Author Topic: Writing Prompts!  (Read 23818 times)


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2010, 06:12:59 PM »
Okay, I decided to let my snippet stand on its' own. It's something like half a scene, but that's all I have time for this week. Inspired by a famous scene from Casablanca, as you'll see ...


"I was wondering when you'd show up, Marta. I left the door open so you wouldn't break the lock like last time."

"Get rid of that joint. You know the smoke makes me sick."

"That's why I lit up."

"Put it out, Sam."

"You put away the gun and I'll snuff the joint."

"No deal."

"What do you want, Marta? You want the documents? They're sitting there on the piano and they're all yours."

"Go open the window to clear the air in here. Then bring those documents and hand them to me on the way back. Do it now, Sam, or I'll shoot."

"The funny thing, Marta, is that I don't believe you care about those documents. That's not what you came for. You came here because you wanted to see me. Well, I've got news for you, sweetie. There ain't nothing to see but a cynical old man. The man you once loved is still sitting in a bakery in Calcutta, waiting for his girl to show up. She never came that day so he stayed right back there waiting. I'm just an empty placeholder for the soul this body used to own. You ought to know that by now."

"Open the window. Get the documents. Hand them to me."

"Go ahead and shoot. You'll be doing the world a favor."

"I don't want to hurt you, Sam. You know I need those documents to clear my name."

"Your name? What about that boyfriend of yours? He's the one who's been implicated, not you. But hey, it's nothing to me. You want the documents? Go ahead and walk over there and grab them. I'd do it myself but I don't like to turn my back on women holding guns."

"Sam, you know I wouldn't--"

"Then why'd you bring it, sweetie? And why won't you put it down? You afraid of me? I've already said the documents are yours and I've shown you where they are. You scared of something else? Somebody else? Maybe you're scared of yourself."

"I don't ... Stop it, Sam. Just hand them to me."

"You put down the gun, I put out the joint and walk across the room. We open the window to get some fresh air, you get your documents. Isn't that what you want?"

"Fine, Sam. You win. You know you always do. Here's the gun."

"Just kick it out of reach, now, okay? Very nice, Marta. Now I snuff like so. Why don't you take a seat while I open the window?"

"I'm not here to socialize, Sam."

"Is that so? Okay, then. Back to business. Joint snuffed. Window open. Here are the documents. Take them, Marta, you've earned them."

(by Juliana Montgomery)


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #61 on: December 17, 2010, 09:29:50 PM »
A good exercise, thanks Brandon! Here is my piece (could be part of a scene from a novel). English isn't my first language, but I wanted to try it anyway :)

by Mario Zakall
(436 words)

“I just can’t believe they kicked you out of the door…”

“I. I can not…”

“For no good reason…”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I…”

“Come on, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re good. They’re just out of their goddamn minds.”

“And now…”

“Now what can you do?”

“What can I do? I, I mean… how do I look after Carrie now? Oh Christ…”

“That’s what I mean. You can’t support her and you can’t support yourself for much longer.”

“I can’t…”


“And… and I can not find a new job so fast. Oh Christ, help me…”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll buy you another drink…”

“No, thank you. I… I’ve had enough for now.”

“Alright, maybe later. You know what?”


“Someone should pay them back.”

“Pay them back?”

“Yeah. Someone should really hurt ‘em.”

“But… I mean… how?”

“We should rob the office.”

“W- What?”

“That’s what I mean. We should rob the damn office, steal the super secret documents they’ve got there and sell them to the competition. That would be justice, you know what I mean?”

“Yes. But…”


“It’s… it is a crime.”

“That’s right, it’s a crime. You’re right, Will. It also brings us some green. A lot of green.”

“You mean it would be lucrative?”

“Oh yeah. It can be.”

“Do you really want to do this?”

“I was thinkin’ about it, yeah. You know. As an idea…”

“As an idea…”


“What could you get for them? I mean, what could you get for the documents?”

“For the documents? Sixty thousand bucks, maybe more.”


“Sixty thousand. That’s right. We’ll sell them to a guy named Mitchell. He’s got a business on Korvan I.”

“You are really going to do this…”

“That’s right.”

“But… I mean…”

“Watch this…”

“Oh my God… How did you do that?”

“I just moved back and forth. You just couldn’t see me do it, ‘cause…”

“You are a Drifter, Seth? You… are a Drifter?”

“Afraid so.”

“So… that is how you are going to rob the place?”

“Pretty much, yeah.  No one sees me comin’. I’ll just go straight through the walls, right to the…”

“Why do you want to risk a robbery?”

“It’s not my first. Plus, it’s very safe.”

“Not, not your first…”

“But first of all, I’ll do it for you and Carrie. You’re my cousin, Will. I can’t just sit there and watch you go down like this.”

“But… why do you tell me about this beforehand?”

“Cause we still need a pilot…”

“You need… I… Now I think I need a drink.”

“There you go!”


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2010, 10:12:52 PM »
Prompt: Write a five- to ten-page two-character dialogue with no tags or blocking. Try to evoke character, conflict, and plot using only dialogue. Include: a problem, two distinct individuals, a fantasy/sf element. Avoid: long monologues, exposition. Use context, not explanations.
So, anyway, five to ten pages is just a suggestion—about a thousand words or so— but you don't have to make yours any particular length. It can be a short short, standing on its own, or it can be a short story. Or it can be the start of a novel, or just an excerpt of dialogue from an ordinary story. Basically, this doesn't need to be a complete story. The goal is to see how much you can get across without exposition and with a fast-moving dialogue.

