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Storythread: 'Happy Birthday 4chan!'-edition

This is a thread for creative writing of /tg/-related fiction (so epic campaign greentexts and other non-fiction go elsewhere). If you have /tg/ related stories to post, post them here, and hopefully some kind anon will give you feedback. Or at least acknowledge that someone did actually read it, which let's face it is what writefags really want.

What counts as /tg/-related? Anything someone could plausibly use in a campaign (which means basically anything if you have enough imagination).

If you don't have a story ready then I and other anons will be posting pictures throughout the thread for you to test your writing skills on. This is, more or less, a world-building and character-building exercise: two vital skills for playing roleplaying games. If you don't have any pics to post, you could try posting an idea for a setting or a character, and maybe someone will be willing to write a story using it.

Remember that writefags love to have feedback on their work. Writing takes a long time, especially stories that go over several posts, and it can be really depressing when no one even seems to read it (and the writer won't know you read it unless you leave a comment).

And since writing takes a long time remember to keep the thread bumped. Pics are good, feedback is better.

There is a discord for writers:
https://discord.gg/6AwKHGF

The previous thread can still be found in the archive here
>>81350412
if you have any comments about the stories posted there


Don't forget to check out past stories on our wiki page:
http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Storythread
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>>81543162
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>>81543166
Thirty-one seconds. Impressive.
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Hopefully I should have enough free time over the weekend to actually write something.

There, I've said it now. I've made the commitment, so I'll have to do it.
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>>81543162
>I have a job for you.
>>
Pain. His world was pain. It had two moons and a blue sun, but he barely noticed those. The agony was all-consuming; not just a world of pain, but a universe of pain, and all the stars were needles stabbing into him. This lasted a minute, or an eternity, after he woke.

Then he mastered himself. With effort. The pain was still there, but now something of himself was present among it, infiltrating the cracks, forcing it back. He clawed his way back to the surface of consciousness. Pain tore at him, trying to drag him back down or just rip him apart entirely. But he made it to the surface, and breathed.

One breath. In. Wait... out.

One more breath. In. Wait... out.

Just one more breath. In. Wait...

He released, and was still for a moment. He had achieved, if not relief, then at least balance. His mind was in equilibrium, even if the rest of him was rapidly falling apart, but he could at least take stock of his situation now.

That wasn't necessarily a good thing. Leg broken, shattered in two places with shards of bone breaking through the skin just below his right knee. Burns all over his body, but especially on his hands; he still had some mobility in his right hand but the left was a shrivelled claw. Internal injuries? There was a sharp pain just below his solar plexus. One of his eyes didn't seem to be working properly, and the right side of his face was worryingly numb and yet excruciatingly painful at the same time. Nerve damage. And it felt like he was breathing fire. Maybe he had.
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>>81559035

The ship. Where was the ship? If he had survived the crash then it must have too. The autodoc might still be intact. His injuries were too extensive for anything but a full surgical team, but the spidery cluster of glinting limbs in the medbay could at least stabilise him. Then he remembered: the cockpit had ejected. The angle of descent was too steep, the ship had barely survived entry into the planet's atmosphere and it was certainly in no condition to pull out of its dive.

For a moment it bothered him that he couldn't remember why the ship had been in trouble. He remembered wrestling with the controls, and frantically trying to restart number two engine. He even remembered sending a distress signal, but not what he'd said. There were so many gaps. He remembered being slammed against the restraints, back and forth, as the ship bucked against the atmosphere burning away its hull. And he remembered the cockpit ejecting. Leaving the rest of them. Or did they make it to the escape pods? Maybe they...

He couldn't remember, and there was no point in getting side-tracked. The cockpit should at least contain a basic medkit. He had to get to it. It couldn't be far. He looked around, and immediately saw his flight seat, or at least the scorched chunk of dented metal that had formerly been his flight seat. It was half embedded in the sand. For the first time he started to notice his surroundings: blue sand, with streaks of green, stretching for as far as he could see. Obsidian spikes broke through the dunes, some tall and sharp, some more like jagged pyramids, scattered randomly. They shone darkly under the weak light of the two moons and the setting, sapphire sun.
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>>81559052

There was a spire nearby. It drew his attention simply because it was the closest object in the disorienting, empty landscape. Immediately he noticed the fresh scar in its flank, and following the line of it found the cockpit. It looked like it had hit the spire, shearing off a large piece of it's starboard side, and ricocheted wildly before spinning to a stop about two hundred metres from where he was now. The fact that he hadn't been killed instantly on impact was a miracle, much less that he'd been thrown clear.

He had to get to it. A medkit wouldn't keep him alive long, but it might be long enough. He knew he remembered sending a distress signal. Whether it got through, whether there was anyone close enough to reach him in time... his memory was missing just as many pieces as the cockpit, he couldn't say. But he still had a sliver of hope, embedded in him somewhere. If nothing else, he had to check the transponder beacon was active. He might even be able to use the comm system.

Sand shifted under him. Standing was out of the question. He began to drag himself forward, plunging his hand into the sand, making a fist, and pulling at the same time as he kicked with his left leg. The first time was agony. The second time was worse. But he moved. Every time plunging his seared hand into the sand felt like it was digging through razor blades, but he moved. Metre by metre, the cockpit module came closer.

Suddenly he felt the sand move under him. He froze. There was a rumbling, like the sand moving a few metres below him. Then it stopped. He knew nothing about this place; maybe the sand was shifting under his weight, maybe it was gas bubbling up from below. It didn't really matter; either way, he had to keep going.
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>>81559067

Almost there. So close. So close... the cockpit felt like it had been within touching distance for hours now, and yet it was always just a few more metres away. Two more times, he felt the sand rumble beneath him, but he ignored it. There was nothing he could do about it. There was no room in him for anything but the pain, and the single, conscious thought he had left: Pull. Pull. Pull.

He was maybe ten metres from the cockpit when he felt a big rumble beneath him. He stopped again, as much because he was exhausted as anything else. Breathing was getting harder and harder; he couldn't tell if this was a low-oxygen world or if the damage to his lungs was worse than he'd thought. The sand vibrated beneath him. It didn't stop, and he started to worry. He knew nothing about this planet. Was it geologically stable? For that matter, did it have native life? He doubted there were human settlers; from what little he could see, the world looked dead.

The rumble got louder. If he could have run, he would have. All he could do was stay very, very still...

Then there was a sound like a low roll of thunder, and the cockpit started to move. As the sand churned, temporarily liquid as the gas pocket escaped through it, the cockpit sank below the surface. In only a couple of seconds it was gone. And then everything was silent again.

He lay there. He'd been so close. He was still so close, for the cockpit could only be a metre or two below him. But there was no way he could dig down to it. The sand might as well be solid steel.

Suddenly a memory came floating up. He was saying: 'I have to close the bulkhead. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' No, he was screaming it, choking 'I'm sorry!' out through the tears. But there was nothing he could do. The fire in number two engine was out of control and it was almost at the main engine core. Close the bulkheads on the repair team in number two engine, or loose the ship.
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>>81559078

Samantha. Oh God, Samantha. The last thing he'd heard from his wife was her begging him to give them just another minute to make it out. Begging, screaming, crying, and finally cursing him for leaving her to die as the fire reached her.

Pain. His world was pain.


