Friday, April 28, 2017

Writing Exercise #9: The Macro Show

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Writers and industry professionals spend a lot of time talking about the differences between SHOWING and TELLING. Knowing when it's appropriate to show (most of the time) and when it's perfectly fine to tell (it is, you know?) is crucial and it can also be subjective.

To bring clarity, we use quotes from fantastic storytellers to make our point and we break down sentences to show you exactly how to do it. But as we drill down to the nitty gritty, we often lose sight of the larger picture. We miss the forest for the trees, if you will.

To make things easy on us, let's break this out into two categories.

There's the Micro Show and the Macro Show.

When we talk about the Micro Show, we're talking about showing at the sentence level. We're asking you to paint a picture for us, instead of simply pass along information. We're talking about choosing strong verbs and not leaning wholly on modifiers or adverbs. We're telling you to let your dialogue do the showing for you and we're reminding you that you must be careful when you use sense words like: heard, saw, felt, tasted, smelled, sensed.

We're using examples like:

Use a strong verb
Mike moved slowly to the bar. (not great)
Mike lumbered to the bar. (better) 

Be specific
The girl's dress was pretty. (not great)
Her blue pinafore was trimmed with lace. (better)

Dialogue and punctuation
"Jason," he yelled loudly. "You broke it." (not great)
"Jason! You broke it." (better)

The five senses
The neighbor's door slammed and then Tim heard the music. (not great)
The thud of the door and, in the space of a heartbeat, his room pulsed to the beat of a stereo two walls away. (better)

These are fantastic tips. More than that, they are simple structural items that will immediately jump your writing to the next level. Simple, simple. And the more you work to write this way, the more natural it becomes.

What is a little less natural is the overall Macro Show. And this takes intention and consistent attention as you write. Let's talk about it for a second.

When we're talking about showing aspects of your story on a macro level, we're talking about big picture items. For example, if I want you, the reader, to know that my main character is loyal, I could handle it one of two ways. I could tell you he's loyal. I could say, "Henry was loyal even to death." It's not a great sentence, not a particularly showing sentence, but it conveys the information I want conveyed.

BUT! If I want to show you that Henry is loyal, I  can't really do that in a single sentence. I must show you Henry's loyalty by placing him in scenes that prove he is, in fact, a loyal soul. I must show you that he could have chosen another path, perhaps an easier path, but that's not our Henry. Henry is loyal. I, the author, must construct a scene or an entire story to paint Henry as he is.

And that's what we're going to do today.

Your goal is to choose a character trait from the list below and then put a character in a scene to show that trait off. The catch? You cannot use the word you choose. For example, if I decide I'm going to show loyalty I cannot use the word loyal (or any of its variations). Make sense?

Give it some thought and then sit down and get to work. Your scene does not have to be crazy long, friends, to get the job done. Leave your response to this exercise in the comments section below and throughout the weekend, come back and read the other responses and see if you can guess just which character traits the writers are showing off. Feel free to reply to their response with your guess. Kindness matters!

And remember! Whenever you participate in a writing exercise here at Go Teen Writers, you can enter a Rafflecopter drawing. The winner will be selected next week and will have the opportunity to ask us a question for an upcoming episode of Go Teen Writers LIVE.

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  1. Thank you for this exercise. I don't enter the competition, but I do the exercises anyway because they help strengthen my thought process. Maybe I'll enter one day. Thank you for doing these. My Macro and Micro skills need polishing. :)

    1. Also, Mrs. Dittemore, I love how you alphabetized the list. :)

    2. Me too- I don't enter the rafflecopter either. Maybe I will some time, but the exercises themselves are what draw me.

    3. Yeah, I was thinking next time, I would do the exercise, but make a note that I'm not entering. I just like the community in the comments section. Everyone's so nice and uplifting. It's nice to talk to people without all the negativity.

      Have a blessed day. :) <3

  2. Okay, here it goes. I used the characters from my steampunk WIP, but wrote a separate fragment. It came out in 3rd person, which isn't my favorite, but I think it works. Sorry in advance for it being so long.

    Aubrey mentally traced the cobwebs on the ceiling. The thump-thump-thud of the nearest engine was a distant hum, a tiny tingle when you touched the metal floor. This far on the outskirts of the city, she couldn’t believe she could feel them at all. The Abandons only stayed afloat because the rest of Sunseer held their weight. If someone activated a boiler room out here, you would hear it puffing and churning for miles.

    She was more than a little tempted to find the nearest boiler room, just to see if she could light it. The noise would alert General Sulla’s little troop immediately, but at least a fight would give them something to do. And maybe a chance to lose her newest nuisance.

    “I don’t get it.” Jase sat cross legged on the dusty floor, two pieces of flint in his hands. Ten year old Patton sat across from him. “Aren’t they supposed to spark?”

    “I don’t think they like you.” Patton grabbed the flint out of Jase’s hands and chipped them together. Sparks flew. “Maybe you’re doing it wrong.”

    “You just hit the stupid rocks against each other. They spark. It works. What do I have to do, sing to them?”

    Aubrey rolled her eyes. Flint was flint. It wasn’t that hard to make them spark.

    Patton examined the rocks. “Maybe you’re absorbing the sparks. Can you turn off your craft?”

    Jase glowered. “I’m not on fire, am I?”

    “Try again.”

    Jase accepted the rocks with a grumble. “Why do I have to learn this? Shouldn’t I be learning something a little more useful, like where to get food?” Jase held up his hand, and a tiny blue flame jumped to life. “I could make fire before I could read.”

    Lucky him. Why didn’t he go find his own hideaway, if he was so special?

    “Yeah, but you do that in public and you’ll be dead in two seconds. If you know how to make fire like the rest of us, people won’t wonder why you can’t cook food.” Patton grabbed the flint back. The rough charcoal color seeped from the stone and up his arm. It stopped when it reached his elbow, and he handed the stone back to Jase. Patton’s other hand grew gray until it too matched the flint. He clapped his hands.

    The resulting sparks set the ragged curtains between the boys alight immediately. Jase grimaced and poked at the flames, the cool orange turning to white wherever his bare skin touched them.

    “I can’t just use a lighter?”

    “We don’t have one.”

    “Can’t I pretend?” Jase tucked the flint into his palm and mimed flicking a switch. The flames licking at the curtains died in an instant. The fire burning in the middle of the room went out too.

    “Hey!” Aubrey flicked her wrist, and the fire relighted. “Idiot.”

    Jase frowned. “You know how to do this?”

    “Of course.” She hadn’t always had the privileges of a hermit. “It works for me.”

    “Don’t talk to her when she’s like this,” Patton said. “She just gets crankier.”

    Aubrey snorted and rolled away. Let them play. She could lay here in the cobwebs and pretend to do something important.
    I tried to show Aubrey, my MC, feeling jealous. She thinks of Patton as her little brother, and she doesn't trust anyone, since most people try to kill her because of her fire magic. Jase is a time traveling college student with fire magic of his own, who comes from our time and doesn't have any survival skills. At all.
    I just came up with this, so it's kind of blah, but I hope people like it.

    1. I liked it. I would probably read something like this. I like dystopian feel to books. (Probably because that's what I focus on right now.) It was honestly a pretty cool excerpt. (Honestly, I didn't know what steampunk really was until now because I just looked it up. I've heard of it, but never really knew exactly what it was.) Keep up the good work, Lily. :) Have a wonderful day.

    2. This is good, but i do think that it shows her frustration and her jealousy.

    3. Nice! The interactions among the characters felt really authentic. I did kind of lose track of Aubrey in the middle, though, so it was hard for me to decipher her mood.

    4. "Why didn't he go find his own hideaway, if he was so special?" That showed me right away she was jealous. I also got a sense of frustration coming from Jase. Great job!


    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Thank you, everyone! Olivia, I was worried about that, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it. Ann, yes, Jase is definitely frustrated and a little humiliated. He's had a tough day. I didn't even think about him and Patton showing their own emotions when I wrote this. I guess Patton's trying to be patient with Jase but also trying to ignore Aubrey, so he's both patient and annoyed. Thanks!

    7. This was pretty interesting! I got a faint sense of worldbuilding in here, too! I think Aubrey needs a nap, lol. I didn't get much of her in the narrative, but I loved how you wrote her! I definitely connected with her a bit. And Jase seems pretty grumpy. But I love the interactions! Great job!

      ~Julian D.

  3. The three hundred and fifty foot long flagship THE AVENGER, you would think that I would be able to find a spot where I wasn’t being teased about being the heir.
    “So you’re the king? That’s heirsay! Ha, ha ha!” said the mercommander giving me the tour.
    “Yes, I’m sure. Next you’ll think I’m a doppelganger, right?” I said, feeling much too frustrated.
    “Good idea!” the commander said happily.
    I threw my arms up in the air and walked off.
    “Still bothering you?” Olfir asked, “Want me to take care of him?”
    No Olfir, please don’t,” I said pointedly. “However, if you could get together my guards, that would be nice.”
    He strode off grumpily.
    A few minutes later, he came back with my guards, Terandil’s Twenty.
    “Please escort me to my cabin,” I told them.
    “Heir, heir!” a mersoldier said.
    I turned around and glared at him. We walked towards my cabin, and as soon as I got inside, I closed the door and slumped down wearily. Two weeks of putting up with jokes, and we still had a week ‘til we arrived at our destination.

