The Writers Corner

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The Writers Corner

Postby Ash » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:04 pm

Hello and welcome to the thread where we get to show all those world famous writers out there why they are published and we are not, wait that didn't come out right. Lets try again, welcome to the writers corner where we desperately attempt to get noticed by publishes and... no no still not right. This is the part of the Terry Pratchett forum where we can place our own short stories (best to keep it to about 1000 words I think) and talk about how to get published and give each other advice. In the interests of everyone who doesn't recognise the obvious genius of authors and the hard work they have put into their writing who post on here. Lets avoid posting any negative comments on this thread and PM any constructive comments which you want to make to the author. Positive ego inflating comments however are more than welcome.
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Re: The Writers Corner

Postby michelanCello » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:04 pm

Like the idea of the thread :D I always love reading the short stories you guys write in the Pooh competition :D
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Re: The Writers Corner

Postby Batty » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:41 pm

I quite like the idea of short stories. I once nearly entered a ghost writing competition, and wrote a story just to see if I could. Once I'd finished composing it, though, I couldn't be bothered to enter it!

It is slightly over 1000 words, and I don't need any feed-back, or anything, as I won't be entering it for anything.

A Ghost Story

The girl lay still, hardly daring to breathe.

She had pulled the bed sheet up to her eyes and held it there, her hands locked in position. Her large brown eyes peered out and scanned the room, waiting.
Waiting

The temperature in the room started to cool, and she knew that when it became icy then it would happen again.

It had happened 3 nights in a row, now. It had started with a gentle knocking on her door. At first, she thought that she had imagined it, as she had been sound asleep, and yet the air was so very cold that she had awoken to see her own breath flowing from her mouth.
That hadn’t been the worst, though. She had lain in total silence, her ears straining to hear. Had there been a knocking on her door? Had she dreamt it?

She found the answer the next night. Once again the icy air seemed to electrify the room. Once again the gentle knocking, whilst she lay there with her eyes fixed on her door, trying not to blink lest something enter unseen.
She had held her breath in case her very breathing announced to her ‘visitor’ that she was awake, and available. There was a brief pause when the knocks had ceased, and whereas the previous night her ordeal had ended, this time she had heard the door handle turning.
She had heard the door open and the soft footsteps enter the room. Her ears told her exactly what had happened, and yet her eyes told her brain that nothing was there – no door opening and no one walking softly across the floor, towards her.
She had sobbed, softly, until she had finally – gratefully – fallen asleep and awoken to sunlight streaming through the high small window in her room.

Then last night had happened. She shivered at the memory. She had locked her door, but a part of her knew that spirits could walk through doors.
Once again the knocking, the handle being turned, the soft footsteps – but then, but then – the weight of something – somebody – a male – sitting on the edge of her bed.

She had known it was male, from the weight of the non-existent body on the mattress. She had screwed up her eyes and prayed like never before. Soundlessly mouthing the words that would deliver her from Evil.
God must have heard her, for the weight lessened and the end of the mattress returned to its original position.

Now she was waiting to be tormented again. She had told her Mother long ago that she feared the house and had begged her to move. Although her Mother had initially been horrified and shocked at her distress, her horror was short-lived, as the girl had explained that she did not know what she feared, only that she feared.
Her Mother had laughed, actually laughed at her! ‘Too much TV my girl! If it happens again then I’ll send you to bed even earlier!’ The girl’s only defence had been to lock her door, and to place her chair underneath and against the door handle.
Her bedroom had then become her refuge from anything that worried or scared her, and she would seek out the safety of its sanctuary, comforted by the security she felt as her furniture fortified the door against her fears.

So now she lay there clutching the bed sheet. She could hear the clock, and although it could barely be heard in the daytime, it now exaggerated its ticking as if in a concert hall. The ‘ticks’ became ‘tocks’ with predictable precision, counting down to … what? The relief and welcoming safety of the morning yet to come? The impending terror that would - could – befall her?
She had done her best. She had propped the chair and her suitcase behind the door and locked him out.
She tried to stay awake. She tried not to blink, but eventually her eyes became heavy and try as she might she could not remain alert. She only realised that she had closed her eyes when the coldness in the room enveloped her and she gasped upon awakening.
She pulled the bed sheet up over her head and held it in place. ‘Please God’ she pleaded, ‘Please make him go away. Please make him go away. Please make him …’ Over and over she repeated her mantra, using her prayer, her only weapon, as a shield against her terror.
She strained to listen to the room above the rush of blood pounding in her ears from her racing heartbeat. ‘Please God,’ … the gentle knocking began. ‘I’ll be good, I promise,’ she whispered, ‘Please God, I’ll be good…’
Her prayer became more hurried – more frantic – as she heard the handle turn and the door open. She screwed her eyes closed, and half listening to the room, she tried to lose her thoughts in her prayers.
The soft footsteps came close to her bed, and she waited for the mattress to give under the wait of her visitor.
She hoped upon hope that it – he – would once more stay at the end of the bed, but just as she thought that she could take no more, she felt the tug on the bed sheet that she held so tightly over her head.
She hardened her grip and refused to let go. ‘PLEASE God! PLEASE God!’ …

She felt the weight descend on the mattress. ‘Thank you!’ She gasped her relief - the bottom of the bed! –- It was at the bottom of the bed! – And relief flooded through her. She kicked out her legs from underneath the sheet. The heavy weight shifted and lifted as the room became quiet, apart from the clock, the interminable ceaseless ticking of the clock, that still filled the room.