“And just where do you think you’re going?”
“Out for a walk.”
“It’s the middle of the night Katsue, and we’re going to war tomorrow, you need your rest.”
“That’s just it, Tameyoshi, I’m not sure I want to go to war, this whole thing-”
“You’re nervous aren’t you?”
“I was thinking about just running.”
“You want to desert us do you?  It’s understandable considering what we’re going up against but I don’t think I can do this without my best friend, if you go, I go and the blood of nations’ is on our hands.”
“I know, it’s just, what if we fail?”
“We won’t fail, we can’t fail.”
“We’re up against Shotgun. We’ll be lucky to survive, let alone kill her.”
“Katsue, look at me.  We. Will. Not. Fail.  And on the off chance we do, well we’re the last defense, we’ll be in the history books one way or the other now won’t we?”
“That was in horrible taste Tameyoshi.  You‘ll have to do better than that to keep me around.”
“Maybe so, but sometimes bad jokes are the only thing standing between hope no matter how false and true despair.  So I’ll be keeping the joke book close.”
“I suppose you’re right, but do you really think we can win?”
“Honestly, I don’t know but does that mean we shouldn’t try?”
“Of course not!  This is our home we’re fighting for, we can’t just abandon it!”
“Heh. Now there’s the Katsue I like to see.  There’s that fire, you’re going to be a great leader when this is all over princess.”
“Tameyoshi, you know how much I hate being called by that title, it hasn’t had any meaning in eleven years.”
“Yeah, I know not since Shotgun took over, I was there, remember.  On the marrow though, when the battle is over you’ll take your rightful place as you should’ve many years ago and you’ll get a nice pink dragon skin purse out of the deal.”
“The battle is one thing but, I don’t know anything about running a country, I never got the proper training and I practically have to rebuild Nesh from the ground up, I’m not sure if I can do it.”
‘Katsue, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there and we’ll make do somehow.  Besides, like we always say, your back is my back, that’s for more than just battle you know.”
“Tameyoshi, why do you have so much faith in me?”
“Katsue, Katsue, Katsue, that’s like asking how I know the Sun will rise in the morning, my reasons are hard to miss and impossible to refute.  We’ve known each other most our lives and I can honestly say, you are the single most amazing person I know and the main reason I made it through these last eleven years.  That’s why.  I’ve seen who you are and what you can do.”
“I’m not that amazing, just a silly little girl.”
“True you are silly but that’s part of what’s so great about you.  Just about everything you do makes me smile, not many can even get me to smirk.  If anything, I wonder why you‘re hanging around me.”
“You’re my friend, that’s why.”
“Princesses are allowed to have friends now?  Have you breaking the rules again Katsue?”
“Only because you taught me how.”
“Fair enough.”
“…It’s going to be odd going home after so long..”
“Yeah it will be, we’ve been gone for months, I wonder if Yakov’s kicked the bucket yet.”
“Okay yeah, even I’ll admit that was in horrible taste, sorry, you know me I say stupid things, you’re the smart one around here.”
“Apparently I am, you‘re just lucky Echola didn’t hear you say that.”
“Oh come on, she thinks her brother is a lazy bum too.”
‘Sometimes, but she still loves him, and she’d slice your head off  with one of those fans if she’d heard you say that.”
“You wouldn’t let her do that to me… would you Katsue?”
“I don’t know…”
“Oh come on! I was joking you know that; I didn’t mean it!”
“I know.”
“Like to mess with boys’ heads.
“Amen to that.”
“You like it and you know it.”
“You’re just lucky we are friends.”
“That wasn’t very nice.”
“Neither is your teasing.”
“But that’s just it, I was teasing, joking.”
“I know.”
“…Do you think our parent’s would be proud of us?
“I don’t know, I barely remember mine, it’s so hazy.  I hate it, I know their names and  I know they were great warriors but the actual people themselves…”
“I remember a little bit, my father mostly, he was mischievous, if he were alive right now he’d probably decorate my room with pictures of boys I hung around while I slept.”
“Sounds like my kind of guy.”
“I’m sure he does, you’re a lot like him.
“Is that compliment or an insult?”
“I’m not sure, whichever you take it as I suppose.”
“Then I say complement , because I don’t want to think my best friend just insulted me.”
“So, I’m your best friend?”
“Of course you are Katsue, of all my friends you’ve always been the one who’s had my back.  When the guys were jerks and I thought I was alone, I’d think to myself, there’s still Katsue.  You have no idea how many times that’s saved me from myself.  I just wish I could repay you in some way, I feel like I owe you so much.  I know, that’s stupid.”
“No, it’s not, it actually explains a lot.  You don’t owe me anything Tameyoshi, you know that; I just did what any real friend would do.”
“I know, but that doesn’t change how I feel.  That’s why I’ll do anything I can to protect you.  If I could fight Shotgun without your help, I would.”
“I can take care of myself Tameyoshi.”
“I know, and you love to remind me of it, but just because you can that doesn’t mean you should have to.”
“Wouldn’t that apply to you too?”
“You got me there Katsue, it’s probably some outdated chivalry notion I picked up from my father, the man has to protect the girl.”
“You intend to lock me up in a tower and never let me go anywhere?”
“Did I say that? No, I just want to make sure you’re safe.”
“Well that’s what they did back in those old chivalry days, locked the women up in towers like possessions.  I for one am glad we’re past such times.
“So  am I, I just… I’m an idiot, I said the wrong thing, I do it all the time, you know what I meant.”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Do you know why I decided to get to know you all those years ago?”
“No, how could I?”
“Sorry, rhetorical question.  Do you want to know?
“You obviously want me to know, you brought it up so just tell me.”
“Well, shortly before were enslaved I saw you from afar.  I barely knew who you were back then, even if you were my princess.  I saw you running.  You were wearing a pink dress.  I was too afraid to go up to you so I just watched.  I watched you run around and for the first time in months there was a smile on my face.  It was right then that I promised myself I’d get to know the pretty girl who liked to run.”
“Yeah I thought you were pretty when we were younger.”
“You said thought, past tense, does that mean you don’t think I’m pretty now Tameyoshi?”
“I’m not going to answer that.”
“And why not?
“It’s a loaded question, no matter how I answer, it’s going to sound bad.”
“Bad how?”
“Well, if I say no, you’ll be insulted and if say yes, well… you know.”
“I see.”
“I slipped, I said something I shouldn’t have, forget I said anything Katsue.”
“Why, are you embarrassed that you had a crush on me when we were kids?”
“No that’s not it at all.  I mean, you’re beautiful, smart, and funny.   Any guy would be lucky to have you.”
“Then what is it?
“You what, spit it out Tameyoshi!”
“I don’t think I deserve you okay?!”
“I’m madly in love with you Katsue, but I don’t deserve you.  You’re a princess and I’m no prince.  I’m just the son of a couple knights, the only people lower than me are the serfs.  You’re the elite and you deserve the best, you’re that amazing.”
“…You’re madly in love with me?”
“Yes, and you don’t know how hard it was for me to say all of that, it felt like giving up but I have to let go, so that if I die tomorrow, I can do so without any regrets.”
“You really think you’re not good enough for me?”
“Yeah I do, but that doesn’t change how much I love you or the fact that I’d do anything to protect you.  I suppose I’ve just been trying to prolong the inevitable rejection.”
“Tameyoshi, you’re my best friend so I’m going to say this as gently as possible.  You’re being rather stupid right now.”
“How so?
“You’re saying your not good enough for me based on a class system that hasn’t been used in over a decade.  If you haven’t noticed we’re both escaped slaves.  Our class is equal and if we win tomorrow and by the grace of the Immortal Spirits, I pray we do, I’ll be the monarch.  The one who makes the rules.  So your whole argument doesn’t make much sense.”
“Thanks for trying to make me feel better Katsue but you don’t have to let me down gently.  You can just go ahead and tell me you’re not interested; I’m a big boy, I can take it.”
“Sometimes you can be really stupid Tameyoshi.  I guess I‘ll have to spell it out for you.”
“…You just kissed me.”
“Yes I did.”
“Does that mean what I think it means?
“That depends, what do you think it means?”
“I think it means that you have feelings for me too.  But that would mean-”
“We’re dating, yes.”
“If this is a dream, I’d better not wake up.”
“You’re not dreaming.”
“Well then I died and went to the Realm of the Gods.”
“And what makes you say that?”
“A goddess just kissed me, I don’t think there’s any other explanation.”
“Goddess, you really no how to charm a girl.”
“I would’ve said angel but it just didn’t do you justice.”
“Okay that deserves another kiss.”
“Remind me to compliment you more.”
“Knowing  you, I won’t have to.  Just promise me you won’t die fighting Shotgun.”
“Well you’ve certainly given me a reason to live and I’d just hate to disappoint my girlfriend.  Girlfriend, By the Spirits, I love saying that.”
“Shh.  What would Echola say if she heard you invoking the Immortal Sprits in such a manner?  You know how zealous she is about religion.
“I think she’d make an exception in this case Katsue.”
“And why is that?”
“She’s been waiting for us to get together for years, I confided my feelings in her long ago.  She’ll probably want to throw a party when she finds out.”
“I see.  That should be interesting considering how stiff she is, I mean, she’s my best friend but she’s a little too much by the book at times.”
“Yeah she is.”
“So when should we tell her?”
“In the morning before we leave, it’s getting pretty late I should probably head back to my tent.”
“Without giving me a good night kiss?”
“I’ll fight dragons but can’t say no to my girlfriend, what will the history books say about me now?”
“They’ll say as great a warrior as you were, you were an even better boyfriend.”
“Shotgun had better watch out now, I feel invincible!
“Tomorrow, we take back our home and then we can have a normal relationship.”
“What’s normal for a couple of teenage wizards who can easily vaporize a city?  Especially when one is a princess?”
“Touché “
“ I love you Katsue.”
“I love you too Tameyoshi.”
“I’m glad I cold help with your doubts.”
“And I yours.
“Good night Katsue.”
“Good Night.”
“Wait, I don’t have to worry about you running off do I?” This wasn’t some sort of trick to get me to leave you alone was it?”
“Do you really think I’d do that?”
“Stress makes people to strange things.”
“I’m going to my tent, where I will stay for the night.  I suggest you do the same or we’ll have to breakup on the same night we got together.”
“Alright, alright, I believe you, I’m going.  By the Spirits I’m weak, I just melt in front of that pretty face.”
“See you in the morning.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 01:41:26 AM by Technomancer »


