QueryTracker Community

Writing => Community Fiction => Topic started by: audal on August 19, 2007, 04:52:39 PM

Title: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 19, 2007, 04:52:39 PM
An experiment brought to you by the psuedo-founder (Patrick still reigns over us all) of The Quillkeepers' Tavern...

Thought I could create a thread that might not just accentuate our standard brand of wacko, but also might motivate the WIPs to move forward. 

The idea is this: Post something you're proud of that came from your most recent writing session only.  It can be an excerpt, a quip, anything at all.  Catch is, you're not allowed (by decree of the QT Honor Code) to post IN THIS THREAD again until you have completed another writing session and moved forward with your work.  Session lengths themselves are irrelevant... Maybe it's 20 minutes, maybe two days, doesn't matter.

To hopefully simplify my convoluted explanation... Below is my excerpt.  I am not allowed to post in the X(cerpt)-Files thread again until I have another excerpt to offer.  If you want to comment/critique excerpts of others, be sure to show up with an excerpt of your own.

All other threads across the forum boards are wide open to the wildlife as always.  The intent is only to limit this thread to the evolution of all WIPs.

Lastly, it's perfectly OK to let a reader know what's happening so as the impact of the passage can be maximized.

Anyone up for it?  Guess we'll soon find out, 'cause here I go... Please feel free to PM me if there are any questins, and good luck to all stories!

X-Cerpt (the scene: an airplane just before an emergency landing)

Most of us pass time in some form of prayer, latent disbelief in our words notwithstanding.  At this point, every one of us wants to trust that we will be guided through this, either by pilot or by divinity.  But our own defenses are barely token.  Seatbelts are on, tray tables are in their upright position, and this is all we can do.  I can see my sound byte for tomorrow's headline story:

“‘I can only be thankful I had the presence of mind to put up my tray table,’ said 37 year old Zoe Tisdale of Santa Monica.  ‘If I hadn't, I’m sure the crash would have been the end of me.’”
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Patrick on August 19, 2007, 06:37:09 PM
I like this idea, maybe it will help get people rolling.  I also like audal's x-cerpt.  The voice of this little sample makes me want to read more.  What's the book about?  Oh wait, you can't answer me here can you?  And no fair discussing x-cerpt related topics in another thread.  That would be cheating.


PLEASE NOTE:  Unearned posts will be removed from this thread, with a serious wrist slapping for repeat offenders.  An unearned post is any post which does not include an excerpt from your own work.  The excerpt must be something your wrote in a very recent session (preferably that same day.)  But we'll have to trust you on that one.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 19, 2007, 08:41:20 PM
Great idea, Audal. Love your passage. It has your voice. all right. As I was busy talking about Perfume with Dan, I forgot how much it had influenced me. Here is an excerpt from something I just revised today with a big Perfume induced passage from my WIP:

Chari put a finger over his lips. Mateo closed his eyes for a moment to lock in the sensation. He could always do that; remember more than what he saw. He could remember what he felt, smelled, tasted. The basement was his laboratory where he stored anything he had ever experienced and took pen to paper.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 20, 2007, 08:12:33 AM
We already have 2 cheaters!

2 of you didn't post anything when you commented! 

He said NO posting in this thread unless you have something to share.



I'm editing my WIP, so this is from the last chapter I edited.


Quote
“You were completely covered in blood and when they took your clothes...”  She shut her mouth quickly.  “I mean, they had a terrible time trying to clean you up...”  A faint pink glow tinted her cheeks. “Oh cripes, I need to quit talking.”

Alec lifted the edge of his blanket and noted that he was completely naked underneath.  He scanned the lodge now noticing all the Rol'dan soldiers milling about. “I suppose they did that all out here in the open?”

She smiled slightly, but couldn’t meet his eyes.

“And you were here too?”

Her blush deepened. “I’m sorry, Alec. I was just worried about you.  I didn’t realize that they would....”  She swallowed.
   
“I suppose that's one way to keep me from running away.”

A faint smile played on her lips. “Yes, I suppose so.”
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: teen-writer on August 20, 2007, 08:57:36 AM
I'm going to read all of your books when each of you gets published. Audal: I love your style and flow of words. JW: I've said this before, but your style is really matching for YA audiences. You've got the style down, and the rhythm is good. Miss Java: great passage. Funny and suspenseful, and you incorporate settting into the dialog well.

Here's a paragraph I just wrote last night:

It was as if London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the water. The images that began to form in the pools of water faded into nothingness, like paints smearing into the backdrop. The sky was cast in an ink of milky gray, and dappled with ebony.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 20, 2007, 10:48:51 AM
Hey Dan, thanks for the props. Very nice description..definitely Perfume inspired. How about some smells too? Hint: maybe don't "tell" us we are supposed to see it as a painting..show us?
And Miss J...very nice! Are you marketing this as a fantasy romance? That might be a cool angle for you.

Harsh, Patrick...very harsh! Where's yours, BTW? Or has Audal appointed you the X-cop? :naughty:

Better?

The sun glinted orange off the river. Mateo remembered the promise the river held for him on those first summer nights after he arrived, before he knew the bite of winter, the sting of Tío’s palm or the pain of blisters on raw, chapped hands.
The drop was far. What would it feel like to fly for just a minute before you hit?
“You’re leaving us no choice, Mateo,” yelled one of them.
He heard their feet clatter up the metal ladder. Pulling Mama’s letter from his pocket, Mateo tore it into bits and released the little scraps of paper. They swirled gracefully down like snow.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 20, 2007, 12:22:45 PM
JW: No, it's not a romance, though there is a bit of romance in it.