The girl slowly lowered the sheet from her head, as she held her breath.
She cried out loud. ‘The Air!’ The air was so cold, so very cold!

She could feel him looking at her – Looking down on her. She saw his outline and heard him speak. Not out loud – as that would have been too ‘normal’, and this was not a ‘normal’ situation.
No. She heard his words in her head. They filled her thoughts and through her sobs she heard his words.

‘You are Blessed, Little One. Your parents are waiting for you to join them. You perished in a fire many years ago when you barricaded yourself in this room. Now it is time that you leave and rejoin your family.
Take my hand, and let us pass through the doorway.’
Going to my school was an education in itself. Which is not to be confused with actually getting an education (Schultz)
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Re: The Writers Corner

Postby raptornx01 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:28 pm

I had posted this in another thread, but since you mean for this to be a general thread about writing i thought it was worth while to add it here.

Steve Alten, the author of the Meg book series, and a member of the Adopt-An-Author program, wrote up a brief article about writing his first novel and trying to get it published as a learning tool for new authors

http://www.stevealten.com/writingtips.htm

its worth reading.
"The reason an author needs to know the rules of grammar isn't so he or she never breaks them, but so the author knows how to break them."
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Re: The Writers Corner

Postby michelanCello » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:54 pm

Love that, Batty! :clap:
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A Winters Afternoon

Postby stripy_tie » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:48 am

Maisie wandered through the wood kicking last autumn's leaves and cracking the twigs that littered the ground; it was a fine winters day and the weatherman in his too tight suit had talked about rain later on so she had decided to take the opportunity while it was available. Soon enough she came to her favourite bit. The place where the oldest trees grew.

She often thought that trees were a lot like people, as they got older everything about them became exaggerated. The kind trees got kinder and even more friendly; their big thick branches and dense leaves provided shade and good places to climb. Equally so though the bad trees got nastier, their trunks became chocked with brambles and the tops were full of rotten branches that although they might look fine at first were to be treated with a deep and vigilant mistrust.

Happily picking her way through this dense corner of the park Maisie began to hum the first line to "Teddy Bears' Picnic" "If you go down to the woods today, You're sure of a big surprise" it had been her mothers' favourite song to sing to Maisie as a baby and Maisie loved it too but for very different reasons.

It had always sounded wonderfully sinister to her and the thought of a great and secret gathering of bears with huge teeth and bloodstained fur excited her greatly. The fact that this interpretation simply unnerved her mother was vaguely disappointing; much like the lack of bears in England.

The tune carried her along and soon enough she had arrived at the oldest and strangest bit of the oldest and strangest part of the wood. It was a witch's cottage.

Or at least they said it was, Maisie wasn't even sure who "they" were but it was an excellent place even if a witch hadn't lived there. The old stone and mortar walls were cracked and falling apart; the roof had opened up to the sky many years ago . She suspected that half the reason it was even still standing was the thick stems of ivy that rambled up and across the moss coated walls and bound them together far better than any cement could have.

Maisie ducked under the tiny doorway -wondering if witches were shorter than ordinary people- and strolled around the inside paying special attention to the interesting bits like the fireplace with it's litter of broken eggshells. Finally she looked through the hole in the wall that had presumably served as a window and gazed out onto a gently babbling stream. There was a supermarket trolley in it.

That night she dreamed of tiny witches and trees with the faces of old people. The rain never came.
It's all about the sun master, white snow and red blood and the sun. Always has been.
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Re: The Writers Corner

Postby Batty » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:25 am

I enjoyed that, stripey! Very evocative! I could picture the whole story. :clap:
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Re: The Writers Corner

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:54 am

:clap: Great stuff chaps - I kept meaning to post reaction in here before now but something always seemed to be happening or about to and I never got to it before now :oops:

To make up for it here's a short story I did as some 'spin-off' fanfic when I hadn't done any creative writing for far too long. It's Middle Earth universe based but v. little to do with LotR except to tie in with my RP character's background as her daddy is the central character... :P

The Sea Horse

*The bard sits herself down near the hearth and begins to spin her tale to the others at the Inn*

Northwards of Dol Amroth is a broad, long strand of golden sand that stretches over its south-facing shoreline many, many miles into the deep blue Western Ocean. The people call it Longstrand in the Westron tongue – in Sindarin it is Anfalas. The climate is mild there and, in the summer months so warm and sunny that many from the city and castle take to fishing for the great shoals of sea trout that return to spawn in the River Ringló. Some people stay in wooden huts of varying comfort in the hills above the strand for weeks on end, as life is so pleasant and others follow the sea trout upstream to harvest their roe, which is a great delicacy once it is smoked and fetches a high price in the markets of Dol Amroth.