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #63 on: December 17, 2010, 10:38:33 PM »
Prompt: Write a five- to ten-page two-character dialogue with no tags or blocking. Try to evoke character, conflict, and plot using only dialogue. Include: a problem, two distinct individuals, a fantasy/sf element. Avoid: long monologues, exposition. Use context, not explanations.

Title:  Two heads are better than one

“That Lavian seemed interested, she had her twelve arms all over you.”

“I don’t like talking to strange creatures in a bar and she was way too touchy-feely.  One, two, three -- Lift!”

“Please.  I saw you staring at her and you did nothing but drink.  We are off work for one night and you just waste it.  You want it here?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.  No!  Don’t try to sit in it, just leave it there.  Lavian consume their lovers during sex, do you really think that would have made for a pleasant evening?  Pass the cutter, please.”

“Here -- but seriously, did you get a good look at her.  If I was interested in letting go, that would be my first choice.”

“You sound like a cliff walker -- letting go -- think about slow digestion.  I need that green wire now.  Thanks.”

“I heard that she secretes a kind of venom that causes amazing hallucinations.  Shouldn't you be connecting the red one to that black one?”

“No, red, green blue and then black -- think about it.  If you are having hallucinations, then you might as well be with a rock.  You wouldn't know it.  Do you have that red book handy?”

“Nah, I left it with Molly at the compound.  Here is the other cutter.  You know, you might want to seriously consider giving that girl a little more attention or someone might take her for himself.”

“Please.  She follows me around like a Karian Mutant, its disgusting.  Did you forget the control device?”

“It’s in the side pocket of the pack.  I don’t think she is disgusting.  Her blond head is rather attractive.”

“What about the grey slime that constantly drools from her green head?  Can you imagine waking up to that every day?  I don’t see it.  Are you sure it is in the pack?  I need it to complete the circuit.”

“Pass it over to me, I’ll get it.  Heads can be replaced.  Give her a nice brown one on her feastday.  She’ll love it.  Wait, I found it.”

“Finally.  Giving her another head isn’t the problem.  How would I ever convince her to give up the green one?  She’d just run along with three heads and I’d get three times the misery.”

“You aren’t thinking like Molly, mate.  She has all those clothes with six holes.  She’d need seven holes for another head.  I think you have that backwards.”

“I just need to turn it to the side and push.  I think you are backwards -- you are giving her a prime excuse to take my credits and get a whole new wardrobe.  I’m not made of platinum you know, ignoring the third arm, that is.”

“Well, I still say that if you don’t do something soon, she is going to leave you.  Something is still off -- don’t you think?”

“I’d know if I had the red book, but someone left it at the compound.”

“You know Molly always tells you not to use your platinum arm like that, it could become severely damaged.”

“Do you want to get this finished or not?  If you weren’t mooning over Molly, we wouldn’t be in this predicament.”

“I was not mooning over Molly, I just thought that if you were not interested that I might ask her out.  Tarian has a twin filet meal that I know she has been dying to try.  Is it going to work now?”

“Maybe -- give it a charge.  If you want to ask her out, you don’t need my approval.”

“You will be going with me, I need you to be ok with this.  There -- all charged.  Shall we try it out.”

“Lets just sit in the chair.”

“It seems to be working fine -- a perfect cut.  What do you think?”

“I agree, the two heads are better than one hair salon is back in business.  We can get people through here twice as fast now for half the time and twice price.”

“Isn’t that a little steep?” 

“If we are going to Tarian with Molly, we need the cash.  We are cutting two heads of hair in half the time.  It’s a fair price.”

 “Thank you so much -- I can’t wait to ask her.  Where would I do without you?”

 “You’d have one less head and, for the record, the blond head is all mine.”


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #64 on: December 17, 2010, 11:28:37 PM »
Wow! There have been some really good ones so far!

Here is mine.

Prompt: Write a five- to ten-page two-character dialogue with no tags or blocking. Try to evoke character, conflict, and plot using only dialogue. Include: a problem, two distinct individuals, a fantasy/sf element. Avoid: long monologues, exposition. Use context, not explanations.

“Blood and flaming guts! Ow.”

“Arrow, dear, something tells me that the molecular make up of those iron bars has not changed since the last time you kicked them, and that swearing at and abusing the metal will not get us out of this cell any faster.”

“Bloody traitor. The next time I see him he's going to wish he had never been born.”

“Arrow, stop swearing. I know why you're doing it.”

“Who do you think you are, Flynn? My gutting father? I always swear when I've been betrayed, thrown in the pit of a reeking dungeon, and punched in the face several times.”

“You do not. Though, come to think of it, this has been a fairly eventful morning. You're swearing because of Tak's comment that girls can't swear properly.”

“I am not.”

“You are, too.”

“Why would I do something so flaming silly?”

“Because you are flaming silly. No, don't sulk. You know that you don't have to take everything everyone says as a challenge, right?”

“Is that a challenge?”


“Then I don't know what you're talking about. Stop crying about my language, and get us out of here.”

“Well, you got us into this mess, so wouldn't it be logical for you to get us out of it?”

“Don't be silly, Flynn. If you didn't help us get into trouble, and you won't help us get out of trouble, then you're pretty bloody useless.”

“So, am I to understand that if I am responsible to the next batch of trouble we get into, you'll handle the getting out portion? Because, it seems to me that getting into trouble is the easy part.”

“But I'm better at it than you. Really Flynn, we've got to stick to our strengths.”

“And what, dear Arrow, are my strengths?”

“Well, darling Flynn, you've got so many of them. I never met anyone who could waste time on useless things like you can. You're good at fixing things, like us being in prison, so I'd consider that a strength. And I keep you around for your charming good looks, of course.”

“My angel, Arrow, how flattering you are. It would be outstandingly rude of me not to return the compliment. I know with absolute certainty my life would be peaceful, relaxing, and completely under my control if it didn't have you in it. Thank you, for upsetting everything at least once a week, and usually more often. Without you I would be in a state of euphoric joy all the time and, as a result, unable to appreciate fully the days when I don't see you at all. Thank you.”

“It's rude to use words I don't understand.”

“And it's ill-mannered to swear every other word.”

“If I promise to stop swearing, will you tell me what euphoric means?”


“I'm not going to flaming promise.”

“Why is this not a surprise to me? You're far too pertinacious for such a reasonable deal.”

“Well, are you finished sulking, Arrow?”

“Are you finished being a snob?”


“Oh. What are you working on?”

“Our escape plan, of course.”

“I hope it's a good one.”

