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The Writing Thread

posted by DAISHI on - last edited - Viewed by 5K users
Herein lies the Writing Thread! Usually I just post something brief and then allow the participants to engage one another, unshackled by rules like a meeting of Tea Partiers in a debate with Muslims.

However! I propose the following rules to the writing thread, and what this thread should be about.

1.) This thread should obviously be about your own writing.

Your post should be about one of the following things.
2.) A pitch. A story you're thinking about writing, ideas you're tossing around to solicit for feedback.

3.) Brief poetry can be posted in full. Just don't make your poetry a full length story.

4.) A short story you've written that you would like to post, in part. Since a short story can run 2000 to 5000 words, do not post in full. You may post sensible length excerpts, preceded by synopsis of that portion of the story for context.

5.) A long story or novel you've written that you'd like to post, in part. Since a novel can run from 80000 words to 120000 words or more, do not post in full. You may post a sensible length excerpt, preceded by synopsis of that portion of the story for context.

Things to avoid.
Don't get in a hissy fit about criticism. It's the only way to grow as a writer.

Don't just criticize to criticize. In other words, don't be a Debby Downer. List what you think a writer did well, in addition to criticism. Tone means a lot. Don't be overly negative in the tone of your criticism.
179 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Haggis;800523 said:
    I don't know how this turned from a writing thread into a reading thread, but here's my library, neatly divided into categories:
    "No books found in this collection." it says to me. Maybe it doesn't like my computer, or maybe you haven't flipped some switch that makes it public.

    Real books don't have that problem. ;)
  • Noname215;800594 said:
    Don’t those things go hand in hand? Reading and writing, I mean.
    Yes, yes, they do.
    WarpSpeed;800596 said:
    "No books found in this collection." it says to me. Maybe it doesn't like my computer, or maybe you haven't flipped some switch that makes it public.
    Grrr... stupid websites. There's actually a button (or there should be) somewhere near the top left, where you can select collections. But anyway, I'll just share a link to books I've read on Goodreads then:

    ...and I should take pictures of my bookshelves some time as well.
    Real books don't have that problem. ;)
    But they are real books! *splutter, splutter*
  • When I reread a physical book, I can always remember the last place I read it and what I was doing at the time (besides, you know, reading a book). It's like a tiny time capsule.

    Can't do that with an ebook.
  • Currently working on a small project, the WTHPL Project, or "Do What The Heck You Want Public License". Because I don't want to use explicits in my short story bundle.

    Anyway, here's the first part of my first story. It's all written in Markdown, and since I'm late, just pretend they're all tags and shit that work.
    #Last of Blood: Franco’s Crypt
    _This is a defictionalized version of Edward C. Howard’s (Eldritch Fairytales) short story, which first featured the Vampire’s Tome._

    It was three hours past midnight. The full moon was only just visible behind the thick clouds looming over the old cemetery. The smell of death was long gone, as no human has entered this forsaken place in a long time. Civilizations began to form big cities, and the dead would now be buried in cleaner places. This didn’t mean however that the old cemetery was abandoned.

    From out of her lonely crypt Bianca crawled out, slowly, softly, making sure nothing else was around. She smelled the air, trying to find any trace of life. It was faint, but still close enough. She quickly made her way to the edge of the cemetery, ever so silent, tracing the borders, until she could see it. It was a campfire, still burning even at this time. It seemed to be very far from where she was, but that wasn’t a problem for her. Even from this distance she could see that there were people, most likely bandits, and that they were all too drunk to notice her. This didn’t mean she could take her time, though.

    As she began to run towards the campfire, she changed her form into that of a wolf, to give her that extra speed. As she got closer, she changed back again. As she did, though, a thick mist covered the ground she was standing on, expanding, until the mist was thick enough to give her cover.

    Even softer now she approached her first victim, covering the mouth and nose, making him fall into a deeper sleep, then exposing the neck. She got closer, exposing her teeth, penetrating the skin, until the first drops of blood began coming out. At that point she pulled out, and quickly took a vial, filling it, until it was full. She took another vial, and again filled it. After that, she smeared a salve on the bite marks, covering it, rubbing it in, until nothing could be seen of the bite marks. She continued to do this to everyone, and by the end of her run, she already had sixteen vials of blood. As silently as she came, she left, back to the cemetery, back into her crypt.