--- The End ---


>Feels good to write something after over a month. I actually have an idea for >>81547926 but it requires a little more thought and I'm not sure I'll feel like making the effort tomorrow. Guess we'll see.
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>>81551450
almost

also sorry niggas I was busy learning modeling instead of writing
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>>81559052
>>81559104
I enjoyed this. A simple story of the juxtaposition of suffering and survival (kinda Buddhist in a way) after chaotic tragedy and loss. It had the potential to be quite moving and powerful but kind of missed. Maybe of done from a first person perspective? Also, I found the sentences very short, even basic at times. Granted that can imply short, sharp thoughts given the situation the dude was in. Actually, now that I look back, it almost sounds like it was in first person perspective, written in third person.

As a side note, reading this made me think of Cloud Kicker's album Beacon. It's an instrumental prog metal concept album about a plane crash.

Lastly (and most certainly least-ly), as a radio technician by trade, it would have been a transmitter beacon, not transponder; transponders require an interrogation signal/message so would be almost pointless in a search and rescue situation. 99% of people wouldn't know the difference so, yeah, please disregard this last point as completely irrelevant.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed this a lot.
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Bump, pic not related
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I'll just leave this here... Just over 20k words, it's the first 20-25% of what I hope eventuates into an actual novel optimistically pessimistic

>Detective Jehali investigates a string of murders that are unlike anything the Hive-City has ever seen. The case makes an excellent proving ground for this old detective to show his young protege what it takes to deal with the gritty side of the Hive.

>In a mining colony on Mars, teenage Zik struggles to come to terms with his eventual return to Earth with his parents. Being the first human born on Mars, Earth doesn't feel like the home his parents promise him.

Hopefully if you read, you like and it's not just a waste of your time. Thanks and happy reading.
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>>81564006
>THIS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT A REAL ADD FOR THE UNITED STATES SPACE FORCE

I actually laughed
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>>81564006
>>81564252
>Russia was the first who came up with Space Force
>Nobody gives a fuck about it and everyone declares USA the first nation to own their space army
>Just like they claim they won space race
'Murimutts being 'murimutts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Space_Forces
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>>81561574
Thanks anon. I think in retrospect although I don't generally write in first person it would have been better here. I also feel like it kind of missed the mark regarding any emotional weight; I was kind of handicapped by the fact that I started out with no idea, and I had to get it done in about two hours. If I were to go back and do it again (and I probably won't) I'd try and convey his sense of anguish at watching the cockpit slip away, and flesh out the last few paragraphs a bit more.

>Granted that can imply short, sharp thoughts given the situation the dude was in.
That was definitely my feeling. I won't say I actually planned it, but short sentences just felt natural in the situation - like he barely had the energy to think.

>it would have been a transmitter beacon, not transponder
>transponders require an interrogation signal/message so would be almost pointless in a search and rescue situation
Well, I learned something today.

Although, thinking about it, wouldn't a transponder work even better? If you're running off limited battery power wouldn't it be better to have a beacon that only transmits when it knows there's someone nearby to hear it (i.e. when it picks up the interrogative signal)? Not that I had that in mind, I was just ignorant of the difference. I wonder what the ejector seats on fighter planes use?

>>81564194
I'll try to take a look at this fairly soon but obviously it'll take me a while to get through 20k words.
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>>81566569
Not everyone here is American, friend. Also,
>laughing at Americans
Does not equal
>American
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>>81572430
Yeah, I it seemed rushed but it worked really well given the context. I enjoyed it. It was a refreshing read and "nice" to have those feelings of loss, failure and hopelessness (I say nice because everyone wants a hero/antihero and this was a welcome departure from that) conveyed as you have.

The problem with transponders as rescue beacons is having an antenna is crucial for receiving the interrogation signal. In a crash, all the bits hanging off the outside (like antennas) are usually the first thing destroyed. Aircraft use emergency locater transmitters (ELTs) and in a crash, they pump out millisecond long bursts that rescue equipment can lock onto and track. They have their own internal batteries that will power the ELT in full transmission mode for over 24 hours. So even if the ELT gets thrown from the aircraft, it still transmits to get search and rescue close to the scene of the crash/rescue. Sorry, I'll stop. Completely unnecessary info.

I understand how precious time is my dude; only read it if you've got time. 20k words is over an hour's worth of reading and you've already given me invaluable insight that I have taken onboard and done my best to apply. Thanks again.
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>>81557492
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>>81572714
Still, the only thing 'Muricans actually did first is Moon landing. Not to mention that they had to rely on old Soviet rockets to supply ISS since they scrapped their shuttles.
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>>81543166
Sniffa. Write a funny story with sentient pige thing sniffing foul things.
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>>81543162
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>>81584522
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>>81584522
>>81586057
I really like the composition here, but computer art just doesn't get skin texture right.
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>>81586299
Well, it's a real skin of some models, but probably very heavily edited. Looks good enough for me though.
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>>81584522
>>81586057
>>81586473
Was gonna write... Now... Pic related
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>>81543162
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>>81617928
bump again
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Continuation of >>81485606 . I'm the samefag. Just changed my pseudonym to an easier one. I\m sorry for disappearing on you, Anon who replied last thread. I was having some troubles at home. We have a title now!
Some changes: I turned the fairies into angels and demons. I wanted to go with angels and demons from the beginning, but I felt the religious connotations would be detrimental to the story. I've since decided otherwise. Ninaza is an angel. Ishramaz is a demon.



The Cambion's Case, volume one, chapter one, episode two (010102)

"I don't think you can survive here, detective," said the Captain. "This is Fell Isle. This is a feral city. Its inhabitants are descendants of the criminals marooned here."
Producing an envelop from his trench coat's inner pocket, he reached it out towards the Captain. "It's from the General."
Captain Yidrash twisted his eyebrows. "It can't be," he said as he took the envelop and opened it. "A mere human—"
He fell silent.
"I trust you believe the seal, Captain?"
"You're him, /the Primeval Human/." the Captain said. "Also the Primeval Human is wrought of light and darkness by an angel and a demon for the sake of the truce. They were both angelic and demonic but neither angel nor demon; they were both male and female but were neither man nor woman. They stood alone in the chasm between heaven and hell, and their existence named them: Their name was Kiya Siyi; Kiya meaning troubled, and Siyi meaning lonely."
"A lot of people assume I am my namesake. It was fun the first few times, but I can't blame them.
The Captain looked up from the letter. "Why are you here, sir?"
"My children are dead, Captain," said Kiya Siyi. "While I was exploring the Peripheral Planes, my children died here in Meanworld. I want to know why."
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>>81613989
>>81623692
>Using names on 4chan
Is there anything more cringe than this?
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>>81625235
I don't use my trip anywhere but here, but in this thread it makes things a lot easier if you know who's who.
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>>81625235
as Chronicler said, it's just for this thread
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>>81625235
This is honestly the only place on the entire site where it's a good thing (You should see the tripfaggotry on /sp/). Here, it's just to keep stories organized, and Chronicler isn't a haughty cunt, so he's cool
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>>81627300
>Shadman licking a calf of some chick
Now I've seen everything...
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>>81627300
What is this place? What is going on?
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>>81564194
You've dialled back on some of the worse excesses that were present in your first draft, but overall I don't think my opinion has changed much since the last bit I read: you have some interesting ideas, and I like the story in an abstract way, but your writing style is just a bit off so the actual execution doesn't really work. As an editor I'm not sure how much more I can do for you; I don't think there's any general advice I can give you, it'd just be a question of going through and rewriting it line by line, and I don't have the energy for that. Your general grammar, pacing, and sense of storytelling (in the sense of how to formulate a scene, where to put it, and how long it should be) are good, your dialogue and prose just don't feel quite natural.