    1. This was meant to focus on Terandil's frustration. everyone is teasing him about being the heir, and he just wants to save his homeland.

    2. Good job. His aggravation is very clear. (I can't blame him. Being on the receiving end of awful puns is pure pun-ishment.)

    3. That was a punny. (I'm horrible. I'm sorry.)
      Seriously, this was great.

    4. Frustration for sure. Poor guy sounded about ready to pull his 'heir' out. (I had to give it a go too.:) Great job!


    5. Okay, the puns were great!! And I can tell he's getting frustrated and annoyed at these blokes.

      ~Julian D.

  4. "Leave me alone, Lorry" April gave her sister hurtful glare. "I'm fourteen, I can take care of myself"
    "No you can't," Lorry grabbed her sister by the wrist.
    "Let go of me" April tried pulling away, but her sister had a firm grip.
    "Listen to me, you can't go on like this" She found her voice softening and her heart filled with companion.
    "It's my life and I want to live it my way." Stomp, went April's foot on the floor. Smack, those words hit her in the face. Were had she heard those words before. Her mind raced back four years: "Mom, I'm it's my life and I'll live it my way" Lorry ran down the stairs and out the front door.
    "You ready to go" Jason Harrison pulled his car to the front of the house.
    "Yep" Lorry jumped into his car and that rode away.
    Lorry shook her head removing that bad memory from her mind. She hated the thought of that night, that night she have listened to her mother.
    "Can you let me go now? I have things to do" April pulled her arm again and Lorry let go.
    She watched her sister go and her mother's words came to mind "Pray for her Lorry. Just pray." That's what she would do, pray.
    -Emily D

    1. This is amazing. You really have emotion here. I'm so horrible at guessing, so if I get it wrong, don't take it personally. :) it...frustrate for April, and Lorry is helpful? Like I said, I'm horrible at guessing. Or, or is Lorry scared for April?

    2. Aw, very sad. April is angry. And Lorry seems scared and sad at what may happen. I also get a sense that both have a stubborn streak. Nice work!


  5. Cotton balls inched across the sky as if an invisible hand dragged them along. Breathing in the scent of sweet grass, Claire propped her back against an elm and let her eyelids drift closed.

    "Get up." Henry kicked the sole of her tennis shoe. "You can't expect the rest of us to carry everything."

    She popped one eye open. His arms were crossed while he glared down at her, an array of luggage and boxes spread around him.

    Who knew moving would be so much work? With hindsight she would have begged the family to just stay put. Too late for that now. She picked up a box the size of a bread loaf and shuffled toward the house.

    "Forgot something." Henry dropped three more boxes into her arms.

    She groaned. Brothers ought to be useful creatures, not pains.


    1. Thanks. :)


    2. I really like this. I am thinking selfish, or laziness lol! Maybe even stubborn?

    3. Beautiful.
      Maybe frustration from Henry too...

    4. Thank you both! Yeah, she's lazy and a bit selfish, but she means well. :)

      Henry puts up with a lot, so a little frustration is understandable.

      Thanks for the sweet comments! :)


  6. Logan stood at the edge of the bridge. The pain, the hurt, the rejection, was slowly drowning him. How can he get away from himself? Why couldn't it have just been a beating? Why did it have to be the hurtful words that so deeply scarred him. At lease he would be able to heal from a broken bone.
    He let his legs dangle over the bridge edge. Would they miss him?
    He closed his eyes and tried to end the war in his mind. He wants to die. He wants to get away from life's cruelness, but he feels so convicted. Something is telling him that death isn't what he thinks it'll be.
    No one seemed to care about his struggle. Who would anyway? He was about to let go, push off of the bridge and let himself fade out of existence, but he felt a hand on his shoulder.
    "Is this really what you want?" Logan didn't even look behind him to see who spoke.
    "No," Logan said.
    "Than don't do it," the voice replied.
    Logan looked behind him and there stood a man with kind eyes. "I wanna get away. I hate my life. Living is just torture for me."
    "Is it really? Who loves you?" The man sat next to Logan.
    "No one. No one loves me." Logan leaned forward. One more move, and he'd fall. a tear rolled of his cheek and disappeared onto the street below.
    "I love you, Logan," said the gentle voice.
    "How can you love me? My own parents hate me. You're a stranger. Why would you even care if I jumped?" The man put his arm around Logan's shoulders.
    "I paid for your life. Don't just throw it away. You matter, Logan. You don't even belong in this world. You belong with me." Logan stared into the stranger's sapphire eyes.
    "How could you pay for my life. Am I a slave or something?" Logan asked.
    "You're all slaves to sin, but my death was a ransom for you. My death bought your life."
    Logan shook his head in disbelief. "Why would you die for me? I'm worthless. I'm trash like everyone says I am." The man shook his head.
    "I wouldn't die for trash." The stranger pulled Logan close.
    "Just leave me behind. I'm no use to this world."
    "You're too precious to be left behind, Child." Logan watched his life unfold in the stranger's eyes. He saw his destiny. He saw joy.
    "Look, I don't know who you are, or what you did. You don't know me. I've made so many mistakes. So many." The man smiled. Not a cruel smile, but a warm one.
    "Oh, I paid for them all."
    "Look, you're creeping my out. How did you know my name, and why do you care about a stranger. Why do you care about me?"
    "I'm Jesus. I loved you before you were you. That's how I can love you. How can you not love someone you died for?" The man disappeared into thin air. Logan sat there with a lot on his mind.

    *Okay, that was longer than I thought it would be. Sorry ya'll. all feedback's welcome.*

    1. Wow. I love the inner conflict contrasted with the outer conflicts. Honestly, the part where his legs are dangling over the edge, I could hear Captain Jack Sparrow in the back of my head talking about high places and sudden urges to jump. While Jack may never have felt those urges, I have. Even if for no other reason than to feel the freedom in the fall. The thing that stops ME is also Jesus, though not so literally like it is for Logan. And I really like Logan's reaction close to the end. It's very real. Having someone know who you are like that would be creepy if you don't know how they know you.

    2. This is the bestest, LHE!!!! GREAT work! <3

    3. R.D Youngblood: Thank you! I've felt so depressed before, but God never let me let go. He's such a loving God. It would be weird if you had never heard of him before.
      It is SO real, and knowing that someone really loves you is enough to change your whole world. Jesus was enough to change MY world.
      Thank you so much for your comment! It is very much appreciated! :D

      GJE- THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! I love doing it! <3

      (Oh, and sorry 'bout the grammar, guys! I was in a hurry to write this.)

    4. I can't tell you how many times I've reminded myself that Jesus wouldn't die for trash. It's something I will be eternally grateful for. :) This was lovely, LHE! And it seems like I may have heard from this Logan before...

    5. Oh look, I already forgot to do the actual exercise! :P Hopeless. Logan feels hopeless.

    6. Yep, like Olivia said, Logan feels hopeless. What a terrible state to be in. It's so sad to know some people think their life is worthless, when God sees them as priceless! :( Great job.


    7. LHE, this was really touching. While I've never suffered from the thoughts of ending it all, I have suffered with some feelings of depression and anxiety. This made me feel what Logan was feeling. You're description is awesome. You're obviously amazing at description.

      It's also a great reminder at how wonderful our God truly is. Jesus loves all. He healed me from the burden of anxiety and feelings of depression. He can save all who turn to Him. Have a blessed day, y'all! :) <3

    8. Good job! You really showed the feelings of hopelessness--I felt it as I read.

    9. Olivia: Yes, I think I have done one or two exercises with Logan in them. I agree, I've had to block out Satan's horrid comments and tell myself that this is what Jesus said: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13). Jesus said that we are his friends, and that he died for us. For each of us personally. :)
      Thank you so much! :D And yes, Logan did feel hopeless.

      Ann: Yep, ya'll nailed it! If I were to have a math problem in front of me and someone said that it was unsolvable, then I wouldn't ry to solve it. I would ay it's a crappy problem that I shouldn't waste my time on. People feel that about their lives. They think that their lives are unsolvable, so they think: "Why should I try to live life, if I'll never be worth anything. And that's the lie, we're all worth it. And like I said: God wouldn't die for trash. I know I wouldn't. Thank you!! :D

      PT: Me? Oh, well I've been trying to work in it. I've found that when I get into a flow, and really put myself in my character's shoes, I'm really good at describing. Thank you!
      I've felt hopeless like my character, so I thought, well we've all probably had a moment when we felt so hopeless, so this is something people can relate to. Thank you for that, PT!
      I mean, Jesus never promised to take all our pain away once we accept him because this world is a truly sinful world. But, he DID promise us to be there. I know that when I feel depressed and hopeless it helps to just have someone sitting with me and knowing that they care. Jesus offers to do that with us, we just need to let him. :) I'm SO glad you haven't felt that way. It's such a horrible thing to think that anyone is driven to that point. That's why just smiling or saying hi to someone can help. They might be feeling like they are invisible to everyone, or like they're worthless, but we can change their world.

      Hannah K: Thank you! I felt it's so sad. :\

    10. LHE, you did really well placing true feelings in the excerpt. And, I would like to clarify that when I said I had depressed feelings, it was more like I wasn't focusing on my relationship with God enough. I feel like depression is such a strong word, but I guess maybe discontentment might be a better one.

      Anxiety was bad, but once I learned to put my life in God's hands, all was made right.

      Jesus called us to tell our stories and I felt the need to clarify what I meant. It's IS so horrible anyone is driven to that point. I pray that people realize there is so much more ahead than what they are suffering now.