    It wasn’t just a crypt though. It was the crypt of her father, a vampire hunter, who got killed the day she got turned, by her own hands. She didn’t even mean to do it. It was her own choice to get turned, and even after so many centuries she still believed in her cause. But she never meant to kill her own father. It was an act of self-defense, and even though her father was her first kill, she didn’t feed on him.

    She opened his tomb, where her father’s skeleton laid. She could still see where she had cut his head off, as a precaution, so that no other vampire could have the chance of turning him. She respected her father too much to let him become what he himself had hated.

    Becoming a vampire however did change her. Even though she still felt great sorrow about the loss of her father, she did feel her humanity slip away, slowly but surely. At first it was frightening. Would she completely lose herself, become nothing more than a beast or a monster? But with every kill she would make after her father’s she felt like this change was necessary. Vampires can’t live with a soul, at least not a human one. Vampires still had to sustain on blood, preferably human blood. In that regard her father was right. But they weren’t the blood-craving monsters her father made them out to be. Like most beings in the world, when a vampire feeds, it becomes more satiated, and it can easily go for a long stretch without food. In fact, a vampire doesn’t necessarily need to kill its victims to feed itself. But vampires never forget who they used to be. They still mourn the dead, they still care. Bianca still cared for her father, even after all these centuries. She also mourned for the many brothers and sisters in her coven that she lost to the humans.

    She closed her father’s tomb, then pressed a button that was hidden under the lid. This caused an entrance to appear underneath her father’s grave, which lead to her resting spot. She figured that eventually this place would be discovered if the city would expand here, but for now she would be safe. There was no use into worrying about that right now.

    From out of a coffin she pulled a book. It wasn’t an ordinary book, though. It was one of the few Vampire Tomes still left after the Great Purge. Most had been destroyed, others were hidden from humans. It became a rare and much sought after item. This one was hers though.

    She flipped through the pages, passing through various entries, most containing spells, but a few containing instructions, codes of honor, rules vampires were required to live by. There were even sections for various different vampire covens explaining each coven’s rule. Most new vampires who wanted to pick their coven were given a small sheet containing the characteristics of each group, and their moral standpoint. Despite that, though, all covens had to abide to certain rules, although these rules would periodically be reviewed by the heads of each coven. There were some rules they would never touch though, all of them being set for the safety of the entire vampire society.

    And then one had to break this rule.

    Despite their increased strength, vampires always would rely on blood for their powers, and it didn’t even matter what sort of blood, as long as it was blood. This didn’t mean however that you could kill everything and everybody on sight. No, vampires had to be careful. Even with increased strength, they would be no match to an angry mob, let alone skilled hunters. And this is where things went wrong. Rumor had it that one group of rogue vampires was responsible for the decimation of an entire village, completely sucking each person dry. What they couldn’t eat they assumedly stored in containment vats, to be consumed later. This was all based on assumption, but it was enough to start a full-out war between humans and vampires.

    She finally found it. It was a reflecting page, one that was called by many the mirrored page, because it would be the only reflecting surface a vampire could see its own reflection. But this wasn’t the only thing to reflect.

    Bianca had used the mirrored page several times before, like most vampires would. All it required was a bit of blood from the victim and a little bit of blood of themselves, and when both are fed to the mirrored page, it would allow one to experience the entire life of the victim up until the point the blood was taken. This was especially handy when trying to locate others.

    Bianca however had different plans. She first took a vial out of her satchel, then poured a bit of blood on the page. She then proceeded to cut her own hand with a knife she had and added the blood coming out of it. She did this for two reasons. First, she wanted to see if these people would be trusted enough, and if somebody would miss them would they ever disappear. She herself thought it was time to rebuild the coven.

    However, the main reason she did that was the same as why most vampires did it. Being a vampire for so long, losing your humanity in the process, it made them long for that time. Even though it’s the life of someone else they’re experiencing, they would still be seeing, hearing, even feeling what that other person did during his lifetime, if only for just a few seconds.

