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    1. Creative Process Discussion

      I'd love to hear about how you create your favorite works. Of anything. How did you write your best music? How did you create your favorite character in a story you wrote? Anything of the sort....

      I'd love to hear about how you create your favorite works. Of anything. How did you write your best music? How did you create your favorite character in a story you wrote? Anything of the sort.

      I'd love to hear all the different processes people have. It's really quite an interesting topic of discussion, for me.

      Personally, I grab a cup of coffee and listen to instrumental music (mostly avant-garde jazz [Coltrane, Washington, etc]) while creating the world of the story I'm writing. There's something very productive-feeling about being wired on caffeine while also having a constant noise in your ears. It's how I compose some of my better characters and settings.

      Due to my constant writer's block phenomenon, sometimes I'll smoke some pot to get past it. It's almost like phasing through a wall you can't jump over. There's something lifting about it.

      16 votes
    2. I hit the 100 pages milestone for my novel!

      I am super happy right now. For the past few years, I've taken on so many futile projects, dead ends, I've ripped things to shreds because I stopped liking them. Finally though, I am content with...

      I am super happy right now.

      For the past few years, I've taken on so many futile projects, dead ends, I've ripped things to shreds because I stopped liking them. Finally though, I am content with one of my creations and hit 100 pages, already reworked and refined! :)

      Sorry, but I'm super happy at the moment.

      32 votes
    3. Today's the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), is anyone else participating?

      For those that don't know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of the month of November. That translates to roughly 1,600...

      For those that don't know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of the month of November. That translates to roughly 1,600 words a day. More info on NaNoWriMo here.

      I first tried it two years ago though I fizzled out at around 10,000 words and moved on to another WIP. Last year I didn't formally participate though I made an effort to write something every day. Not sure about my word count.

      This year I'm doing a series of short stories in a shared setting since I've been doing more short form writing as of late and I've been mulling over the idea for a few weeks now. It's a nice way to experiment with different settings and themes within a "singular" work. I've made some notes on plot hooks, settings, characters, and ideas I wanted to explore, so it's only a matter of writing the stories now. Maybe I'll even share excerpts as I go along.

      So has anyone else made plans to do it this year?

      19 votes
    4. NaNoWriMo Starts Next Week! Who's Participating?

      This will be my third attempt over the last 5 years but it'll also be the first time I have real time to dedicate to actually doing this. I'm really, really excited. I have a Chromebook now so...

      This will be my third attempt over the last 5 years but it'll also be the first time I have real time to dedicate to actually doing this. I'm really, really excited.

      I have a Chromebook now so I'll likely be writing primarily on Google Docs. What are your writing plans? By hand? Scrivener?

      20 votes
    5. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is only two months away!

      Each November hundreds of thousands of writers attempt a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. Results vary, but it's a ton of concentrated writing and storytelling practice and always a blast,...

      Each November hundreds of thousands of writers attempt a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. Results vary, but it's a ton of concentrated writing and storytelling practice and always a blast, especially if you're in a region with meet-ups. More information at nanowrimo.org.

      Is anyone here participating? This will be my fourth year (after a good ten-year break) and my third as a Municipal Liaison (regional coordinator) setting up events in coffee shops and libraries. Are you already planning what you'll write, or just letting inspiration strike on the first? Any great tales from years past?

      15 votes
    6. Scourge (a Codex short story)

      I've seen the occasional poetry thread, but I thought I would post some more traditional writing. This short story is background lore for my ongoing web serial, Codex, which takes place a thousand...

      I've seen the occasional poetry thread, but I thought I would post some more traditional writing. This short story is background lore for my ongoing web serial, Codex, which takes place a thousand years after these events.


      The research team looked like ants in the scry-screen, crawling around the laboratory as they completed the ritual’s final steps. When the spell was powered on, it let out a brief flash of brilliant orange light that made Tarrel wince and shade his eyes. The ants milled about as if their hill had just been kicked over, swarming this way and that, huddling over the piece of enchanted metal.

      Tarrel stood up and left the viewing room. Renna looked up as he entered the laboratory and waved him over, a broad smile on her face. She held out her hand, offering him a bracelet made from some shiny metal; it looked like two flat chains had been woven together into a thin, knotted band. “Is that the eternium?” Tarrel asked. “Why a bracelet, and not a sword or spear?”

      Renna stepped away from the five other people as an argument developed over one of the experimental readings. “It’s a gift.” She gave him an impish grin. “You’re allowed to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you know.”

      The eternium was slick against his skin, as if it had been greased, and it had a mirror-perfect reflective surface that threw the bright overhead lights back into his eyes. He angled it away from him and stared at the gleaming metal, trying to dredge up the appropriate emotion, as if he could summon it into being by sheer willpower.

      Logically, it should have been easy -- he had all the pieces: a beautiful girlfriend (if occasionally annoying), a prestigious research position, and a talent for magic that made most other wizards look like fumbling idiots. And of course, he was a Raal, entitled to all the benefits that came with higher civilization: immortality (or a very long life anyway), near-absolute freedom to do as he pleased (as long as that didn’t impinge on others’ freedoms), safety (from physical harm). Any non-Raal would kill to be where he was, and it was a safe bet that most Raal who knew him were at least a little envious of his status. But happiness, like an improperly drawn ritual, refused to manifest… and all Tarrel could feel was a bleak sense of anticlimactic fatigue as he looked into the shiny mirrored surface.

      Renna moved closer and touched his arm. “Hey. What is it?”

      He forced a smile onto his face and slid the bracelet onto his wrist. “Nothing.” The rest of the team was gathered around an Aether screen. Part of Tarrel wanted to join them, plunge back into the soothing distraction of work, but all at once he couldn’t stand the thought of doing so. He turned back to Renna, forcing the words through numb lips. “Let’s go out together.”

      They could have taken a teleportation circle or a flier, but Tarrel wanted to walk so they strolled the floating streets of Ur-Dormoth together. It was nighttime, but the walkways were all lit with bright white mage-bulbs. Aircraft hummed overhead, like gigantic wingless insects, disappearing into the night as they left the city.

      “Ever been to a mite city?” Tarrel asked as they walked.

      “No.”

      “I have,” Tarrel said. He brooded for a moment, staring out at Ur-Dormoth, sprawled across the clouds like a tangled pile of glittering lace. “They’re cramped, and squalid, and they stink of death. It’s like being in a corpse.”

      Renna shrugged, seemingly unconcerned by the fate of however many millions of less fortunate people lived on the land below them. “Why do you bring it up?”

      “I don’t know,” Tarrel said. “Have you ever wanted something and really worked for it, only to find that once you had it, you didn’t want it anymore?”

      “I’m not sure I understand,” Renna said. “Why would you work for something you don’t want?”

      Tarrel sighed. “Never mind.”