      It's a comforting thing to know Jesus is there for us no matter what. We can run to Him and be free. This world does have evil and so many people are discontent these days. Hopefully this is a time where more people turn to Jesus.

      Again, you did really awesome work. I loved how you were fearless in sharing your faith in your writing. Have a blessed day. :) <3

    11. I REALLY liked this. I think it represented Hopeless and Hopeful, as well.

    12. PT: Thank you so much! I've been really feeling it this year for some reason. The beginning of this year was so hard for me. Then, on Valentine's Day, we were listening to For The Lamb by Elevation, and I started to bawl. Then, I just started writing things down that I was hearing. That started to grow into me hearing so much from God. I mean, I have a notebook full of all the things he's told me. It's amazing. I was thinking, "why isn't God talking to me? Does he even care about me", but he really was with me the whole time. I just wish that everybody would just accept the truth and hear and feel what I've felt. It's so amazing. Anyway, I don't want this to be an essay. Lol I love sharing Jesus with who I can. He's the most amazing friend I could EVER have. Bless you!!! :D
      *Oh, and I was the same. I always said "yes, i'll go and get closer to God" but you know what happened? I kept putting it off, and putting it off, until God wasn't my top priority anymore. Now, I see him in EVERYTHING*

      Melanie: Thank you!!!!! I tried my best! :D

    13. LHE: I was having a hard time around the end of last year. I usually love Christmas time and all the things that come with that, but I just wasn't feeling like myself.

      Finally, on a Sunday morning before I went downstairs for breakfast, I just cried out to God asking for peace and joy in my heart.

      That whole week before, I had only listened to worship music and poured myself into my Bible Study. Slowly that Sunday, I felt God healing me and joy came to my heart.

      In life we'll have ups and downs and we can't always have happiness, but we can always have joy knowing God is doing what is best. I know God holds the world in His hand.

      I'm so happy you're seeing Him in everything. You're just so fearless in sharing your faith. I pray I can be half as fearless as you. I know God is calling me to be a speaker about Him, which is crazy because I used to have crazy stage fright, but now I feel ready to tell the world.

      Have you heard What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship? It's one of my favorites right now. Of course, I have a lot of favorites, lol.

      Anyway, now I'm writing a little too long. Sorry. :)

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I think it's amazing and thank you for telling your story concerning God and Jesus. Have a blessed day. :) <3

    14. I almost felt like crying as I read this. I've felt that depression and hopelessness several times before, and this was a perfect reminder of how I am seen through God's eyes. It's sad how many people are going through depression so deep that they want to end their lives... We, as followers of God, need to be the ones that let the know that they're special in God's eyes. <3

    15. PT: Sometimes I just go in another room, seclude myself from interruption, and praise God. I ask him to use me and to help me to o the things I can't do alone. He does.

      That so amazing! I'm so happy that you did the right thing. It's really hard sometimes to just let go of other people's opinions, and to just share his love and his grace. It's such an amazing feeling once you just let go.

      Yes, he's always in control. Sometimes, I panic and say to myself, "What if none of it's true?" , but he always shows me one way or another.

      Trust me, it is SO hard to just walk up to someone and share my faith, and a lot of times I don't go to someone personally and do it. I feel bad about that. I'm kinda feeling like I'm a behind the scenes person. Like God uses me to fight spiritually. He helps me, and tells me to rebuke the enemy, and tells me to just listen to him. It's been rough sometimes, but he's always gotten me through the times where i just wanted to give up on it all. He's such an amazing God.

      Thank you SO much. You're very encouraging to me! :D Well, I have HORRID stage fright. It's so weird that you said that. This Friday, we had a talent show at our Co-op thing, and I decided that I'd read a poem. It was actually a word that God gave me that was in poem form, so it was pretty powerful. I was SO scared about people's opinions and making a fool of myself, and I asked God to be with me and to give me strength and boldness to conquer this. He told me that he was with me and that he would help me. So, I wen to up on that stage, took the microphone and just started to speak. It was easier than I thought it would be, but i felt a wave of peace crash over me. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. He was with me, and it turns out that people noticed that the poem wasn't just from me. In fact a guy talked to my father about how deep it was. People told me that they loved it and that it almost made them cry. So, really, sometimes you just stepping out can make someone really think about their lives. Sorry if this is getting a little long!
      Okay, this is like amazing!!! We heard that song at the talent show as well. It's such an awesome song. You can feel God's presence in that song. So do I! It makes you just focus on Jesus completely. :)

      I love hearing your story! *Trust me, I love long conversations, so don't worry about it. Lol*

      Thank YOU. Bless you!

    16. GJE: Thank you! I've tried to really show God in my writing.
      Yes, we do! I always feel like I need to do something to stop it all, but all that's in my hands is prayer. Prayer will save the lost, and that's my goal as of right now.

    17. LHE: I like long conversations, too. Especially when it comes to things I'm passionate about, like Jesus. It's so nice to talk to someone who has the same mindset.

      That's amazing that you did a poem for your co-op. It sounds like you touched many hearts. It really sounds like God's using you to help others to remember His glory, so that's awesome. :)

      It's pretty amazing how God works in our lives. I've spent a majority of my life thinking I had it all figured out until He came to me in a voice suddenly saying I would be a public speaker. I have terrible stage fright. At first, I resisted God, saying that it couldn't be meant for me. I realize, though, that now I feel like I can do it. I'm sure when it comes time, I'll probably freak out, but He'll be with me. I'm so happy He was with you in that time.

      That song is one of my favorites along with Even When it Hurts by United. I can really feel God in those and was actually listening to them this morning, lol.

      I panic a lot. I know God's word is true, but I like having a plan for everything, so sometimes not knowing what to do next can be hard. I've been working on just letting God do what He does and following Him.

      When I was going through feeling really discontent and sad, one song that really helped me and honestly would make me feel like God was speaking to me was Carry Me by Josh Wilson. It's pretty much about anxiety and depression. It really helped me in times of anxiety.

      I don't usually walk up to people, either. I'm an introvert, but when I warm up to people, I can just go on and on, talking about anything. Jesus is super important to me because He healed me from anxiety. I get anxious every now and then, but nothing like before.

      I look at all the pain as a tool God used to bring us closer to Him and cause us to rely on Him. Whatever pain we're having, He can heal it. He'll be there for us.

      God Bless You! :)

    18. I just love spending time with him and sharing my heart. He always answers. There's this song called Hold On by Phil Wickham, and it is so touching. One of the verses says, "I'll carry you through fire, and I'll hold you in the rain," and it blessed me so much.
      I'm an introvert as well, but I'm trying to be more outgoing. Not only to meet more people, but to spread God's word to the hurting. It's the same with me. If I know the person, then it's no problem to open up, but if I don't, I get so anxious and worried about their opinions. I'm so glad that you were healed from anxiety! I was healed from doubt. I doubted so much. Now, if he says yes, the it's yes. If he says no, then it's no. I can hear him, and he hears me.

      He will. He loves us, and all we've got to do is follow him. He'll never lead us in the wrong direction. He said that he is always with us and that he will never leave us as orphans.
      He can heal it, but we take control of our lives and say that we can take care of ourselves lot of the times, and we all know where that leads us. :\
      The cool thing about God is that no matter how far we run away, he will always be waiting for us to come home. He loves us so much.
      Pain makes us stronger. It hurts so much, but in the end, the relief that comes when our burden is taken is so refreshing.
      God knows how we will be used if we listen to him, but it's so hard just to let him carry you the way he wants. Like I said int he story, we don't even belong here. This isn't our home. It's only gonna last a little while, but everything will turn to dust. What will be left? We need to do as much as we can for Christ. It's going to be very hard, but how amazing would it be if you were in heaven and someone walks up to you saying, "I'm here because of you"? I know it would be for me.
      I don't have it all figured out, and frankly, I still am figuring out what God will use me to do. :)

      God bless you, PT. :D

    19. LHE: Exactly. I don't have it all figured out either and I'm trusting God to lead me to where He wants me to go. For now, I'm focused on taking things one step at a time. I enjoy listening to music that praises Him and just focusing on my relationship with Him. That's all we can do because our plans aren't better than His.

      It's been really fun talking with you and I've enjoyed our conversation. I hope you have a wonderful day today. :D

    20. I've had a great time talking with you as well. Let's make a deal, I'll pray that you'll get God's boldness to stand up on stage no matter how hard it feels, and you pray that I fight off the depression that keeps attacking me. Sound good? :)
      Thank you so much for reading my HUGE comments. Lol
      Bless you, PT.

    21. Thank you so much! I actually already prayed for you last night that God would heal you. I hope that's okay. I appreciate the prayers as well. I've loved reading your comments and coming back to them. They really brighten my day.

      I know God has wonderful things planned for you. Just keep fighting the Good Fight. I know He will heal your heart and one day, you'll look back at this moment and know God placed you here for a reason. I know the sad moments of feeling depressed I had before like to try and come back every once and a while, but I just have to keep faith that my life has a purpose. God makes us all with a purpose. Sometimes, that purpose is to turn a writing exercise into a giant devotion, lol.

      I pray God keeps speaking to you and that you hear Him more with every day that passes. Thanks again for this awesome conversation. I don't know a lot of people that have a similar mindset and it's been really fun talking to someone who feels the same way.

