumped.

This person looked as though she had put as much effort into her outfit as Kevin had, with a green face and hands, as well as a lime green robe.

“Who’re you meant to be?” Kevin asked. “Some kind of witch?”

“Yes, you could say that,” the woman replied, though her voice retained its cool, almost regal-like tone. “If you would like to follow me downstairs.”

“Downstairs?” Jim quietly asked as the three moved off.

“It’s all bedrooms up here,” the woman informed as they turned the corner of the hallway. “The more interesting rooms are downstairs.”

“But… Wouldn’t… Isn’t this the ground floor?”

“It is.”

“Jim,” Kevin put in as they reached the stairs, “you’ll find that some houses are wildly different to what you expect. Besides, this house is on the highest point of a hill. It’s probably easier to have it set out this way.”

“Yeah, but it’s still weird.”

“Only because it’s uncommon.”

The stairs had right-angled left halfway down, with the three turning left again to look around the lower floor of the building. It was a simple rectangular hallway instead of the mess of shapes and sizes upstairs. Five doors were on this level, same as above.

The woman led the two to the door opposite, which was the lounge. She flicked the lights on and told the two to sit.

Kevin stood still, as did Jim, as both were now curious and slightly scared about why they were here. It was clear that this wasn’t a party location, as nothing suggested there had ever been one.

As the woman turned around to face them, Kevin asked, “Why are we here if there is no party? Why did you invite us here under false pretences?”

“There has been no party within this house for a long, long time,” the woman started. “And you reference my attire and form as though this were a costume. If only that were so.”

Kevin could see she looked sad, as though there was something hurting her inside. If he had to guess, she was only a few years older than himself. He couldn’t help but wonder what was going on.

“You’ve no doubt heard of stories they tell about this road, of the tragedy that befell a household that then became forgotten.”

Both of them had indeed heard of such a story, but had never believed it. Many stories were told about many a house around this area, and hardly any of them were ever true. Just stories spread to evoke fear, especially during Halloween night.

Jim said as much, but the woman sighed sadly.

“If only that were the case for this one,” she said. “There was an accident that had befell this house on Halloween night, and for the past five years, I have been trapped within, unknown to the outside world.”

“Is this some sort of story night or something?” Jim asked, who clearly still didn’t believe it as truth. “Is that the only reason we’re here?”

Kevin was more open to accepting it, but was finding it hard to do so. Certain things didn’t add up.

“If you have been stuck here, unknown for five years,” he asked, “how are you still here? How have you not starved to death, or been driven mad and killed yourself?”

It was a harsh thing to have said, but he wanted the answer before he decided whether they would be leaving.

“I have been close to madness, many times. I can at least roam the grounds of this household still, even outside, so all it took was a calming refresher out in the garden. It was harder at first to accept what had happened and the limitations now placed upon me. Over time I got used to my new life, but for this last year I’ve been wanting more. That’s why I invited you here. To try to break the curse.”

“It’s Halloween. Of course there’s a curse,” Jim stated with ire.

“Ah, you understand but fail to believe. I cannot blame you for that. The green of my skin is a testament to the curse upon me. I may look a cliché witch with it, but from what you have seen so far, would you say that I am?”

“I’ll reserve judgement until I know exactly what we’re doing here,” Jim was quick to say.

Kevin added, “You’ve been kind, you don’t dress the part, and you don’t seem to have any attributes that would label you as a witch. But you are being secretive with us, or at least were. But if you can’t leave the grounds, how were you able to get that invitation into my bag?”

“I had to be careful and aim true. On the day the invitation was given, your bag was slightly open. I was at the edge of where I could be, hoping the plan would work. When you passed the house, not that you would have known it was there at the time, I threw the invitation toward your bag. Thankfully it entered the bag, and I just had to hope you would come.”

“Now that you mention it, I don’t think I have ever seen a house here before. But that doesn’t explain how you haven’t starved.”

“She’s a witch,” Jim said from where he now sat, clearly trying not to pay attention. He spoke with a disbelieving tone. “There’s every possibility she’s immune to hunger from a spell or some such.”

“That would be correct,” the woman replied, turning to Jim. “I see you are still not open to believing.”

“It’s just a story,” he said, though Kevin could see he was trying to make himself believe that.

“What exactly is this curse?” Kevin asked. “What is it meant to do?”

The woman looked lost, as though she didn’t understand the question, but then she smiled forlornly, saying, “I am unable to leave the grounds for something I did. It was I who caused the tragedy that befell this house. For the past five years, I have regretted such an action.”

“How do we know you regret it?” Jim asked forcefully, standing up and moving to the door. “We know nothing of you. Come on, Kevin, let’s get out of here.”

“Wait,” Kevin quickly said. Turning back to the woman, he said, “Answer him. How do we know you regret it? How do we know this isn’t some sort of trick to keep us here?”

“For five years I’ve had time to think on it. Do you think that I do not regret my actions?”

“But how do we know you regret them for the right reasons?” Jim asked. “You’ve already admitted you want to get back out into the world. Maybe the only reason you regret your actions is because you’re trapped here.”

“Is there any way I can convince you otherwise?” she asked sadly.

Kevin looked behind him to Jim, who was halfway out of the room, then back to the woman still stood halfway between the door and seats. There was so much about this woman they didn’t know yet, and the question of whether they should leave or get more out of her was battling within his mind.