      They went to the Eyrie, where Tarrel tried to look interested in the menu before giving up and ordering at random. The food arrived a few minutes later, looking decadent and delicious: creamy soup, flower-shaped pastries, a platter of fried onions. Tarrel ate mechanically, doing his best to appear as if he was enjoying it, but all he could think about was the emptiness he felt inside.

      “How’s the food?” Renna asked.

      Tarrel glanced at the pale white soup he was eating and tried to decide what to say. “It’s good.”

      Renna leaned back in her chair. “I knew you would like it.”

      “How long do you think it’ll be before we can start mass-producing the eternium?”

      Renna blinked, caught off guard by the sudden change in topic. “A few more weeks? Once we do, the applications are immense.” Her eyes were practically glowing with excitement. “What would it be like to live in a tower taller than the highest mountain?”

      Tarrel stirred his soup, wishing he could share her energetic happiness. “That’s a long way to fall.”

      Renna chuckled, a delicate sound like tinkling crystal chimes, and tossed her sleek white hair over her shoulder. “I’m sure they’ll have protective enchantments. It would be quite the scandal, to be the architect responsible for the first death in centuries.”

      “They don’t let you Merge,” Tarrel said, only half paying attention to the conversation.

      “What?”

      “Murder. If it’s deliberate, your thread is cut. No children.” Tarrel made a snipping motion with his free hand. “But if they think you meant to kill, then it’s a life for a life.”

      Renna stared at him. “How do you even know that?”

      Tarrel shrugged, already losing interest in the topic. “Memory spell.”

      “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

      “It’s too difficult to cast for most people,” Tarrel said. Though that would change, if he ever got the framework functioning.

      “What’s the framework?” Renna asked.

      Tarrel realized he had spoken out loud. “Just a project I’ve been working on. You speak a command, and the framework casts the appropriate spell for you. All the power of a ritual, none of the difficulty.”

      “That seems pretty useful. How’s it going?”

      Tarrel blinked, not sure if he had heard her correctly. “Useful?” His lips twisted. “Nobody else seems to think it would be.”

      “Are you serious? The applications for research alone would be immense. Imagine never having to cast another scrying spell.”

      “They said it would be too inconvenient, or that the magic would lack power, or any of a hundred other excuses.”

      Renna reached across the table and put her hand on his. “It sounds amazing to me.” Tarrel met her eyes, searching for any hint of insincerity, but all he found was honest admiration. “Can I see it?”

      Tarrel shifted in his seat and looked away. “I, uh, sort of abandoned it. Nobody seemed to want it and I ran into some thorny problems, so it seemed like I was just wasting my time.”

      “Well take it out of storage! Don’t worry about them, once they see what it can do they’ll all change their mind. Your legacy would be etched in the stone of history, right up there with Elmar the Great and the Risen Kings.”

      Renna frowned and held up a hand to forestall his reply. “One moment. Someone’s trying to talk to me on the Way.”

      Tarrel watched, but Renna’s expression gave away little. Half a minute passed before she finished. “What was it?” Tarrel asked.

      “The research lab.” Renna’s face twisted in disgust. “Apparently they decided to run another batch of eternium, but someone messed up one of the protective spells.”

      “Oh,” Tarrel said. He knew he ought to say something more, but somehow he couldn’t bring himself to care about the fate of the researchers. If they couldn’t even cast a simple set of wards, they deserved what they got.

      “They’ll be fine,” Renna said, apparently mistaking his silence for concern. “At least as long as nobody screws up their healing magic too.” She hesitated, then stood up. “I’m sorry to cut this short, but I really ought to be there.”

      “It’s fine,” Tarrel said. “I’ll head back to my house. Maybe work on the framework some.”

      Renna smiled. “I still want to see it.”

      She walked over to the teleportation circle in the corner and activated it, vanishing with a soft pop. Tarrel was left in the deserted restaurant -- or not quite deserted. There was a man, washing the tables with a cloth. Tarrel watched him as he worked his way across the room, until he was near enough to talk to.

      “Why do you do that?” Tarrel asked.

      The man looked up. He had a rough, honest face. “Why not?”

      “You could let the golems do it. Or, if you wanted to make sure it was done properly, you could use magic. Why do it by hand?”

      “Sure. The golems would probably do it better than me, and a spell could do it faster and better. But that’s not the point. Haven’t you ever found pleasure in work?”

      Tarrel was on the point of saying no when he reconsidered, remembering all the times he had thrown himself head-on into inventing a new ritual or improving an old. “I suppose so. But my work isn’t something a golem can do and, when I’m done, I have something at the end.”

      The man chuckled. “And when I’m done wiping a table, I have a clean table.”

      “Only until someone comes in here and dirties it again,” Tarrel pointed out. He paused, struck by a sudden thought. Was that the problem, the reason for the hollowness all his achievements seemed to have? Even as one of the brightest researchers of the century, his name would inevitably be forgotten, in a hundred years, or a thousand, or ten thousand. But if he was able to create a new paradigm for magic… then he would be remembered.

      “If I’m still around, I’ll get to enjoy cleaning it again. If I’m not, well, like you said: the golems can do it better anyways.”

      Tarrel blinked, startled by the man’s voice. “Uh, right,” he said. He stood up. “I need to go.”

      He took the teleporter back to his house and went down to his private laboratory. White mage-bulbs flared on as he entered the spacious room, illuminating the Aether screen set into one wall and the stone floor, still etched with an old circle. He cleared it, resetting the solid granite slab to its original, perfectly smooth, state.

      Tarrel spent the rest of the night hunched over the Aether’s display, tweaking and changing the framework. Every so often, he would stand up and etch it into the granite floor with an eye-searing burst of brilliant orange light. Each time, the spell failed in a new, unexpected way, and Tarrel was sent back to the Aether to try to find the source of the problem.

      The days merged into weeks, which flowed into months. Tarrel enchanted himself with restorative spells so he didn’t have to eat or sleep. Such behavior was considered unhealthy by most people, but it wasn’t the first time Tarrel had lost himself to the grip of work, and he no longer cared if his friends whispered behind his back or shook his head when he wasn’t looking. Like Renna had said, they would change their mind soon enough.

      Renna knew enough to recognize the signs of Tarrel’s obsession, but she didn’t stop coming over to visit him. The door chimed regularly at noon every third day. They sat on one of Tarrel’s couches for ten or twenty minutes, talking until Tarrel could no longer keep himself away from the laboratory and made his excuses. For him, the time seemed one long hazy blur, interspersed only by slight, inching progress as obstacle after obstacle rose up to meet him and was defeated.

      Eight months later, Tarrel stood before the granite slab and powered up the latest spell. “Fire,” he said, envisioning the unlit torch in the corner igniting. He didn’t really expect anything to happen and was thus shocked when it erupted into orange flame. His hands trembled with excitement as he stood up and approached the crackling brand. Magic! By talking! At last, it was working.

