29 March 2011

From Ideas to Words...[]

My primary major as an undergraduate was Creative Writing; it stands to reason that I know a thing or two about writing. People often ask me if I'm going to write novels, etc., and I reply, "eventually." My primary focus in Creative Writing was poetry, however, although I do love novels and do actually plan to write a few (when I get around to it).

I have a lot of ideas in my head. I've formed a lot of characters in my mind, forged backstories and personalities and settings...and then I try to commit it to paper/computer text. Problems arise at this point.

My training in poetry (which has also informed my prose writing) has impressed upon me the importance of condensing concepts and images into as few words as possible, so to concentrate the effect. My writing tends, therefore, to be rather short, and one of my greatest challenges is in expanding my ideas such that they can fill the space required of a novel. Not with filler, but simply with more to read. A powerfully-worded poem can effect great emotional impact, but it cannot as easily convey the more mundane parts of a plot that tie all the great events together.

So that my writing skills do not atrophy, however, I do make every attempt to keep writing, whether it be blogging or freeform roleplaying or even writing process documentation.

In keeping with that idea, here's a small snippet I wrote and then expanded over my lunch break today:

The sky was a torrid slate, a torment in full fury, and the ground cried as each swollen raindrop fell like a blow upon its surface. JT the Ninja looked up, wiping the blinding precipitation from his eyes, so that he might see his opponent more clearly.

The looming figure seemed to rise as it walked toward him, a grim and menacing creature. It stank of death, the smell persisting even through the rain, and about its feet an opaque black fog hung, disturbed only by the creature's motion, for no wind would perturb it. Three glistening golden eyes burned from its forehead, and two wicked, curved horns erupted from its skull, curling backwards from its brow. Of its form besides little could be discerned, both due to the darkness of the storm and its charcoal flesh, which seemed to draw in what little light was around it into a gaping chasm in the shape of a hideous giant. "You shall not escape with your life this day," it shrieked at him, its voice otherworldly and terrible.

Adamant resolve coursing through his veins, the fearless ninja strengthened his stance and clenched his fists. Steam began to rise from his hands as the falling raindrops began to feel the heat of his growing ninja rage. "It is you who shall not escape today, demon," JT called out, his voice clear and cutting. A coursing bolt of lightning punctuated his reply. He unsheathed his ninja sword, the steel emanating a bright blue aura, and pointed it at his foe. "I have slain greater foes than you, spawn of evil," he declared. "You will be no different."

The demon laughed, and were his audience any other it would have caused chills of terror by it sound. "You are but one ninja," it sneered, baring its yellowed fangs and extending its cruel claws. "This fight shall be over far too quickly for me to enjoy."

No more words needed to be said. The two adversaries threw themselves into battle, steel clashing against demonclaw, their blows louder than the crashing thunder. At each pass, JT's blade turned aside his enemy's attack, but neither did his strikes find their target. As the battle waged on, however, the strength of both began to fail. The ninja's blade sliced deep into the monster's side as he passed under a heavy swipe, but the demon's claws dug into his back as he passed beneath them. As JT rolled to safety, the demon looked down at the shreds of bloodstained cloth now caught in his talons and smiled, letting the inky blood run freely from his wound.

The combatants stood apart for a moment, both now injured. JT dropped to one knee, wiping the rain from his ninja spectacles and holding his sword out in front of him in a defensive posture. It was all the encouragement the demon needed. His fell laughter cut through the night air. "It is no use, ninja," he spat. "I have slain more of your kind than I can remember." He had no warning that they would be his last words.

It was over almost as the demon finished his statement. Another blinding flash of lightning scarred the heavens, and in the next instant, the demon fell to the ground in quarters, the ninja blade having cut through its midsection from the front and cleaved it from bottom to top as its bearer turned to face it once more. Not even a death cry escaped from the demon as its essence evaporated into the night, its body disintegrating rapidly as the evil spirit was banished once again to the netherplane.

"As have I," JT whispered, standing over the vanishing corpse, the evil blood he had drawn burning along the length of his blade. The winds grew calm, and the night returned to tranquility. JT turned his gaze starward and leaped into the air, the night winds carrying him away, back to the hidden village that had lived so long in terror of the evil he had now vanquished.

Silly, I know, but nothing that keeps my creative muscles exercised is a bad thing.


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