    In this case, though, it was mostly the latter, although if nobody would miss them, she could just feed on them right now. Getting rid of their corpses wouldn’t be too difficult, as they would still be near a cemetery, and besides, they could just be buried right where they would die, or perhaps their bodies could be disposed of by fire. She did think about keeping the small one as permanent food, by casting Eternal Bloodshed on her victim. She opted not to, though. Even though it would provide her with an endless supply of blood, if she wouldn’t feed on it for too long the victim would leave a bloody mess. Literally even, since the amount of pressure all that blood generating would cause would make the body explode.

  • Chapter One

    "Let us be quite clear about what Krypton was, and what it was not. Krypton was among the oldest of the planets, and its people counted among the first races to gain sentience. They, alongside others such as the Oans, sought to bring order to a disorganized universe, each in their own way. Each, in their own way, also reaped a different product. Though Kryptonians did not have the telepathic capacities of some other races, or the sheer physical brutality, the sum of their mental and physical abilities made them a force to be reckoned with. Beyond anything else, their capacity to adapt, to control the forces of the universe through science, placed them at the forefront of the ancestral races that sought to shape the order of the stars. Neither muscle nor telepathic power would stop the great ships of the Kryptonian fleet, and over thousands upon thousands of years, our people brought countless worlds under their influence, in the name of peace and progress. They did, what they thought, was best for the prosperity of lesser races."


    The great globe of the Daily Planet spun slowly, as it had for over a century, rotating on the great cogs that had been constructed in the early part of the 20th century. Light glittered off its golden surface, shining against the blue backdrop of the distant skies. At one point it had been the largest building in the city, though now it sat beneath the shadow of the truly mammoth LexCorp Tower that sat upon the other side of the block. LexCorp Tower had been constructed as the namesake of business mogul Lex Luthor following the death of his father. Hoping to get a fresh start, the entire company had been renamed from Luthor Corp to Lex Corp, the old tower sold off and the new one constructed on the profits of massive weapons contracts Lex had secured as the business had transitioned from public agriculture products to weapons development.

    Just after noon each day, as the sun began to descend into the west, the shadow of the LexCorp Tower would fall upon the Daily Planet, the usually cheery streets below filled with a sudden gloom, the light in the office windows vanishing as the sun disappeared. Inside, lamps would flick on, electric lights powered up as the staff continued about their daily business, undaunted by the change in their environment. It was the sort of thing they'd become used to doing. At one point owned by Lex, its investigated journalism stifled by his heavy handed ownership and desire to use the paper as his own mouthpiece, they'd suffered along until a temporary dip in LexCorp's fortunes had allowed for a power grab. Now owned by a nearly equally wealthy Bruce Wayne from Gotham City, the Daily Planet had once again been given free reign to pursue whatever leads they might have. It had been a welcome return to normalcy, both for staff that had worked there for years and those who'd only recently started their careers.

    Among the relatively new faces was Jimmy Olsen, an intern that was constantly stacked with the worst jobs in the building. He'd arrived a year before, a fresh face looking for a break at the world's most respected paper. He'd dreamed that he'd have an immediate impact, impressing the reporters and editors and earning his way to a paid spot on the staff. As it turned out, he'd spent the majority of his year grabbing coffee and making copies for the staff, and had only slowly been trusted to go out into the field with any of the reporters as they worked different investigations. Of course he was still unpaid, but the experience was amazing, and would hopefully look good on his resume.

    Most of his time was spent working with Mrs. Lois Lane-Kent, a star reporter for the planet who'd made a name for herself doing investigations into corrupt business practices of Luthor Corp in the small towns that were scattered outward from Metropolis, the most prominent of them being Smallville. By the time Jimmy arrived at the Planet, Lois had acquired quite a reputation as a thorn in Lex's side. Although the young billionaire had cleared his name by shuffling the bad business practices onto his deceased father, nobody at the paper thought he had clean hands in the issue. Since then, Lois had developed a near obsession with uncovering every new project Luthor had his hand in, and had at one point nearly drawn a lawsuit from her more aggressive articles.

    Nobody knew exactly why she was so invested in Luthor's downfall, though it was clear her investigations had pushed her career sky high. She'd spent some time in Smallville herself, sporadically over the years but enough to feel the pinch of Luthor Corp's tactics, and maybe that had driven her investigations. Lex himself had spent time at the Luthor vacation home that sat midway between Metropolis and Smallville, and had helped run the agricultural business for a short time. Still, their relationship was unclear, although obviously antagonistic. Jimmy didn't mind the risks she ran by constantly dogging Lex.Of all the reporters he worked with, she was his favorite. Lois was informative, witty and aggressive, willing to do anything to get her story.