      “Freeze,” Tarrel said. A chill swept over him as the torch’s flames guttered out. Water condensed on the blackened stump, then froze solid into a glittering sheen. A smile spread across his face and something warm and… happy rose inside him, like winter ice cracking and melting as summer approached. Renna’s words came back to him: Your legacy would be etched in the stone of history and he threw his head back, laughing.

      Further experimentation revealed that the framework had exceeded his wildest expectations. He refined the spell, reducing the energy it consumed and increasing its potency until at last, it was fit for use in a globalization ritual. Everyone in the world, if they had the basic training necessary to use magic at all, could now access the framework.

      Tarrel reached into the Way, calling for Renna. She responded at once, as if she had been waiting for him. What is it?

      Come to my house, Tarrel sent back. I have something to show you.

      He severed the telepathic link and stood up, unable to stop grinning. The eternium bracelet gleamed in the corner of the laboratory where he had tossed it and he went over and picked it up, turning it over in his hands. General Yenja had been excited about the eternium project. What would she think of the framework? But that was a matter for another time -- right now, he wanted to see Renna’s face when she saw what he had built. Tarrel slipped the bracelet onto his wrist and hurried up the stairs. Behind him, the mage-bulbs blinked out and the laboratory plunged into darkness.

      Renna knocked on the door several minutes later. Tarrel glanced at it. “Open the door,” he said.

      It swung aside, revealing a harried-looking Renna. “What is it?” she asked as she came inside.

      Tarrel grinned and pointed at a glass of water sitting on the table. “Watch this,” he said. “Freeze the water in that cup.”

      The surface of the water turned frosty and opaque, spreading downwards with a deep cracking sound. All at once, the glass shattered, spraying shards and chips everywhere. Tarrel jerked, surprised, then broke out into a laugh. “Sorry,” he said. “I should have been more specific in my wording.”

      Renna touched the solid cylinder of ice, setting it off into a lazy spin. It twirled across the table until Tarrel caught it with one hand. “How do you like it?” he said.

      “Impressive. Can I try?”

      “Sure. I put it in the Way, so you should be able to access it just by thinking about it.”

      Renna gestured at the ice in Tarrel’s hand. “Melt.”

      Nothing happened and Tarrel chuckled. “It takes some getting used to. Try starting to cast the spell normally, then use the framework.”

      “Melt.”

      This time, the frozen water turned warm and started to dissolve, gushing all over Tarrel’s hands. He tossed it back onto the table before it could soak his clothes. “Freeze.”

      Nothing happened and he gave Renna a rueful smile. “My mana cache is empty. I didn't even notice but I've been using the same one for all my research.”

      “Here.” Renna withdrew a fat diamond pendant from beneath her shirt and held it out to him. “Take mine.”

      “No,” Tarrel said. “I have a better idea.”

      He reached out with his mind, drawing on the inert mana present all around and concentrating a small amount of it, refining it into the potent stuff that was normally used for spells. Only a drop, just enough to kickstart the spell he had in mind. “Refine one nex’s worth of mana. Put it into my cache, then cast two copies of this spell, using mana from the cache.”

      It was the longest framework-boosted spell he had cast, but it went off without so much as a tug of mental effort. A thin trickle of mana pulsed through him, then died off as the spell became self-sustaining.

      “Did you just -- ”

      “That’s right,” Tarrel said. “I just revolutionized the mana collection industry.”

      Renna frowned. “Maybe you ought to slow down.”

      “Slow down? Why? I feel great.”

      “That’s because you’re using those invigoration spells.” Renna looked around. “Do you feel that?”

      It was an tingle, like an electric wind brushing over Tarrel’s skin. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the diamond cache, shielding his eyes as it began to glow an intense white. “Behold,” he said. “The future of the Raal.”

      Renna stared at the diamond. “That doesn’t look right. Your new spell -- ”

      “Not a new spell -- a new paradigm. For centuries, we have cast magic in essentially the same way. Spells have gotten better, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of researchers like you, but it’s time for something different. Instead of engaging in a mental wrestling match, we shall simply give an order as if the magic is a servant.”

      “Your refinement spell has a -- ”

      Tarrel slammed his fist on the table. “Shut up!” The framework turned his order from wish into reality and he felt a sudden spike of shame. Using magic on a fellow Raal? What was he doing? But she wouldn’t see. He continued in a calmer voice. “It’s people like you who delayed this project by almost fifteen years. All that time, wasted.”

      He felt the pulse of magic as Renna broke through the framework’s silencing spell. “Listen to me,” she said. The urgency in her tone gave Tarrel pause. “That diamond is about to overload. It’s the same mistake you made with the ice.”

      Tarrel glanced at the incandescent diamond cube, mentally going over the wording he had used with the super-refinement spell. The same mistake he had made with the ice? The air around him felt… thin and weak, while the space around the cube seemed to shimmer and warp. What was going on? And then he got it.

      He stared at Renna, horrified. “Quick. Give me your cache.”

      He began the transfer spell, reverting to the more familiar mental casting in the moment of crisis. It was still incomplete when the cube exploded with a chiming sound that reverberated through his bones. Pain stabbed up Tarrel’s hand and he screamed, flailing around and spraying blood from his two missing fingers. Threads of orange refined mana flickered all around him like a hazy fog and the room dissolved into panic as the magic ran wild.

      Renna’s hair stood straight up. She had time for a single terrified scream before lightning discharged from her body. Bolts radiated out in every direction, crackling and splitting the air apart, disintegrating her body into hot black flakes. Some of them landed on Tarrel’s face and he stumbled back, staring at the black scorch marks on the floor.

      Tarrel’s weight vanished all at once and he floated off the ground, crashing into the ceiling before gravity reasserted itself and threw him back to the floor. The awful ringing of the broken cube continued to echo through the room, growing in strength instead of fading. It tore through his head as he wrapped his ruined hand in his shirt and sprinted for the door -- only to have the space in front of him warp and elongate. The door receded away, until it was like he was looking down a long corridor.

      The first rips began to appear, fuelled by the still-continuing refinement spell as it pumped refined mana into the shards of the diamond cube. It was as if reality was a sheet of glass, fracturing and splitting. Black cracks shot through the room as the chiming hammered through Tarrel’s body. They began to glow, dim white at first, then growing in strength. They pulsed. Flickered. And as Tarrel’s hand reached for the door handle, they exploded.

      Pure, white light surged out into the city, spilling from the research laboratory where Tarrel had conducted his fatal experiments. People screamed and fled. Some tried to cast spells, only to have their magic go awry in a wash of strange effects. Teleportation spells transported heads without their bodies. Flight enchantments sent their users hurtling into buildings. Wards imploded, crushing that which they were meant to protect.