“You mean you hope you get to use the knives that you have somehow hidden from the guards who searched you?”


“Actually, the plan I've been working on involves this.”

“What is that?”

“It's a magic ring.”

“It looks like a piece of wood with a hole in the middle that might possibly be the size of a finger. How is that a magic ring?”

“They don't know it's not magic.”

“'Cause they haven't seen it.”

“Well since you're so smart, let's see you come up with something!”

“Fine, I will. Remember this ring? The object we were actually trying to steal when we ended up here? This is a magic ring.”

“You got it? How?”

“Oh, please, Flynn. The time you spend reading your history books is time that I spend practicing useful skills. Like hiding things. This time, for an object this small, my hair was a very good  place. No one ever looks there. Or at least, not unless they're sure you have something. And even you didn't know I had time to grab it before we were caught.”

“Arrow, don't make that face. It makes me feel sick.”

“Now you know how I feel whenever you're around.”

“Ouch. Well, back to what you were saying. About this magic ring of yours. What exactly does it do?”

“That's why I didn't bring it up before. I don't bloody know.”

“Wait a moment, so I can get this straight. You talked me into helping you with this mission all to steal a magic ring that
you have absolutely no idea how to use?”


“You know what, you're right. I could never even come close to getting into as much trouble as you do. I'm not even going to try.”

“According to Kvel, who's information we know is rather suspect-”

“Considering he told his Lady that we were coming? Yes, Arrow, I would be suspicious of anything he told you.”

“Point taken. But he said that the ring was a very valuable new piece of technology. Apparently the Ethians were the first ones to start developing it.”

“This is making me feel so much better. We all know what kindly folk the Ethians are, don't we, Arrow? They wouldn't possibly invent a ring that was, I don't know, a torture device? Certainly not.”

“Honestly, Flynn. Sometimes you are unbearable. I never intended to put it on. The goal was to steal it and sell it. No harm in that, now, is there?

“So how is this useless ring going to help us escape? The only thing coming to my mind is that I bargain with the Purifiers to let me go if I tell them where you're hiding the ring.”

“That wouldn't be very nice.”

“Not really. No.”

“I can only think of one thing to do.”

“Arrow, the last time you held my hand like that I ended up unconscious. What are you doing?”

“Putting on the ring.”

“No! Don't-”

“See, I told you we'd be fine.”

“If by fine you mean, alive, out of the prison, and not writhing in agony.”

“What more do you want?”

“I'd like to know why we are standing in the middle of a forest with no clothes on. But really, I shouldn't be so picky.”



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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #65 on: December 18, 2010, 05:42:23 AM »
Hey all!  Wandered over here through facebook and then Brandon Sanderson's blog.  I saw the dialogue exercise and thought I might give it a go.  I'm having fun reading through the other submissions!

Prompt: Write a five- to ten-page two-character dialogue with no tags or blocking. Try to evoke character, conflict, and plot using only dialogue. Include: a problem, two distinct individuals, a fantasy/sf element. Avoid: long monologues, exposition. Use context, not explanations.

Title: Parting of the Ways

   “You came after me.”

   “You're hurt, let me help you.”

   “Don't touch me!  I know what you are.  I'm an idiot, never putting two and two together.  All those years and you getting more and more private.  I suspected that you weren't who you said you were, but by then so much time had passed.  Ama, of all the things...Amarris.  Lost daughter of Shion and Calliwen.  It was in front of me the entire time.”

   “I'm getting you out of here.”

   “Like hell you are.  You think I want your help?  I'd rather be dead.”

   “You don't mean that.  You'll feel better once you're healed up and rested.  I need to get you back.”

   “Back to what?  More running, more hiding?  My brother is dead.  Lan Nodric is dead.  Your country has won.  There is no one left to resist you.”

   “Don't call it my country.  Isego is my country now.”

   “By Inea's tits, you actually believe that, don't you?”

   “I grew up here.  You took me in. You raised me.  Mezare is a dream I had a long time ago.”

   “I raised a serpent.  Look at you.  You'll never be Isegan.  Your skin, your hair, your eyes.  And your fire.”

   “My fire just saved your life.”

   “I won’t thank it, if that’s what you’re prodding after.  I don’t know you.  I don’t know who you are.  Ama, Amarris – which one are you truly?  The boy I taught to steal horses, or the girl who can use a drop of blood to send her enemies up in flames?  What did you think would happen?  You’d rescue me, and we’d go back to the way things were?”

   “I hoped…I don’t know how to be any other way.”

   “Liar.  You know how to be lestari.”

   “I was only a child when my father anointed me.  How can you blame me for that?  I didn’t know what was happening.  I didn’t know what it meant.”

   “Did I say I blamed you?  I don’t.  We don’t blame the wolf for being a wolf, even when it kills our sheep.  But you are Mezaran, Amarris, and lestari.  It’s in your blood.  You can’t change that, even if you were to tear away every bit of flesh from bone.”

   “Stop it.  Please, I just want to take you home.”

   “I said don’t touch me!  Try that again and I’ll put this put this bolt right through your heart.  I can move my arms just fine, and I’m a better shot than Golon.”

   “Vangar, don’t.  I can’t leave you here.  There’s no one around for miles.  If the Mezarans come back they’ll kill you.”

   “If they come back, I’ll cut my own throat, and let my blood spill onto the ground.  They won’t take me the way they did Lan Nodric and Golon.  They won’t bleed me out and use me for their fire.  You won’t use me.”

   “You think that’s what I want?  Yes I used some of your blood, and I’m sorry.  I had to.  I came here to fight lestari, not join them.”

   “Join them?  Have you been listening to me?  You are them. You just killed four lestari on your own, without training.  What does that make you if not lestari?  It’s not your place to ride around Isego, steal horses, and pretend to be a boy.  You’re a farce, a mockingbird.”

   “Then what would you have me do?  Would you rather I acted like them?”

   “Tell me this.  If you profess so ardently to be Isegan, why did you use fire when you came after me?”

   “It was the only way I could get you free.”

   “You didn’t even try another way.  It was easy for you to use fire.  It was there, and you used it.  You’ll run into other situations where, in your mind, using your lestari powers will be the only way.  And just as you did now, you won’t hesitate.  You’ll use them.  You’ve done it before.”

   “Yes, I’ve used fire before.  I’ve used it to keep you from getting hurt, and to keep Golon from getting hurt.  I will always do anything I can to keep the people I care about safe.”

   “An Isegan would never use fire.  Even if we had the ability bred into our blood, even if you anointed us at the top of one of your pyramids, even if your god, Lestoor, came before us in person and told us he accepted us as his own.  Not to save our families, not to save our own lives.  We have been ground beneath the heel of Mezare’s boot for too long.  What you do is an abomination.  It’s disgusting.  You treat us like cattle – blood to feed your lust for fire.”

   “Stop pretending I’m like them!  I didn’t kill Lan Nodric, and I didn’t kill Golon.  I’ve proved my loyalty to you a thousand times over.  I had chance after chance to turn you over to Mezare.  I could have done it while still pretending to be a boy, and lined my pockets while I was at it.  Instead I have turned my back on them.  Doesn’t that mean anything to you?  You told me once that I was like a son to you.”

   “Aye, once.  There was a time I thought you a boy, as well.  Doesn’t make it any more true.”

   “You’re an infuriating old man!  What do I have to do to prove that I’m more Isegan than I am Mezaran?  You talk in riddles and circles, all the while your wounds lie unbound.  Tell me what I have to do.  Tell me!”

   “Don’t use blood for fire.  Don’t use it ever again.  Can you do that?”