My blurb:

Quote
Alec stood stunned and alone.  On one side of him, the youth celebrated. On the other, the lodge of the Rol’dan towered with arrogant splendor.   

He belonged to neither world.

Why did he have to be cursed with this power? Was it his fault somehow? Nolan had warned him not to lose his temper, yet the rage grew in him so easily.  Perhaps it was this anger that pushed him over the edge of darkness.  If so, there was no repairing the damage now. He was now a Shay Rol’dan, and with the title, there was nothing left of Alec Deverell.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 20, 2007, 12:56:56 PM
OK, OK... I've got a li'l' somethin'-somethin' to share from the flight in peril.  First, just a few quick comments.  Though I don't really think this is a critique thread as much as it is a motivational one, if something leaps out that you think may help, sharing it is a good idea, no?

That said... JW, you first.  I like the passages but want one less pronoun-ish thing in the last sentence of your Excerpt #1.  It's my rhythm obsession.  Try this on for size, and if it doesn't fit, flame it!

The basement was the laboratory where he stored anything he had ever experienced and took pen to paper.

You think?  Second passage is evocative & gets a  :up:

Miss J... Poor Alec.  Wistful melancholy - is that what you're shooting for?  Which genre is your playground?

Dan... I can see your analytical mind at work here.  I like it, but also have an if-I-were-editing-idea that you should feel free to dismiss.  Have a look.

It was as if London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the water. The images that began to form in the pools of water faded into nothingness like paints smearing into the backdrop. The sky was cast in a milky gray ink dappled with ebony.

Just simple syntax stuff.  A basic note about my "critiques" in general.  I don't think changes are necessary, I just like to present ideas.  Like decorating a new room in a new house - sometimes others see better places to put things, sometimes not.  Given this, please do take my comments as nothing more than me putting a shelf on a different wall and saying, "What about here?"

Also... I'm sure that eventually we all won't be able to comment on everyone's excerpt.  Exponential growth will make this insanely impossible.  So if any of us miss an excerpt or two or ten, no offenses should be taken.   Full upkeep would end up requiring a paycheck, I think.

OK, then... More from the airplane hovering before the emergency landing:

Some thirty minutes later, we are now closing in on our intended descent, albeit as a rattled bunch of hopefuls caught in a confluence of aeronautic bummers: the surly swirl of the springtime Santa Ana's, and landing gear which may or may not have been properly locked into place.  The pilot's not sure about this last bit because the aforementioned thud fouled up his gauges.  Still, he underlines levity over the loudspeaker whenever we get that rare serene moment.  “You may think this is bad,” he says, “but at least you won’t be filling out three hours worth of paperwork when you land.”

Landing.  This was supposed to happen several minutes ago, but we're still up here spinning circles over Southern California in an effort to burn off fuel.  We've been told that this won’t just lighten the load on the uncertain landing gear, but the less fuel we have, the less explosive our jet. 

Believe it or not, we are in such a panic that the plan actually comforts.

Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: teen-writer on August 20, 2007, 04:09:30 PM
Thanks Audal for critiquing that. I don't know if I'm supposed to post edits here, but how's this?


London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the water. The images that began to form in the pools of water faded, like paints smearing into the backdrop. The sky was gray, daubed in inks of whites and blacks, and frowned upon him, flaunting a grimace that saddened the streets and cast dark colors upon the city.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 20, 2007, 04:47:50 PM
Mateo walked out of the library with his heart flopping like a baby bird too stupid to know its wings were clipped. The whole thing with Chari was pointless, yet a stubborn splinter of hope had lodged somewhere inside him.
What if? What if they won?
He’d be no worse off, and he’d have helped her. Her photo-art was beautiful. At least one of them would have a chance to chase a dream.
It wasn’t winning the contest for Chari that propelled him but the promise of Orange Mocha. Now that he had the taste for it, nothing was going to stop him from having more.
Mateo’s newly awakened hunger scared the hell out of him.

that's mine...now for the  two cents portion of our show.  >:D Did I tell you in my critique group we call ourselves Cudas? (that would be for barracudas since we shred each other alive?)

Now that I "know" you all so well..I think you are ready for the Cuda treatment.  >:D >:D >:D muahhhha!

You first, A-wise:
Some thirty minutes later, we are now closing in on our intended descent, albeit as a rattled bunch of hopefuls caught in a confluence of aeronautic bummers: the surly swirl of the springtime Santa Ana's, and landing gear which may or may not have been properly locked into place.  The pilot's not sure about this last bit because the aforementioned thud fouled up his gauges.  Still, he underlines takes a stab at levity over the loudspeaker whenever we get that rare serene tranquil moment.  “You may think this is bad,” he says, “but at least you won’t be filling out three hours worth of paperwork when you land.”

Landing.  This was supposed to happen several minutes ago, but we're still up here spinning circles over Southern California in an effort to burn off fuel.  We've been told that this won’t just lighten the load on the uncertain landing gear, but the less fuel we have, the less explosive our jet. 

Believe it or not, we are in such a panic that the plan actually comforts us.

And you, Dan the Man:

London was a painting, the rain blurring its colors and smudging its streets with gray. The concrete shimmered, hues of red and white playing upon the watery streets. The Images that began to formed in the pools of water and faded, like paints smearing into the background. The sky was gray sky, daubed in splotches of whites and blacks (note ink is not daubed), and seemed to frowned upon him, flaunting a grimace that saddened the streets and cast dark colors upon the city.
 ahhh! this line seems very forced to me. leave it at that.