    What they were doing today, though, he was in the dark about. Perry White, editor-in-chief at the Planet, had called in Lois and Clark. Clark Kent was another big name at the paper, not only because he was married to the internationally noted Lois Lane, but because his own investigate journalism was well respected. He kept a much lower profile, let Lois go after Lex and preferred to tackle other issues in the city, with a special knack for getting human interest stories. He didn't do the sort of journalism that got you on tv, but his stories were the sort that kept readers coming back to the Planet, let them know about political and social events and generally kept readers up to date on critical issues Metropolis was facing.

    All that said, the two did occasionally work together, and for the last half hour the pair had been preparing to go into meeting with Perry. Just a few seconds before the door to his office had slammed shut, and though you couldn't hear him, you could see his form stomping back and forth between the blurred glass windows that kept anyone from seeing clearly into the office. Jimmy, with a rare moment to do whatever he wanted, slinked away to the men's bathroom, slipping his phone out and immediately sent out a tweet.

    "Big case coming. I can smell it. #nextbigthing #journalismWHAT"

    Inside, Perry's large, meaty hands rested on the desk in front of him, his eyes moving between different reports that had been brought in this morning. "You know that officially, Lex isn't running the business anymore. You know that right?" he asked, his teeth biting into his jutting lip. "I mean, let's think about this. We're talking about a former business mogul that now has to worry about running the country. If anything came out that he had a hand in running LexCorp right now, it'd be a scandal. Conflict of interest, they'd say."

    Lois shook her head, pointing a pen toward Perry. "Exactly, especially with all the military contracts that Wayne Enterprises has been losing since Lex took office. Do you really think that Lex hasn't had a hand in that?"

    "Of course I think he could, Lois, but let's be realistic here. Wayne might be losing contracts, but LexCorp hasn't exactly been getting them, either."

    "So who has been? You're really going to stand there and tell me the two largest industrial and technology developers in the country are losing out on this many contracts, and to who? Small time upstarts? How are these businesses staying afloat while they're trying to undersell huge corporations LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises?"

    Clark leaned in, setting his paper tablet onto the desk. "Perry, I think that if we dig a little deeper, we'll find these small companies have some tie to LexCorp. If they do, this could be huge. This is a scandal waiting to happen."

    Perry White spun around, his large arms crossing in front of him as he stared out at the looming LexCorp Tower. "It's not enough just to tie these small companies to LexCorp. We'll have to show some tie to Lex himself. You know, they've got Marcus Tyson running things now, so he's the one running things at the company. Meanwhile, the DoD might be run by Lex's pick, Gene Hollister, but Hollister's got a long standing, good reputation in the military. He sailed through the nomination process in both the House and the Senate, so we've somehow got to tie all these guys together to prove Lex is still trying to pocket profits for his company. Again, I'm totally on board with the idea, but we've got to get the evidence."

    Lois tucked her pen into the breast pocket of her suit jacket. "I totally agree, that's why I'm saying we start small, try to show those companies have ties to LexCorp. From there we can dig up the evidence that Lex is swaying the approval process so that these dummy corporations are really run by him, and that he's unfairly trying to crunch Wayne's profits."

    White looked over his shoulder at his two star reporters. "Why squeeze Wayne, though?"

    "You mean beside Lex being Lex? Maybe because Wayne's one of the few people that can compete with him on cash terms."


    "And, don't forget, Wayne did try to get involved in the mayoral race in Gotham a while back. So he's not entirely opposed to getting involved with politics, especially since he's been pushing candidates in Congress that would be brave enough to go up against Lex's money. Easier to do that when Wayne is helping fund them."

    "Yeah, I see your point." Perry turned around, fingers squeezing at his forehead as he did so. "I just don't want to have to go through another lawsuit war with Lex, you two. I know Wayne bailed us out on that one but Lex was out for blood. If we'd been owned by anyone else, I'm not sure the Planet would still be standing."