Before you go and write a whole novel, you should really find some other people to show it to. You've pretty much tapped me dry as far as advice is concerned, so your next step at this point is to find a fresh pair of eyes.

The one note I have is that a shadowy group killing random people just because they hate humanity/the system isn't a very interesting motivation. I hope there's a deeper meaning behind it than just 'humanity is the disease, we're the cure'.

Actually, one more note: this may just be me, but I don't think you're very good at naming characters. The only name I actually thought fit was Annchi.
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yet another bump - don't want the thread to die before I'm done with what I'm working on.
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>>81628331
Thank you so much for not just reading what is essentially a third of a novel, but giving me the time of day to provide genuine feedback. Thank you.

I lurked on /lit/ for a while to see if there were any threads worth looking for critique; all I found was wannabe philosophers and the usual shitposting so I silently declined and backed away. I would genuinely like some differing input as you suggested to add to the invaluable insight you've given me (I am still reading the dialogue aloud to myself).

As far as dialogue and prose, I guess that's just "my style"? I reread and edit to the point where I think to myself ’I wouldn't change anything; I like what I have here'. Maybe I'm just not critical of my own work enough.

In regards to your notes I'm hesitant to reply without major spoilers. I can cautiously confirm that yes, Tomorrow's Sons seem to have very weak, unjustifiable means for the atrocities they carry out and there is definitely something else at work; I wouldn't dare reveal the BBEG in a detective story in the first part. What you have read so far is essentially the "soft world building" much like the first half of Fellowship of the Ring. There's enough going on to make it feel like a story, but your just getting introduced to the world in which the story is about to unfold in. And the names... The protagonists' names are all anagrams of characters they're inspired from; kind of my homage/Easter egg for other SciFi nerds. See if you can figure them out

Pic related is what I'm working on for a cover. Still very rough/WIP...

Anyway, thank you so much. Looking forward to more of your work too.
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>>81564194
I got as far as I could, will make another attempt later... But I threw together a brief ex of how I'd start re-writing below.
Don't fixate too much on what I changed and more how things can flow together better when you commit the voice.
Narrating as the author makes the sentence structure really weak, I use it myself just to get my ideas down fast, then I'll re-write.
--
City sunsets happen early here, but it's worth seeing. The way the glow off the neon lights streaks into an oil slick of fading sunlight can make a man feel poetic... if he's piss drunk at least. I was a bit preoccupied taking in my surroundings, too busy capturing a mental pict of the scene to enjoy the twilight hour. Bloody drag marks here, the rusted dumpster there, black plastic casings casually littering the place and my officers jawing somewhere off on the side till they catch my eye. A sigh escaped me, something more like a groan I guess but with back-up like mine ... well you would too.

"What do we got so far?"
"Body in a dumpster, dumpster-murderer must have hit again"
Genius. "I see... other than the body being in a dumpster what else gave you that impression, Officer Keese?"
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nighty night
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>>81640764
Yeah, I can see where you went with that and the different perspective it offers. I like the tone it sets but it's not really what I was going for; a huge part of this side of the story exists in the grey areas and tensions between Jehali and Keese; making Jehali the narrator would change the angle of the story too much, especially seeing as that's only one of the "protagonists" (two other story arcs run simultaneously). I need Jehali and Keese to be viewed by the audience independent of one another for plot reasons.

Thanks anon. I'm taking on as much feedback as possible to broaden my ability to self assess and improve wherever I can.
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>>81588602
Write about that.
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>>81661170
What now Super Man?!
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>>81661337
You're a mad man Luther!
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nighty night
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>>81630483
>Maybe I'm just not critical of my own work enough.
We all have a blind spot for our own work. It's not a case of not being critical enough, it's that we're incapable of seeing ourselves objectively. Like when you hear your voice recorded and think 'wait, do I really sound like that?' In fact that's not a bad metaphor overall. If you're trying to write a book and you're not a natural writer, creating natural-sounding prose and dialogue is almost like learning a foreign language. You're essentially having to learn a different way of speaking, and for a lot of people finding an artistic voice that works is about as difficult as learning Mandarin is for people who haven't grown up with a tonal language.

I think you should go to /lit/ and get their opinion. You may or may not end up getting anything useful from that bunch of pseuds, but the point of writing is to share your work with other people, and if you make it publicly available that's inevitably going to include people whose opinions you don't like. At the very least it's more data to mull over. /lit/ generally has critique threads semi-regularly, so that would be a good place to start. And (although I'm loathe to suggest it), I'm sure reddit must have communities that give feedback to novice writers. Really, you want to take a buckshot approach here: get as many critiques as you can find, from as broad a range of communities as possible, and hopefully one or two of them might make some good points.

I really like your concept for your cover art - the blending of the Mars and Earth symbols is really clever. However, I think the symbol should just be solid colour rather than a fractal to make it stand out against the background, and I think the colour tones of the fractals don't quite evoke Mars and Earth; a slightly deeper, more rusty red and a darker blue feel better to me.
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>>81670281
Thanks man. I'll do that. I've made my way into the first few chapters of part two and conflict on Mars has begun. Back on Earth, Jehali has finally gotten his hands on solid evidence of a cult and is beginning to feel out of his league.

I'll head over to /lit/ lurk some more and wait for a critique thread. If nothing pops up, I'll start one. Is rather pay a professional fiction critic/editor to look at my work than Reddit.

And I thought the exact same about the art. The only reason I went with the negative colour shift was because I liked the blue against Mars (insinuating water/life there) and the dusty yellow against Earth bit it probably just detracts from the overall statement. Considering Earth will be dealing with a global cult rising up and Mars will be dealing with a workers revolt, what colour/look would you do for the symbol? I almost thought about making it look like graffiti/spray paint stencil but shied away from it, mostly because my graphic abilities are somewhat limited. I'd be keen for your thoughts.

Thanks again dude. You've been a huge help.
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>>81671168
Forgot image
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I wrote a story based off this picture a good while ago and got some good feedback from you guys, so here's the second draft. I don't usually go back and do a purposeful rewrite, so this was mainly an exercise in editing, but I'm beginning to like the concept and might hammer this out into something longer. I'll post the first draft in a pastebin at the end if anyone wants to compare.