   “Fine.  I’ll never do it again.  Will you let me help you now?”

   “Oh, Ama.  Do you remember when you were young, and I had only just begun teaching you the tenets of a thief?  Such a stubborn and prideful child.  Still so.”

   “I remember. ‘A thief uses his wits more than he uses his hands.’”

   “You always had an uncanny memory.  If you remember that, then you’ll remember the third tenet: if you’re going to lie, be convincing about it.  Otherwise you’re better off not lying at all.”

   “You can’t even sit on a horse in your condition.  By the gods, Vangar, don’t make me watch you die.”

   “I won’t.  In a moment here I’m going to lift up this crossbow.  You’re going to back away, slowly, with your hands in the air, palms facing me.  And then you’re going to get up on your horse and leave me in peace.”


   “You will.  I don’t want you.  I don’t want you as a son, I don’t want you as a daughter, I don’t even want you as a friend.  I would rather die here, alone, in the place where my brother passed, than to think you might defile my corpse.”

   “I wouldn’t.  I promise.  Don’t do this.  Please.  I turned my back on Mezare, and now you’re turning your back on me?  Even if I’m not Isegan, I’m not Mezaran either.  I have nowhere to go.”

   “Spare me your tears, girl.  You have your two hands, your wits, and a horse.  It’s more than many of my countrymen have.  I won’t feel sorry for you.  If you care for me at all, as you say you do, you'll respect my wishes and leave me alone.”

   “Where am I supposed to go?”

   “Go to Darsia.  Go to the ends of the earth.  Just go.  I have nothing left to offer you.”


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #66 on: December 18, 2010, 07:01:44 AM »
Thanks for suggesting this exercise!  It was fun! This is part of a novel that I hadn't intended on working on for a while, but I knew that this exercise would work well for this particular story.  I've been spending most of my writing time on another novel.  Hope you like it! ::)

“Amara, are you there?”
“What a relief!  You wouldn’t believe how good it is to hear your voice again.”
“I wouldn’t believe it?  Kai, where the hell have you been? I’ve been trying to find you for three years!”
“Yeah . . . I’m sorry about that.”
“Sorry?  You completely dropped off the map!  I called in every favor I had with every ghost hacker on three continents!”
“Yeah, really.  I was afraid a cyborg assassin got their hands on you.”
“As if they could catch me.”
“Ugh.  Would you please put your ego aside for two minutes and tell me where you’ve been?”
“I can’t.”
“You can’t put your ego aside or you can’t tell me where you’ve been?”
“That’s not funny, Kai.”
“I wasn’t trying to be, Amara.”
“So what are you trying to be?”
“Right now?  Human.”
“What?  You’re not making any sense.”
“I know, and I’m sorry about that too, but it can’t be helped right now.”
“Well, what would help me is for you stop being so mysterious and give me some freaking answers.  Oh, and for the love of all that’s holy, don’t answer in binary.  I hate it when you do that.”
“Ha ha ha-Ach-hmph . . . ha-hmph . . . ”
“Kai?  Are you all right?  That didn’t sound good.”
“It didn’t feel good.  I’m ok, just a coughing spell.  Apparently laughing is a bad idea.”
“Are you sick?”
“I’m not sick, but I’m not well either.”
“You’re doing that evasion thing again, Spider.”
“Please don’t get mad, and stop pacing.  You’ll make the floor dizzy.”
“How would you know?  Are you watching me?  Did you hack into the security feed?”
“First off, I know you.  Second, you always call me by my hack sign when you’re mad.  As for the rest, give me a sec . . . and yes, I’m watching you.  Nice skirt by the way.  Purple is definitely your color.”
“Argh!  If you don’t give me one good reason . . .”
“All right, all right.  Calm down.  The guy in the lab next door is starting to get suspicious.”
“You’re watching everyone in the building?”
“Wait a minute, you’d have to divide the vid feed among at least six screens to see the entire facility.”
“Nine actually.”
“You have nine screens?”
“Actually I have forty-two, not that I can see all of them.”
“Forty-two?  What kind of monster system are you running?”
“It’s the beast of the apocalypse.”
“That’s a strange name for a system.”
“Sadly it’s more than just a name.”
“Am I going to get any straight answers out of you?”
“Sorry, I keep getting carried away.  There’s no one here for me to tease.  I need to make up for lost time.”
“Well, if you don’t get to the point soon, that’s what I’ll be doing tonight so I don’t fall behind on my work.”
“All right, all right.  Amara, I need your help.”
“With what?”
“What do you know about Nexus?”
“Not much, I’ve only heard a few whispers.  It’s some top-secret government project.  What about it?“
“I’m trapped in it.  I need you to help me get out.”
“Whoa there!  Are you saying you’ve been working on Nexus this entire time and you never told me?”
“I couldn’t!  Remember the part about it being top-secret?”
“Well, I have no idea what you expect me to do.  I don’t have those kinds of contacts.  What could I possibly do to help?”
“You can quit your job right now and come to Ohio.”
“Hell no!”
“Hell yes!”
“You’re crazy!”
“No one is going to argue with you on that, but I still need you to come to Ohio.”
“I can’t leave the team.  We’re so close to completing a fully functional prototype!  Amputees are already lining up to test our new biocybe prosthesis.”
“That’s one of the reasons why I need you to leave.  Your name can’t be attached to this project once it goes public.”
“Kai, we’re making prosthetics not a nuclear weapon.  Having my name attached to this project will help my career, not destroy it.”
“It’s not your career I’m worried about.  I can’t go into details, but lets just say that if you want to live to see Christmas, you’ll leave now while you still can.”
“Kai, you can’t just rematerialize and expect me to drop everything because of some crazy conspiracy theory rumor!  Besides, I’ve done most of the work on this project.  There’s no way I’m letting everyone else take the credit.”
“Amara, please.  I’m begging you to trust me.  Believe me, I want to tell you everything, but I can’t.  They watch me too closely.  I’m taking a huge risk just contacting you.”
“How deep are you in?”
“I’m at the bottom of the rabbit hole.”
“Kai, I don’t know if I can do this.  You’re asking me to give up everything.”
“I know.  But there is no one else I can trust.  I need you.”
“How soon do I need to be out of here?”
“Your flight leaves in four hours.”
“I’m probably going to regret this, aren’t I?”
“Yes.  I can’t even promise that the sacrifice will be worth it, but it has to be done.”
“I was afraid you would say that.  Well, I guess I’ll see you in Ohio.“
 “Actually, you won’t.”
“If you’re not in Ohio, then why am I going there?”
“That’s where the first piece of the puzzle is.  I meant it when I said I couldn’t trust anyone else.  The information I’ve collected had to be smuggled out in small pieces and scattered across the globe.  It was the only way.” 
“Let me guess, you need me to go and collect the pieces?”
“Can you at least give me a clue as to what this info is for?”
“It’s the stone to bring down the giant.”
“And if it doesn’t work?”
 “Then we’ll be too dead to care.”


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2010, 10:23:12 AM »
Prompt:  The Dialogue exercise.  (and my first attempt EVER at creative writing.  I was a math major.  Thanks BS, see what you do to people?  :))

Title:  "Mixed Martial Arts!!??"
Author:  Randall Henderson

“So…you made up your mind then, finally?”

“Mixed martial arts, definitely.”

“Really?  Come on, I thought we talked about this.  You agreed there are better uses than for your own vanity, I can think of 10 right off--.”