      I hope you have a wonderful week and I'm sure we'll talk to each other in future posts. I hope anyone who reads all of this is encouraged, too. In the times we live in, we could all use some encouragement.

      I will keep praying for you to be healed of depression and to be filled with joy. I know God has great things planned.

      Bless you, LHE

    22. Aww, thank you so much, PT! You are such a blessing to me.
      Thank you! So do I! Yeah, God has a purpose for all of us. We all matter. I have times when I feel like a new person, and then someone's hurtful comments just bring it all back. :| I feel better now, but it just comes and goes. I prayed for you, PT. Lol, yes! :)

      He did just now through someone else. It's so amazing. I love him so much. <3

      Thank you! You as well, PT. I hope we have many more conversations like this! :D No, thank YOU for all your help! Same here, PT. I wish you the best, and will pray for your boldness. (Mine needs help too. Lol)

      You've been amazing! He does, and I receive it. :)

    23. Thank you! I'm glad my words were able to help you. I tried to reply earlier, but it wouldn't let me. I will pray for your boldness as well. Thank you for the prayers.

      I've had fun talking to you on this thread. I know we probably have to start a new one soon on the current post, lol.

      Thank you for all the kind words. I just started commenting on posts this past week. Everyone who comments seem so nice and I like that they lift each other up. Even when they give criticism, they're nice about it. It's been so nice commenting and seeing people put their writing out there.

      Thanks for the fun talks about Jesus. :)

    24. LOL! Yes, we probably need to. (No worries. My laptop is so weird. It did that to me once. The worst is when you do a whole long comment and it doesn't show up. Eeh.)
      Thank you so much for listening to my long answers, and for praying for me. I really appreciate it! :)

      It's really nice on this blog. Especially on Friday prompts. They're my favorite.

      Thank YOU for taking with me about him. It's been fun!

  7. “So where are we going to get drinks tonight?”
    Maddie rolled her eyes, pulling milk from the fridge, and letting the door swing shut on its own effort. James stood opposite her, the counter separating them, a grin stretching his face. His pearly whites stood out against his toffee colored skin like drops of cream in coffee. She shook her head, pouring the milk into a metal pitcher. “I’m not having drinks with you.”
    James chuckled, leaning forward on the counter. His smug smirk both drew her in and infuriated her. “Don’t be like that, baby.”
    Lifting an unamused brow, she eyed him up and down, pretending to not be interested. “Like what, James? I think I’m well within my rights to refuse you.”
    James shook his head, not the least bit deterred. “You know you want to.”
    Starting the milk steamer, a daring look gleamed in Maddie’s eyes. She saw James gulp from her peripheral. She turned her gaze on him, smirking. “Tell me something James; what’s my name?” She leaned across the counter, flipping her blonde curls over her shoulder flirtatiously.
    Realization dawned on James, and Maddie saw the gears turning in his eyes. He was back pedaling on the inside, but never once lost his confident swagger. He chuckled, shrugging his shoulders in an attempt of nonchalance that Maddie saw through with a mental fist pump. “Noel.”
    Maddie nodded, a feral grin showing off her teeth. She pointed in his direction while walking back to her machine to finish his drink. “That right there is why I’m not going out with you. I commend you for your resilience, but until you can remember my first name, drinks will NOT be happening.”

    I was going for stubbornness on both ends. I feel like I probably could have described the setting better, however, as this would be in the middle of one of my stories, I likely would've already described the coffee shop better. Shrug. I dunno.

    1. This is great! I think you described the coffee shop quite well. I can feel Maddie's resistance. :)

    2. Thumbs up for a confident woman turning that impudent rascal down! Good luck on your story, R. D. Youngblood!

    3. James came across conceited to me. But I can see the stubbornness too, if she's been saying 'no' to him for a while. Smart girl; great job! :)


    4. Oh, I forgot the actual I agree with Ann. Conceited? Stubborn?

  8. "It's far," Thomas said. I could sense fear and protectiveness in his tone. "We'll never make it."

    I scanned the dark hillside for signs of trouble. Nothing. Wait! A movement..... Never mind. Just the tall, haunting limbs of a bare oak dancing in the wind.

    "There's no one there, Thomas," I said without looking up. I didn't want to see his eyes. They were so smart. The minute my eyes met his, I would realize that he was right. And that I was taking a huge risk.

    "You know just as well as I do how easy it is for Darien's men to hide in the hills," Thomas scolded. I looked at him upon noticing a slight waver in his voice.

    "You're scared?" I asked, instantly feeling bad.

    "Yeah," he said. "I'm scared for you, Lia. I don't want to see you get hurt."

    I didn't know what to say. "I can take care of myself," I said, looking away. I could barely see the fire blazing in the middle of camp. It seemed so close...

    "We can make it," I persisted. "If we're fast, we'll be out of danger before you know it."

    "It's not as short of a distance as you think," Thomas warned. "These soldiers are trained. We've barely just begun training."

    "Exactly," I said. "That'll make 'em reckless while we try our best."

    Silence. I stood up slightly, ready to bound down the hillside, but I felt Tom's hands wrap tightly around my arm.

    "I can't let you go, Lia," he said, pulling me back down. "If anyone is going, it's going to be me."

    "I told you, I can take care of myself," I said stubbornly, trying to struggle free from his grasp. He wouldn't budge. "If we don't go now, it'll be too late."

    "If we do go now, we'll be killed," Tom said. I stopped struggling and stared into his sad, grey eyes. Tom cared about me.

    "Fine," I said. "You can let go."

    "Promise me you won't go," he said. I hesitated. "Please, Lia."

    "Okay," I said quietly, settling into the grass. Tom let go of my arm slowly. "What's your plan?"

    There. That was a LOT longer than I expected, but oh well. xD I was going for logical, but not I'm not so sure... Sounds like stubbornness to me. :D

    1. Aww, Thomas is so cute. Yeah, this feels like stubbornness to me. I want to know more about the story. :)

    2. "I could barely see the the fire blazing in the middle of camp, *but* it seemed so close."
      Sorry for the terrible grammar, guys. lolzy! xD

    3. Lia seemed a little nervous after she realized Tom was scared. I don't think she was as sure of herself as she wanted Tom to believe, but her willingness to wait and think things through seemed to me a give-away. That was my interpretation, GJE. I know it's not what you were going for, but does that sound right?

    4. Tom was logical, but Lia felt daring to me. I liked the sense of danger, which only escalated when the two started to argue a bit. I would have liked a hint as to why she gave in so quickly though. Fear, respect for him, realization of her own recklessness? Maybe a hint of her motive there would shed a bit more light to her character. Great job!


    5. Olivia - That sounds right. I'm glad someone got it! xD
      Ann - Thank you! That was a little unclear.... I'd say a mix of the three, but mostly out of respect.
      Both - Thank you for the encouragement, ladies! Also, thank you for being honest with me. :D

  9. Uriah sneaked up right behind the other Mian and snapped a twig between his fingers. The so-called Master of Stealth jumped to his feet and spun around. Before he could shout, Uriah clapped a palm over his mouth, grabbed his neck, and slammed his head sideways into a tree. “Awake now?” He let go of the Mian, who fell to the ground.
    “Hey! Hey, you! You’re supposed to be in jail.” The spy jumped to his feet, but Uriah shoved him out of the way and prowled into the encampment. The other spies stood and stared at him, but he looked past them.
    “Paradox, I want to talk to you.”
    The other spies traded bewildered looks. Slowly, a man in white emerged from the patch of darkness the horses inhabited. “Uriah…” The demolitionist whisked his palms together. “I see thou hast no respect for iron bars.”
    Uriah stormed among the gawking crowd and herded Paradox back into the shadows. There, he turned the full heat of his glare on the man. “You have a lot of explaining to do, pal.”
    Paradox’s brow folded into shadow-cups and gullies and blacked out his crystal-blue eyes. “Thou hast a lot of nerve to--”
    “Oh, shut up.” Uriah’s voice pierced the night and the shocked silence of the other spies. He hunched his shoulders and lowered his forehead to his fist. He counted his breaths to quiet himself, but with limited success. “You know, Paradox,” his whisper grated in his throat. “You used to be my ally, my friend. I trusted you.” He fell silent, mulling over thoughts that kept him huffing steam into the night air. Paradox shifted his weight and rubbed his palms together a moment before closing them into a fist. Uriah shoved his own hands into his pockets. “What are you doing? Are we not a team anymore?” Paradox eyes skipped around and finally diverged into the woods. Chilled, Uriah shrugged his leather duster and released a current of warm air over his skin. “I just don’t understand, Paradox. Why would you take me out like that?”
    The warrior shrugged and massaged his hands. “Thou knowst the man I am going to face. He will not let my wrong go unavenged.” He finally dared look at Uriah. “I plan to lose all of them before I go to see him.”
    Uriah glanced to the fire and the five spies milling about in forced nonchalance. Alone in the darkness under the trees, he shivered. “Lose them, then. But there’s no way you’re losing me.” He drilled Paradox with a glare. “I’m staying right beside you, brother. Deal with it.”
    Paradox fidgeted and turned his shamed face to the shadows once more. Uriah left him and prowled to the other side of the fire. “Out, Mian.” He shoved the spy toward the fire and reclined against the drizzling, muddy trunk of a pine. He dropped his eyes to the dirt, flipped his collar to the wet, and settled himself for another night on watch.
    Boy, was it cold tonight.