Oh..thanks, too, A-wise for your edit. Point well taken. I have a critique-mate who slices me to bits. She calls it "corseting" and I am always amazed how much better my writing sounds after she blitzes through. So..call me Cuda.

Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Patrick on August 20, 2007, 06:04:04 PM
*We interrupt this thread for an intervention*

This thread may be taking a course which was not originally intended.  Let's not over do it with the critiquing here.  The point of this thread is to encourage people to write more instead of spending time posting (eek, did I just say that?)  But I'm afraid that if everyone continues to feel obligated to give detailed feedback and critiques then we have defeated the purpose and just created a monster.

Although the critiquing is appreciated and helpful, lets limit our remarks to simple notes of appreciation and encouragement.

I am lifting the posting ban here so you may comment (temporarily).  Audal, as the founder of this thread your opinion is greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 20, 2007, 06:25:08 PM
 :no: okay..no more critiques.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 20, 2007, 06:34:20 PM
You know what?  I think Patrick makes an excellent point here.  It's already taking on crit-group qualities possibly more suited for a first-5-pages thread.  But it's such a grey area, isn't it?  We want feedback, we want to help others.  This is our very nature.  However, my intent was that this be more of a motivational keep-moving-forward thread where we could offer up a go-man-go or a you-go-girl, post an excerpt & move on.

I'm so very guilty of contributing to the critiques - I apologize for that.  Truth is, I was aiming at something that had entertainment value, but was less of a straight-up workshop.  I can see how this could easily cut into our writing time, given that we can write excerpts a whole lot more quickly than chapters.  To comment on or correct excerpt after excerpt could get counter-productive.  Sure, it's still more productive than the Tavern... but it's deceptively time-consuming with the threat of becoming more so with more users.

It's tricky for sure.  Dunno, maybe there could be a way to keep a workshop element in there through the use of private messages?  I don't know how many of you are comfy with that...

So as to not hijack this thread, can I ask for comments to be moved to the Tavern & we can thus clean up here when we've fully flushed out the rules?  For example - Dan asked about posting edits, which I think is completely fine... so long as a passage isn't hammered to death.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Patrick on August 20, 2007, 06:49:56 PM
*We now return this thread to its previous posting restrictions*
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 20, 2007, 10:03:20 PM
Probably got myself another day of being airborne... and I often don't write in a linear kinda way... But I thought this was something I could be proud of.  That said, I'm delirious from staring at the scene in general, so flame me if you wish.

Again, the plane pitches hard to the left, and what's left of the overhead luggage spills into seats and aisles.  To my right, a peach of a college lass steals a glance out the window at the vibrating wingtips, and digging fiercely into our armrest says, "I'm too young to die."

On my left, a likely grandmother hears the sweet peach’s plea and softly says, "Honey, I was just about to say the same thing."


Flight expected to land sometime tomorrow.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 20, 2007, 10:18:26 PM
Nah... but is the damn plane going to crash or not??

I've been pretty productive today. Bad weather helps..but O, what boredom!

Tío flashed a squinty look at Mrs. Weinerhauser. She pursed her lips. Mateo continued to stare at his reflection, the stick straight hair that hung like a black curtain, brown dull skin and those shifting eyes. He couldn’t even look himself in the eye.
Tío pushed the paper toward Mrs. Weinerhauser. She sighed, took the paper and filed it. She leaned forward toward Mateo. “It’s never to late if you change your mind, Mateo, and take the G.E.D.” She flashed a hopeful look toward Tío. “Perhaps that would work better for your situation?”
Tío grunted and stood. “That’s up to Matty. If he can spare the time with the long hours he’ll be putting in.”
“Think about it Mateo. You know where to find me.”
Mateo couldn’t look at the woman. They were done. He felt bad leaving her alone with her dead plants and the ghosts of his lost future. He glanced one last time in the mirror, but not at his own face, for at that moment the door squeaked open and Chari stepped in.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: MelanieLane on August 21, 2007, 10:11:14 AM
 :draw:

Where's the strawberry concoctions?

...Anywho, here we go! This is from my spy-esque WIP, Doublecrossers, INC.

  My dad’s job made him move every year or two. Instead of letting me get on with my life, my parents drag me with them all over the map. We stayed a whole three years in Chicago before we moved here a few weeks ago.
  ‘Here’ is hillbilly hell - especially after experiencing the wonderful varied cultures Chicago has to offer. Now I was in some remote town in southern Illinois about an hour outside of St. Louis. It’s filled with a bunch of country-music-loving white kids that don’t know M&M’s from Eminem, and if I don't see a black person or hear some hip-hop on the radio soon, I'm going to die a slow and painful death.

 
 


Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 21, 2007, 02:41:06 PM
The lightning swift comments before my post... No edits, just props & acknowledgements and a karma for you all for sharing...

JW: Feel free to like your WIP more than you've stated - it's cool stuff.
Dan: Re-write thumbs-up.  I can see the analytical mind relocating puzzle pieces.
Mel: Way to meet the challenge!  And a kick-tail title which has me thinkin' I might nickname you Deputy Fruit Loop.

I now interrupt the air-scare to leap ahead several chapters (which tells you that yes, JW, she at least survives)
____________________________________________

"Is there a way we can get the AC turned up?" he asks the dealer.  "It's too hot to think clearly with her sitting next to me."

"I bet you say that to all the girls," I say in that perfect mystery woman tone between come hither and don't bother.

Quick to pick up the pieces of his shattered pick-up line, he mumbles, "Maybe and stares into his cards."

So I re-engage him with a sly, "So what is it you say to all the women?"

Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 22, 2007, 04:52:04 PM
Hmmm.  Where did everyone go?