“It’s not about vanity man!  It’s about a place to begin.  If you expect me to actually make a real difference in the world, then part of that is building a brand, you know, so people will know who I am.  Also, I need to know the extent of what I can do in a controlled environment.  It’s not like I can practice at the gym!”

“Okay, but you honestly feel good about that? You could really hurt someone.”

“Look at it this way: I will have no idea what I am doing against a highly trained athlete who expects to get punched and kicked.  Man, why did I even tell you about what I can do, you’re worse than my mom sometimes.”

“That’s an easy one, because you were scared out of your mind the first time it happened, and I AM your best friend.  But seriously, if you go into the octagon, there is no way you can hide it.”

“Dude, I told you about the ghost image, no one will know anything.”

“Ah, is that what you’re calling it? By the way, did you figure out how long it lasts?”

“Well, I haven’t really needed it for more than a couple of minutes at a time, but no, not yet.  I can’t see a reason for pushing it further, what if other things get out of sync?”

“True, one screw up and you’re done, especially if it’s live on Pay-Per-View with millions watching.”

“I know man, but unless I get out there and start doing something bigger then I’ll just be the guy who helped his friends not get run over when they are drunk.  Like I told you, it only works when it’s real.

“Okay, but what happens when you start actually knocking people out. It will be a little suspicious. I mean, you’re not exactly George St. Pierre physically.”

“Man, give me some credit, I was a college athlete.”

“Dude. You rode the pine at a community college. But okay you brought it up, why not basketball? ”

“I don’t think it will work as well for b-ball. It won’t improve my jumpshot, I know that much.  A few more steals and blocks per game aren’t going to help me get there.  Plus Ultimate Fighting is hot right now, it’s an individual sport, and I can move up the ranks fast.”

“Okay, so let’s say that does happen. What then? You have the light heavyweight belt, so what?”

“You’re thinking too small.  I will be the only fighter not only undefeated, but also untouched, the greatest champion ever, boxing or otherwise.”

“No, no vanity there…”

“Look, if I want to actually start to influence people, I need to be known by people outside of MMA.  I have to turn heads from all directions. If I can build an image, I can start to get my message out.  People will care about what I say and do.”

“No, people will care about you knocking out the next fighter. They won’t look at your values or your personal life just because you’re the champ.”

“Oh really?  What about Lance Armstrong?  Tiger Woods?  Magic Johnson?  You don’t think people were influenced by their values?  Dude, it’s not just about image, I will be able to start to make a real difference with money too.   We’ve talked about it, micro-lending, scholarships, special needs gyms.”

“I know I know. But with what you can do, there are other ways to get money.”

“Well to me, this is one of the more honest ways. Also, can you think of a better way to test the extent of my gift? What the hell am I supposed to do, get a police scanner and start speeding around in the Civic trying to get to the next hostage situation before the police do?  It’s BS man, that stuff just doesn’t happen.

“Yeah, just pull up and yell, ‘Don’t worry guys, I got this one.  No, really, trust me.’”

 “I know right? Look man, MMA makes sense.  I’m already interested in it, so my fam and friends won’t freak. I’ll get a couple tattoos to round out the picture.”

“Bad-Ass Whitey?”

“DUDE, you just gave me my nickname!  B. A. W.!!!”

“Alright man, I’m in. But we have to be careful every step of the way. First and foremost at least make it look like you’re occasionally in danger.”

“Will do. I will definitely need you to help, especially when the money and fame start rolling in.”

“Yeah, and the ladies too. You have always needed help in that department.”

“That’s not what your mom said last night.”

“Nice, thanks for that. Once again, you’re all class. Ok, so I’m in.  What do we do first?”


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2010, 10:31:30 AM »
So I put mine up as a blog post.  Which I will link to here.  Critique appreciated, but not necessary.  I'm mainly shooting for getting on WE.  *crosses fingers*
When to live is to die, and to die is to live, does either really matter?


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2010, 12:51:47 PM »
Hi! This is my first post on this forum. I didn't even know it existed, but thanks to BS, now I might have the opportunity to improve my fiction in the future.

- Mr. Admiral, you summoned me, sir.
- Yes. Sit down, captain.
- Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
- What is your report on the troops today, captain?
- Tired, sir. And hungry. They've been fighting all day, sir.
- What? I haven't had any report of enemy contact all day!
- I am sorry, sir. Each other.
- I beg your pardon?
- They have been fighting each other all day, sir.
- What? What have they been fighting for?
- The King, the Homeworld and eternal glory, sir.
- Blast it, man! What have they been fighting over?
- I am sorry, sir. Nothing but simple disagreements among the common soldiers, sir. Private Stormrider accused Private Bladefire of treachery, after noting that her performances had been more than just suspiciously lacking in yesterday's skirmish.
- Do we have any reason to suspect such treachery?
- Well, sir...
- What is it?
- May I speak frankly, sir?
- Come with it, man!
- Many of the soldiers are fighting friends and family out there, sir. My reports indicate that Private Bladefire is no exception. Her own brother is among the rebels.
- Bah! What are such misgivings to our noble cause? I myself have two neighbors and a sister among the rebel scum. From this vantage point I can almost see them! Can we suspect Private Bladefire of such weakness of character, Captain?
- No, sir. Her failing on the battlefield yesterday can be attributed to a myriad of of other factors, amongst which is that she had a rather cruel fall that left her with an ugly bruise on her knee, as well as our general unfamiliarity with the area and the rebels' enormous advantage in yesterday's skirmish.
- Captain. I am tired of the officers giving excuses. Yesterday's fiasco can be attributed to nothing but the incompetence of our own tacticians.
- But sir...!
- I have had it, I said! Poo-poo on all of you! We were a grander force and we had the advantage of advanced machinery on our side. There was no reason why we shouldn't have won that battle!
- But sir! The rebels were using dinosaurs!
- What!?
- It's true, sir. They did!
- But how the hell did they acquire those?
- They asked the teacher, sir. They explained their plight, and she bestowed upon them the availability of battle-ready velociraptors. They're armed too, sir!
- How is that fair?
- To be hones, sir, you did lay out the rules so that your force would be nigh unbeatable by the under-equipped rebels.
- But how are velociraptors even possible? Don't they suffocate and die on the zero-atmosphere battlefield?
- Apparently, sir, the teacher told the rebels that they won't die, unless you want to sit with her for the rest of recess, sir.
- Blast! Is there any way we can turn the tables, or at least even the scores slightly?
- Sir, one of our tacticians, Seargant Bloodtrail, has suggested that we request to use our special anti-raptor ninja battalion.
- We have an anti-raptor ninja battalion?
- It seems they were held back during the primary clashes with the rebels, sir. The ninja battalion is almost useless against anything but raptors.
- Excellent! An excellent proposition! Run it by the teacher immediately, and see if we can be granted permission to deploy them. This war might still be over before nap-time!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 12:53:53 PM by Snuren »


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2010, 04:51:33 PM »
Howdy, I've been listening to Writing Excuses for a while now, but I've finally decided to hop onto the community behind it. I wrote a dialogue exercise and posted the link on Thursday on Brandon Sanderson's Facebook. I know some people have visited that link but I just wanted to make sure that I was doing this right and posting it in the right place. So, I'm posting the link here too. My exercise is at this address:
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 04:56:04 PM by MannyBrainpan »
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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2010, 04:52:40 PM »
Prompt: The Dialogue exercise

“Othar can’t be allowed to control the ceremony”

“Why not?  He knows the procedure well enough.  I doubt he’d make any errors.”

“Yes, but he lacks responsibility.  We have an opportunity to guide the foretelling to our benefit.  Othar is the sort that would squander it.”

