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Forums -> Welcome -> Writer's thread

Writer's thread
By:
Post # 1
Used to write short stories, etc....

? Criticism is a part of life, and is a part of the forum - you must learn to take it on the chin. That being said, all criticism posted throughout the forum should be of a constructive nature - don't just bash someone elses work - instead, give a civilised reply about what is wrong with the piece, and offer help and advice on how the piece could be improved.

? Imagine working for hours on a piece. Now imagine posting it. Now, imagine nobody replying to your topic - no feedback whatsoever. It isn't nice to have all of your work go unnoticed, is it? The moral of this little story is - be an active member of the writing community! If you see a piece someone has worked on, read it, and reply. Leave your opinion, discuss the piece - don't leave it to other people to give feedback. Get involved!

? Write properly! Sure, scripts may be easy to write and skim through, but nobody wants to read a bunch of pointless dialogue. Unless you truly are writing a screenplay, don't write your story out in dialogue - structure it correctly and use good description throughout the narrative.

? Think your story through. Does it have a plot? Is it actually going somewhere? Sure, you can ramble on for 50 chapters about random things, but to entertain the reader you must develop a plot that is interesting to follow. Make the reader WANT to be reading on, and finding out what happens next.

General Guidelines

I. Paragraph Form

Paragraph form is the most attractive style of writing, and will definitely leave a good first impression. Script style writing is overused and will not leave a good first impression. If you DO use script style, you should have a lot of good description.

Good impression:

QUOTE
?You have any extra bullets?? Fred asked another soldier, and gulped, trying to steady his breath. He looked across the whole field that soldiers littered, whether running, dying, or dead.

The soldier Fred addressed replied to his question with regret, ?Sorry, bud, I only have a few bullets myself.? Fred cursed vilely under his breath. ?Alright, listen,? the soldier had the superiority in the group, ?we?ll all spread out and close in the best we can. This will be the last time, so bring as many with you. Anyone volunteer to be the decoy??

No one spoke a word or did an advancing movement. Everyone sat quietly, sweating, dirty, watching the sergeant. He sighed helplessly. ?Private Sousa, you will be the decoy. Come around and run as fast as you can in front of that MG. Run like the devil himself is chasing you, got it??

Sousa was silent for a moment. He finally spoke in a mumble, ?you got it, sarge.? A trembling, dirty hand reached for his chest and grasped a gold picture holder. He opened it and kissed the picture inside: a beautiful woman.


Bad impression:

QUOTE
Fred - You have any extra bullets?

Soldier - Sorry, bud, I only have a few bullets myself. Alright listen, we?ll all spread out and close in the best we can. This will be the last time, so bring as many with you. Anyone volunteer to be the decoy?

Nobody spoke; they only sat, watching him. He sighs.

Soldier - Private Sousa, you will be the decoy. Come around and run as fast as you can in front of that MG. Run like the devil himself is chasing you, got it?

Sousa was quiet. He spoke again.

Sousa - You got it, sarge.

He grabbed a pendant on his neck and kissed the beautiful woman inside.


Not only did the second one lack detail, but it left you confused and unaware of the tone of which the person spoke. In the first, you can determine that Sousa is reluctant, but in the second, you cannot decipher whether he is determined, reluctant, afraid, or happy. All you know is what he said.

II. Description

Nothing will soil a story worse than no description. If a man is isolated in a room, describe it! Is it clean or dirty, colorful or colorless, eerie or joyful?

Good example:

QUOTE
A bitter chill hovered in the air; the invisible mist of death, breathing softly. The room was a dim box. A lone lamp sat upon a rotting table in the corner, its power strong enough only to display the passing dust particles floating within its ray of vision. They danced like glowing orbs in the light?s beam.

A bed sat next to the table; its sheet drooped slightly off the side. It was softly coiled around a pale body, slumped on the bed; her left arm protruding over the edge limply. Her eyes remained open, as did her mouth: an eternal expression of ultimate fear and surprise. Her features were pallid and wax-like ? a lonely corpse gasping for air.

It didn?t take him long. She didn?t see it coming. She had satisfied her purpose, and after returning from a short journey to the bathroom, his hands grasped her neck firmly. Her struggles came to no avail; it was too late. Life escaped her.