---Pulse---

“A gift,” rattled the bones. The wind whistled, wild and fierce with nothing to break it as it surged across the heath, through eye sockets and the cracked nasal cavity that had once been a snout. Kjelle could see the wolfish grin past the spirit’s bleached bones, could almost trick herself into catching a lolling tongue out of the corner of her eye, but its antlers looming large against the clear, inky sky quelled any attempt to place the creature in the natural world - as did the outstretched hand it proffered her, a fireside tale slipping through the cutting chill and whirling gale to hover between its own world and hers. Dangling from the thin strap of leather clutched in its skeletal grasp swayed a key, glinting in the moonlight with each new gust.
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>>81672142
Kjelle knew well that to accept such a kindness was a dangerous thing, knew well that spirits rarely gave what they were asked for, but still she reached out. To catch a spirit in a generous mood, Kjelle mused as an icy weight fell into her outstretched palm, was no better. An obliging spirit would seldom bestow only what was asked of it, as Kjelle had been told in countless whispered cautions, and she shivered despite her heavy woolen cloak. A dull voice in the back of her mind wondered idly what else had been laid in her hand, but the fear and awe drowned it out, her eyes still locked on the too-long hand that rose to quell her words of gratitude before she even began. Tensing, she bowed low and retreated, feeling a faint wash of vertigo as she slipped between the mossy stone that ringed the desolate spot. Her family’s old, towering draught horse had shied further and further away as the communion progressed, and she dashed to it and hurled herself into the stirrups. She clutched the key tight as she raced across the moors, the lights of the manse in the distance growing closer with each beat of her heart and the pounding in her ears drowning out the howling winds and the steady beat of hooves.
No one looked twice as the cook's helper ushered Kjelle through the kitchens and up into the wide halls of the sprawling country home. The Count was a man of great appetites, after all, and there was nothing notable about another young woman who ought not use the main entrance - at least not enough to distract them from their own part in meeting those appetites. Kjelle nodded her thanks to the boy, but he was too nervous to notice, already scurrying back to the warmth of the ovens, and so the cloaked girl set off through the halls on her own. The unfamiliar sensation of the fine rugs beneath her feet was distracting, but she counted passages and turns diligently until she arrived at her destination - though the large, ornate door would have been hard to miss.
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>>81672178
The key slid easily into the brass lock, tumblers clicking over, and all too swiftly Kjelle was on the other side. The woman on the bed barely looked up, eyes hooded, cheek bruised, lip burst wide. Kjelle had always admired her sister's willingness to fight, but it was clear that such instincts were rather brutally suppressed. Myra gripped the sheets tight around her, sending delicate petals and rosehips - remnants of her wedding day crown - tumbling across the blood-flecked linen.

“He’s coming back,” Myra whined, tears welling in her eyes. “He’ll… you’ll only make him angry, Kjelle. Soren should have come, not you…” The girl shook her head silently, slipping behind the door and touching a pale finger to her lips. Her other hand dropped to her belt, and though she knew it was there, she flinched as her fingers brushed the burnished pommel of the dagger Myra’s groom had been too cowardly to bring himself - and too cowardly to stop Kjelle from taking. She had snatched it from his side in anger and haste, never intending to use it, but the weight in her palm, the look on Myra’s face… that vertigo again. She knew. This was why she was given the key. The thing that scared her was not what she must do, but that she wanted to do it.
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>>81672186
The click of the lock cut through the blood singing in her ears and Kjelle stiffened, feeling the door open and pressing into the wall to avoid it. The Count swaggered in nothing but a cloak of ermine and the breeches he’d worn when he and his men interrupted the wedding feast earlier that evening - an age ago now. He let his furs fall to the floor as he approached the foot of the bed, and Kjelle could almost see his grin reflected in the look of horror on her sister’s face. The singing began again, blood thrumming a steady, deadly beat.

Myra’s eyes darted to her sister, just for a moment, just grasping for hope, but it was enough. The Count was no fool, drunk as he was, and he spun, anger splitting his bruised face, which still carried the marks of Myra’s initial resistance. Plenty used to putting down rebellions large and small, his hand dropped to his side but found only air and the flaps of his breeches. As his gaze turned to the sword propped up by the bed, Kjelle darted from the shadows, the dagger a striking adder in her hand. It flew forward, biting into the Count’s chest, and when it thudded into something hard, instinct and rage surged through her other arm. As she slammed her palm into the pommel, something deep inside the man shifted.
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>>81672198
Steel scraped bone and the Count coughed blood as Kjelle yanked the blade from his chest and sprung back. He fell to his knees, but the pulsing beat in the back of her mind continued unabated, urging her on. It was not finished yet. The Count stared up at the girl before him, face still contorted with fury, but the shock behind his wide eyes was almost pathetic. For a moment, Kjelle found herself frozen, hovering over her body, taking in the scene before her dispassionately. A man on his knees before a slender young woman, barely more than a girl. Blood oozing from his bare chest, a bruised woman shaking on the bed behind him. Was this really her doing?

Just this morning she had watched Myra prepare for the wedding, dreaming of her own. She had always assumed that her life would follow the same path as her sister’s, the same path as her mother’s… but then… that… thing… in the back of her head reverberated, and Myra’s gasping sobs crashed through the numbness, as if to remind her of her purpose. Suddenly thrust back into her body, into the frenzy, she whipped her hand around, bringing the blade crashing into the Count’s temple. It sunk deep into the side of his head, killing his cry for help in the back of his throat, and the girl let go. It was done. The bones were satiated, and Myra was safe.
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>>81672213
Here's the first draft:
https://pastebin.com/3Q0Tegjc
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Been away from the threads for a year I think, how have things been around here?
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This is for my Fallout Pen and Paper Campaign. Is it any good
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>>81672142
>>81672213
Not bad at all my dude. I quite enjoyed it.

>>81674987
I think it's a decent background/informative piece for players. It would definitely help set the mood or tone of a setting their about to step into.
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>>81674987
It's perfectly serviceable in terms of communicating information to the players, so if that's your goal you can stop there. The plot hooks it introduces are intriguing too, but as far as setting a mood and immersing the players in the setting, it's lacking a lot. I'd recommend going back to the "War Never Changes" intros to the Fallout games to get a sense of how an info dump can be infused with a little flavor. Just an example, but instead of that last line just stating the plot hook outright, consider something like this:

"The morning the bombs dropped, the papers that lay on the stoops and porches of Houston were splashed with headlines about the latest in a rash of disappearances, one of a million crises made insignificant by the push of button somewhere halfway across the world."

It might be a little dramatic, but zooming in on little details like that give the player more of a sense of a lived-in world.
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>>81675887
There's a bit of a misunderstanding here. I'm this is not meant to be an intro, but background info for myself and anyone else running this campaign. I should have communicated that
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>>81675956
Oh! In that case, it's largely fine, other than a little messy, but one read over it out loud should make short work of that. It's a good way to catch awkward phrasing. I would say that I wasn't quite sure if the disappearances were connected to the Border Patrol/Cartel conflict, and I was a bit thrown by the fact that you follow the conflict through to mention it continuing after the bombs drop but then return to just prior to talk about the disappearances.
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>>81640764
>>81670281
Ended up making a thread on /lit/... Only one real bit of feedback so far and one thing lines up.
>dialogue is off/unnatural
Sigh... Guess I need to learn how to talk to people and/or how people talk to each other. Anyway, enough for today. I did some quick edits of the early dialogue. I think it gets a bit better as the story progresses (or after it was brought to my attention).

Current state, as a pdf at:
https://mega.nz/file/mE4CxCTK#SRGkA8chJgfXTjzBOq71JIi-vWsR38yTtwEUmQSQV9Q
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>>81633848
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>>81671168
>>81671702
>what colour/look would you do for the symbol?
Something stark and plain to stand out against the complex background. Maybe not solid black like this but something simple. Visibility is more important than symbolism.

Really, if you're not a graphic designer yourself this is the sort of thing you should just pay an artist on Fiverr or somewhere like that to do for you (assuming you get as far as a publishable novel). They're so cheap it honestly feels exploitative. Btw, what program are you using for the fractals?