Well, far be it for me to deprive myself of self-indulgence.

And to JW:  If you see a 'THE END' beath the excerpt, that should answer your question!
----------------------
Reverie breaks, as the head flight attendant begins a steady and commanding chant of the crash position mantra: “HEADS DOWN, STAY DOWN, BRACE, BRACE!  HEADS DOWN, STAY DOWN, BRACE, BRACE!”

I tuck my head between my shaking knees and shut my eyes tight as my mind lands at the unkind irony of all this.  Sometimes life is most visible when its end is in sight.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 23, 2007, 06:59:42 PM
liked yours, A...really like the voice.
more zerpt from the JW WIP...

Mateo’s spirit gaped at her. She stepped through the chaos to get to him, to try to ask him why he jumped, but a fierce wind pummeled them from all sides. Struggling to keep her plum dress from riding up to her waist, she saw Mateo’s long hair blow around him like black flame.
“Hey!” He cried before the wind threw him in the air like a plastic bag. His slight figure receded like a child’s lost balloon until it disappeared behind the sun.
Stunned, she scanned the crowds. Tears pressed at her eyes but didn’t fall. She felt inexpressibly sad. Did he know by jumping his soul was forfeit?
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 24, 2007, 09:46:00 AM
Someone asked me last time if I was shooting for wistful melancholy in my last x-cerpt.   I had to look that up actually (I'm an idiot I know). Yes, I was!


Here is a new one.  I haven't gotten a lot of chances to work on my manuscript for a few days.  I cut a better section out of this chapter, but it still has many issues.  It is driving me crazy!

Quote
The animal-like screams surrounded him; some lingered in horrible howls and other cut abruptly short.  As his eyes adjusted to the light, he saw a man--or something much like a man--standing over him, dressed in golden armor. Light shone from him, and around him, as he slashed and stabbed with a sword which shone brighter than the flames of his father’s forge. The Dor’Jan burst into flames as he pierced them, and they fell to the ground shrieking before laying silent and still.

“Get up,” the warrior ordered.

Disoriented, Alec just stared at the massive warrior.

“Get up, I say!” The warrior hacked into another Dor’Jan. He looked down on Alec; where his eyes should have been, white light shone.

Alec still could not move.  He wasn’t sure if it was because of his weakness, or from shock. Before he could try again, he felt himself being grabbed from the ground, hurled through the air, and thrown upon the warrior’s back. 

The trees whirled by them much like they had when Alec had run free like the evening before, except the light of the warrior surrounded them, protecting them like day.  Alec’s head bounced on his back as the warrior’s powerful muscles shifted in battle. And then the shrieking finally diminished and Alec’s only consciousness was the steady drum of the warrior’s feet upon the ground.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 24, 2007, 10:00:54 AM
Well..I guess i have to pay up if i want to comment. I am really getting hooked on your book, Miss J! You really keep the action moving. I just wanted to note that in the first paragraph, maybe indicate you are referring to Alec's father, just for clarity and to nix some "hims". Good, good stuff, girlfriend!

Here's mine.
Quote
“What the- -?”
Five winged babies blew trumpets, parted and hovered midflight

Steve’s mouth was wide open but no sound came out. He was frozen in motion as if someone had paused a DVD. The gizmo flashed. BEHOLD.

Miranda shook it. “Behold?”

Diamond lights sparkled and whirled between the trumpeting babies. Steve’s office flickered, blurred to a transparent mist and vanished. Desk, couch, panoramic vista, screens; gone. All that remained was poor flash-frozen Steve, and Caleb, who backed up toward what used to be a wall.

Miranda squinted, shielding her eyes.

The thinnest outline of a robed and blindfolded woman holding a scale took shape.

“Behold, Lady Justice,” boomed a disembodied voice.

“She’s Up Here, too?”
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 24, 2007, 02:28:18 PM
Hey thanks JW!  I really liked your paused the DVD analogy.

Here is another x-cerpt, though it was hard to find one in this chapter that could stand alone and not make everyone confused.


Quote
Nolan couldn’t remember Alec ever looking more shocked as he staggered backward and emptied the entire desktop with a frantic sweep of his arm. He then continued stumbling back until he landed--rather ungracefully--on his backside.

Nolan leaned forward to help him up.

“Stop!” Alec held up his hand, palm open. “It’s impossible.  You can’t be a...a...”

“A Shay user?” Nolan smiled. “Yes, I can.”

“But how?”

“I received my power, much like anyone else.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me?”

Nolan picked up the jar of ink from the ground. “Your opinion of the Shay hasn’t encouraged me to be more open with you. Besides, it is a well guarded secret. I haven’t known you long enough to tell.’
   
“Yet you blatantly display it now?”
   
Nolan sighed. “Well, it was necessary. I want you to understand--”
   
“Understand?” Alec glared at him. “You want me to understand that you are just as untrustworthy as your brother?”
   
“No," Nolan said. "I want you to understand that you don’t have to be like them.”
   
“Well, perhaps if you would have just told me before now.”
   
“And if I did?” Nolan said. “You would have trusted me more?  No. You would have hated me, without even knowing who I really am.”
   
Alec pressed his lips together in thought. Nolan had struck a cord.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 24, 2007, 02:49:54 PM
This zerpt is nothing much. I just posted coz i want to talk about yours Miss J.

Quote
At 3:30, Chari’s brother Rahmed came in scowling and marched around the store like the Health Department. At the same time, Miranda piled in with a horde of latte seeking friends. Andy Jarvis planted himself at a table, his muscular legs spread wide as if to display his goods. Mateo felt a bubble of anger inflate in his throat. He wanted to toss Andy’s latte in his smug face. He hated the way Andy licked his lips at Miranda and the way she tossed her hair in response.