    1. I sure wouldn't want to face Uriah when he's angry like that. I also sense a healthy dose of stubbornness. Great job, this excerpt strung me along quite pleasantly. Uriah sounds like a fun character.


    2. This really drew me in, good job! And Uriah's anger, frustration and perhaps some confusion was all evident. Very interesting!

    3. Thank you, Ann and J! Your positive feedback is very encouraging.

    4. Sorry, Olivia! I accidentally commented on someone else's post when I was meaning to comment on yours. I agree with Ann and J. Stubbornness, frustration, and confusion. Good job! :)

    5. Thank you, LHE! You guys are all right. I also aimed for the subtle communication of loyalty, since the alliance between Uriah and Paradox is crucial to the plot and themes of my novel. Thanks for your replies, everyone!

    6. Your welcome. :)
      My laptop confuses me, so this may not be the last time something like this happens. lol
      Loyalty, yes. Uriah does seem loyal to Paradox. Good luck!

  10. So I had some fun with some characters from my camp NaNo novel. This was fun!!


    "It's a bit late to be out, isn't it?" Raul leaned forward in his chair, pushing away the crude map of the mountain pass. "Shouldn't you be trying to get some sleep? It's been a long day of marching. Or are you still mentally distraught from all your past failings and now you're moping around like a whiny child?"

    Berend's shoulders raised a half-inch as he muttered something under his breath.

    "What did you say?" Raul couldn't help the anger in his tone. Berend had done nothing but trail him all day. San's scornful joke about Raul having his own nursemaid following him around to keep him out of trouble still rang in the young man's ears. "I can't hear you when you mumble, Berend. You're hard enough to understand as it is."

    "I said I didn't...didn't...understand..." Berend stared at the floor. How a Kinsman with such amazing sword skills could behave like a whipped child at times was beyond Raul's comprehension. "I'm sorry, Raul. I..."

    Raul slapped the map down on the table. "Just tell me what you want and get out."

    "Someone is fol...following us." Berend's rough accent butchered the words, and he straightened a little, his hand straying to the hilt of his sword. The childish image vanished, replaced by tense muscles and a bodyguard's protective stance. "It's Mayra. I know it."

    "Well, I'm not scared of her." Raul squared his shoulders and shooed Berend out of the tent. "In easy to understand words: Go away. I don't need you following me all the time. I can take care of myself, thank you very much."

    The look in Berend's dark eyes sent guilt - and fear - down Raul's spine, but he shoved it away. "Go and sit outside Gwen's tent if you feel the need to guard someone. Not like you're good at it, anyway." He shouldn't have said those words. He knew how Berend felt about his original charge. But at the moment he could care less about the bodyguard's wounded pride. Right now, he didn't even want to see Berend again.

    So when Berend threw his knife on the ground by Raul's feet and trudged off, limping more than normal, Raul merely kicked the knife away and went back into his tent.


    So...what's the main emotion for each character? Anyone want to guess? :)

    ~Julian D.

    1. And hopefully I entered the Rafflecopter correctly. Never done that before. :P
      ~Julian D.

    2. Angry? Cold? Maybe selfish? I definitely felt the tension in this piece. You had dynamic, relatable characters, too. Very nice!

    3. Raul seems conceited, cold, or maybe even angry. (Sorry, if these are wrong.)

      Berend seems scared or nervous. The scene was set really well, though. Good job.

    4. This is amazing! Raul, kind of... I want to say angry, but somehow that doesn't seem like the right word. Berend is obviously nervous.

    5. Thanks so much, y'all! Raul is feeling somewhat angry and annoyed at his friend. He's had a long, stressful day, and Berend has been somewhat have a pest.
      Berend, however, is still mourning the loss of the man he was a body-guard to. So he's scared that he'll fail again, or that people will shun him for not doing his duty.

      Again, thank so much for reading and commenting!

      ~Julian D.

  11. Tokyo couldn't open her mother's book. She had tried, many times, but to no avail. Every time she touched its golden cover, tears would slice down her face and she would run out of the room. Even thinking about the book made her lose her composure. Seeing other books would make her rush to the room, but the tears would return if she dared touch the cover. At night, her mother's words echoed through her head. "When you're ready to get over me, open the book." But she couldn't.

    1. Tokyo sounds scared to me. Great piece of writing here!

    2. LOVE the name Tokyo. The gold book and visuals you gave were really nice and transported me to Japan instantly. I think it's fear?

    3. I was trying for sad but I think maybe she's scared too. I don't describe nearly enough (read: ever?) so this exercise was very helpful.

  12. The tracks were older than anyone could remember. The metal that ran atop the supports was rusty, and it creaked with every step Del took. She kept one hand on the wall of the gorge. The support it gave was nonexistent, but it made her feel better all the while.
    “This is suicide, Enzo,” she muttered. “This bridge is deteriorating. It’s rusting through. Any of us could fall through at any moment.”
    “We aren’t,” Enzo replied darkly. “This thing used to hold up trains that weighed thousands of tons.”
    “That was centuries ago,” Del shot back. Dante was silent as he picked his way over splintered boards. The bridge creaked again.
    Then an arrow whizzed past Dante’s shoulder. He screamed.
    “Run,” Enzo muttered. They each broke into a sprint, not bothering to watch the broken boards. Del scowled as she ran. Her sword bounced against her leg.
    She spoke in between breaths. “Enzo—if you hadn’t—decided to steal some—things, we wouldn’t be—running!”
    “I had to!” he panted. “We—were starving, Captain—Wade.”
    “My name is Delaney! I told you that!”
    Enzo scowled through the dark. “I’m sorry, Delaney. Those—of us who aren’t—in the army—respect titles,—unlike those who—have ‘em but didn’t—earn ‘em!”
    Del stopped running. “What, do you think I didn’t earn my rank? I know you wanted to be a soldier, but they kicked you out for thievery.”
    “I’m just saying, it seems like it would’ve taken an awful amount of work to be captain at 21.”
    Del drew herself up to her full height, towering above Enzo. “It did! I worked myself to exhaustion every night because I wanted to protect my country, unlike you! You’re a thief and a man who twists the truth!”
    “Are you calling me a liar?” Enzo demanded.
    “Maybe I am!”
    Two more arrows shot past them.
    “We need to go!” Dante shouted.
    Del shook her head. “I need to know what this boy is calling me! Am I a cheater? A liar?”
    Enzo opened his mouth to say something, and then an arrow grazed his arm. He screamed.
    “Run!” Dante yelled. They did.
    Then Del crashed through the wooden planks. She gripped the edges, cursing as splinters dug into her palms.
    “Captain Wade?” Dante asked softly. His eyes were wide, with shock maybe, or something else. “Captain Wade, grab my hand!”
    Del reached out, and then Dante disappeared. She heard him start to cry.
    The archers were here.
    Del’s fingers slipped. Then she silently fell to the rocks eleven feet below.

  13. I'm doing this as a test exercise for my new WIP -- my MC has a very strong trait in one of these.

    "May, come on," Aubri says. "We have to go, now!"
    The hallway seems to get darker every second I stare at it. "Are you sure there isn't another way?"
    Aubri smiles, but I can tell she's not happy about this either. She's just trying to help me. "Positive. I have a candle right here, so we can see where we're going."
    "It doesn't matter. I'm going to get hurt. Something is going to jump out at us. We're going to die!"
    "Listen, this is far too important to just skip out," Aubri says.
    "I can't go." I pivot and give one last glance over my shoulder. "I'm sorry I let you down. There's just no way."
    Aubri sighs. "I think I know what's wrong. Please try? Just follow me. No words, don't think, just go."
    I'm a vital part of the plan. As much as I hate to admit it, she's right. "Alright -- alright, fine. Let's hurry."
    I close my eyes and walk down the hallway, following the sound of Aubri's footsteps.

    1. Sounds good! My guess would be the narrator is scared and Aubri is logical and/or brave or strong.

    2. So much emotion packed into this little scene! Great job, Josie!

    3. That would be it, yes. Thank you guys!

  14. When I opened my eyes there was a young man sitting on the ground across from me, legs stretched out, head back against the rough bricks of the building, slight smile on his face.
    "You okay?" he said.
    It was the first time someone had ever asked me. I stared at him.
    He sat forward a little, his smile fading. "I take've had a rough day."
    Or week. Or month.
    "I thought you might like some dinner, something..." His eyes searched my face. "Or maybe just someone to sit with you. But if you want me to leave, I will."
    I still stared at him. He seemed to remember something and he reached for a backpack on the ground next to him. He pulled out a Wendy's bag and a bottle of Sprite, got up on his knees on the pavement, and held them out to me.