>>81678249
>Sigh... Guess I need to learn how to talk to people and/or how people talk to each other.
Don't try to study it, just read. Read lots of books, preferably in the genre you're trying to write in. I stand by my comparison that honing your voice as a writer is like picking up a foreign language or developing an ear for music. Full immersion, listening to your target language every day, is better than trying to pick apart grammar from a textbook. This is essentially a linguistic problem, and human beings are programmed for innate language acquisition. I find that if I binge-read an author I start to sound a bit like them, like going abroad for a few years and finding you've picked up a bit of the local accent without realising it.
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>>81684504
>Read lots of books, preferably in the genre you're trying to write in.
Maybe that's a part of the problem. I've been reading mostly Stephen Baxter And Roger Zelazny stuff lately; both are very good SciFi writers but there isn't a lot of dialogue. I have so many projects on at the moment (plus work and family) I don't really read as often as I'd like.

>pay an artist on Fiverr or somewhere like that
Never heard of it. Is it like a freelance data base or something? I could use some decent artists & animators. I have a 33 episode cartoon all written up with music recorded and whatnot but I can't draw for shit (although I can paint minis to a decent standard... Weird...). I'll check out Fiverr and see what I can find. Cheers.

>Btw, what program are you using for the fractals?
Android app called "MandelBrowser" although I've used others before that were good too. This one has better mathematical control but I don't really like the way the palettes are edited; adding and removing colours is clunky and counter-intuitive (minor issues for a good app).
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.y0.mandelbrotbrowser

Cheers Chronicler. Hopefully can read some more of your stuff soon too.
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>>81682309
cute potato
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>>81692224
I ask myself that every day.
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nighty night
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>>81667990
Abandoned by humans, yet surrounded
Starving gnome lost in the realm of mankind
Sneak attacks chicken with very poor stealth
From the front, a woman shouting, "Thief! Thief!"
On the left, blood attracts the hungry fox
From behind, cherished memories long gone
Fight the fox and get shot by the human?
Turn, flee, and be attacked by the fox? Or...?
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>>81672142
Bumping because I'd love to get some feedback on this before the thread 404s.
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>>81672142
>>81672213
>>81707375
I enjoyed it. From the picture/prompt I think it took an interesting direction that I wasn't expecting a little disappointed the "monkey paw" don't deal with spirits didn't come back; would have been nice closure/full-circle moment Pacing was a little slow at the start.
>Kjelle knew well that to accept such a kindness was a dangerous thing, knew well that spirits rarely gave what they were asked for, but still she reached out. To catch a spirit in a generous mood, Kjelle mused as an icy weight fell into her outstretched palm, was no better. An obliging spirit would seldom bestow only what was asked of it, as Kjelle had been told in countless whispered cautions
This part in particular just felt off, like I was reading the same message several times. I can't quite put my finger on why. All in all though, I liked the story, I liked the tone/atmosphere and dynamic between desperate older sister and impassioned younger sister.

Keep it up anon. Good stuff.
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>>81707511
>This part in particular just felt off, like I was reading the same message several times.

Good catch - I think I used the word "spirit" way to many times, for one thing.

As far as the monkey's paw I think the story is going to be largely about that - the spirit gave her the key, but it also gave her the berserker's rage - the thrumming in her ears/the beat of violence within her - which usually only arises in honed warriors who eat fungus to open themselves to the spirits. So it will definitely come back.
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>>81707586
Mad. Keep dropping updates here. It's a good story so far. I'm enjoying what you've done.
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>>81672759
>Been away from the threads for a year I think, how have things been around here?

Well, those threads became mostly a pic dumps. Any actual stories appear rarely, and those worth reading even more sparsely.
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>>81713387
Be the change anon... Write something for the thread...
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>>81713442
No, thank you...
Find someone else to shit on...
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He hadn't been here since he was a boy many, many years ago. Unsure of whether it was his memory failing or the forest changing, he stepped with watchful caution. He had always remembered the abundance of life as the foundation upon which the glade rose out of the earth from; birds, bugs, bracken and moss. You couldn't rest your eyes anywhere without seeing the woodland's children. But not now. Thick fog hanging from the air, clinging to whatever life once roamed these parts, choking whatever was left. He crept, his watchful eyes scanning through the mist. Once the garden home of the jade spirits, now he felt only death. The sound of a twig snap in the distance jolted his already heightened senses. Instinctively, he wrapped his trembling fingers around the hewn jade amulet and began whispering the incantation they taught him before he accepted the journey. But the words tasted hollow, almost sickly, in his mouth and he feared saying them aloud. He pressed on, gripping the jade pendant as he went. He studied the trees; surely one of them could serve as a landmark for him, one of them would let him know how close he was. But the fog was blanketing. Hardly able to see the trees from the wood. He wrestled the fear that thrashed within him. A fear that would see him succumb, see him fail. He loosened his grip on the jade around his neck and pressed on, bolstered by the words spoken to him on the eve of his departure. The woods needed him, the tribe needed him, and she needed him. He could feel the words in his mouth growing proportionally to his courage and the incantation began reverberating within him. That was when he fell. He caught himself at the last moment, his head hitting the ground. It was hard, much harder than the forest floor should be. He looked back to see what had tripped him, his heart pumping wildly.
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>>81714443
There he saw the stone totems. He had tripped on a frog spirit shrine. But that must mean… excitedly felt the ground inches from his face with his hands, searching for evidence that he had found it. Mud and decaying forest litter brushed aside revealed stone; hard, smooth and carved. He scraped the filth away frantically, looking for the carvings with his fingers. They found purchase. The half inch indentations wove and coiled around him, smooth as he dug the decomposing matter out with his fingernails. Once he had completely cleaned the stone circle, he reached for the jade carving, only to find it missing. Panic hit him like a log. It must have fallen off when he tripped. The fog, unbearably thick, made searching for the tribe's sacred stone seem hopeless. He used his hands beyond the limits of his vision. He felt the various stone shrines around the circle's edge; stote, fox, crow… his fingers worked around them, searching for the key to saving the forest. He closed his eyes, allowed his breath to steady; every exhalation was a calm offering to the sickened forest spirit. In doing so, he could feel the incantation being coaxed out of him, and he followed the will of the woods. There it was, next to the rat spirit shrine. Elation overcame him. He tried to calm his mind to allow recollection of the rites he needed to perform. They had shown him more times than he could have counted. Through it all, he had never stopped the vocal commune; what had started as hushed whispers, falling from lips that quivered with fear was now a chivalrous chant, full of somber reverence and youthful hope. He traced the engravings on the ground beneath him with the jade, the rough crystal following the impossible geometries necessary for the rite. Every curve, every intersection an esoteric inscription that laid out the channels from which the necessary energies would be evoked.
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>>81672142
>>81672178
>>81672186
>>81672198
>>81672213
You've improved it in some ways. I like the first paragraph; in another context it might feel overwritten, but here it adds a richness to the fairy-tale feel. However, some of your additions are just getting in the way. I didn't think much of
>Kjelle knew well that to accept such a kindness was a dangerous thing, knew well that spirits rarely gave what they were asked for, but still she reached out.
the first time I read it, but after I re-read your earlier draft I decided I preferred the more concise version.

Then again there are some things that should have been editing out.
>it was clear that such instincts were rather brutally suppressed
This is an awkward sentence, and the qualifier 'rather' is totally unnecessary. 'it was clear that she couldn't match the Count's brutality.', or something along those lines, would work just fine.