“You would play politics with our greatest duty?  I had thought better of you.”

“Our greatest duty is to make certain the traditions are followed.  I have always been, and always will be, the best advocate we have for maintaining them.”

“If we abandon our role as neutral observers, then we abandon tradition.  Choosing a hero based on what we find convenient throws that out the window.”

“It is not necessarily a matter of convenience.  The hero has always been the one capable of handling the threats our city faced.  Alinar lifted the endless siege.  Oreth destroyed the pirate leagues.  What threat do we face now for the hero to triumph over?”

“There have been rumors that the Jungle Tribes are banding together.”

“The Jungle Tribes are on the other side of the world.  Just humor me, please.  List all of the potential threats we face from local enemies.”

“Harush is under control.  Minea is… no, they can’t do anything right now.  Hmmm.  Our borders are well protected from military problems for now.  There is always the possibility of a rebellion.”

“Unlikely.  The people are happy and wealthy.  There is little that would make them want to destabilize their position.  The cults are all comfortable with holding an official status.  The guilds thrive in peace.  And we control the military.  Insurrection is less likely than Harush gaining an unexpected army and attacking.”

“Well, suppose you are correct.  No threats face the city.  At least for now.  What purpose would we have for the hero?”

“Ah, but there you are wrong.  Threats do face the city.  The threat of the guilds, wanting to gain a greater role in public administration.  The threat of the cults, leading people away from tradition.  The threat of complacency, that will lead to people trying to change the way things should be.”

“Very clever.  You appeal to the warnings that I have been giving for years.  Do you have a new solution in mind?

“The new solution is the same as the old one.  Our order directs all public policy, and we make the decisions that will keep the people safe.”

“Ah, I think I understand what you have been getting at.  With a hero that supports us, that tells the city what it needs to hear, we can acquire the position that is necessary for us to lead.”

“Precisely.  Othar would never understand this point.  Without our foretelling, the city would never have a hero in the first place.  Our loss of prominence is the threat the hero must protect the city from.

“Manipulating this foretelling would be highly unorthodox.  I’m still not fully comfortable with the notion.”

“It’s not really so unprecedented.  When there is a drought, do you ever look for signs that indicate the drought will continue?”

“You know that that is not the case.  When we need rain, I find the signs that say it will rain.”

“And when the ports need calm water, I find the signs that say there will be no wind.”

“Yes, but…”

“We decide these things!  It rains because we want it to.  The fog clears because we want it to.  We simply use the signs as justification for our predictions.”

“The hero’s prophecy is different.”

“In practice, but not in theory.  There has never been a better time to see if the theory holds true in this regard.  If we are wrong, there is little we have to worry about.  Our external threats are distant, so failing to find a hero is trivial.  If we are right, then we gain a powerful tool to correct wrongs and grow the prestige of our city.”

“I see.  Yes, perhaps this would be the best way to handle the foretelling.  Care must be taken so that the hero seems to have a purpose beyond helping our order.  But this will only be for the good of all.”

“Then I can count on you to support me?  Your vote has influence in our order.  If you want me to lead the ceremony, others will join you.”

“Your words make me wish to support this plan, but your ambition makes me hesitate.  You speak far too often of influence and power.  You entered our order faster than almost anyone else.  And now you plot for control over our most important function?

“But you agreed that my plan was a good one!  What are your doubts about my ambition next to the good we could do for the city?”

“You are too clever.  Far more clever than me.  What assurances do I have that you will not be using the foretelling to gain personal control?”

“If you cannot trust me, then why not lead the ceremony yourself?  So long as you agree on what should be done, I will support you.  It wouldn’t be too difficult for you to get others to do the same.”

“This would be a great burden for me.  But for the good of the city, I will accept your support.  Shall we agree to this arrangement?”

“I see two birds, flying in from the sea.  By this sign, we must keep to our agreement in order for either of us to succeed.”

“I see a dead field mouse.  By this sign, we must not reveal this agreement to others, or great peril will befall the one who does.”

“I see the banners on the walls lying flat, for there is no wind.  By this sign, the agreement is not to be altered.”

“I see what you see.  We are in accord.”

“I see what you see.  We are in accord.”


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #72 on: December 18, 2010, 07:10:34 PM »
Prompt: Brandon's Dialogue Exercise

This is my first attempt at writing, although I've been itching to try for a while now. I know it's short, but it amuses me, and I felt it was about to fall apart. Comments welcome.

Oops! or, Trouble on the Night Shift
by Brad Moore


“Oops? Really?”

“I didn’t think that would happen.”

“Did you think at all before you started?”

“Obviously I thought about the consequences, just not this consequence.”

“You can’t be serious; you’re calling this a consequence.”

“Well…, yes…, a big consequence, but still just a consequence.”

“So who’s going to explain this consequence?”

“I was hoping you would, since I’ll probably be busy trying to figure out how to fix this.”

“Fix it? How can you possibly fix it?”

“I don’t know yet, that’s why I’m going to be busy, trying to come up with a solution without a consequence like this one had.”

“I can’t believe you’re sticking with consequence. Aside from that, do you have any idea what went wrong?”

“Sort of…”

“Care to elaborate?”

“I didn’t really understand what this did, or how violent the outcome might be.”

“You mean that aside from pushing a button you were curious about you didn’t consider asking anyone else what it might do?”

“There wasn’t anyone else to ask, and besides, I’m an experimentalist.”

“An experimentalist, in a nuclear facility? Are you insane? Do you have any idea what you could have done?”

“I believe so; better now of course, after the, um, consequence of that last experiment.”

“Do you have any more experiments planned, or can I leave you alone for a few minutes to report this?”

“I don’t have any planned, but this one wasn’t really scheduled either.”

“Before I go, let me ask you a question, how did you even get hired for this project?”

“I have a unique skill set that is in extremely high demand.”

“A unique skill set, and yet you haven’t learned to never push a giant red button that is plainly marked ‘In Case of Emergency Only’ without understanding what it did beforehand, incredible.”

“In my defense, it was dark in here when I pushed it.”

“How does that change anything?”

“Well, if you don’t want someone to press the big red button, why is right beside the light switch anyway?”

“It’s beside the light switch so you can hit it while running away from the building.”

“Oh..., well..., that makes sense I guess.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

“I’ve been thinking about the consequence..”


“..and it seems that the best thing to do is try to get the alarms shut off and fix the...”


“Yes; before anyone else gets here.”

“That would make sense, if this weren’t a nuclear facility! Shut the alarms off…fix the..., where did they find you?”

“I’ve done some work for the CIA.”

“The CIA, what in the world would the Agency need a physicist for?”

“Physicist? I’m not a physicist.”

“Well, what are you then?”

“I’m the night janitor.”

“You have got to be kidding!”

“No sir, I just started tonight.”

“You don’t say…”

“Do you think there might be ramifications?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised…”
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 07:12:39 PM by CBMoore71 »


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2010, 08:42:30 PM »
Writing Prompt: Dialogue Exercise

''So you wish to join the secret circle of Luminescent Ether. I'll need to ask you a few questions, before I present you to the rest of the group.''

''Of course. I'm ready to answer.''

''How old are you? I can't tell without the tattoos.''


''Good. I'm twenty, twenty-two. You are a village-folk, right?''

''I've arrived in the city two days ago. Before that I lived at the Westedge village.''

''The one at the edge of the shard, I know about it. Well, two days in the city and already seeking to join a circle. That's unusually fast.''