      Ur-Dormoth was just one city out of hundreds, but the Way, a global telepathic link which united all Raal, was irreversibly tainted. Less than a year passed before Tarrel’s name was forgotten, but in the end he got his wish: an eternal, undying legacy -- in the form of a vast, magical wasteland sprawling across a quarter of the continent.

      7 votes
    7. Pretty Terrible Story About Death or Something

      I don’t know about you, but I’d always been taught one of 2 things about death. Either You die and that’s that, nothing else happens and you slowly turn to unthinking dust or You die and get...

      I don’t know about you, but I’d always been taught one of 2 things about death. Either
      You die and that’s that, nothing else happens and you slowly turn to unthinking dust or
      You die and get transported to some mystical outside realm, either a heaven, hell, or purgatory where your immortal soul spends an infinite amount of time

      Now, these aren’t nearly the only interpretations in this wide world, but if you grew up as a middle class white kid in suburban America, this is likely all you heard.

      It took until my 30th year for one of these to be the official accepted scientific theory on the afterlife. Finally, after all these years, science had an answer for what happened after death, and it was-

      Well

      Actually, it’s not really what happens after, per se. No, this perception could not occur after death. There simply was no way any living thing could continue to perceive after death, either any way of defining life we have would be thrown out the window. Instead, this was an explanation for those pernicious near-death experiences that pop up every now and again. Rather than being dead and having moved on, these were all visions people have in the moments prior to death.

      Essentially, the afterlife was all a dream put on by the brain in a vain attempt to keep itself happy and alive.

      This led to a thought. What was the limits of these dreams? Would they continue forever? Would the occupant of the dream believe they could still die in the dream, or would they be an immortal thought, a ghost of firing neurons? Is the brain capable of nesting time ad infinitum, or is the clock speed of the brain too slow for that?

      All signs seemed to point towards the brain giving the occupant infinite joy. Citing coma patients who believed they lived millenia in only a few weeks, the majour scientists of the day claimed a way to cheat death. After all, the only limiting factor here was how fast a bolt of electricity could move across, and since that was basically light speed, time didn’t really matter.

      It didn’t really matter.

      This of course led to a massive increase in suicides throughout the globe. It seemed the main limiting factor for many was whether suicide may lead to a unpleasant scenario. Even those who hadn’t, prior to the discovery, had a single suicidal thought cross their mind jumped at the chance of eternal joy. It wasn’t until much later any sense came into people.

      See, it seems most people are born without a fear of the infinite. I won’t assume, of course, but would you truly find an infinite heaven scary? I would. Infinite time leads to infinite scenarios leads to infinite amounts of both joy and pain. Any amount of fun, after a sufficiently long time, gets boring.

      So, the world was whipped into a global frenzy of life. Wars ended as neither side could really justify it anymore. People finally began to help each other.

      And then, just as quickly as this afterlife frenzy started, it was announced the initial findings were incorrect. Perhaps a decimal slipped, so the official story was death was finite and there was no afterlife.

      That was the official story, of course. The unofficial story…

      Well,

      Imagine you’re trying to do infinite things in two seconds. If you could split your time infinitely, you could complete all infinite things in two seconds. But all the same, everything would be done in two seconds.

      Imagine now you’re trying to do those infinite things in two seconds again, but you have to work against your hands slowly disappearing. Much more difficult, and now you’re less likely to complete those infinite things, but a more finite set. If you think this whole scenario is ridiculous, it’s all based off an account by a Survivor.

      The Survivors were a test group who were used to poke and prod at their afterlives until it could be fully explored. They’re who first discovered the effects of cell death on the afterlife.

      As a body dies, the cells begin to die at a rate of 10 millimeters every second. The initial researchers thought this irrelevant, as the speed of the brain was too fast for it too matter. What they didn’t factor in was that he brain is one of the first parts of the body to die. Sure, electricity moving across perfectly kempt brain cells moved near light speed, but add in broken highways of neurons and suddenly it grew much, much slower.

      The first Survivor to discover this recounted the sky slowly darkening and a void suddenly appearing on the horizon. They were lucky, as the test was ended prior to any majour brain damage. One less so had their memories scanned to reveal their perfect paradise being reduced to a one by one meter square and their representation writhing on the floor in apparent pain. They were not recovered.

      Of course, the researchers were horrified. Only weeks prior had they stressed how painless death should now be, and here was a gauntlet thrown at their feet. So they did the only sensible thing: Lie to prevent a mass hysteria ending in the death of all humans.

      And so it’s seemed to work. Just remember, if you see an empty horizon, this is the explanation:
      Death has always been with us.
      Nobody cheats Death.
      Death will always win in a cosmic tug of war.
      And, most importantly, It’s already too late It's already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late
      It’s already too late

      6 votes
    8. Alone

      There's no more sound, not anymore. Just the thudding of my own heart, deafening in the silence. Erratic, the bassline pounds out, slowing. Stopping. Just like everything else. Behind the visor, I...

      There's no more sound, not anymore.

      Just the thudding of my own heart, deafening in the silence.

      Erratic, the bassline pounds out, slowing. Stopping.

      Just like everything else.

      Behind the visor, I raise my eyes, and see the warships, the victors.

      Alone in this dark space, as fragments of what had been my planet race past, I breathe my last.

      I close my eyes, conceding defeat.

      They had dropped out the sky, and killed and maimed.

      They destroyed our way of life, our beliefs, and all the knowledge we had in a day.

      Then the raped our planet, stealing her life and resources.

      Every crop failed, or was stolen.

      The water was siphoned up and into the sky.

      They drained our oceans, leaving nothing but rotting carcasses and a new desert.

      Our forests were pulped and taken away.

      The barren roads of our world were lined with the dead, dying and confused creatures. Some predators survived for a time, hunting... But then they took them as well.

      Everything was taken, leaving nothing but sand and us.

      I was sent, a final desperate weapon, against our enemies...

      Sabateur.

      Desperate plans rarely work.

      Instead, I found myself suspended in the vaccuum of the world... As the world was ripped apart for her final resources.

      They harvested, as I lay in this lonely space, my air running out, unable to do anything.

      There was no one left to save.

      Tears fell from my closed eyes, as I waited for the last moment.


      I know the story is a bit cliche, but it came when I was exploring Elegy for a Dead World, looking to get my creative side going a bit.

      I find tiny stories like this helpful to set a mood, or get out of one, especially when my writing is blocked.

      I'm hoping to see some inspired short stories, so you guys can serve as my selfish want of inspiration, or some critique of how terribly I've used this meme.

