The Monk – Part 7

“They’re in there, no doubt looking for Kent. What should we do?”

Paul frowned, “I actually think I should just walk up to them and ask them what they’re doing here. Pretend I don’t know anything and see what they say to that.”

Oriana gasped, “Oh Paul, that’s so obvious. They don’t know you and as far as they know you’re working for the owner of this site. Asking them how they are might get us some real answers. To think here I was thinking we should just watch them. Well, I’ll use my phone to record what happens just in case.”

Paul nodded his agreement, straightened up to his full height and walked confidently into the main doors. Peterson and Nix noticed him almost immediately. Rather than wait for them to start the conversation Paul decided the most convincing course of action was to take the initiative. In his most authoritative voice he boomed to the men in the large old building, “Excuse me gentlemen, what are you doing here? This building is off limits to the public!”

Oriana slipped along the outside of the building and found a hole in the wall to listen into. The hole was quite close to the ground so after fiddling with her phone camera she figured it would be safe to record the action inside. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 7”

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Writer’s Diary: Character Depth

Writing depth into a character is difficult. Creating a character who is flawed, complex, and deep is not an easy task. In my early books (15-20 years ago), all my characters were flawless. They were honest, strong, noble, and if they were villains then they were at least stoic villains. These superficial characters were the creation of a superficial writer. That is, the younger me hadn’t gained enough self-knowledge to be deep enough to create deep characters. Even to this day, I struggle with simple things like lying in fictional characters.

I am naturally an honest person. It was difficult for me to accept that other people lie. My villains used to be honest people, which doesn’t make any sense to me now because an honest villain can’t be evil. They must be dishonest in some way. When I was a young man, though, my world was turned upside down when I discovered something about myself: I actually did lie. I lied to myself by telling myself that my weaknesses weren’t really weaknesses, but unique virtues that only I had. For example: I am not manipulative, I am kind hearted by tricking people into doing what’s best for them, which is actually only what’s best for me. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Character Depth”

The Horror of Humhyde – Part 3

“It’s hard for me to say. They might have been stolen weeks ago, or immediately after they were put into storage. Considering how much is missing, it was probably over several weeks and several raids in the night. While we keep a careful stock on the meat, we don’t often check the other goods in that shed. Rather we did not notice until we were taking an inventory in preparation for the harvest, sir.”

“Several raids?”

“It is possible, but as yet I no idea how they managed to do it, sir.”

“And what are your guards men armed with?”

“Farming equipment, clubs, and a few axes, sir.”

“Any armour?”

“No armour, sir.”

Randall took a moment to consider all this.

“If I needed a band of fighting men, how many could you muster?”

“Sixteen fit young men, and maybe another twenty older men still able in body enough to fight, sir.” Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 3”

Thorns – Part 8

Sorry this is a day late, I had an unexpected event last night!  Humhyde part three will be up later today as scheduled.

 


 

School classes did not start right away. We had a week of orientation left because all the Delphorian children were being collected from around the different nurseries. There were about forty of us and we were all born within the same month of each other. When all the other boys who were born this month finished arriving then we would begin our classes together. Since we had only just been thorned this was the first time we were allowed outside. Because we were born at different times of the month that meant for those of us who arrived before the end of the month we had some time to just wander around the school and play on the equipment.

There was not actually much to do on the playground. There were a few high iron bars and other acrobatic equipment, but most of us were feeling too sore from being thorned. We gathered around a set of monkey bars and all stared at it, there were about twenty-five of us new boys just looking at the bars but no one had the courage to try playing on them first. In retrospect, this was peculiar, because a week earlier at the nursery the children would race to get to the play equipment to climb all over it. Yet something about the buzzing pain in the side of my face was sapping away all my enthusiasm for play. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 8”

The Monk – Part 6

Oriana arrived at the doorstep of a house just a couple of blocks from her father’s factory. She ran up to the door huffing and wheezing from the exertion. She rapped the large wooden door soundly until she heard the sound of the door’s bolt sliding. In the doorway a red haired young woman with bright blue eyes and big teeth popped into view.

“Ahna!” she cried, “What are you doing here? Have you lost your phone? I didn’t get a text from you to say you were coming over.”

Oriana shook her head as she was fighting to get the breath to speak.

“Golly, Ahna, did you run here?”

Oriana nodded exasperatedly. This was her best friend Kelly whom she shared all her adventures with. They’d been friends since primary school and considered each other’s home to be their own. Kelly was the athletic adventurous one while Oriana had been the brainy nerdy one.

“What’s wrong?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 6”

Thorns – Part 7

Elwin waited for Erian to come out of his trance. It was not uncommon for him to go into these trances and Elwin was used to them. Rather nervous ticks, hallucinations, and trances seemed so common among the Delphorians it was simply accepted they were a degenerate people full of such defects. Elwin was used to Erian’s bizarre habit of going into a poetic trance that he knew confidently that in a few moments the thorn embedded in his right temple would start to sting and he would snap out of it.

“Agh!” cried Erian clutching his right temple. The thorn swelled up into a putrid black boil.

Elwin waited for Erian’s pain to subside and then he questioned him straight away on what he said about water washing away sins.

“Oh that was just something I heard some crazy fool in tech school muttering once. No one took him seriously. Although, I do wonder if that’s the key for removing these thorns.”

“Are you sure we won’t get the plague if we pull out all of these thorns?”

“Elwin, I am sure of it, we were not meant to live like this. We were meant to be rulers.”

“The Kelites say that when we were rulers that we were cruel and arrogant. Maybe we deserve these thorns. Maybe the thorns are justice for our people’s sins.” Continue reading “Thorns – Part 7”

Writer’s Diary: Market Facing Author

The age of the Internet has done something to writing that hasn’t been the case ever before in history. In the past writers were extremely limited in their ability to reach an audience. If I had to use clay or stone tablets to reach my audiences then I would need to spend most of my time learning the art of making these tablets and only a fraction of my time on actual writing. Even with paper and the printing press it was still difficult to spread ideas. There have always been gatekeepers preventing writers from sharing their creativity and they’ve mostly been economic: the availability of clay was the gate keeper for the author of clay tables, the availability of parchment the gate keeper for the dark age author, and so on. When the printing press came along it was the publishing company that was the gate keeper. Do you want your writing published? Then it needs to find a publisher who will approve it for you first. With the internet though, this has all changed. For less than a day’s salary you can buy a domain name and publish your own work and it can potentially reach everyone who can read.

However, how am I to earn a living being an author? Patreon is exciting to me because in the past artists needed to either have plenty of money themselves or they needed to have a wealthy patron to fund their creativity. The idea that hundreds of people could each chip in a few dollars for me each month and that I might be able to actually make something of a living from my hobby is quite exciting. Of course, I haven’t actually made any money from this yet and probably won’t for a long time. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained as the saying goes. I enjoy writing and it is meaningful for me to share my work. Now that I have this site, and I’ve decided how I will run it, all I need focus on now is producing good quality writing. Writing that people will actually want to read. Writing that people will think, “it was worth my money supporting that guy!” So what can I do to be in control of this? How can I make this site a success now that I am a market facing writer, not a publisher facing writer, because the only gatekeeper left is the reader. Well, I have a few goals at the moment for improving my writing: Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Market Facing Author”