    Lois smiled. "You know you still would have run with those stories, Perry. You don't know how to do anything else but go after the truth."

    "Yeah you're right, but that doesn't mean it isn't a pain in my ass sometimes." He heaved out a deep breath, eyes dropping to the reports on the desk once again. "Okay guys, I'm going to give you two some time away from your weekly duties to go after this, but I need regular updates. If we're not showing good progress, and soon, then we back out. I'm all for nailing Luthor to the post on this, but you don't go after the president of the United States without some hard evidence. Do you understand me?"

    "Boss," she replied, rolling her eyes, though her smile never left her lips. "When else haven't I given you the best?"

    "Yeah, yeah." His eyes moved over to Clark. "And you, Kent. Am I clear? Nothing left than hard proof. I know you like these stories about saving cats out of trees, but I've seen you do some hard hitting reporting, too. I want that out of you on this one."

    Clark adjusted his glasses and quickly grabbed the pad off the desk, fumbling out of his seat as he moved toward the door, Lois close behind him. "You know it, boss," he said as his foot tripped the leg of his chair, the entire seat collapsing to the ground.

    "Jesus, Kent," Perry said as he turned around again, covering his face with his hand. "Size of a freaking football player and all the grace of an elephant."

    Lois and Clark exchanged smiles as they moved out into the reporter's den, where desks and cubicles bustled with activity as young reporters, looking for a break, worked phone lines and fired off emails. Lois' hand went to Clark's elbow, just the slightest sign of affection, subtle enough to avoid attention in the workplace. Even married, it was important to conduct themselves with the appropriate behavior.

    Clark's eyes went to the pad in his hand, fingers flipping through sheets as he looked at the list of companies they'd found. "Lots here that we can tackle, from all over the country. How do you want to handle this?"

    "Well I know how you can handle your end," she said with a smug grin, shaking her head as she stepped past him and toward her desk. "Some of us have to make flight arrangements, you know. Although to be clear, if you don't do the same, the Planet's going to get suspicious. They're going to want to know how you got all around the country without booking with an airline."

    "Yeah, I could get away with a trip or two, but considering all these companies we have to go through..."

    "And we don't have to take off right away. Let's find the best targets we can line up, then go from there. Some of the ties on these are iffy, but the bigger profit contracts? Let's focus on those, dig up what we can, then decide if we have to get out of town to do some deeper digging."

    "You're right," he said, scratching at the back of his head. "And here I was already planning to take off."

    "Come on Smallville. This is big time," she said with a wink, settling into her chair, her fingers going toward the keyboard. "Come on, get on your end and start doing a little research. I'll take A through D for now, you can handle E through H. Then we'll go on from there."

    He nodded, moving to his seat across from her. "This is the worst part of the job you know."

    "Yeah yeah, who likes sitting at the computer all day looking at business registries?"

    "Not exactly what I expected to do when I left the high school newspaper to do big story reporting here in Metropolis."

    She paused a second, the tapping on her keyboard halting for just a moment as she remembered their time back in his small hometown. "Wow, crazy to think people really bought into all those Freak of the Week stories Chloe was posting. Then again, Smallville had some crazy things going on back then."

    "To be honest, I'm surprised that nobody ever found out... well, you know."

    "Let's be honest, Clark. Someone did. I'm just grateful he doesn't remember anymore."
  • Another pitch

    London, 1889

    A series of grisly murders via cobra-bite, all bearing a message reading Si-Fan, plague the city of London and Scotland Yard inspector Nayland Smith is as baffled as the rest. Smith goes to consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, and with the assistance of Smith and Dr. John Watson, Holmes uncovers a deadly conspiracy that’s trail leads him to a mysterious university in Scotland, the Hindu palace in Agra, and finally the dangerous city of Shanghai, where he will confront the deadliest adversary he has ever crossed… the fiendish Dr. Fu Manchu.
  • My Superman story is here:

    "Lex Luthor is president, the result of intense economic collapse in the mid 2000s. Lois Lane and Clark Kent of the Daily Planet are at the start of an investigation into the improper diversion of defense contracts to LexCorp. Wayne Enterprises is being squeezed by government investigations. And under it all, a darker plot is about to unfold that will test Superman's character."
  • That’s some pretty good shit.
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