It’s been a long couple of weeks since I’ve last posted. I’ve found that it’s easier for me to take part in the Writing Challenge during the week and leave my weekends open for other activities. That said. I have just finished Day 16 of the Challenge and feel inspired to catch you all up on what has been happening for the past 11 days.
First off, the lists continued for a while after Day 5. However, I’ve started to really like the lists exercises and will most likely add it to my other techniques when it comes to worldbuilding. List exercises included Lists of Titles, List of Problems, eve a List of reading material that you want to read for either a writing project down the road or books that you’ve yet to read for fun. One of my favourite lists exercise was when we took one name from the List of Places and expanded that into a chart. In the chart there were Facts on one side and Opinions on the other. I will definitely be using that in the future!
From there on the next five days have all been Free Writes. Now… I’m not a fan of Free Writes. It’s a challenge staring at a blank page and figuring out what to write. My first day was horrendous and turned out to be more of a journal entry than anything creative. I ended up just writing down my thoughts in my head as I typed. But… I will admit as the week went on I started get a better grasp on it. I started focusing my mind on a scene, or phrase to start me rolling. From there I just wrote what came to me in the time. I had nothing planned, nothing outlined, just a vague idea of a scene and started typing. It helped, though I’m not sure if that’s how Free Writes are supposed to work?
Starting off for this week, we are finally getting a start or a focus to these Free Writes. For today it was three words that we had to start with. A jumping off point, so to speak. It worked out better than I thought and was a bit happier knowing that we had at least something to focus our creativity on. Maybe I’m just one of those people that need a topic or some sort of plan before I start to write. Still, it’s great working outside my comfort zone and thinking back on how it made my feel.
I look forward to more of the challenges with Tim Clare’s 100 Day Writing Challenge. If you want to join in. His podcast can be found pretty much anywhere. I’m using Apple Podcasts, but I’m sure you can find him anywhere. His website is here: http://www.timclarepoet.co.uk
As with my last post. I’m going to share with you some of the Lists and Free Writes that I’ve done. Please keep in mind, Free Writes are meant to be a move forward without looking back exercises. So, forgive me for the errors and the wild tangents.
Day 7: List of Problems a person might face
Lost a precious sword
Evicted from their apartment
Lost job due to negligence
Lost a bounty
Sold the wrong medicine
Unable to do magic in a magical world
Worried about not living up to parents expectations
Unable to pay your bar tab
Lost money on stock exchange
Having no peer support/or friends to lean on for help
Crashing onto a isolated planet
Limited oxygen supply on a space station
Limited food supply on an alien colony
Convincing others you are good at something when you’re not
Being a klutz whenever you try to do the right thing
Unable to remember your past/memories
Unable to fill contract with client
Drinking too much to be useful on a quest
Your tinker robot just became possessed by a ghost
Finding the ring that would usher in a new King and Era
Becoming lost in the woods
Leading an investigation with no experience
Proving to others your own worth when you are new in town
Making a fool of yourself in public and bringing down your reputation
Killing the dragon when you should have killed the wizard
Destroying a government under false information/promises
Being the cause of the downfall of your town without meaning to
Worrying about surviving the wastes land in the post-apocalyptic world
Afraid your sibling is getting in way over their head
Afraid your sibling/friend is being tricked by a pretty face
Being pitted against your best friend by the new kid
Not smart enough to solve the puzzle in the dungeon to save everyone
Worried what others thing if you tell them you see ghosts
Afraid of being an outcast if you tell the truth
Provoking the dragon when your too weak to defeat it
Overconfident in your skills causing ruin and loss of reputation
Getting an order wrong and facing the backlash from the customer
Day 12: Free Write
Darkness surrounded the two. The trees shot up like iron bars, narrow in areas and wider in others, but all the time committing to the idea of being caged in by the wilderness around them. They called out their friends names, those who have already gotten separated from them in the run. An owl replied. A scattering of wind against leaves, the rustling of crunched leaves as they walked across the decaying floor.
“Where could they have gotten to?”
“Shouldn’t be far… the river was right over… here”
The two turned to where they remember gathering water for their campsite just hours ago when the last rays of light touched the tips of the forest trees. It seemed like ages ago now. The two hurried towards the river but they never came upon it. The turned left, ran, turn right, ran, but the river seemed to have disappeared.