''Elder said city-folk are different from village-folk. That you lie and cheat, despite living together. However, people in secret circles try to be honest with each other. He advised me to join one as soon as possible.''

''That is true to a certain extent. It was a good advice anyway. So why did you decide to leave the village?''

''The drummers for Triumvirate came three times, to get us join the war. We just threw schlock at them every time, but it got me thinking. Why is there war? What's going on in the rest of the world? I decided to find out.''

''Naturally. The instinct to learn is hard to ignore, once its awakened.''

''So our elder told me to go to the city and look for answers here.''

''Now, that sounds a bit odd. It's not often that village elders send their people to the cities. Usually they try to stop the person from leaving.''

''I... perhaps became a bit of a nuisance, with all my questions and other stuff. He might have thought I could get others to think about leaving.''

''Possible. So you'd like to learn about the war?''

''I don't want to learn fighting. Just the reason, why it is happening and how will it end.''   

''Haven't drummers told you?''

''I wouldn't trust them. Elder said they were lying to get us join. I've talked to one of them outside the village. He said he didn't know, if what he was telling was the truth. Just that it was an easy way to earn crystals.''

''I see. Now we need to sort out two things before you can be admitted to the circle. Both are just old traditions. Do you know that becoming a city-folk will reduce your lifespan? It's a question I'm obligated to ask you.''

''Yes. I'm not sure how much though.''

''That would depend on what you wish to learn and how fast. One of our members is skilled in calculating these things. You can talk to him, after you are accepted.''

''Do city-folk regret living shorter lives?''

''I don't think our lives are actually shorter. They may not be as stretched as yours, but that makes them thicker. In my count, I've really lived these forty two years. Trust me you'll feel the same, if you chose to learn.''

''I've thought about it. I'll find my answers and go back to Westedge. That shouldn't take more then a decade.''

''We'll see. Let's move on to the second tradition. Whenever a person joins a secret circle, he must share information with others. It doesn't need to be valuable, people mostly tell folk tales. You should have a story prepared, when the time comes.''

''I know a tale of the revenants from the mists. Usually when the mist comes, it takes people away, but sometimes, very rarely, a person comes from it instead. That person has no memories and even has to be taught speech again. Will it do?''

''Interesting. The  story about mists is  pretty common  in villages. It's probably true, at least in some way. The revenant part is a popular city-folk tale. It's about men, who burn away their lives in learning. After death comes to them, they revive on the next day, without any memories. From that day forward, no matter how much they learn, they don't age.  This is the first time I've heard these two tales connected together.''
''Can I ask you something?''

''Of course. However, don't consider it rude if I don't answer you right now. In the cities, you need to pay for valuable answers.''

''I've already found that out. Why would you be willing to accept me? I mean circle members are supposed to help each other out, but what use would I be to you? I don't know anything.''

''First, it's because you are a village-folk. You are trustworthy and fierce, when it comes to protecting your friends.''

''I may be hurting my case, but I'm hardly an average village-folk, seeing how I'm here right now.''

''I'm sorry,  of course you are a person, not a stereotype. But still statistically, it is more often true, then not. As for your individual worth, there is a benefit to having someone without preconceptions. You ask fresh questions. It's possible you'll be worth us your weight in crystals.''

''I understand. So what else do you need to know?''

''Nothing. I think I've just made up my mind. Unfortunately, I can't let you join.''

''What? But you just said... Why?''

''Because I think you aren't what you claim to be. That question wasn't something a village boy would ask, after only two days in the city. And you overplay ignorance too much, village-folk know more, then we in cities credit them for. I think you are a spy and you are here to hurt either my circle or my city.''

''It's not true! You can't just think that, because of a single question. Of course I'm curious, that's why I left the village. You just praised the ability to ask unexpected questions!''

''Don't make a scene, boy. I know that you aren't village-folk. It wasn't the question that betrayed you, but I'm not going to reveal how I found it out. Just leave it be''

''The story about the revenant and the mists. It's about me.''


''I'm the revenant. And I'm connected to the war somehow. Please listen, I'll explain everything.''
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 08:45:15 PM by Kessler »


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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #74 on: December 18, 2010, 10:34:40 PM »
I know it's not 1000 words, but I figured I'd give it a go.

"And so, it seems we're here again. Oh doesn’t it bring back the warmest memories of brotherly-and-sisterly love. Namely dramatic gun-fights, and dank prison cells? . . .  Except this time, brother, the odds have been reversed. This time I'm the one sitting on the chair of power. This time I'm the trusted attendant to our beloved chancellor, you having been disposed of as a rebel."

“You traitor!

“That’s nothing new brother. I would have thought you’d expect me to frame you.”

"My name will be cleared!"

"Oh really."

"He doesn't trust you. He'll see through your character and realize you're a back-biting serpent. You don't deserve to lick his feet."

"Please, enough with your honor mentality! Ha, If there is one thing I've learned from this reality, it's that you must do what it takes to get what you want. And in this case the ends very much do justify the means. . . Do you know why you are here brother?"

"I am here, because I believe in human freedom. Because I believe in Humankind's right to think freely, and in the liberty of Plexi-Universe"

"Tsk, tsk tsk, such naive ideas. No substance at all. What a pity. You had a bright mind. If it wasn't for Mother and Father I really could have made something from you."

"I knew you were a snake every since you were seven and I was three. You and all the Dimension Jumpers! I would never have apprenticed to you."

"Of course, and why should you have. You were Heir to a Universe. You had everything. Why would you want to drop it all and lead a life of travel and hard living. As far as you could tell there was nothing to gain. Well I'll tell you, I saw what was to be gained and I did the work. Now, after ten years of back-breaking work. Ten years of threading and re-weaving the political matrices it's all about to pay off. I'll finally get what is my due. Soon the Chancellor will be dead. And the story that will be circulating is he was tragically killed by his previous attendant, who escaped from prison with the help of his home planet . . . Ixon. That is, as long as you be a good boy and don't get in the way."

"You monster! You can't indicate our planet! The people love this Chancellor, they'll tear Ixon apart! If I was free-"

"Don't waste your breathe, Joseph you aren't. I have you tied to a bench with unbreakable metal cords found on a small planet in the Vima Universe. You are sitting next to a machine, that at the slightest notification from me will put a tranquilizer through your skin. Not to mention the twelve security cameras lining this room. I have dozens of reinforcements I can call if you do so much as point your finger in a pretend gun."

"You won't get away with it. My spies have been following you and they'll alert the Chancellor's body-guards."

"You mean the twelve men I have contained in twelve similar interrogation rooms below this one? I know it’s your greatest wish to be a step ahead of me at least once in your life, but that dream will remain unrealized."

"Your lying!"

"Think what you will. But as when the king has no more options in the popular game from a small planet in the Gamma Universe, yes "Chess" I believe it's called. I say "Check Mate." You have not more options."

"It can't be!"
"Face it, brother. But if you consent to play along now, I'll grant you your life. You could be useful to me. Showing the populations that I have captured their Chancellor's assassin would, to put it bluntly, 'make me look good'."

"Never. Not in all the realities existing. You say you will grant me my life? Well what is my life now. I swore in my initiating pledges as heir that I would never betray my people. And even if you have framed me to look as though I have broken them, my vows still bind me."

"Oh very well. Your loss. My plan goes into action in . . . Precisely two minutes. And since you are still here I doubt you will stop me. Farewell . . . brother! You'll see me in a different light soon."

"No! Please!"

"Oh Joseph, no use begging. After all, it’s only a chess game."
-I wondered why the ball was coming closer. Then it hit me.