I am so getting into your WIP. What's the state of things? It's really, really got my attention. This is exciting!!! I can't wait until you query.
(gave you some karma to show my appreciation).
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 24, 2007, 04:41:14 PM
Geesh.  Now I'm going to blush.  :emb2:

Either that, or my head is going to start swelling really big.

Well, this thread worked.  I edited more manuscript just so I could respond. Thank you so much for the kudos JW.  As far as where I am at in my manuscript, I'm going through my 3rd draft.  Will probably be a few more months before I am at the query stage..

Alas... someday...

Here is my x-cerpt, per thread guidelines.  It is longer because I didn't have a good place to start and stop.

Quote
They followed him to the far side of the room where miscellaneous metal-crafted objects were propped against the wall: spades, hoes, hooks, cookware, and a thick iron torch lamp. Kardos picked up the latter and held it out for them to see.
   
“This has a removable spike on the end,” Kardos said. “You can carry it when traveling or stick it in the ground when you camp. Like so.” He speared it into the dirt floor.

“They look very well made,” Megan said.
   
Kardos’s brown eyes bored into hers. “Of course they are.”
   
Megan sucked in a silent breath at the intensity of his stare. His eyes mirrored the force behind his emotions.
   
Flann stepped between them. “How much?”
   
“Five gold apiece.”
   
“How many do you think we might need?” Flann asked.
   
“Depends,” Kardos said. “What kind of traveling are you planning?”
   
“We wanted to visit Fay’linn, as we’ve never been to the capital,” Flann lied.  They were traveling nowhere near Fay’linn.  “We don’t want to get caught unprepared, if you know what I mean.”
   
Kardos frowned. “It’s just the two of you then?”
   
“We’ll more than likely meet up with a couple of friends in Caldalk.”
   
“Four people?” Kardos rubbed the stubble on his chin. “I’d say eight torches would make a good border for a camp.”
   
“Eight?” Flann said. From his stern expression, he was calculating the expense in his head. And the numbers weren’t looking so good.  “I don’t have forty now. We could give you twenty, and in a few days time you can have the remainder.”
   
Kardos yanked the torch out of the ground. “I only work for payment in advance.”
   
“Oh, Kardos,” Bonty cut in, “give them the torches.”
   
“It’s my shop.  I’ll run it as I see fit.”
   
“You’re a stubborn ox, Kardos Deverell. You probably have that much on your bill at the pub.”
   
“A mug of ale takes a lot less time to make then a torch.”
   
“But if you add enough mugs together, they can cost more than an army’s worth of torches.”
   
Kardos grunted and walked back towards his forge “Come back when you have enough to pay in full.”
   
Bonty caught his arm. “By Brim, you are thick-headed. I’ll pay for the rest of their bill.” 
   
Kardos glared at her. “Don’t be mad, woman. How well do you know these people?”
   
“Well enough for me to make my own decisions.  It’s my coin. I’ll do with it as I see fit.” 
   
With some effort, Bonty wrestled a small leather pouch out between her large breasts. After removing a few coins and stuffing the pouch back in her cleavage, she held out the coins to Kardos with her meaty hand.
   
Megan suppressed a laugh from the shocked look on both Flann and Kardos’s faces. Bonty continued to hold out the coins and a faint pink color seemed to shine under the dark smudging on the blacksmith's cheeks.
   
“Take it,” Bonty said.
   
Kardos--who didn’t look like he knew quite what to do--did what he was told.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 25, 2007, 07:34:17 PM
Where is everyone??  Aren't you supposed to be writing?? 

I've really been enjoying reading everyone else's stuff, though I don't say much usually.  When I get wrapped up in my own editing/writing I usually say little.



Here is a short one this time.  I've been monopolizing this thread enough.


Quote
   Rylan nodded numbly and hesitated before he walked over to the tree.  He wrapped his arms around the trunk and inhaled. His eyes began to glow red with Strength, subtly at first and then brighter. He yelled out--his veins protruding on his thin neck--as he pulled the tree from the ground. The earth moved beneath them all as the roots loudly popped free from their soil bed.

Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 25, 2007, 07:42:25 PM
OK, Miss J, I'll throw one out there so you don't feel like a X-cerpt hog!  Though honestly, thinkin' you're monopolizing is a good thing, right?  Means you're kickin' tail, takin' names, and I can't stop talikn' like I'm in a western saloon.

Here's a new one:

Quote
While I was away, Silas purchased four full acres here at the corner of Dustbowl and Shrubbery.  The city is apparently to the south.  The slightly snow-capped San Gabriel’s to the north are lovely, but right now I’d rather hike them than look at them.  And while Silas says this is where he’ll build his dream home and that these acres are the start of the rest of him, I say it’s the start of a brushfire.

Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 28, 2007, 08:41:02 AM
Ok...everyone get out of the tavern and start working!!!


I'm expecting all the regulars to have something posted in this thread sometime today.


 :soapbox:


Quote
A haunted look passed over Emery’s face. “There is a fine line between us and our enemies. The Rol’dan stopped focusing on what was noble and pure when they accepted their position.  We--on the other hand--must stay straight on the path of good, otherwise we lose who we are and become exactly like them. Hate what they do, not who they are; they are lost to themselves. They deserve our pity instead.”

“Pity the Rol’dan?” said Kardos slowly, as if the words tasted bitter in his mouth.  “You want me to pity them after what they did to my dear Norah? They ravished and killed her while my boy had to watch. And then they blamed her for what happened, as if she were some common whore. You can’t possibly understand what I’ve been through. You’d hate them too if you were there.”