      8 votes
    9. [writing challenge]: say nothing.

      hey everyone! i was sitting down to write some today, and i kept coming up with lines and lyrics that were great, but for absolute vapid-type songs (gucci gang type stuff hahaha). i thought it...

      hey everyone!

      i was sitting down to write some today, and i kept coming up with lines and lyrics that were great, but for absolute vapid-type songs (gucci gang type stuff hahaha).

      i thought it would make for a fun challenge. whether you want to write a short story, a poem, maybe a little stageplay script - what's the largest amount of words you can use to express absolutely nothing?

      whether it be something like the lyrics for lil pump's "D Rose" or something like the internet-famous article "The Rumor Come Out: Does Bruno Mars is Gay?"

      how long of a piece of writing can you make, whilst saying absolutely nothing?

      6 votes
    10. Out Here

      Space. Mankind’s last great mystery. Our modern day ‘Wild West’. What a privilege to be born during this golden age of space exploration, to have the chance to strike out and see a universe so...

      Space. Mankind’s last great mystery. Our modern day ‘Wild West’. What a privilege to be born during this golden age of space exploration, to have the chance to strike out and see a universe so full of absolutely nothing.

      There is nothing out here, there’s a reason it’s often referred to as a void. Okay, yes, the more astute members of you will point out space isn’t truly empty, planets and nebulas, and even us, the humans and our crafts. But for the sake of the scale upon which we view it, its empty.

      Just look at me, stuck out here, stranded, in dark space. For those of you still catching up on your terminology, that’s what we call the space in between galaxies. Yes, those galaxies, the big ones that contain untold numbers of stars. No, I don’t know how I got out here. If I did, I would have done something to reverse it.

      All I can tell you is that I’m out here with a busted ship that only has enough power for life support and basic functions. Ugh, I bet you the caravan has already made it to Port Dalle, and Swiv’s drinking that blasted sludge he wouldn’t shut up about. They’re probably raising a ruckus at the bar, starting brawls and revelries alike.

      And here I am, alone. Well, I have Ping. That’s what I call that eternal pinging. If you listen closely, you can hear it, every few seconds ever so faintly. Ping, ping. I can’t tell if the universe has given me company or is taunting me. My headache leans towards taunting.

      Ping.

      I tried turning it off, I really did. But I can’t figure out where it’s coming from. It’s almost as if the entire ship resonates with the noise. It’s not a big ship, kinda, cozy. I think that’s the word. I have to duck down to pass through the doors. The bed’s a few inches too short. But I make do, plenty of room in the storage closet if I push the tools to the side. Well, I might have jettisoned them. But, hear me out! It’s not like I’d be able to use them anyway.

      ‘What are you doing on that blasted ship if you can’t fix it?’ You may ask. Well, I’ll tell you. It wasn’t supposed to break. I was only supposed to be here to press the on and off buttons.

      Ping.

      They just didn’t include any for that blasted noise. Maybe it’s coming from behind this service panel here, it seems to be louder in the bridge, if you could call this glassed in closet a bridge.

      Bang. Ow.

      Note to self: pulling on random panels is a bad idea.

      Ping.

      Yeah yeah, keep on pinging, you stupid pinging, thing, a-lator.

      Ping.

      That was not a request for you to ping more frequently!

      Ping.

      ...

      What did I do to deserve this? All I ever did was try to lead a semi-normal life. As normal a life being some intergalactic space trucker, shipper, can be. I payed taxes, obeyed the law mostly, didn’t cheat. I mean, I’m not a bad person. I didn’t do anything wrong! Or did I?

      I mean, there are several possibilities. Maybe one of the times a delivery was late it costed someone more then a few extra minutes of paperwork. Maybe I inadvertently stood in the wrong spot, ruining some poor tourists prized photo. Maybe I-

      Ping.

      Maybe I’m dead, and this is my eternal torture.

      Maybe, just maybe, there isn’t such a thing as fate or karma or metaphysical legacies. Maybe, this is just some freak thing that occurred because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time? How’s that sound? Must be hard imagining not having someone to blame for all the things that go wrong, huh? Well, I’ve been stuck here for who knows how long. No one’s coming. And there’s nothing wrong with the ship except some inexplicable power loss.

      Ping.

      Maybe whatever’s making that noise is the cause?

      Ping.

      Pong.

      How do you like dem apples, huh?... Well, I guess you like them. Seeing as you haven’t immediately thrown them back at me. Maybe this’ll keep me entertained for awhile, huh?

      Out here, you take whatever you can get to pass the time. There is literally nothing.

      I even look out at nothing. I mean, sure, I see some of the Milky Way nearby, as well as light clusters that are the other galaxies. But I’m so far off the beaten path that the ship’s computers don’t even register any gravitational pull, and they’re tuned for the center of the Milky Way to set a universal constant for direction. Uh, simple speak, the big thing at the center of our galaxy? That’s down.

      There’s some velocity. So the ship will drift for millions of years, preserved in the inky cold of this wonderful frontier, until it get’s close enough to, something, so it's pulled in and crashes or burns. What? It’s not like anyone will find it anytime soon.

      I suppose you can’t really see the futility of existence yet. Me? My days are numbered, and I’ve already run out of gum.

      Ping.

      Pong.

      Where was I? Right, existence. It’s a funny thing really. Out here, with nothing to do or see, you start to question if anything was really real. Everything turns into this far off dream, the distant past of another person. Here and now, its just you, and the void. Well, that, and the flimsy metal contraption keeping you safe from said void, but even that’s debatable.

      Isolation was the worst punishment we were able to come up with for criminals, after all.

      Eh. I’m waiting my time. You don’t want to hear a condemned man ramble on, or maybe you do, you sicko, you. You want stories, you want to hear the high flying adventures of traveling this wasteland. Tales of explorations and intrigue. Maybe even a little romance mixed in.

      There really aren’t any. Space is, well, space. Big, and-

      Ping.

      -empty, and boring. As for the people, well, the Captain Buck and his intrepid crew all work for the military. The only civilians that do this are either, criminals, insane, or desperate. And any combination of those.

      So there it is. The reality of this grand fantasy you’ve always held in your head-

      Ping.

      -laid bare at your very feet. Not very palatable, huh? Makes me think of that paste you get fed out here. Chemically infused with all the calories and nutrients you need to live. Tastes like they blended cardboard and water into sludge and called it food.

      That’s not even the worst example. There was this one time... one time that...

      Ping.

      Ah, thank you Ping. There was this one time a station had a rodent infestation. Nasty stuff. You know what they did with the buggers? (Not the Editor, Editor’s Note: Not actual bugs.) Used them for meat! You had rodent steaks, and ground rodent. Didn’t stay at that station for long.

      Oh, look. A red light is blinking. Must be time to party.

      Ping.

      Ping agrees it’s time to party. Where’d I put the people to party with? Oh yeah. They’re all back in inhabited space. C’est la vie.