A flash lit up the room. Outside, a car rolled to a slow halt. Its headlights pierced through the blinds, ghostly silhouettes spawning on the walls. Marcus awoke from his trance. The engine hissed loudly outside, the mechanism spitting noise out demonically. The sound vanished. The lights went out.


Bad example:

QUOTE
A body occupied a bed, eyes and mouth open, she looked scared. He killed her quickly, by the element of surprise. She struggled, he was strangling her. Soon after, she went limp and stopped struggling, dead. Car lights hit the room, waking Marcus up. The car stopped.


The first is very detailed and paints a very vivid image in the reader's mind. The second one, not so much.

III. Grammar

I cannot stress enough how horrifying a story with improper grammar can be to read. Have Microsoft Word? Use it! Have Mozilla Firefox? Use it! Basically, find spell check. If it is impossible to do so, send it to me or Eminence, and we will help you out, by fixing grammatical errors. That is how much I despise grammatical errors.

IV. Pointers

- read other pieces
- be original
- write properly i.e. use narrative not just dialogue
- develop a plot

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Re: Writer
By:
Post # 2
Short Story Competition of the month:

- A competition which we will decide what will be the best short story of the month...

- Each of us will have to vote for only ONE story.

- Everyone can participate...



April 2009

Welcome to the April edition of the Short Story of the Month Competition.Without further ado, onwards we go. Best of luck to everyone!

The Theme
Post-Apocalyptic Era

The Rules

- Stories should be 'short', which is open to your own interpretation; just remember, people here have to read them, so length is only an issue as far as readability goes! The guideline would be between 1000 and 2000 words, although anything shorter or perhaps even longer is acceptable.
- Once completed, pieces must be both posted in Writers' thread and PMed to me with a link to the piece for reference.
- Pieces must be submitted by the 24th of April in order for
voting to take place.

Footnotes

- Due date on pieces this month, I repeat, is the 24th of April, which leaves us the customary seven days of voting.
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Re: Writer
By:
Post # 3
Sin will find you

Your sight is blurry and your conscious is dazed. All you remember lastly is being throttled by a menacing thump to the back. Groggy, just for a second, and then you hear a loud, lingering gunshot penetrating the seemed tranquility in the night air. Now you know what??s been happening without a second??s thought, as you glare deeply at the muddy, toxic sky; you remember that the clouds were replaced by polluting factory smoke stacks very long ago.

Rushed by adrenaline and the paranoia of something adrift, you get off the dirt ground and stand firm -- though rather slowly. You take a look around your surroundings; you??re seemingly alone on a dry plain of dirt, where you quickly notice an assault rifle left notably on the ground near your feet. Taking a magazine clip from one of the pockets of your dirtied, brown boiler suit, you pick up the gun and replace the empty magazine. Gripping the heavy firearm you set your eyes on a short alley and you make your way there.

You arrive, brushing past a once smouldering cargo van when you hear a swiftly made sound. You plant your back against the lopsided car and peek your head out just for a second; no one or anything, except the horrid debris littered on the ground and a landscape view of dirty flat land setting against the horizon. You begin to move, before you cock your ears to hear a gun making a CLICK sound. That??s not yours. Before you can do anything, a woman has a loaded handgun against the back of your messy head and demands calmly and coldly: ?? Do not move. Drop your weapon onto the floor, slowly. Now.??

You??re pitted between slithering, skeptical requests and your vicious, foggy instincts. One move against her could end your life, yet on the other hand, you??ve been trained well in military combat and learned the ways of retracting someone who wields a weapon against you. You could only regain some memory about what??s been happening; it is a bit vague, and for all you know she could be a lead in what you want to know. You take her down now and you??ll be scampering along a dirt road endlessly searching for clues. After more thinking you oblige, slowly crouching and placing the rifle on the floor, just like she asked.