And then there are the parts where I spent several minutes looking back and forth trying to work out which version I liked better. For example
> She knew. This was why she was given the key. The thing that scared her was not what she must do, but that she wanted to do it.
I can't decide whether I like the more abrupt version or not, but I do think the original phrasing was better.
>The thing that scared her was not that she must do it, but that she wanted to.

Overall it's a good story and I think your second draft is an improvement.

>>81674987
Yep, this is solid, just needs a few minor cosmetic edits before you show it to other people.
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>>81714778
Woops, kind of passed out there... Sorry.

He had practiced the motions more times than he had eaten in the last few months. Everything depended on this moment. He inhaled deeply, drawing in the foul, fog laden air, imbuing it with his heart, his spirit and chanting it back, calling the forest spirits' return; and her return. Now, more than any other time the tribe could remember, they needed the forest mother. As he persevered with the ceremony, noises from the dying wood around him began to challenge his resolve. Currents swirled in the mist. Footsteps circled menacingly. He focused, dropping his head and paying full attention to every gesture. In response to the passing jade, the inscriptions began to glow a golden green. It was working; just like the matriarch had said. The sounds from his peripheral intensified. No longer mere distractions, they became focused attacks designed to disrupt this design. Cracking branches, the whines and whistles of small beasts, the creaking and groaning of dead, wet timber. As the last syllable left his mouth, the entire glyph below him burst with a writhing light. In contrast to the gloom stricken woods, the radiance was blinding. Its shifting colours impossible to identify. He shielded his eyes with his forearm; removal of one sense heightening the others. Pungent stench of rot slowly fading as the fragrance of misty rain on spring buds of birch, yew and alder came to the forefront of his olfactory perception. Hints of raw earth, moss, wet fur and fresh blood wove through as accents. He could hear trees bending, twisting, growing. Their boughs and branches surging with the returning forest spirits. Still he forced his eyes shut, the brilliance of the forest mother's shrine waking was too much.
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>>81722055
"Unhide your face, sprout of man." The voice sounded of creaking, splitting timber. There was no breath in it, no warmth. He did as instructed and beheld her, mother of the woodland. Taller than two men, she stood with the trees that surrounded the stone circle. Her body and limbs were of interwoven branches of greenwood and vines. Many heads of many animals rested atop the central trunk of her torso; he spotted frog, raven, fox, beetle… "Stand sprout of man. You have called for the spring and I have come to awaken the wood. Are you ready?"
"My name is…"
"Your name has no meaning in this place." He swallowed his fear, doing his best to hide the trembling in his knees. None of the mouths spoke when she did. He couldn't pin a point her words were emanating from. She terrified and fascinated him. His entire childhood, stories of the forest mother had filled him with awe and reverence. The tribe lived entirely from the forest's offerings, and all things of the forest belonged to the forest mother.
"Are you ready?" Remembering his place, he searched his memories of the matriarch's predictions; every instruction, every movement, every syllable. The ritual was complete. He knelt, bowing his head in honest reverence.
"Ready for what, sacred mother?"
"The gift." Again he looked for a memory, a myth, anything. Surely this was a test, a trial of some sort.
"Forest mother, there is nothing I want." He hid the truth, thinking only of his one desire. She was back in the tribe's village and she alone held his heart. It was her he wanted.
"Yet you take so much." Her voice scraped at him, hollow and dreadful. "Come, it is time…"
"For what?"
"Your gift…" her final word reverberated through him like he was skin stretched over a drum. Inside him it echoed, hollowing him.
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>>81722296
Still kneeling, he could feel himself falling from his body. The stone glyph shifted from brilliant golden green through deep verdant shades into shadow. He felt thin, pulled out from within and poured over the stone alter. He could see himself, his form. Limply propped up by only his spine, his arms hung lifeless at his side's, his head bowed in sacrifice.
"What is happening…" his words were soundless rasps of will scrambling for reason; and they were unanswered. He could see himself bleeding from his exposed skin, filling the runic carved-stone channel. Perception wavering, light fading, he thought he could hear her draw breath. He screamed at himself, at his body, to stand, to run, to resist. He tried shaping whatever form he now existed as into something with direction, with purpose. But slowly, whisps of him were syphoned away, the alter consuming his being just as it was his body. The spring rains intensified. He was lost; to himself, to this world, to the tribe, to her. He was forgetting what he was, who he was. The pieces of himself consumed left hollowed voids, pockets of his being were stolen, leaving behind loss, hurt, anger, hate. He wailed, screeching at the eternal moment of his unwilling sacrifice. His world darkened, all he could perceive was the forest witch devouring his essence and the shape he used to call himself in lifeless submission. His scream ruptured his bonds to the leeched husk and he floated in suspension between the predator and her prey. From his darkened void, piercing light shattered the world. For an instant, all the world was blinded. Then the thunder split the sky, pealing through the woods in waves. The world shook to its roots and even the forest mother staggered. When he finally regained some sense of awareness, he saw him. Taller again than the forest mother and wreathed in storm clouds. Lightning crackled from his eyes as he stared across the stone circle and upon the forest mother with vengeful fury.
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>>81725975
"You defy the system of the elders, life-mother." His voice boomed like the thunder that announced his arrival.
"I'm not here to exchange words with you, time keeper. Stay your hand and your tongue." The venomous tones radiated from deep within her heartwood.
"But it is not your time. The woods are not yet to be woken. You know this. You know the…"
"I said silence!" The last word reverberated through waking woods. From his corporeal state, he saw the woods amassing behind the forest mother, writhing into life. He turned to the time keeper and saw his eyes narrow, the moist forest air frosting into misty clouds upon contact with him. Floating several inches from the ground, he held out an open hand, palm toward the witch.
"I will not ask again. If I cross this circle, it will be catastrophic." Every single animal head worn by the forest mother smiled in unison.
"For you…" he looked from one to the other, them to his ghost-grey corpse… he could almost remember. He dug through the hatred, the agony of his ethereal displacement for a memory that tainted him from the periphery of his being. A ritual… no… why was he here? Hatred. All he had was hatred. No, there was something else.
"I warned you, forest mother… now winter will be reinstated, your body broken upon your own alter." The body still bowed, what was it doing here? He hated it's presence. It reminded him of a great pain that made him cry out in rage.
The time keeper glided across the stone, ice forming on the ground beneath him as he passed. The forest mother stepped forward also. He remembered the body. He hated it… no, wait… it hated him… the memory kited around his roiling rage. Around the stone circle, the forest lived and died, winter and spring across aeons as the battle was fought beyond the realm of time. Locked in one another's grasp he watched them, the rage of his own stuck between them. He was… the ritual, that was it.
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>>81726067
Condensing the essence he had become, the pain, the seething malcontent, he poured himself like a fluid into the shape he used to call himself… he could almost feel. Fingers twitched, not with life but with malice. He was anti animated. The giants motionless within the altars circumference as they fought outside the physical realm across. He screamed at the husk to bend to his will, to his command. Spring, winter, blossom and blizzard came and went. Across the ravages of time he continued to use what his essence had become to pilot the body. He traced the glyph's lines, impossibly slow, just like he did at the dawn of spring. The chanting was a spectral scream as he conducted the awakening ritual. The runic carving lit with an auric glow. Not green like before but red; blood red. He lifted his head to the giants, red whips of ethereal animism rose from the altar and in through his finger tips, his mouth and nose. He was reborn. Not a man, not a beast, not living, not dead. He opened his eyes and saw them still locked against one another. With purified, crystallised hatred, he whispered the last syllables of the rite with a lifeless tongue. The altar opened. Pure death enveloped the two colossi. Within seconds both winter and spring decayed. There would be no more passage of time; time had come to an end. Red light poured from his eyes.
"And now my gift is restless sleep for you." All around the stone circle died, preserved forever in the state of anti animation. Denied life but refused rest.