      Vie la c’est? Why are you asking me?

      You know? I’ve done all the talking up until now. I think it’s your turn to tell me a little abut yourselves.

      Yeah?

      Really?

      No.

      Ping.

      Ping doesn’t believe it either. He’s even making this slight hissing noise. Just like a cat. Maybe Ping’s a cat that goes ping? Or a ping that cats?

      Having trouble understanding that one? Do what I do. Don’t.

      Stuff doesn’t have to make sense. I mean, does it make sense for some random guy to be stuck literally nowhere? No, it doesn’t. He should be back home wondering what dinner will consist of. Well, truthfully, I’d probably be stuck with the nutrient paste still.

      Ping.

      I agree Ping, that paste is a travesty and insult to the human palate. At least include something that gives it some flavor. Maybe lemon juice? And some water, and sugar. You know what? Take the nutrient paste out all together and give us lemon, water, and sugar. We had a name for that back home.... I can’t seem to...

      Ping.

      Oh, right! Lemonade. Life’s gift you didn’t ask for. Well, would you look at that? There some ice dust outside. Almost like some rock had a gas bubble inside and it leaked. There you have it folks, the lemonade for today; ice dust!

      You know, I’m getting kinda sleepy and light headed. I have been up for quite some time now. Why? Well, you and Ping are such good listeners, I couldn’t just walk away. No, it was my responsibility to entertain at the expense of my own health. I hope I did a good job, I don’t like to disappoint people. Only peaches disappoint, you expect them to be all flavorful, and they tase like the fruit has been soaking in water.

      Well, guess this is it for now. Nature calls, and I don’t think I’ll be awake for much longer without really going off my rocker.

      Ping.

      Yeah, good night Ping.

      Ping.

      ...

      Ping.

      7 votes
    11. I finally finished a novel

      I've finally finished writing something. It's been about four years since I actually finished something nicely. I'm entering the editing phase, which generally takes longer... But I'm a bit...

      I've finally finished writing something. It's been about four years since I actually finished something nicely.

      I'm entering the editing phase, which generally takes longer... But I'm a bit excited.

      Hopefully this is an acceptable thing to talk about, and I'm going about things the right way.

      So... To spin off into discussion, here's two things:

      A part of the story:

      The ground rose up and struck Raul in the face.

      He blinked, stumbling backwards, seeing his master standing nearby.

      The old man was glaring, his hands clutched around a brightly coloured stone.

      Raul opened his mouth to question, but the old man was whisked away to a distance hillside, and the boy found himself tumbling head over heals backwards down a hillside.

      He scrambled onto his knees, staring as he found himself on the shore of the lighthouse.

      His master placed a solid hand on his shoulder, and muttered gibberish.

      Raul glanced up, but found himself staring at the light of the lighthouse.

      Spinning.

      A bright light, round and round.

      Lightning struck him, and Raul screamed, stumbling backwards.

      The rod lay in front of him.

      He tore his gaze away with effort, and saw his master, hands outstretched, the stone of red, gold and silver floating between them.

      Almost as astonishing, the stone was clean.

      A hammer hit him between the eyes.

      Raul found himself stumbling behind his father, watching as the old man struck stone, separated it, revealing the river of solid copper within it.

      "Boy!"

      I'm hoping I've got the grammar at least semi-right. My illness means I can forget words, or my brain can replace words at random with others that it thinks are related.

      Any guidance or critique is welcome. (I'd give a bigger quote... But this is probably more than enough to discuss.)

      The build script I'm using:

      #!/bin/sh
      
      set -e
      
      if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        echo 'Please provide an output file name.' >&2
        exit 1
      fi
      
      tmp=$(mktemp)
      
      echo 'Building...'
      
      cat title.txt > "$tmp"
      echo '' >> "$tmp"
      cat LICENSE.md >> "$tmp"
      echo '' >> "$tmp"
      cat Prologue.md >> "$tmp"
      
      for file in 0*.md; do
        echo '' >> "$tmp"
        cat "$file" >> "$tmp"
      done
      
      for file in 1*.md; do
        echo '' >> "$tmp"
        cat "$file" >> "$tmp"
      done
      
      echo 'Converting...'
      
      pandoc --toc "$tmp" -o "$1" 2>/dev/null
      
      rm "$tmp"
      
      echo 'Done'
      

      title.txt is basically just YAML markup for pandoc. The other files should be fairly obvious.

      I'm silencing pandoc's output, because I make use of a self-reference to add comments to the Markdown, that get killed by the parser and never make it to the output:

      [//]: # (This is a Markdown comment. Isn't that cool?)

      However, as all the references point to themselves, pandoc warns.

      I'm using pandoc this time around, because it produces fairly clean files. I've used GitBook and Calibre in the past, and though the ebooks they produce work and look okay, the amount of crazy markup they produce means the books lag on some ereaders.

      However, that does make a lot of back and forth. Building, checking output, rebuilding, etc.

      20 votes
    12. Interest in a weekly or biweekly writing prompt?

      One aspect of the Writing Prompts subreddit that frustrated me the most was that the submission that got the most responses was often the one that was submitted first. I found that in order to...

      One aspect of the Writing Prompts subreddit that frustrated me the most was that the submission that got the most responses was often the one that was submitted first. I found that in order to ensure that I got feedback and criticism, I often found myself rushing or submitting sloppy work so that I could submit first. Often times I would ignore prompts I liked because other posts had already taken off.

      I’d like to try something here that addresses some of those issues. I imagine it working like this:

      1. The first post would be a number of prompts that participants would choose from to be that week’s prompt.
      1. After a prompt is chosen, I wouldn’t accept submissions for one/two weeks to give people time to develop their ideas and submissions.
      1. A new post would be created for submissions for the past week’s prompt and providing a new list of potential prompts for the following week.
      1. Go to 2...

      So long as it is practical, I will read and provide feedback and constructive criticisms for every submission.

      I hope this encourages people to develop fledgling ideas as they have the time to let their ideas breathe and they have the promise of feedback at the end of it.

      Of course this isn’t meant to replace other casual writing prompts.

      Edit:

      For those interested a few questions:

      1. Is one week enough time to write?
      1. Would it be better for the writing time to include the weekend?
      1. Would you be okay with certain restrictions like 1,500 words? Is that too many words? Too few?

      Edit2:

      Okay, I'll try to set this up!

      Over the weekend I'll think up some prompts. Here's how I see it rolling out right now. Feel free to suggest other things as it's all fluid right now. I'm open to any and all suggestions.

      1. Monday, Aug 20, I'll post three or four prompts. I'll leave voting up to participants? Or maybe allow the whole Tildes community to vote on the kind of story or theme they would like to read (hopefully to bring writers more feedback)?
      1. Tuesday, Aug 21, I'll announce the weekly prompt. Remaining prompts with good support will be carried over to the following week? Remaining prompts with little support will be removed from the pool?
      1. The following Wednesday, Aug 29, I'll open a thread for the past week's submissions and post a pool of three or four prompts to choose from.