    1. Aww, this is really good! Is this from your Marty's Kid WIP?
      Let's see...sad? Or maybe scared?

    2. @Megan, you got it! Actually I was trying to show the stranger's friendliness. For the narrator, confused or surprised maybe, but I didn't think about show her emotion in this scene.
      @LHE, no, I just made it up right then. :)

    3. Oh! It sounds like it would have been. :)

  15. This is a scene from the story I am currently working on. Just to clear some things up the girl has been having dreams and at the end of those dreams she gets chased by a beast (not the one mention later. The one without a B)

    I bolted upright, my gown pulling uncomfortably on my shoulders. The dream was over. I took a shuddering breath, my eyes darted around the room. Looking for anything out of place even though I knew it was perfectly safe. The amber eyed beast caught me this time and the pain of being clawed was fresh in my mind. I glanced down at where the wounds would have been and screamed. There were silvery scars running down the length of my arms. Right where the beast’s claws had sunk into my skin. My breath came in ragged gasps as I stared at the rapidly fading jagged lines. What was this? Suddenly the door to my room flew open. The Beast’s eyes were wild as he scanned the room. When his eyes landed on me he relaxed, visibly relieved.
    “Are you well Rosalie?” the Beast asked. “I heard you scream.” His voice was tight.
    “I am fine Beast. It was just a night terror.” I squeezed my arms to my chest.
    “I am glad. When I heard you scream I thought... I thought the worst.” The Beast wrapped his arms around me tightly.
    “I really am all right.” I whispered against his chest. The Beast squeezed me tighter.
    “I will let you sleep now.” The Beast slid away, though his hands remained on my shoulders until he started for the door.
    “Good night Beast.” I said.
    He glanced back at me a small smile on his face. “Good night little Rose.” The door clicked softly shut as I situated myself in bed. Just as I was nodding off my eyes alighted on the rose. It hit me what was wrong with it. The rose had been drained of its magic. I looked closer. No wonder the rose was still alive. A longevity enchantment had been cast but... it was connected to the rose’s missing magic.

    Any feedback on this would be appreciated. Thanks! :)
    - Book Dragon

    1. Beauty and the Beast? How lovely!
      The emotions that I really noticed were fear and worry. I hope I got them right. If I'm wrong, don't feel bad. lol! I'm not very good at this... xD

    2. I enjoyed this little Beauty and the Beast story. :) Interesting correlation/contrast between the beast of her dreams and her comforting friend.

  16. Clara spun around the room in time to the music, feeling the silky ribbons from her pointe shoes caressing her legs. The elegant waltz floated past her ears, or perhaps she was floating on it, gliding back and forth with the rhythm. Her arms and legs knew exactly where to go. She smiled and posed as the music ended.
    Her teacher smiled and applauded. "Excellent, Clara! Go grab a drink, and then we'll run through it one more time. Not that you need it, but you got where you are through practice, and you'll keep it through practice."
    Clara nodded, a little out of breath, and walked over to the side of the stage. It was the first time she'd practiced on the actual stage she was performing on, but thankfully the surface was about the same as her classroom's dance floor.
    As she started down the steps, her pointe shoe's toe caught the edge of a stair. She tilted forward, arms windmilling pointlessly, and landed with a loud THUD at the bottom of the stairs.
    "Clara! Are you all right?"
    "I'm fine," she groaned, sitting up. "You know me, can't walk across a stage without tripping over my own two feet. But nothing's injured except my pride." She took his offered hand to help herself up. "Maybe a little bruised, but nothing that'll stop me from performing tomorrow."
    She walked over to a chair, sat down, and took a long drink from the water bottle sitting next to it. Her little toe was sore from getting stubbed on her coffee table yesterday. Three times. Within five minutes. And dancing "en pointe" did nothing for it, but only a little bit of her weight was ever on it. She took another drink of water, then went into a coughing fit when a little bit of it went down the wrong pipe. It was over soon, and with another drink (very carefully) she was ready to go.
    She hurried back up the steps, only stumbling a little when her foot knocked into one of them, and took her place in the middle of the stage. The music began.
    She started dancing, letting the music wash over her, forgetting everything. Here, she never tripped over her own two feet or stubbed her toe.

    1. Clumsy, strong and happy is what spins my attention :D

  17. Grace fingered the tiny doll in her hands. Allowing each small fabric line to rub against her own fingerprint. Laying claim to the tiny identity before her eyes. She pondered her future. The thought of sneaking in her trunk by the window sill penetrated her just as the suns rays shined through the glass above her, warming her. Comforting her.

    Carefully, she placed the minute girl into the edge of the trunk where the fabric was torn at the bottom. She tucked the black haired beauty in and placed an old wool blanket on top of her, covering any resemblance of her completely.

    The rap of the door made Grace accidentally drop the lid to her trunk and the sound echoed off the clear glass window. She stood. Her body shook, but she braced herself and turned towards the door.

    "Come in." Her quite voice betrayed her.

    "Sorry to disturb you ma'am, but they are ready for you."

    Not only was her father dead and she was given no time to greive, but now she had to prove brave for her subjects. Her left hand started to shake. Her right quickly snatching it, rubbing the hand, then the arm, stilling the sensation that her life was changed--forever. And she could do nothing about it.

    "Very well. I will not be much longer. Please fetch my ladies maid."

    He stared at her without moving. Her cheeks flared. Embarrassment making her want to skid away like a mouse being caught where it shouldn't be.

    "I give you my permission to leave."

    With a curt bow, her servant left the room without turning his back on her. She sighed. Defeated.

    Her eyes flicked to the window, unopened. Her gaze staying there, locked onto the scenery of flowing hills and wild fields. The perfect place to be alone.

    She managed to peel them away when her maid entered. Before she left, in full regal clothing, she let her hand fall and sweep the trunk's thick wooden lid, stopping on the cold metal before being whisked away.

    Though she appeared ready to be Queen, her heart and hopes were caged away in the box under her fingertips, forever.

    ***So glad to be apart of this! Thank you for such a fun activity!!!

    1. Hopeless, sad, and brave come to mind. This story sounds really interesting! Are you planning on writing more?

    2. This was beautiful! Your descriptions were very rich and tangible. I would guess she was nervous, uncertain, and afraid.

  18. Turning to her parents, Emberly felt a hard lump form in her throat. Setting down her viola case, she hugged her mom tightly.
    “You’re sure the form said the mailbox was by the cafeteria?” Emberly murmured into her mom’s shirt.
    “I’m sure,” answered her mom. “And remember, you don’t have to buy stamps since we already addressed and stamped your envelopes.”
    Emberly smiled as she remembered the cards and envelopes in the back pocket of her backpack. Pulling away, she then embraced her dad.
    “I’m going to miss you, Em,” said her father.
    “I’m going to miss you too, Daddy,” she whispered.
    “Write as often as you can, Ok?”
    “I will. Every day. Mommy packed enough cards.”
    When they pulled away, her parents gave her one last encouraging smile. “It’s just two weeks. You’ll be fine, and you'll love it. It's an amazing summer camp,” her mom told her. Saying goodbye, they walked away. Emberly picked up her viola from the ground and watched them go. Then, with a deep breath, she swung open the door to the cabin and went in.


    1. Sadness? Depression? This was a very emotional piece, good job!

    2. Thanks! It was nervousness and sadness too, I guess. It is from something I am currently writing.

    3. Good job! I guessed sadness.

    4. Sadness? I want to read more. Poor thing!

  19. My hair, all my beautiful hair. Gone. I wept when it was cut off, I admit it, I cried. How strange that I am to die and I cried for the loss of my hair.
    What is left of it hangs about my ears now, the tips crusty with the dried blood from when the guard sliced my cheek in his roughness. It does not hurt.
    The door is thrown open and I blink as the lamplight is thrown across the walls. In the doorway stands a boy. He comes for me, helps me stand with a touch that reminds me of my own son. In spite of myself, I find that I am praying. For the boy.
    Dear God he is only a child, he does not know what he is about to do…
    I climb the stone staircase. The walls drip. Up into the light for the last time. I am very quiet.
    A cart. They have brought me a cart. I will not have to walk. I do not look at the faces of the people, my people. My city. Those beautiful streets. My beloved city. My prison. My grave.
    A grey sky. A fine mist on my shoulders.
    Rotten vegetables splatter at the edges of the cart and then one into my shoulder. I am thrown sideways and crack my head on the edge of the cart. The boy helps me sit up. I do not cry.
    I am not afraid. They can take nothing more from me. It will all be over very soon.

    1. Hopelessness? This was really good, great job!

    2. Sad but brave. This was beautiful, Gilly! Your writing evokes a lot of sympathy for your heroine.

    3. I'm thinking brave. Wow. This is a really good piece. Drew me in right away. I love her thoughts for the boy who is leading her out. That was powerful.

  20. I plummet from the clear blue skies. Faster and faster I fall, the wind pushing my mane of hair straight up behind me. My heart beats hard against my chest; I can hardly breathe. Adrenaline courses through me as the ground comes closer.
    I am falling. I am falling. Or am I flying? I am free.
    I close my eyes and wait for the ground to come.
    I pull up hard against the smooth broom handle and open my eyes as my feet just skim the freshly cut grass. I let all the tension that has built in my stomach out in a triumphant laugh. I throw my head back as I soar just over the ground and pump my fists at the air.
    These are the moments that make life worth living.

    1. Daring? Wow. Great description.

    2. Daring! Good job! Have you been skydiving before?

    3. Thank you both! It was daring!
      I've never been skydiving, but I really, really, want to! Have you?

    4. No, but I come from a flying family. :) My dad is a pilot and always seems to have a small airplane on hand to take us up for a spin. I'm not sure about skydiving, but I LOVE flying!