Emery turned from Kardos and walked towards the entrance to the temple. “Come with me. We have much to discuss.  Though I’m afraid that you will like little of what I have to say.”
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 28, 2007, 10:28:15 AM
Whoa!  Wake up this morning & what do I see?

Padlocks on the doors of the Tavern and the Cafe!

 :rant: How's a writer supposed get anything done without the appropriate cocktails beverages?!  :rant:

OK, very well.  I also have felt that I'd monopolized this thread a bit, but rules are rules.  And rather than fight prohibition by creating a subversive & separate speakeasy, I think I'll just face the trial King Patrick hath put forth.  I am but a humble jungle subject!

This X-cerpt made a brief debut in the Tavern last night when I sought Loth's quick opinion.  It's been tweaked a bit & is now officially X-cerpt ready.

So, does this count as just 1 post toward the end of prohibition, or can we count Miss J's, too?

X-cerpt
Quote
My present days cannot measure up alongside this great height of my history, so I assemble an insomniac fantasy that will veil the very truth of me.  With the television droning low in the background, I want only to revel once more before Monday comes and shackles me to the inflexible rails of routine.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: elknutswife on August 28, 2007, 02:06:41 PM
Okay, I've decided to be brave and post a little something.  I want this particular passage to convey fear, terror.  Now, it doesn't take much to scare me, so I don't think I am very good at writing this particular kind of thing, but my MC is supposed to be terrified here.  Comments are welcome (well, nicely phrased ones anyhow)  ;D


Min hurried out of the room, careful to replace the tapestry that hid the entrance.  She was backing away, making sure that there was no evidence of the door, when she heard the distinct sound of footsteps coming towards her.  Min froze in alarm.  Though her mind knew it was probably just another student, or one of the instructors or servants, there had been too many stories of late of strange noises and ghostly lights.  Min held her breath as the footsteps came nearer.  She quickly blew out her candle and pressed herself into the wall.
   The footsteps grew louder and stronger until at last they stopped only a few feet from where she hid next to the curtained window.  An invisible hand reached out and twitched the draperies aside, letting the strong moonlight spill into the corridor.  Min could make out the large, dark shadow of a man.  Though she tried to keep silent, her breath came faster as her heart beat in desperate time to her panic.  The shadow lunged at her.  Min opened her mouth to scream, but the sound was cut off by the pressure of a very large hand. 
   Her head swam as her terror clawed its way through her body, but she began to kick and twist frantically as the shadow wrapped its arms around her. 
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Ceara on August 28, 2007, 08:02:51 PM
Probably got myself another day of being airborne... and I often don't write in a linear kinda way... But I thought this was something I could be proud of.  That said, I'm delirious from staring at the scene in general, so flame me if you wish.

Again, the plane pitches hard to the left, and what's left of the overhead luggage spills into seats and aisles.  To my right, a peach of a college lass steals a glance out the window at the vibrating wingtips, and digging fiercely into our armrest says, "I'm too young to die."

On my left, a likely grandmother hears the sweet peach’s plea and softly says, "Honey, I was just about to say the same thing."


Flight expected to land sometime tomorrow.

Audal, just have to tell you, I love this. The only thing I think is, it would be better if you put it in past tense instead of present.  :clap: Ceara
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on August 28, 2007, 11:43:54 PM
OK, so... Mostly I'm throwing a potential new excerpt up there because I knew no other way to thank Ceara (who boldly strolled into the thread without her own excerpt > hint, hint) for her kind comment.  Unfortunately, I am utterly unable to write in a past tense narrative.  Don't know why that is.  From time to time, I'm OK when referring to a scene in the past, but ultimately my past tense work never sounds right to me.

Anyway... Ceara, this is just to say thank you so much for the praise... Nice to hear.

And to my X-cerpt co-conspiritors Miss J & Elkette -- More quality work.  Speaks well of you both that you're FAR from my personal reading list yet still accessible and flowing, flowing, flowing.

Potential excerpt below... written for a chapter several chapters ahead of where I'm actually located right now.

Remember, folks... The Tavern & The Cafe need your contributions!  Can I please get a "Prohibition Sucks" smiley?


Quote
Funny thing about a grudge...  Holding onto it over the long haul requires an intense maintenance of its initial wrath.  You need to regularly remind yourself of just how much you hate.  But when you leave the target of your hatred in the dust, unless you’re keen on screaming at windows and walls, the steady upkeep of a grudge is a futile exercise.  So you compartmentalize the ill will and allow the rest of your life to divide and conquer you.  Love, career, health, recreation - these are the seeds of a new and improved you.  Focus on the present and you can fool yourself into thinking you've erased the past. Isn't it that easy?  Just redistribute your energies to face the immediate, and maybe every now and then you’ll think, “Oh, that’s right, I forgot to hate my past today.” 

Funny how when you then try to embrace this emotion, it quickly gets boring.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: justwrite on August 30, 2007, 08:35:30 AM
Hey, Audal...a little bitter mixed with wry, shaken not stirred. Your own special brand. You rock, dude! Nicely done. :clap:

And now, without further adieu:

“Dude! Look’s like it’s your lucky day. Just so happens I work in that gas station over there, and I’m going to fix you up for free. Hop in.”

Rahmed climbed behind the driver’s side and Mateo the passenger side. Mateo’s chest tightened. He considered calling Ray to bail him out but that would only earn him a beating later at Tío’s hands.

In the truck, Rahmed’s smile vanished. He spoke in a low whisper, his dark eyes boring into Mateo.