"And that is why, children, we don't wander into the forest. It is said he still walks the woods to this day; to give death to all who come near. No memory of who he was, only hate."

Hope you liked it. Thought the storyboard needed more stories.
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>>81543162
sleep...
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He squeezed my hand harder than he should have been able to; indication of the pain he was enduring.
"How long now?" His voice was a gurgling, bloody rasp. Every syllable agony. I nodded reassuringly.
"Any second now man, they're going be here." He tried to smile. I knew it was for my sake. Even after taking the bullet, he still was trying to make me feel better.
"You were always..." He spluttered, blood streaming from the drooping corners of his faltering smile, "...a fucking bad liar." I forced a chuckle, holding back the welling tears. "Hey..." He squeezed again. I leaned in closer, gesturing my presence. "one thing... look after..." This time I squeezed his hand.
"No! Don't finish that. They're almost here."
"I can't..." his grip weakening, fingers twitching in response to his overwhelmed nervous system. "I can't hold..."
"Fuck you! You're gonna make it!"
"Look after my..." He choked, then coughed out the mouthful of blood. "look after my girls." I broke. Tears breached the dam walls and he smiled; for real this time. "At least it don't hurt anymo..." I will never forget the rasping gargle that ended his last words to me. The life lifting from his eyes and the strength from his fingers. I took the locket from his neck and opened it; the picture of his wife and daughters smeared with red stain. I closed it, unable to look at them.

Sorry, not a piece worthy of the board but a good friend of mine past yesterday and I needed to wrote something.
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>>81742009
Don't worry. Nothing that appears here is Hugo Award worthy, really...
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>>81714443
>>81714778
>>81722055
>>81722296
>>81725975
>>81726067
>>81726255
Depending on an individual's tastes, your prose is either making the most of the English language or dense and bordering on purple.

At the very least, you could definitely break your paragraphs up a bit; no one likes wading through big blocks of text. You could also improve the layout by putting a full line space between lines. However, overall I enjoyed it. Broadly speaking, I found your tone and style appropriate for the fairytale-esque story you were telling.

If it has an interesting central concept, what it lacks is an identifiable main character. I think >>81672213 provides a convenient example of something in a similar style but with a more engaging conflict: Kyelle has a more visceral, personal motivation that your anonymous main character. It's easier for the audience to see themselves in a sister trying to stop a rape than your rather esoteric magical battle.

Which is not that your subject is bad or that you should have ditched the magic in favour of something else, just a note to hold in the back of your mind for your next project: don't get so wrapped up in the course of the plot that you neglect character development. I think that was one of my big mistakes with >>81559035. I intended my main character to be so wracked with pain that he could barely remember his own name, but this inevitably led to a lack of character that left him rather bland and the audience rather detached; my final reveal therefore didn't carry the emotional weight it should have.
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>>81742009
Short, but powerful. Even if I didn't know your motivation I'd still say it packed a punch above its single-post weight class.

I'm sorry for your loss, anon. I hope you're doing okay.
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>>81743195
Thanks. He was only 32 and has left behind a wife and three young kids. It's been tough man.
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>>81744190
Writing is surprisingly cathartic. At the very least, it keeps you distracted for a while.
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>>81742787
>implying people write for an award
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>>81742009
He sounds like the sort of guy you'd want to have a beer with.

I'm so sorry.
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I just finished my first story. It's smut. Is it safe to post it here raw?
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>>81745520
It's not that people around here act like only Hugo worthy works should be posted here...
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"Aren't you going to shuffle them?" Through eyes hidden by sagging lids she stared at him, completely unresponsive to his question. "Well?" He prodded louder, implying she was hard of hearing.
"Do you doubt your fate?" She placed her ancient hand atop the tarot. Fingers of bone, skin and rings protruded from elongated sleeves.
"No, I accept my fate. Tell me witch." She chuckled, a dry rasp of a laugh.
"Witch indeed..." She turned over the first card. Aiden saw a castle wall. "The tower..." His eyes flicked from the card to her searching for meaning. Neither the card or her face yielded him anything. Slowly, she turned another. "The king..." He smiled, leaning back in his chair.
"This looks promising indeed. Tell me what you see so far."
"Why? Would you like only this part of your fate? That is not how the tarot works, fool..." With a single hand, she repositioned the two cards, the king in line with the tower. She flipped the next and gasped. He couldn't make out the imagery.
"What is it?"
"Anima..." The steady candle flame flickered at the word being vocalised.
"What does it mean?" She wasn't even listening to him anymore.
"That's not possible..." she whispered to herself. The room began growing darker and Aiden grasped his sword's handle. "Still your hand, fool!" Quickly she slid the anima card next to the tower. She sighed heavily, relieved.
"Well?" She raised a tired head to look him in the eyes. She saw his strength; the strength of a fool.
"You wish to continue?"
"I want the whole tarot. Show me so I may see." She flipped three cards in unison and they fell in a line under the king.
"Wind, void and sacrifice." With nimble, well-practiced fingertips, she rearranged them. He looked at their imagery; he could have sworn the picture on the king card had changed.
"Tell me. Am I to rule in my father's stead? I would swear you seek to trick me but the king card looks different. Like me..." The corner of her mouth twitched a smile.
"Future king indeed..."
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>>81750099
"So I am to rule then?" She stared at their arrangement with intent, half reading, have imposing. She changed the position of the void and wind cards.
"Something's wrong..." The candles flickered again and he looked around the tapestry draped tent. Again, his hand went for the sword.
"I too can feel it." He had been told by his father of the witches power; her prescience had indeed foretold his father's conquest over the neighbouring kingdom. But that story was nothing like this. "What's going on witch?!" The blade was drawn as he stood from the table, eyes frantically scanning the woven images around him. Light played tricks and his focus moved from the tapestry to the witch to the tarot and back. He shifted the weight of the blade in his hand. She was shaking her head.
"No... No... Not like this..." She too looked around the room. "Lower your sword..." He dropped the tip of the blade as she reached for the deck. Then he saw it. The rest happened in the blink of an eye. Tapestries matched the configuration of the tarot laid out. The king card with his face. She flipped the top card; arcane binding. She had him. His muscles were like stone. Finally, the witch smiled with her whole face. "You may speak; I know you want to."
"Witch indeed..." He parodied back.
"So, can you now see?"
"I see a would-be king, not in a tower but in a prison. His anima scattered on the wind, directionless and lost to the void."
"Your father taught you well then."
"Not well enough. He will kill you when he finds out."
"Will he?" Aiden said nothing, smiling with a determination she did not expect. "What makes you so sure?"
"Whether the father loves the son, the son always loves the father. He watches his every movement. The son knows the father..." The witch looked at him confused. "no matter what skin he wears..." From Aiden's sleeve, a card fell to the ground, face up; light of truth.
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>>81748582
Probably, but you could post it in pastebin just to be sure
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>>81750499
Can you actually write a story that does those facial expressions justice?
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Ok, time for poetry

SweetnLow's Love Poem
By Mattie/Dempsey

She weaves them a thread of guidance
The men and women who come to lay questions at her feet
She sets them right with her words of wisdom
All from the lips of the lady we call Sweet

Soft somber curls, cherished radiant smiles
Her presence enlightens us in the /atoga/ halls
When news of assassins reaches our quarters
We lay down, ready to take her fall

Her reign is not without it’s terror
Delirious unromantic fools come forth to shriek about their celibate rights
Soon a hammer of steel crashes upon the old charter
State mandated hand holding, cuddling and other promiscuous delights

All through the intertwined borders
Suitors come to claim her brass knuckled hand
But Alas, she faithfully recounts within the amphitheatre
My heart already belongs to another man!