So far, she had seemed genuine in everything she had said, but he still had some doubts. Some people were great at putting on an act, and she’d had plenty of time to prepare for suckering them into her story.

There had been some truth to the story, or at least the curse. While he absolutely refused to believe that such magic could exist within the world, he had experienced it with the house.

It hadn’t been visible before the invitation had been given.

That didn’t prove anything, though.

It just meant whatever happened here wouldn’t be seen or heard by anyone in the neighbouring houses.

He decided to give just one more chance.

“What made you do it? Why would you murder the only family you had?”

“I… never meant it. I just returned home after a party. I’d had a great time, but my family didn’t see it as such. They launched into the usual rant, and I lashed out. They were too controlling over me!”

Kevin looked behind him to see what Jim thought, only to see him already halfway across the hallway. He ran to catch up.

He felt that the woman was following.

Up the stairs, across the hallway and to the front door, they were outside when the woman shouted out, “What have I said that you don’t believe? Why won’t you offer help to me? How else am I meant to prove I meaningfully regret what I did?”

She sounded desperate. Kevin was about to turn around to respond, but Jim caught his arm and pulled him along.

“Just give me one more cha-”

The two were now back on the road, which had cut off all sound from the household they had been within, though they could still see the house and the woman, who was now looking as though she was having a breakdown.

Kevin took one last look, but was pulled away by Jim.

A few houses along, Kevin asked, “What was with running off?”

“Couldn’t you tell?” Jim asked. “That curse might have been real, but the rest of her certainly wasn’t.”

“But she seemed genuine in all that she was saying.”

“That’s just it, though, she is.”

“So… why aren’t we helping her?”

“Think! That curse is there to keep her contained within the house. She just admitted that she has psychological faults, and while she didn’t say so, I bet she had returned from that party drunk out of her head. Not exactly the greatest combination.”

“So, again. Why aren’t we helping her?”

“Do you really want to release someone like that back out into the world? Try to tell the story of where she’s been and what she’s done?”

“I guess not. But what if you’re wrong? What if she was just angry at what was being said, after having been enjoying herself at such a great event without drinking?”

“You want to make that choice? You saw her when she failed to get our help.”

“Yes, but how would you react if you thought help had come and it failed to happen?”

“Not like that. Trust me, she was a few seconds away from taking her frustrations out on us.”

“If that is the case, I’m not wanting to go back there and find out.”

“We’ll pass this way to and from the college on the other side of the road and see what happens. But for now, let’s just get back home.”
__________

Jim’s words were indeed true.

We met up as we always do to head to the college, taking our usual shortcut up Greenwich Hill, and there was the woman waiting on the driveway, a hand-crafted sign in hand. Help later or pay, it had written on it. That was the first clue that something would go wrong.

When we returned from college, walking up the hill to reach the corner, there she waited. No sign this time, but she had raided the kitchen and all rooms of anything that could hurt and injure us. It was lucky we were on the other side from the house, as it allowed us to quicken our pace and feel nothing from those weapons she hoped to use.

It seemed she might have been hoping we would have crossed over to get to the house. It had been our one advantage that had worked.

Jim had been right about her, and I guess had we tried to help we might not have been able to anyway. She might have attacked Jim straight away for not believing her and being the first to walk.

But near the end of the road, a curious thing happened. A man was sat outside, looking up to the highest point of the hill. He then turned to us, and said, “Upset the spirit inside the forgotten house, have you? She still hasn’t changed.”

I would have questioned that. Both how he knew of the house and how he had seen what had happened from all the way down here.
It just didn’t seem worth it, though.

We both agreed that taking the Greenwich Hill route was no longer an option just in case that woman tried anything else to attack us or, as seemed the most extreme option, she had broken the curse somehow and was now on a hunt for us.

That option was the scarier of the two, but we both felt that she would never be freed from that curse.

And despite me not believing in such magic being available in the real world, I am curious if that man was in fact her father reincarnated. The one who cursed her and now watches over her, hoping that she will change.

If that is true, I doubt she would ever become free unless he chose to release her from the curse.

Which, in her current state, seems very unlikely to happen any time soon.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by OrangeRKN » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:47 pm

That started off very cliche but got less so as it went on. I like the concept of the cursed woman being unable to leave, but being able to affect the outside world by throwing things just across the border. The implication that she might throw knives at them was ominous, and I think there is more to explore with an idea like that.

Slight continuity issue I noticed: The woman never tells them explicitly what happened in the house until Kevin says “What made you do it? Why would you murder the only family you had?” I'm guessing this happened from some changes in editing, which can be hard to catch!

Nice to read a Halloween story on Halloween, thanks for sharing :)

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by DarkRula » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:04 pm

It's not really an error of continuity, moreso that I never say exactly what the story is that they had heard about the house until that point. While I could have allowed the woman to explain the entire story, the characters already knew it, so that line was just my way of adding the final connecting piece to it.

Thanks for reading and giving your thoughts.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by OrangeRKN » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:08 pm

Ah okay, I didn't realise they already knew the story of what happened at the house!

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by DarkRula » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:32 pm

Both of them had indeed heard of such a story, but had never believed it.


The idea being that as more of the story is being told by the woman, it is lining up with the story they know.

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PostRe: The Writer's Sphere - Share your writing
by shy guy 64 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:55 pm

DarkRula wrote:National Novel Writing Month. Write a book in a month of 50,000 words.


50,000? ill sit this one out

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