“You don’t tell my sister you saw me today- - I don’t tell your uncle you screwed up his truck. I’ll even help you with the delivery.”

Rahmed paused. Mateo stared.

“You speak ingles, dude, don’t you? You good with that?”
“Uh, yeah. I guess.”
“Shake on it then.”

Mateo offered his hand and Rahmed squeezed his fingers together in a too firm grip. A smile spread across his thin lips. He held onto Mateo’s hand for an uncomfortably long moment.

“Maybe you and me could, ah, meet up sometime, huh?”
“Huh?”
“Have a drink down by the pier, you know?”
“Sure, uh, maybe.”
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 30, 2007, 09:31:33 AM
Hey JW.  I really like this excerpt. Lots of great tension written in.


Quote
“I have brought you all here today to discuss the further retrieval of the stones,” Emery said as the group trickled into silence. “From our recent experience, we can be certain that the stones of Brim have restored our true Shay powers. Certainly those of you with Healing and Speed are feeling quite anxious to get your turn.”

A murmur dribbled through the crowd and Emery allowed it to persist for a moment. The crowd finally died back down and stared intently back at their leader; however, Nolan’s eyes were fixed on something far more surreal. 
   
Greer, the Guardian, maneuvered through the group, his massive form mingling amongst the crowd as if he belonged. No one paid him any notice.  Those who did only smiled and nodded as if he were one of them. Nolan pressed his eyes closed and shook his head. When he opened his eyes again, the Guardian was gone.
   
“Are there any questions?” Emery asked. 
   
Several hands shot up into the air.
   
Nolan dared not to blink as he searched through the crowd for the Guardian to reappear. But there was nothing now, except for the familiar faces of the villagers. He relaxed. Perhaps it was just his imagination. Or more likely: He was just going insane.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Miss Java on August 31, 2007, 09:11:04 PM
Wow!  A writing board where no one actually WRITES!!!

Geesh!


Well, here is a new one from me.  Anyone want to join me?  It's lonely on this thread.

Quote
Within the hour, King Alcandor’s throne room had filled with every upper and lower officer in the Rol’dan. Kael walked along the ranks--a motley group at best--and gave them a compulsory inspection.  It was all for show, of course. He had to maintain his position of authority. But even with his glorified rank, a Lieutenant shot him a dirty look. 

The whole lot of them had been turning quite unpleasant lately; their tempers and outbursts had been inexcusable, and fights were happening continually.  Luckily no one had died…yet. Especially since the healers were nowhere near their full potential right now.

He looked past the disrespectful Lieutenant (he would deal with him later) and down the row of Healing Rol’dan.  Captain Tiohan, the oldest Rol’dan in the army, pressed his fingertips into his temples as his forehead crinkled into a frown. 
   
Kael snorted. This one was the most foul tempered of them all.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: elknutswife on September 01, 2007, 06:46:17 PM
Okay Miss J, I'm only posting this because the rules say I have to if I want to say anything about anyone else's stuff.  Plus, I feel bad that no one has posted in awhile.   :)  I've enjoy reading your excerpts, but really, I just didn't want you to be lonely anymore.   ;D  So, here you go, a helping of my new historical romance (btw, am I the only one of my genre in this motley group of ours?)


Nicola had been watching him all evening.  The way his coat hugged his shoulders when he bowed over his partner’s hand; the way his mouth curved as he smiled; the mischievous twinkle in his pale blue eyes as he laughed; the way the candlelight reflected the golden highlights in his wavy, blonde hair.  She was in love, she knew it. 
   â€œNikki!”  Her reverie was interrupted by the sudden sound of her name, and Nicola blinked in surprise as her great-aunt came into her line of sight.
   â€œThere you are, my girl.  I’ve been searching all over for you.  Now, I’d like to introduce you to someone,” her aunt said, gesturing to the pretty red-headed girl she had in tow.  “Lady Sarah Manston, I’d like to present my great-niece, Lady Nicola Lambert.  She’s come to live with me since the death of her sainted parents.  Nikki dear, Lady Sarah is also one of the queen’s ladies-in-waiting.  I thought you two could get to know one another.  Lady Sarah has been at court for a few months now, and can help familiarize you with your duties.”
   Nicola smiled at Sarah, who promptly seized Nicola’s hands and kissed her on both cheeks.  “It is a pleasure to meet you, Nicola.  Your aunt has told me so much about you.  I think we will be great friends,” Sarah gushed, smiling warmly.
   Nicola immediately felt at ease with the bubbly girl, and her smile brightened considerably.
   â€œYou are very kind,” Nicola responded, eagerly.  “Please, call me Nikki.”
   â€œAh, there you see.  Friends already,” Aunt Helen said, pleased at her success in finding her niece a companion.  “Now girls, if you’ll excuse me, Countess Hartley has just arrived, and I’ve something particular I’ve been meaning to tell her.”
   Nicola and Sarah giggled as Aunt Helen bustled off, intent on her new gossip session, but Nicola instantly sobered as the handsome nobleman again danced into her view, this time expertly twirling a strikingly beautiful young woman dressed in fiery red satin.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Lotheus on September 20, 2007, 05:03:34 PM
Quote
The bladder that had only moments ago threatened to mutiny in his pants was now cowering deep within his pelvis like a hamster in a cage shrinking from a reaching hand.

That made me smile. ;D
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on September 21, 2007, 06:59:39 PM
Though I fear my once promising thread may get buried in the community fiction section by the ever popular five-word thread, I nevertheless was inspired by Loth's resurrection of the thread & show up today with a simple splinter of the WIP.  And for those of you who remember a recent question I posed about the speculative future tense of a daydream - this comes from that.