Her poet’s words come along in her journeys
From boards of crimson dusk to midnight blue
“Stop it, Stop it!” She demands in a fit of giggles
But how can I, my love, when all I think of is you?
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>>81758030
Made me chuckle. You definitely need to work on the rhythm but nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed it. I may even attempt an edit for you.
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A yellow sun shone over yellow dunes. Shadiya watched, chin resting on her hands, elbows resting on the balustrade. High upon the mountain, the balcony jutted precipitously from the titanic, tangled tower half-buried into the rock. One could see to the edge of the Earth from here; or so it seemed, but if that were true then the world would consist of nothing but sand. Endless, endless sand. Shadiya watched, for nothing in particular. Sometimes, it was just nice to remind herself that there was a world outside al-Jan'ah.

Maybe the world *was* nothing but sand. Shadiya wouldn't know - she had never left al-Jan'ah, not that she could ever remember at least. The many-branching tower held all that man, or woman, needed. So she had been told her entire life.

It could be true, for in her sixteen years Shadiya had seen much of her home and she still hadn't seen it all. She had been from the tips of the thinnest minarets reaching into the sky to the thick trunk driven into the mountainside, and seen some of the endless roots of al-Jan'ah, the passages bored into the rock beneath. She had seen gardens and store rooms and libraries and even the monkey infested menagerie. Maybe all the world had to offer was contained here.

And yet, somehow, it seemed empty.

A wisp of wind caught Shadiya's jet-black hair, carrying with it the scent of jasmine from the trellises shading the balcony. Had she ever had a mother, who brushed her hair so tenderly? If she had, she couldn't remember her. All she knew of her early life was that she had been born, somewhere out there in the vast expanse of unknown that was not al-Jan'ah, then orphaned, then brought to the tower. Brought to serve the great scholar-sorcerer Khal-khalud. She had been raised by servant girls, among servant girls, to be a servant girl. She knew little else, for the manservants were admonished to keep respectful distance. She would probably be little else.
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>>81766914

Silks flowed from her shoulders, as loose as sand and as soft as time. Years could slip by in al-Jan'ah so smoothly they were barely noticed. How many more would pass just like this, until all her life had flowed away? She pondered this question as she stared into the distance, until a stronger gust of wind snatched the silk from her shoulder and blew it over her face.

Shadiya scowled, mocked by the elements, then pursed her lips and blew. The silk leapt up away from her face and drifted gently down, revealing the dunes once more, exactly the same as they had always been.

Wait... no...

Not exactly the same. There, in the distance - a shadow upon the sand. Shadiya stood up. The object casting it was only a speck upon the horizon, but after a few minutes of patient, hungry observation she realised it was moving. In fact, it was coming towards her - to al-Jan'ah, that is. Other duties forgotten, hour after hour she watched as the speck progressed across the sands, as slowly as the stars across the sky, it seemed. The sun got lower, and the shadow got longer, and finally Shadiya was certain: it was a camel.

And carried on that camel, a man.


>didn't know what I was doing when I started this and I don't know where to take it from here. Not feeling great anyway. I guess we'll see if I continue this at some point.
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>>81766914
>>81766929
I like it. I have a soft spot for fantasy/SciFi with a setting that isn't just "knights, but with magic and shit..." Drawing inspiration from outside European influence should be encouraged more (and not just for SJW/representation but for expanding one's perception; what I believe reading and writing to be fundamentally for) so when I see "odd names, unusual settings, strange customs" my interest is immediately piqued.

I think as simple as it is, this could easily be a path into something wonderful. A 16 year old girl's adventure of discovering a world outside her own; I would definitely read. Hopefully you find a purpose to pursue with this path and expand, even a few more posts, as I feel this story has the potential of raw, undyed silk and if spun well, woven with intent and draped over an interesting world, could be quite good.

Don't leave us hanging for too long...
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>>81750201
The card burst into slivers of silver starlight. They filled the tent and melted away all illusion; no shadow could endure the light of truth. It was blinding. For a time, all vision was lost to them both as the sensory overload exacted a toll that took a moment to recover from.
"What's happening?" Aiden recognised the voice and although it was not that of the witch, he was not surprised by it.
"I told you my father would kill you when he found out."
"Impossible... How did you know?" Light and shadow returned to the room, then colours and finally shapes, forms.
"A son knows their father." The king's movements were restricted but his shock was evident by the appearance of the whites of his eyes.
"My son..." Aiden spat to silence the feeble plea.
"I may be your son, but you failed to be my father long before you set this trap. You would have killed me if I had allowed this to continue."
"So it is time; you are ready to rule. Good, strike me so that you may bear the burden of the throne now." Aiden's eyes narrowed, full of suspicion. He had predicted the first trap and sprung it with tact and precision; but he knew his father's wit and there was never only one plan. "What are you waiting for? Finish what you started. Take the throne." Aiden looked upon his father; the pillar of unshakable resolve from which his childhood was tethered to. The embodiment of stoic apathy now nothing more than the final hurdle of Aiden's ascension and without the spell of confinement holding this warrior king in place, Aiden knew there would have been bloodshed. But now, both bound by the tarot, they had only their wits and their words.
"I wait for my father to avenge me." The king scowled, no attempt made to conceal his confusion.
"Then we both rot here, pitted against the cruelty of time..."
"And all that you fought for, conquered and built will rot with you. Such shall your punishment, my vengeance be." The silence between them filled the tent.
"My son..."
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>>81772219
"It is too late for bargaining now. Our hands have been dealt and played; there will be no winners in this game you set for us."
"So be it. I will spend the rest of my days satisfied to be the last of my line, the final king of a once noble house. You are pathetic. You could never have ruled." Aiden already knew his father's opinion of him, but his admission of it allowed hurt nonetheless.
"Entertain your son's curiosity; what was the plan should your trap fail? I know you too well to believe that was all you had arranged." The king smiled.
"You think I have admitted defeat? You think this is over?" He was bluffing. He had to be. Aiden's mind scrambled, trying to counter-plot, calculate what he would have had as his back up were he in his father's place. He searched through mental archives of all the tricks and magics his father had shone him throughout his life; and the ones he had watched in secret. He came up wanting.
"I concede and am satisfied to lose if it means watching you die. Whatever you have planned or had planned no longer matters. I have what I wanted." He smiled. "My hate is the dirt I'll bury you with from the grave I dig for myself." Across aeons they watched one another's slow inevitable death; rotting in the prison they had built in their own minds in their attempt to contain the emptiness they had clung to.
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>>81770792
"...Whats the wifi password?"
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>>81772945
"Go to hell, Bonnie... "
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