  21. "About time you got here."
    The two policemen who had just gotten out of their police car froze. Their puzzled expressions were lit by the lights of their flashing siren. One tapped his ear as if to check if it was working properly.
    "You must be new guys. Would it have been too much for them to send Officer Johnson are some other older officers? Now I have got to explain everything again. It is like having to house break two new puppies."
    One of the officers got over his shock enough to be angry.
    "Sir, we received 911 call about shots fired in the area and here you are sitting on a park bench with a gun not five feet away."
    "Your suspects shot guns and then ran off and left when you approached. Nice job by the way. You can always count on the police to make an entrance noisy enough to scare anything away."
    "Sir, you are under arrest for recklessly firing a gun in a public area. Hands behind your head," the other officer said.
    The man grinned and did as he was told. One of the officers called in the arrest while the other cuffed him.
    "You have the right_" The officer cuffing him began.
    "I know my miranda rights thank you. The question is whether or not you really want to make this arrest?" The man said.
    "And why shouldn't we?" the officer asked.
    "Because my name is Ryan Hanson. I don't need to tell you what that means."
    The officer swore and his partner clipped the radio to his belt and frowned.
    "We just arrested the kingpin of corrupt lawyers and the most annoying criminal on the face of the planet. Should have known something was wrong when the suspect acted happy to see us!"

    1. This comes as foolishness/anger/irritation/confusion to me. it was very well written, and quite amusing to the sarcastic reader (me).

  22. "You do know that these beasts could kill you, correct?" said Corsiban as he stole along behind Rael. "For a self-styled hero, you're honestly not as clever as you should be."
    "Quiet!" said Rael. "You'll get us caught."
    "Indeed we will, if you insist on following them," snapped Corsiban. "The fire golems aren't a threat unless we provoke them."
    Rael halted for a moment and glared back at him. "We aren't going to provoke them. And if we do, it will undoubtedly be your fault."
    "*My* fault? Nothing on this quest is *my* fault. You payed me to come out of retirement. I have no liability. Clearly, as the leader, you accept full responsibility for everything that goes wrong. Moreover, I'd advise you not to blame too many things on me. I might remind you that I am still legally obligated to arrest you for trespassing on *my* property."
    Rael grimaced at him but said nothing. They were closing in on the fire golems. Even as they did, though, Rael tripped over a protruding root and cried out as he fell. Corsiban halted immediately, standing stock-still and silent, but the damage was already done. The fire golems had surrounded them in an instant.
    Corsiban looked for a moment at the towering warriors of flame and stone, then glared down at the dazed Rael and wrinkled his nose. "Bah. Your fault, my boy."

  23. I'm doing another one! (sorry it's long)

    Cy watched the figure climb the mountainside, a small smile of amusement on his lips. He still hadn’t been seen from the outcrop he was standing on.
    The figure was dressed in black and used no rope or climbing gear, but was climbing just as well as if she had been.
    “You shouldn’t be so far in Syhiri.”
    The figure already had a blaster in position before she recognized Cy’s voice. With a sigh, Viona put it back in it’s holster.
    “Neither should you,” she answered, continuing her climb.
    “Actually, I was sent to get you,” asserted Cy in a cool voice.
    “Get me? I’m on a mission.”
    “Viona, you know it was canceled.”
    Viona didn’t answer, instead concentration on picking her way up the seemingly flat rock.
    “Anyway, even if the mission hadn’t been canceled, you were still kicked out of the Spy Association weeks ago for… what was it again?”
    Cy raised his eyebrows and looked at Viona. She glanced at him.
    “I hoped you hadn’t been told. Anyway, it was one time. They had no reason to kick me out. I didn’t even give any information away.”
    Cy scoffed. “‘Didn’t give any information away?’ You exposed yourself. You showed Syhiri exactly what kind of weapons, warriors, and technology we have.”
    Viona huffed. “Thanks to me, we also know what kind of tech they have. ‘Tech’ meaning, you know, their weird voodoo magic stuff. It was a fair trade.”
    Cy smirked. “Oh, Viona. Fair doesn’t work in a war. We can’t afford for Syhiri to know anything about us, even if it does mean we don’t know what their, ahem, ‘weird voodoo magic stuff’ is capable of.”
    Sighing, Viona said: “Come on, Cy, what’s the real reason you’re here? You know I got kicked out. There’s no reason the S.A. would have any interest in me now, except if they found out I was spying on them so I could keep doing missions in secret if any were canceled. Which they didn’t. So...”
    Cy picked his way up a higher rock on the outcrop to keep level with Viona.
    “Why don’t you come this way? It’s much easier.”
    “That wasn’t an answer,” Viona grunted as she strained to reach the next handhold.
    Ignoring her words, Cy watched in amusement as she struggled with the particularly difficult patch of rock. He turned away to gaze at Syhiri’s twin moons, clasping his hands behind his back.
    “Who knew,” he murmured. “That our long ago discovering of the Trinity would lead to war.”
    Viona grunted. “The barriers between the three dimensions were never supposed to be crossed. When our technology found the way, it turned them into one, even if everybody says ‘we’re the Trinity, yay for us’. We were never going to coexist. Wires, gears, and magic can’t mix.”
    “Viona, think of the knowlage we could share if we were united!”
    “But we’re not. We aren’t allied, so we aren’t unstoppable. To each other, each is a work of fiction. To them, our ordinary life in New Sieter is sci-fi; the far future. To us, Kenfell is a steampunk world and Syhiri is a magical realm. Our differences are too big to overcome.”
    “Well. If you prefer to be close-minded, I cannot change that.” Cy glanced at Viona. She still hadn’t overcome the stretch of rock.
    Viona lapsed into an angry silence and finally struggled up a few feet. Cy waited with a smile. Viona’s outbursts never fazed him, and she knew it. He thought that was part of why she got so infuriated in the first place.
    When the silence had stretched uncomfortably for a few minutes, Viona added: “And you still haven’t told me what you’re really doing here.” Cy nodded in agreement but didn’t elaborate.
    “So… What are you doing here?”
    Cy gave a dramatic sigh. “Well, I felt lonely and mistreated, so I stole off in the dead of night to prove my worth by completing an oh-so-important mission.”
    Viona rolled her eyes. “Since when did you learn to *joke*?”
    Cy raised his eyebrows innocently. “Sorry?”


    1. I liked this. It seemed sci-fi, which usually isn't my favorite, but I liked this a lot. I think Viola is being stubborn and Cy is being logical with a mix of clever.

      I'm sorry if this is wrong. The piece is still very well written. I felt like I was there during the time I was reading it. :)

  24. Oops! I tripped over the ball and whacked my hand on a plate sending it crashing down. I winced and tried to stand but slipped and hit my already grazed knee on the floor.
    'Wow!' AJ drawled. 'I knew you were bad but not this bad.'
    'Shut up.' I screamed. 'Who the heck do you think you are?'
    She stuck her tongue out at me and walked off. I stood up and hurried after her. I wasn't finished yet. 'What gives you the right to say that to people?' I ran to catch up to her yelling abuse and stumbling most of the way.


    'So.' Mum says. Whenever she starts a sentence with so, it ain't good.
    'Yeah?' I say, mopping up my orange juice.
    'I heard what you said to AJ.'
    'She deserved it.' I say defensively.
    'Yeah I know honey. But don't sink to her level.'

    After dinner, I mop the floor due to the fact I spilled soup when ladling. I trip over a chair and accidentally bring the table cloth to the ground. My mom frowns at me but comes over to help me out.

    1. I agree with Ann and J. Anger, frustration, stubbornness? This is full of description! You did really well, Olivia! :)

    2. Clumsiness. I would recognize this anywhere being clumsy myself, lol. Good job. You really described the clumsiness. :)

    3. The poor, poor dear. I know exactly how it feels to be clumsy, narrator. *cries*

    4. I'm SO sorry. just noticed that I accidentally commented on the wrong thing! Lol
      This is really good. Yes, I agree with GJE and PT that it's clumsiness. Sorry again!!!

  25. This is my prison; I was born here. For what, I do not know. Raised by machines in a stone castle vast and unforeseen, an empty binding to the cosmos indifferent, I have resided here since I was a babe, and the machines have taught me all that I know, and all that I ought to know but do not. They have fed me, clothed me, washed me, and nursed me. Not people, not sentient in any morbid sense of the word, for they are not alive, and yet intelligent enough to know they are not alive, but that they are hollow men not quite so different from me, different only in that they see the world not through consciousness but through hard, floating numbers that govern their actions, the actions that they do not know they make. They are not sentient in any morbid sense of the word, but I yearn to join them, for they are all that I know, and I envy their satisfaction in their nonexistence. Yes, these are the machines that raised me in a world void of others like me, a world made of stone, marble and mud.

    1. This is great, Jason! It's intriguing. This would be and interesting story! Keep up the good work! :D
      Let's see, curiousness? Forgive me if Im wrong. I'm horrible at guessing!

    2. Is this logical -Mags

  26. ~J
    Rel slowed her pounding steps as three familiar figures came into view. Two were sitting on one of the garden benches—Eltaohr and Tohren—while another stood before them. Ioresar. They had chosen a spot underneath one of the greatoaks where brilliant green leaves hung low, shading them from the sunlight. Rel took little notice of the beautifully arranged greenery, however.
    “We can’t!” she shouted.
    The three elves turned to her, startled.
    Tohren’s expression darkened. “Raen was listening, wasn’t he?”
    Rel ignored her question, knowing it did not need to be answered. “I’ve told you, we can’t leave to look for Viadren before Aidan gets here!”
    “We have waited two years, Ahrelenna!” Tohren said, exasperated. “Every day that passes is another day for Viadren to regain his strength. Already we may have tarried too long.”
    Rel looked to Eltaohr in desperation. “Surely, Eltaohr, you wouldn’t wish to go before he arrives!”
    Her leader, however, shook his head slowly. “Tohren is right, Ahrelenna. I have wished for Aidan’s appearance since the day we last saw him, but he had many things to tend to when we left. He may never come.”
    Rel’s lips parted and for a moment she was silent. “He—he is your kin! Eltaohr, I knew you had been thinking of leaving, but…I thought…” Her deep hickory irises flashed back and forth between Tohren and Eltaohr, at last turning pleadingly to Ioresar.
    But the red-haired elf shook his head slowly. “Aidan was a close friend to me, but every second that passes while we sit idly waiting could spell doom for the entire city.” He paused, blue eyes fixed on Rel’s. “I am sorry, Ahrelenna,” he whispered.
    Rel took a step back, slowly, watching them all. Her face grew hot and soon her vision began to blur as tears formed. Eltaohr saw her expression and stood, but she shook her head before he could use his gift to encourage her.
    “I—I will not leave Eltaren without him, wherever you may go,” Rel murmured painfully. She took several steps back, then stopped again. “And—my name is Rel.” She turned away from them and ran.