Quote
Here I would be unable to continue, for it was at that exact moment when I fully understood that the four of us would probably never share the same airspace again, let alone a stage.  Almost twenty years ago, the realization that even inseparables could separate in the swift stroke of a year effectively capsized my entire belief system.  All the things that a child believes infinite – family and friendships, invincibility and innocence – how quickly all we cherish can shatter.  And how enduring the debris left behind.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: kaybounds on September 23, 2007, 04:09:14 PM
Hey Aud I just found this thread. So here goes.



As the door swung open, Rex welcomed the rank smell that rose from beneath him. He slowly walked down the basement steps, each one creaking as his two hundred pounds pressed against them. The room was dimly lit by one bulb in the far corner. He could see just fine though.
Rex crossed the room to where the mattress was lying. The girl had woke up and tried to move because the wires binding her were now cutting of the circulation to her hands and feet. We can't have that Rex thought to himself. So he knelt down beside her to adjust the bindings, as he did another sweet smell tickled his nostrils. God he loved the smell of blood, he savored it. The girl woke again as he was beside her.
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on March 02, 2008, 08:04:07 PM
Poor sleepy neglected thread...

Okay... If only to prove to myself that I'm making at least SOME progress, I'm gonna lock this into the cyber-ether forever!

Quote
Lying here at why-the-Christ-am-I-awake o’clock, I overanalyze today’s most baffling moment until I invent an explanation that fits.  While we were busy ransacking the garage, I came across a rat-ravaged box labeled “Carolyn’s Scrapbooks,” and felt sure it belonged in the pile bound for the city dump.  Dad spotted me moving the box to the trash heap and barked, “What the hell are you doing throwing that away?”  Given that he’s been badmouthing Mom for the better part twenty years, I told him what was in this box, so sure was I that he’d support my decision once he understood. 

“I know what’s inside,” he snapped back, “and it’s not trash.”

Now I think I see why he pounced on me.  While I’ve been busy glamorizing my history, Dad merely embraces the facts of his own, however sour they may be.  Every cut, every scratch, every bruise; each is as much of an emblem of the efforts we’ve put forth as they are a reminder of our failures.  Yet no matter how we mold our memories to suit a situation, the prevailing truth is this.  We can neither erase the cruelties we’ve weathered or reclaim the thrills we’ve savored, and the only way to accept both who we’ve been and who are we now rests in our capacity to simultaneously let go and hold on.

I am starting to realize that this crusade is about ensuring we choose the path that makes our fate and doesn’t just find it.

Tomorrow I will wake up and no doubt analyze tonight’s radical analysis.  I will probably also conclude that my conclusions are all wrong, but isn’t that the very point of the path? 

Isn’t reinvention just a more flashy word for adaptation?
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Chelc on March 02, 2008, 08:16:19 PM
woah. this thread still exits!?!

I don't even remember how it works...what are the rules? have I already broken them?  ;D
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: audal on March 02, 2008, 08:24:28 PM
Ah, whatever.  This thread died under rules, so maybe we should just get rid of 'em, eh?

Oh - funny - when I went to post, I had a red font warning that this thread had been inactive for 120 days, and was i sure that I didn't want to start a new thread.

Seems the forum is copping an attitude, huh?
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: Chelc on March 02, 2008, 08:25:17 PM
omg! the site does that?! I have to go test this...
Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: sarahjen on April 24, 2008, 01:50:39 AM
No Aud, don't get rid of the rules. i just found this thread and love the writing. You're great. It's fun. I haven't read much from you, since you've been Global Moterator since I joined.
Elkie, your scary story probably didn't have the affect on me you wanted. See I thought, "Yea, a man's arms." But then again, if you've read my other post on other threads, that's often where my mind goes.

Okay here's a bit from WIP NIGHT VISION: she's watching a "friendly" game of football.

Watching men running around hitting each other seemed barbaric. I quickly found myself lost in another time, a time when men fought to stay alive. I transformed the scene to a large Cathedral. A throne worthy for a king sat to my right and people encompassed me. The men wore skirts of leather, lashed together with metal spikes. Their brawny chests glistened in the sun, reflecting rainbows from their copper skin.
One particular slave held my attention. His brown curly hair and cobalt blue eyes met mine. “Who is he?” I asked the jester at my feet.
“He is an Earth Walker, My Lady.”
“What is an Earth Walker?” My eyes never wondered of his god-like stature.
“They roam the earth searching for evil beings to send back to the underworld.
I smiled to myself. Sometimes, I loved my imagination.
“Why is he here?” I returned to my daydream.
“He’s an adulterer My Lady.”
Intrigued, I asked, “How was he caught?”
“In the act My Lady.”
“Bring him to me,” I beckoned.
As this Earth Walker was summoned, someone yelled, “Watch out!” and a brown pig’s skin came hurling towards my chest. I threw up my hands, but totally missed the ball. It nailed me in the breast. I double over in pain, the wind knocked out of me.


Title: Re: The X(cerpt) Files
Post by: elknutswife on April 24, 2008, 09:26:15 AM
Elkie, your scary story probably didn't have the affect on me you wanted. See I thought, "Yea, a man's arms." But then again, if you've read my other post on other threads, that's often where my mind goes.



LOL yeah, the manuscript (and this scene in particular) have gone through a lot of revisions since I posted it - and actually it's okay that you automatically think of a man's arms because she knows a person is grabbing her, just not who...  :wink:  In fact, I can't even remember what version I posted, I'll have to go back and read it real quick so I know what you are talking about  ;D