“This isn’t possible.”
“It’s not natural.”
“Do you think those legends are true?”
“The Forest of Lost Souls?”
“It can’t be… but…”
A howl of a wolf echoed around them. The two froze and stood back to back as they scanned the area, afraid that there were indeed more frightening things in these woods than just urban legend and fury little animals.
“We should go back”
“Not without our friends.”
“They’re lost… we might still have a chance to reach the cars… the road… that small town we passed through.”
“Or, the woods are playing tricks on us and we’ll become one of those legend stories if we don’t think of something more practical, real quick.”
The one girl held her breath. She was always the nervous type, hanging back from he rest of her friends, observing instead of joining in on the fun, the parities, the conversations. But, she had a secret up her sleeve, a secret that she hoped never to tell to her friends. She grabbed her friend’s hand and pulled her further into the forest while muttering incantations and old speak that the world of this age has forgotten.
As she feared these woods weren’t normal. It was why she was insistent to accompany her friends, even though they told her she wouldn’t like the experience. She came because she knew of these woods, the real truth. The urban legends, the mysterious, the missing people, they hinted at the truth, but time and stories gave way to myth and legend. These wood were home to spirits, to the little people, the fairies. They liked to toy and play with those who entered too far into these woods. They took what they wanted and left no trace of those who ventured in. Besides those tricky bastards, there were other supernatural creatures that roamed these trees. Things less likely to be as considerate as the Fairies.
She made sure to make the proper wards and peaceful with the fairies when they arrived at their campsite. She left out sweet milk with honey in a bowl not far into the woods. She strung makeshift wooden symbols near the trees to let the creatures now they were not here to harm their home, or be disrespectful.
Day 16: My darling, I…
My Darling, I apologize for the awful behaviour you found me in the previous night. I am here, writing this letter in hopes of giving you context for the blatant scene of disrespect that caught so many eye witnesses.
First off, please remember that I only love you. At first glance it seems the world might have shifted off balance, but I assure you that appearances are not as they seem. I love you darling, forever and ever.
Secondly, It was my mistake to leave the party as I did. I was angry, upset. You sister confided in me that you were off to Asia the following week. You must understand how that made me feel. I thought we were to spend the rest of our lives together… and to hear that you may leave the country at such short notice without notifying me or telling me of these plans. I feared that perhaps you did not find my company pleasing. That the love I thought we shared would be broken. I grew upset… that is why I threw the drink in your face later that evening. Please don’t be upset with your sister, I’m sure she had no idea that you have not told me your thoughts and plans for this trip to Asia. If anything she might have tried to prepare me for whatever it was you wanted to discuss privately. I, on the other hand, was quick to judge and for that I truly apologize for the agony and scene I caused.
As for the way you found me the way you did. Please be aware that it happened in full innocence. After throwing the drink in your face, I had to get some air, so I live the party and traveled down a side path. I forgot how close the Wetherting’s place is to the local pub. I was thinking of us, of you when it happened, and completely unawares of where I was going. That is where the three men appeared. Right out of the shadows. I realized my mistake and tried to turn back but they caught my arm. I can only imagine the horridness of their thoughts when they saw me. A young lady dressed with diamonds, alone on a path. If they only wanted the diamonds I’d given it to them. But by the smell of alcohol on their breath, I feared the worse and tried to fight fight back.
It seemed I inherited my father’s strong punch. I don’t remember much of what happened after that. But I do remember feeling the poor man’s face against my closed fist when it made contact. That seemed to only rile them up even more. All I ddid was defend my honour. They must have been more drunk than I thought, for they seemed to go down and stay down once they hit the ground. By then I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t think straight, and my legs could barely hold me. That is when Captain Harink arrived to catch me before I fell. At first I thought it was he who took out the drunk men, but I saw the bruises on my knuckles and knew it was me indeed.
Of course you know the rest. That is when you and so many from nearby who heard the men came to investigate. I swear to you my darling, that Captain Harink means nothing to me. The man is old, weathered and strange. I was just as alarmed and confused when…