      Not sure how voting for prompts will work, I'm thinking of posting the possible prompts in the comments and using Tilde's voting system.

      17 votes
    13. I just finished writing a story for the first time in years.

      I just finished writing the first draft of a short story called "Thirteen Cuts", weighing in at 4,493 words. Dr. Gilbert Porter is a psychiatrist who must weigh his own conscience after a patient...

      I just finished writing the first draft of a short story called "Thirteen Cuts", weighing in at 4,493 words.

      Dr. Gilbert Porter is a psychiatrist who must weigh his own conscience after a patient has hasn't seen in months admits to having participated in the judicial murder of an person who was not guilty of the charges against him. Does Dr. Porter have what it takes to help see justice done?

      It's going to take some revision before it's ready for publication, though. I know shouldn't be this stoked about finishing a first draft, but it's the first time I've finished any sort of written fiction since I finished Silent Clarion in 2016. I just wanted to celebrate a little, and my wife's out of town.

      18 votes
    14. Orkenfall

      This is just a fun little part of a story I put together a little while ago. Might go somewhere later, but probably not. The symbols looking like: [^1] are footnote links. (Pandoc's format, a kind...

      This is just a fun little part of a story I put together a little while ago. Might go somewhere later, but probably not.

      The symbols looking like: [^1] are footnote links. (Pandoc's format, a kind of extended Markdown).

      Edit: It may be easy to read as rendered html


      A leaf was slowly falling towards their face.

      It was golden, three-tongued, and burning with fire.

      Last one wasn't hyperbole.

      Unfortunately.

      It was all sort of their fault.

      But then, everything always was.

      That's why everyone called them Slag.

      The trees hadn't always been on fire, but they had been on fire before.

      That had been their fault too.

      Being the smallest Ork in a tiny Orkin village, reporting to a tiny Orkin warlord who somehow believed he had the brass balls of a god, Slag wasn't exactly well cared for.

      Their name was their job. They were an Ork, after all.

      The blacksmith beat the metal, made the weapons. Tossed the slag in a pile.

      Molten metal twisted and smouldered, and Slag would grab it by the handful, and toss it into a cauldron of water, and when that was full, kick it down the hill into the dumpsite.

      When the dumpsite was full, Slag would summon the demon, who would demand some strange price, then vanish with the lot.

      The demon's prices weren't helping their standing with the rest of the tribe.

      Like today.

      Slag craned their neck, looking up at the red fiery, and rather horned creature, "Say again?"

      The deep earth-rumbling voice laughed, "I want you to sing! Sing like a girl! Like a tiny little human girl!"

      Slag winced, "I am a girl, demon." [^1]

      The creature blinked in surprise, "You? Little squelchling?"

      Slag shrugged, "I'm a girl. I don't got tits... I ain't pretty. But I am."

      The demon winced, "Figure out which god cursed you little girl... After you sing."

      Singing? An Ork?

      Orkcakes.

      The demon would go, and she'd be blamed there was no room in the dump, and then the Orklord would be in her face. Again.

      Then threaten to marry her to his son. Again.

      She blanched.

      The demon laughed, "Last chance, little orkling."

      She coughed nervously, and then a squeaking voice emerged, singing a quiet rhyme she'd overheard one day.

      Something about stars and diamonds. Humans were weird. [^2]

      Unfortunately, her voice was less like a starlet, and more like diamonds scraping across sandglass.

      The demon shreiked and disappeared back into their realm.

      Without the slag.

      She winced, glancing towards the village, "Orkcakes."


      A hand like iron clasped her head, "Slag."

      She smiled weakly up at her father, and at his one eyes staring out from a bushy grey beard. [^3]

      The warrior released her and spoke gruffly, "Was that you singing, again?" [^4]

      She blushed, looking down in shame, "The demon's price."

      The old man groaned and reached for a whip on the wall, "Please tell me he took the slag."

      "I don't lie, father." She answered. [^5]

      He winced and glared at the doorway, unravelling the whip, preparing to hit the next person who came in. "Go to you room, Slag."

      "It's my honour." She crossed her arms, pretending not to notice that her chest didn't show any bigger, "I want to defend it."

      "Now, Slag." He growled through his tusks.

      She turned and moped away into her bedroom.

      She couldn't fight, all she could do was listen to the glorious blood-curling screams as the emissaries dies. [^6]

      Slag picked some metal from beneath her fingernails and flung it into the wall, pinning a fly by one wing. [^7]

      It wasn't fair.

      She wanted a real fight.

      Why did boys get all the fun?

      The guts and the murder?

      All she got was... Slag.

      An axe blade broke through her wall briefly, before being pulled back quickly, followed by a strangled sound.

      She rolled her eyes and flopped onto her straw bed, staring at the ceiling tiredly.

      Humans made life look so simple.

      Find a man, get pregnant, take care of the litter until you died.

      Just cooking, singing and cleaning.

      She licked the edge of her tusk, yawning. This was going to be another, she must get married because she's useless argument with the Orklord. Which would inevitable lead to my son is too stupid, fat and ugly to possibly get married, and then... Ew.

      She didn't want the bastard.

      He certainly wanted her though, all drooling and slurping.

      She wanted to be a Knight. [^8]

      That was it. All of it. Her only dream.

      A glorious warrior, protecting the weak, hunting the monsters that pray on people in the dark. [^9]

      Her sword would have a name, and glow with power when evil was near. [^10]

      She would yell out it's name, and light up the dark.

      Then she'd kill the bad guy, cut off his head, and ride home with it, and stake it to her wall. [^11]


      [^1]: Really? Wow. Never would have guessed... But orks are always hard to apply gender to.

      [^2]: Understatement. What other species looks around themselves in wonder and decides blowing stuff up is the best way to get something out of the ground?

      [^3]: Stories on exactly how he lost his eye vary. Most involve a dragon, a bet, and a gallon ale. And perhaps a wet, old sock.

      [^4]: Oh gods. She'd tried to sing before? Had birds died?

      [^5]: Not strictly true. She did lie, but only about unimportant stuff. Like what she wanted for dinner. Or what job she wished she had. Or who she wanted to marry. Nothing big.

      [^6]: It's an Orkin thing. Send some messenger to die when your upset with your opponent, and then turn up when their bloodlust was sated. Good way to not die.

      [^7]: She was a practiced hand at this now. Sociopath, or bored teenager? Let the public decide! Blast her in this week's Orks magazine!

      [^8]: ... Should someone tell her human knights usually hunt down orks?

      [^9]: So... Hungry orks. Seriously. Someone should tell her.

