Tag: writing

No Such Thing as Innocence

Henry took a step back into the shadow at the corner of the boarded up row of shops facing the deserted street. He waited, listening. There was no sound except a distant siren streets away. He peered out, first checking the sky. There was no sign of a drone. But there often wasn’t. These days they flew high for their own safety, their rotor motors inaudible from the ground. As for the satellite images and other surveillance – it was too late for that now. Bloodstains, bricks, stones, smashed glass and other debris littered the post-riot street. Across from the…

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The Look

‘Perhaps this would be a good place to start?’ I said. She looked around. She was not impressed. ‘Not much of a page is it?’ ‘What do you mean? A page is a page. They all look like this until something is written on them. She didn’t seem convinced. She gave me a look. That kind of look. She glanced up towards the previous sentence. ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ ‘What it said.’ ‘That kind of look? Really? She shook her head. ‘I can fix it in the next draft.’ She gave me another look. ‘Stop that.’ ‘Why, it gets…

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A Dirty Mind

‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I’ll think of something.’ ‘Oh.’ She shuffled her feet and gave me one of those looks. ‘What’s that mean?’ I said. ‘What’s what mean?’ ‘That look.’ ‘What look?’ ‘The sort of look a woman gives a man when she’s expecting him to make an arse of himself, or worse an arse of her.’ She was watching me carefully. I thought about naming her. I should have done it before I’d started writing her, so I could have begun with identifying her as a specific person. ‘A sensible one this time.’ ‘What?’ I was beginning to wonder…

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Reality is Not What it Used to Be

‘Is it real?’ I asked. ‘Ah.’ Professor Wilheim thrust his hands into the pockets of his lab coat. ‘That is an interesti-‘ A puzzled frown crossed his face. He withdrew his right hand from the pocket. He was now holding about two-thirds of a cheese salad baguette in his hand. He sniffed it, prodded it with a finger and took an experimental bite. ‘Is it real?’ I repeated. The puzzled frown was back as Wilheim stared at the now slightly smaller baguette in his hand. ‘It tastes real.’ ‘Not that… that.’ I pointed. The dragon looked up at the sound…

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That Look in her Eyes

She had that look in her eyes again. Helt was worried. He remembered the last time she’d had that look in her eyes. It had not ended well, at least not for him. What is more to find out she had that look in her eyes meant that Helt had to be close enough to her to see the look. That proximity brought him within range. Not that Shemul was dangerous as such. After all, Helt was the king, and he ruled his lands with an iron fist. Dukes, barons and earls trembled before him. Shemul, though, was his queen.…

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Long Live the… King

‘Your Majesty,’ Menvin bowed low. ‘The king is dead.’ ‘Oh.’ ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘There will be a period of mourning, no doubt?’ ‘Of course, your majesty.’ ‘Then after that… my coronation. How long will it be?’ ‘Er….’ Menvin shifted from foot to foot, his eye caught by a detail on a tapestry behind Shilen’s head. ‘My coronation? When will I be crowned king, Menvin?’ Shilen got up from the chair and took a step closer to the Lord High Councillor. ‘Well?’ ‘There is a problem, majesty?’ ‘What sort of problem. I am next in line, am I not?’ ‘Hmm.’ ‘Are you…

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Damsons in Distress

‘Is it worth it?’ ‘I… what do you mean?’ The squire shifted the load on the tired old packhorse. The horse gave the squire a long-suffering look. The squire turned back to Sir Pokeabit. ‘This going on a quest… is it worth it?’ ‘Worth it? There are dragons to kill, damsons to rescue, treasure to find.’ ‘Did you say damsons?’ ‘No, of course not.’ Sir Pokeabit looked down at his thigh. There must be some way of scratching it without having to take the armour off again. ‘I said damsels.’ ‘Damsels, what are they?’ ‘Well-‘ Now his other thigh was…

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Introducing the Secondary Characters

‘Hello. All right?’ ‘Hello. Yes… I’m fine.’ James looked around.’Er… excuse me?’ ‘Yes, mate?’ ‘If you don’t mind me asking, who are you?’ ‘Me?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Oh, sorry. I thought you knew. I’m one of the secondary characters.’ He extended his hand. ’I’m Pete.’ ‘Hello, Pete. Pleased to meet you. I’m….’ ‘Oh, I know who you are. No need for introductions from you, James. After all, you are the protagonist.’ James stood up taller, his chest out. ‘So, you recognised me, then?’ ‘Of course.’ The other man got to his feet. ‘As soon as I saw you introduced in the opening…

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Not His Story

Jake stood back, a little to one side of the left-hand margin. It paid to be cautious these days. He studied the page carefully, ready for action if it was necessary. He risked taking a few steps closer. It looked like an ordinary paragraph from here. But these days stories started quite fast. That opening paragraph could contain anything from a poisonous letter in a non-descript envelope to a whole cadre of suicidal terrorists. Jake wasn’t fooled easily. It looked like an innocent paragraph, maybe even containing some scene-setting description. But you couldn’t be too careful. Jake was – as…

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The Authorial Voice

‘Well?’ She stood, arms folded, staring at me. ‘Well, what?’ ‘You’re the author. You tell me.’ ‘Do I have to?’ ‘Yes. I would have thought you would know that.’ She looked around at the blank page behind her. ‘Could you describe a chair for me? I could do with a sit down.’ ‘Sorry. Yes, of course.’ I quickly described a deep comfortable brown leather sofa. ‘Ooh.’ ‘What?’ ‘The leather is a bit cold. Could I have some clothes as well?’ I began typing… then stopped. ‘What sort of clothes?’ She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Anything would do really.’ A knowing…

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