She smirks, although you do not see this as you keep a calm demeanor. She moves you away and picks up the assault rifle before slinging it over her shoulder, a gun still pointed at your head. In the following moments the woman orders you to tag along with her, traveling along ditches, deforested land, dry lakes, buildings in rubble, and war-ridden trenches. You notice along the way, shifting you eyes away from the straight direction, that the woman is in a sand-ridden Battle Dress Uniform. Her face is up to a dirty yellow pale and her hair is messy, frizzy, and coiled up in filth.

You try to recount what has been happening, as your memory is still a feathery glimmer. Your attempt to capture why the world around you is in such a state is stopped as you are finally escorted to a dilapidated, crumbling, dull church structure -- half of the building in collective ruins. You??re taken gradually to the interior, a wide open sanctuary with nothing but church pews aligned in stable condition. Pitch black, the only lighting possible were the stain glass windows still intact and the wax candles lit dimly around the church.

After you take a gaze around the church sanctuary, the enforcing woman walks and leads you up near the front end of the nave and stopping in place in front of the chancel. Silence ushers as the taciturn female in uniform shuts her eyes and bows down on one knee. You stand firm, calm and collected; dogmatic and curious as to what was to be behold. Lighting from the candles sanctions just a bit more visibility, as you squint toward a large man behind an altar in a full body torn robe, his head and face blanketed by a heavy hood. His voice is deep, stark, and ominous.

??What have you brought now, clergy?"boomed the robed man.

The crouching woman stayed in place and answered, ??A person who can help us, father.??

??And you are sure???
She nodded in reassuring agreement.

You??re struck with bewilderment. ??What is this??? You ask yourself. You constantly look into your head searching for an answer or a clue that will get you there, but nothing is making sense.
-----

If you decide to stay and learn what's going on, go to 7.

If you decide to escape, go to 5.



----
5. But now you have the chance to run as the only armed single in the room is idle to her worshiping. You twist around and dash out the church, running as fast you can from the mysterious people behind. Sweat pumping from your forehead, you could only wish that you could escape all that you have seen, right from your groggy awakening. Suddenly you remember the chemical and nuclear catastrophe that plagued the planet and plundered it to an apocalypse. Civilization was well, even after that horrible event. But the warfare couldn??t stop and social control and laws were broken and destroyed as we know it. In your rush of remembrance, you forgot to keep a clear direction of where you??re going, and your foot slips off a rocky ledge. You plunge into a black abysmal and meet a timely death.



7. The man in the robe passes over a silent moment and declares these words: ??Very good. Take him to the voluntary grounds.?? Suddenly you are scooped off your feet by your arms, by two bulky man in identical dark robes, carrying you forcefully and strongly, and you immediately try to break yourself from their grasp but the grip is far too strong for you to overcome. You strain, grunt, and yell as you are handled to a praying room, and left on the floor, your hands and feet bound by twine.

You quickly scurry and shift your body as you make an attempt to get yourself to your feet. Falling back down as you try, you land harshly on a cold, hard substance. It feels solid and powerful enough to break one of your bones. As the moment passes by you realize you are met with a cannibalistic human, and that the substance you fell on were the bones and particles of past sacrifices, lastly humans brought in for an occult reason. After the initial shockwave of the Apocalypse, the aftermath left many life on Earth endangered. Wars soon broke out by the remaining, disfigured people and the last few scraps of humans were captured by a cult religion and given as a sacrifice. You??re just one of ??em.

Well this is my short story of the month of April...

I think that this thread isn't going to be famous...

However, I would like members to put a little effort to post a story please...

Thank you.
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Re: Writer
By:
Post # 4
SHORT STORY
OF THE MONTH
COMPETITION


May 2009
Welcome to the May edition of the Short Story of the Month Competition. New month, new theme, awesome room for magnificent stories. Recently we've had a dip in entries and voting, so don't forget to take part and make your vote count for this month! Without further ado, onwards we go. Best of luck to everyone!

The Theme
Impulse-Control

The Rules
- Stories should be "short", which is open to your own interpretation; just remember, people here have to read them, so length is only an issue as far as readability goes! The guideline would be between 1000 and 2000 words, although anything shorter or perhaps even longer is acceptable.
- Once completed, pieces must be both posted in Writers' thread and PMed to me with a link to the piece for reference.
- Pieces must be submitted by the 25th of May in order for voting to take place.
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