      [^10]: So, it would always be lit up. Because you're on Ork, girl.

      [^11]: Oh geeze. Are you the hero, or the villain, Slag?

      4 votes
    15. Tildes writing prompt week 2!

      You're home alone and watching TV. Yawning, you tilt your head to loosen up the knots in your neck and out of the corner of your eye see a dark, fast, blur. When you focus on that spot, you can't...

      You're home alone and watching TV. Yawning, you tilt your head to loosen up the knots in your neck and out of the corner of your eye see a dark, fast, blur. When you focus on that spot, you can't see anything, so you turn back and continue watching. It happens again during a blink, but as you turn your head you almost catch it. Another round of this and you are positive you aren't going crazy, so you blink but turn your head as you open your eyes.

      Shout-out to Mozzribo for the idea. I hope this is inspiring enough to the writers out there! If anyone is interested in doing a prompt next week just say so in the comments. Thanks everyone!

      14 votes
    16. Rose (a poem)

      With my left hand I embrace and repel. With my right hand I create and destroy. I stand before you, both hands free. We remember past hopes and joy. Listen to this moment, presence of silence....

      With my left hand I embrace and repel.
      With my right hand I create and destroy.
      I stand before you, both hands free.
      We remember past hopes and joy.

      Listen to this moment, presence of silence.
      Nothing divides and nothing draws us close.
      Attention is all we exchange,
      Attention in the shape of rose.

      I longed for witness. Before whom? No one.
      Is my heart pure? No. But she insisted.
      We give; and what are we but gifts?
      Gifts we forgot we'd accepted.

      To doubt is to attempt holding back time,
      Lifting time's illusion by illusion.
      I may trust, knowing that I trust.
      At times we feel with precision.

      We part our ways like rose petals in wind.
      We will return when time again is still,
      For no more delight but to see,
      With no more longing to fulfil.

      12 votes
    17. You are a legendary warrior, with a several decades-long reputation of tirelessly prevailing over hordes of monstrosities. In a sudden moment of clarity, you come to your senses in a psychiatric ward.

      You are a legendary warrior, with a several decades-long reputation of tirelessly prevailing over hordes of monstrosities. In a sudden moment of clarity, you come to your senses in a psychiatric...

      You are a legendary warrior, with a several decades-long reputation of tirelessly prevailing over hordes of monstrosities. In a sudden moment of clarity, you come to your senses in a psychiatric ward – a miraculous medication has been tested on you to counter your schizophrenia. As time passes, you begin to recognize the people and other things from your former psychosis.

      [This is the first attempt at having a writing prompt at Tildes. It is too long to wholly fit in the title (only 200 characters permitted – nailed it exactly), so it had to be expanded in the text field.]

      Edit: as per a suggestion in another thread, please feel free to be inspired only by the title text and use the additional info here only if You feel like it helps. I believe that if a prompt sparkles something that ultimately doesn't have much to do with the prompt itself, the goal of the prompt is still accomplished.

      14 votes
    18. Scheduled ~Creative weekly discussions for art and/or photos

      We've been having a smattering of art, poetry, and photo participation posts, such as this, and this, and this, and this. We seem to have enough ~tilders to have a schedule of sorts, but not...

      We've been having a smattering of art, poetry, and photo participation posts, such as this, and this, and this, and this.

      We seem to have enough ~tilders to have a schedule of sorts, but not enough to have each activity every week. How about we rotate weekly activities for a while and see how it goes? I'm thinking we have enough interest for a series of visual/craft based threads and a series of writing based threads. For example:

      July 3-9th Photography (subject exploration or technique)
      July 10-16th What are you making now?/Speedart
      July 17-23rd Photography (topic or equipment)
      July 24-30th What are you making now?/Media challenge

      July 3-9th Freestyle Writing (up to a thousand words)
      July 10-16th Themed Drabbles
      July 17-23rd Poetry format challenge
      July 24-30th It was a dark and stormy night

      Please note that these are suggestions and not an arbitrary bid to codify content or become TEH LEADER. I just think it would be fun to have an activity to look forward to every week. We could even just sign up for hosting a week's topic, and whoever is in charge of the week picks the activity.

      What does everyone think?

      15 votes
    19. Care to share a personal tip on the process of creating your art?

      Whether digital or physical, what certain tools do you use and what unique ways do you use them to achieve the best results? Namely, what tips would you be able to share with someone looking to...

      Whether digital or physical, what certain tools do you use and what unique ways do you use them to achieve the best results? Namely, what tips would you be able to share with someone looking to get into making art somewhat similar to yours?

      Examples:
      oil painting - Are expensive brands of paints worth it? Do you prime your painting surface? Why/why not?
      digital painting - Are their tricks to the way you can use some photoshop tools? What bumps your game up from beginner to mid-level?
      photography - what can/can't be accomplished in Lightroom? What's worth investing in? And how do you make a photoshop selection to cut out a person or animal with fuzzy or whispy hair?
      crafters of all mediums - what adhesives are good? What's the best place for materials?

      This is obviously an open-ended conversation as tilde's user base is still growing. What type of art do you do and what personal tips can you share?

      12 votes
    20. Want to start a writers group

      I have been writing for quite some time, but always look for new ideas, new perspectives, new genres, new ways of promoting or improving or sharing my work. I'm not a professional and still have...

      I have been writing for quite some time, but always look for new ideas, new perspectives, new genres, new ways of promoting or improving or sharing my work. I'm not a professional and still have lots to learn. I am open to all kinds of writing and levels of expertise, and want to open a space where there is genuine and helpful sharing, rather than snarky and dismissive barbs.

      I don't think this should be a place where someone writes a quick and sloppy sub-first draft and then eagerly begs for only positive comments. Writing is hard work. It is a craft and takes serious study and time. It can also be lonely and discouraging.

      I envision a virtual coffee shop where we have all gathered with our latest work, wondering what our next step is, how a good editor can be found, how to write a query letter, is self-publishing a good choice, how did you get an agent...those sorts of discussions.

      How is a new group formed?

      11 votes
    21. Write a ~ story!

      Hey guys, I hope this is the right place for this idea. So, given the more structured community and higher required levels of contribution, I thought writing a collective story could work out....

      Hey guys, I hope this is the right place for this idea. So, given the more structured community and higher required levels of contribution, I thought writing a collective story could work out. I've done this before on other forums and it's always a blast.
      So, the way it works is, I'll start the story off, and then whoever sees it first will continue with anywhere from just one more sentence to multiple paragraphs. Just reply to the directly previous segment. To avoid homogenization, try not to contribute multiple times without letting other people go perhaps twice in between. With all that in mind, let's get started!

      Rufus smacked his forehead as he went to sit down at his computer- he'd forgotten about his date.

      18 votes