In my story, there were two youths, not quite men yet, and their names were Erl and Imrahil. They were cousins and both bold, adventurous boys of the most noble birth, with the dark hair and sea-grey eyes of the high-born folk of Westernesse. When they were very young they had both been taught how to sail the small sleek gliders – a slim boat around ten feet long with a high rib from stem to stern, a tall single mast and large triangular sail which was weighted with a span of wood called a boom that spun around the mast depending on the direction of the wind.

On this day, Erl and Imrahil, decided to go sailing in their glider, The Princess, taking care not go too far out to sea as the currents there could be treacherous. At first all was well and the wind took them scudding across the waves faster than a gull can fly. They did not intend to stray too far from the shoreline, but after they had been out for an hour, what seemed to be a light mist surrounded them. For a while they could still see the shore, so all they had to do was hold the course they were taking. So, when the mist got thicker and the beach gradually disappeared, they held their tiller steady, still unafraid until suddenly they were aware that their craft was travelling much faster.

Try as they might they could not turn the little boat to the starboard to hug the coast. The current held them for several minutes longer, but then, as suddenly as it had begun, it released them into clear sunshine once more and their small vessel slowed. Looking around them, the lads saw to their relief that they were in a beautiful sheltered bay they had never seen before. Realising they had come much further then they had intended, they decided they would head in towards the shore and then follow the coastline back to their summer home.

As they turned shorewards they saw some horkas* leaping in and out of the water not far from their boat. They smiled at each other as these small blue-grey dolphins were thought to be lucky creatures. The wind was getting strong again, and, as they did not want to be blown back into the current again they decided to take the sail down. Regrettably Erl, who had not often seen horkas, and could not resist looking at their agile jumps, did not concentrate enough on the task in hand. A strong gust suddenly snatched the sail and boom, which Imrahil was trying to tie down, and swung it sharply in Erl's direction. He had turned away again and did not realise his peril, despite Imrahil's loud cry of dismay, as the boom hit him squarely in the shoulder and sent him flying through the air and into deep water.

He fell with a great shout and splash. There was a strong undertow and he was dragged irresistibly underwater back out towards the main current. Had the blow been to his head there is little doubt that he would have drowned. As it was, he was fighting for air as he finally surfaced almost back where they had arrived, far from The Princess and still being pulled away out to sea. Erl was a good swimmer and struck out for the little boat, but his shoulder ached horribly and the current was far too strong for him.

He could see but not hear Imrahil, yelling at him, ashen-faced, and desperately trying to reset the sail to follow him. Seawater was filling his nose and mouth and he was pulled underwater once more. He could hear a hollow clanging sound and suddenly felt something swim between his legs. Instinctively he tried to grasp hold of the object, which he suddenly realised was a horka's head and beak. The creature, supple and smooth as wet leather to the touch, seemed to understand his distress, and positioning itself beside him, nudged him none too gently until he took hold of its high dorsal fin. The animal immediately surged off in the direction of The Princess, Erl clinging frantically to the rigid fin. It took him a while to realise how powerful the fish was. It almost felt like he was riding a horse as the horka flexed itself in an up and down rhythm through the waves and through the hazy pain he gradually realised the creature had actually pulled him out of the current and was taking him back towards The Princess.

As the little dolphin, barely as long as Erl was tall, neared the small boat it began to slow. Imrahil, seeing what had happened, had stopped struggling with the sail and was reaching out toward him. The horka's beaky mouth was almost touching the hull of The Princess as Imrahil, leaning over, grasped Erl's lower arm with both hands. Erl almost reluctantly let go of the slick, warm fin and clasped one of Imrahil's arms firmly as the little creature rose beneath him, boosting him out of the water.

"He's smart!" Erl shouted, teeth chattering, as Imrahil hauled him into the boat.
"Just as well he is!" Imrahil yelled angrily back at him. "Why didn't you watch what you were doing!" then he clutched Erl to him fiercely and burst into tears. "I thought you would drown." he sobbed.
They were both crying with relief now. The horka was chittering at them, head bobbing a few yards away from the prow now, it's long beaky mouth almost smiling at them. They both turned and watched laughing, as the horka made one huge leap into the air, twisting away from them as it hit the water and swam furiously back to it's family, who were still playing their leaping games off in the distance.

"That fish just saved your life!" Imrahil's voice was filled with wonder.
"It let me ride on its back!" Erl spluttered, shivering violently. "It's not a fish! It's a sea horse!"


*The horka is my own made up term for the local name of a harbour porpoise, which of course is a mammal, not a fish.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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