    1. Oh my goodness....... You're so good at this!!! I love how you depicted their emotions! :D I almost felt myself crying right along with her.... :o

    2. This was awesome. I felt like I was there. I also love the unique names you chose for the characters. They sound perfect for the story. I like this a lot. Great job! :)

    3. Thank you so much! I've been working with these characters a lot so it's nice to know I'm making progress. :)

    4. Is this a book snippet? *smiles hopefully*

    5. Hehe well it's using characters from my WIP, but this scene is something I'm thinking about for the unwritten sequel. :)

  27. ‘Don’t!’ Maud grips my sleeve.

    I shrug her hand off. The dragon’s gleaming fangs dangle over her cracked lip. She snores, and a garland of bangles slide down a mountain of jewels.

    ‘It’ll wake up. I just know it.’ Maud whispers. She glances to the door. ‘Please, let’s go?’

    I hug the decaying wall and creep round a chest brimming with bronze. ‘It’ll be fine!’ I laugh, and leap over a silver goblet.

    A plate shimmers beneath the dragon’s barbed wing. Gold warriors dance around the rim. A rose diamond shimmers from the centre, casting shadows around the dungeon. How much bread could we buy with that? A cupboard full? A castle full? Our own castle? Or maybe cake.

    I could really go in for some cake.

    The dragon’s talon twitches.

    Maud widens her watery eyes. ‘We’ll be sliced to charcoal, Annie. Then the guards will find us and crumble us and-’

    ‘Shh!’ I hiss. ‘She’ll wake if you keep yelling.’

    I crouch. The dragon’s rotting breath smacks my nose. Lovely. Carefully, I slip my trembling fingers under her leather wing and start sliding the corner of the plate towards me. Maud is so pathetic. No dragon’s woken up in a hundred years. What could possible go wrong?

    ‘Please!’ Maud steps forward. Her foot clangs against an iron sword, and the echo bounces off every treasure in the cavern.

    The dragon twitches her tail. Her wings tense, trapping my hand underneath. Her thick neck twists round, and she opens one eyelid, then the other.

    Her platinum eyes are fixed on me.

    I hate my sister.

    1. definitely frustration and irritation and in Maud's case fear/clumsiness. only someone with a sister can give a correct reply to this

    2. Definitely fear and nervousness on the side of Maud, and I'd say pride, daring, and stubbornness on the side of Annie.

      I love all your descriptions, btw. They pulled me right into the story. :D


    3. Thank you so much!

      And yes, those were the traits I was going for. Awesome guessing :-)

  28. Oh no. (o-o) Frustration? Fear?

  29. “Watch out, Johnny Calzone always has a gun!” I shouted, but too late. He pulled out a pistol and shot the person closest to him, which was Endgame!
    “No!!!” I shouted as Endgame fell with an odd expression on his face, I guess in the end, the bulletproofing just wore off. The police knocked him to the ground and handcuffed him before he could shoot anyone else. Then all the sudden he sat up bursting out in laughter,
    “I just got knocked over!” Endgame said, bursting out in laughter again.
    And with that prank the battle ended.

    This scene is from a group of short stories that I've already written the first draft. this scene is where the POV character and his friends are arresting the biggest crime lord in the city; Johnny Calzone

    1. "Then all the sudden he sat up bursting out in laughter"
      Endgame is the one who sat up, just so you know.

    2. "Then all the sudden he sat up bursting out in laughter"---I love that part. lol
      Good job! :)
      Are a lot of the short stories like this? If so, I'd love to read them!

    3. All four short stories are like this, and you meet more sarcastic characters also. :D

    4. The grammar in here was not very good, alas.

    5. I'd love to read them! :)
      I love sarcastic characters. Lol
      Don't worry, I made so many grammar mistakes in mine because I was rushing to do it. Lol

    6. I wrote 10000 words in one month because of Camp NanoWrimo. i finished and started (not in that order) it just last m0onth. :)

    7. Wow!!! That's amazing. I write and I think i'm pretty good at it, but I write in little spurts. (Which isn't good if you're writing a novel.
      Lol! You finished your story?! (!)
      ONE MONTH!!!! Oh my. You're amazing! O_O

  30. "Here, I'll get that," James said from behind.

    Ariana stepped back, letting him reach for the oversized coat-rack. "Thanks. They really should have wheels on something like this."

    "No problem." James grabbed the metal bars on either side of the rack. The muscles bunched in his arms and his cheeks turned red.

    After a moment, Ariana shifted on her feet. "Umm, do you need help now?"

    "...No," he grunted. The rack screech forward half an inch. His puffed out a breath of air. "See, I'll get it."

    She propped her hands on her hips. "I know its heavy. If I just help--"

    "I got it."

    "Alright," she turned away, "if you have to be all tough about it."

  31. Ok, so I feel like Ariana is frustrated or maybe even jealous and James is trying to be helpful at first, but then he turns out stubborn. Nice scene. :)

  32. Erin pulled tightly on her necklace. It looked as though she was trying to break the chain but of course she was not. She knew she had to speak to him...but she couldn’t. Her whole stomach throbbed. She took in a deep breath as she entered the king’s court.

    - Lilly Shyree (

  33. "Brantley, calm down. Tell me what happened." Foster mom 23's words make me feel anything but calm.

    "She said I did it, didn't she? So that means I'm gone." Time to move on to a group home.

    "Brantley, Sophie is three. I want to hear your side of what happened this morning."

    "It doesn't matter," I said. It's my word again Foster mom 23's own kid. Who do I think she'll believe? Not me.

    "Yes, it does. I want to hear your side. Now."

    I shove jeans and T-shirts in a ratty old duffle bag, not even bothering to fold any of the clothes. "You won't believe me, anyways. Not since I've gotten kicked out of foster homes for hurting people before."

    Foster mom 23's cool hand tightens around my arm. I drop the shirt I'm holding, my hands curling into fists. "Tell me what really happened."

    "I hit the kid. Your kid. But not on purpose. Not really. I turned around and she was right there. I ran into her and she hit her head on the table. But I didn't hurt her on purpose." I jerk my arm out of Foster mom 23's grasp. "Just leave me alone."

    As quick as I can put stuff into the bag, Foster mom 23 takes stuff out of my duffle.

    "What the heck are you doing? I told you to go away."

    "Quit packing, Brantley. I believe you."

    "You believe me?" I said slowly. "That's really stupid, believing somebody you've only known a week. You know that, right?"

    Foster mom 23 nods, smoothing one of my now crumpled shirts into a tiny square. "Supper is in half an hour. You'd better clean this room up."

    1. I LOVE this! I've been writing my WIP that has a foster kid in it. I love how you showed Brantley's feelings. :)
      Is it.....stubbornness? Maybe anger, or hopelessness? Frustrated? I'm not good at guessing. lol

  34. “Uh, Olfir.” I said, “Slowly turn around.”
    He looked behind him and saw ten pixie warriors with spears leveled looking at him (pixies are six foot tall warriors).
    “Hi?” I said nervously.

    1. this is from a novel (in theory) I'm writing.

    2. Oh, my! I'd be scared out of my wits. Lol
      You're a good writer. :)

  35. I sit, my elbows on the table, my phone screen shining on my face. I can not believe that my date is late! How could my date be so inconsiderate of her? Doesn't he know that he can't leave a girl waiting? I sigh, and continue texting Darla, the sound of my tapping on the screen only present.
    "I'm so sorry I'm late!" I hear someone say. I look up to see a guy about my age, nice eyes, thin lips, and a huge nose. And- oh my god, he has sideburns! I almost laugh.
    "He's not even hot, why did I ever swipe right?" I text Darla. I put my phone down as he sits down.
    "My car broke down, and I had to wait for my Uber to come," he sputters. "I hope I didn't keep you waiting." He pulls up his chair and sits down, still panting and gasping.
    God, did he run to make it on time? He's so retarded. I roll my eyes. "I waited for you for like ten minutes," I say, even though it was probably only like two, as I was also late.
    The rest of the night is even worse. He orders a garlic pasta! Does he really think I'm going to kiss him after that? He's such a loser.
    I order the most expensive steak there is because I'm not paying, aren't I? I order a triple layer chocolate cake, take two bites out of it, and let the waiter take it away.
    I'm so done by the end of the night. When the waiter comes by with the check, I stare smugly at him as he struggles with the tip.
    "Twenty percent, okay? He was an exceptional waiter," I say, twirling my hair around my finger, fully aware that the waiter had messed up both of our meals.