That’s time travel done with. What’s next?

Hello

I’ve finished my time travel story! I managed to answer all the questions I had rolling around in my head about it and then come up with two possible endings for it. And now I’ve moved onto another project.

Okay. Picture the scene. I’m typing furiously and marching my way to the end of my story. The hero and villain are engaged in a battle of wills for the fate of the country. As I was writing it I wasn’t really sure where the ending would come from. I had a vague idea but I always prefer it when the ending naturally presents itself. And then two endings did. Great. Another question to answer. Which ending to pick? The happy one, which in itself leaves the reader (or it should anyway) wondering whether our hero has made his decision for the right or wrong reasons, or the apocalyptic one, where everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

I have to say I’ve never been so worked up about the ending to one of my stories in my life. I felt like I was going to tear up when I thought about my apocalyptic ending, which is brought on by an unexpected event. Should I go down the sad route? I thought over and over again. But then I realised that I didn’t really like that ending. Hell, I really didn’t like it and I didn’t think it fitted well with the story. So, I went with the happy one, which leaves unanswered questions. I always prefer books and films that leave you to discuss its ending with others till the end of time rather than have it spoon fed to me. I did write the apocalyptic ending out as well and I’m even more convinced I picked the right one. If ever gets published I’m sure I’ll be proved wrong.

Anyway, once this was done I decided to enter a competition. I had found one but misread the deadline date and it was the end of May 2014. Not 2015. Well done eagle eye. Although it didn’t take me long to find another short story competition to enter. And I can use an already written story for it as well! So now I’m back to editing. Again. Like always. The competition is the British Fantasy Society Short Story comp at www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk. 5,000 words and for any type of fantasy. Wish me luck.

Okay. Have a good week and do good things and all that.

Bye!

Time travel and moral ambiguity. Obviously?

Hello

With my last post in mind I am still no closer to knowing what I would do if I knew when and how I was going to die. And no one else does either considering I didn’t get an answer to the question I posed last time. Yeah, I’m sticking with that for the reason why nobody answered it. I’ll sleep better if I do.

Anyway, I closer to the end of my sci-fi story. Well at least I think I am.

My hero Arthur had just woken up on the day of his death and was about to put his plan in motion. He did just that and it all went exactly as he wanted it to. But only if you forget about the explosive reaction of a certain someone within the government. That someone was watching him all the time and kidnapped him and took him to his lair. Makes my villain sound like the claw or something. He might be? I’ve taken Arthur to his final show down with the villain of the piece and I am enjoying writing it. I have said in the past that I mostly enjoy writing battle scenes but battles of will’s between hero and villain are actually pretty cool to construct in themselves as well.

So how did I end up having to develop moral ambiguity within my story?

This did creep up on me I have to say. I’m about half way through the ending of the story and my hero is faced with a problem. Should he let the government head honcho continue ruling as a secret dictator, which has made the UK very wealthy, or stop him completely and thus restoring the UK population to its free and sometimes reckless self. I’m not sure which way he should go. On the one hand my hero, who is only just beginning to live life the way he wants to after years of slogging away for seemingly nothing, could rule the UK and become an even further behind the scenes dictator of a dictator. On the other hand he could destroy said dictator along with the government and put the UK into potential chaos, but it would be a chaos that could lead to a better future without being pushed down by an iron fist the public currently don’t know anything about.

I got to this point all on my own and then I read a wonderful article by Alex Davis in the February edition of Writing Magazine that concerned character-building. There is a section about moral ambiguity that I seem to have covered all on my own. Though I have opened myself up to asking more questions and making sure I’ve got it right. I may even have to rewrite parts of the story so it will flow.

And with that in mind I’m going to go away and try and answer them. Once my story is finished I’ll post parts of it on here for your eyes to peruse. Or not. Your choice of course.

Bye Bye

My time travel story is almost complete. How will it end?

Hello

Well, following on from last time, this isn’t one week later but it almost was. I felt sure I was going to finish my time travel story and be able to update this blog last Thursday but a few things like life and hangovers got in the way.

Seriously though, I did think I would have my latest short story done and done by now but I underestimated it as I usually do with these things. I have however, sent my hero through time.

So, to re-cap ever so slightly without giving too much away, my story is set in Manchester, UK circa 2020 and the ability to travel forward in time is available to the general public either at an extremely high cost or if a member of said public is lucky enough to win a government run competition to qualify for it. If you are a winner, which my hero Arthur is, then you can travel up to six months into the future. The risks with doing this are many, especially if you see your future self.

Arthur has travelled forward two months has seen his future self (what else was going to happen?). And he is now in the process of trying to change the events of his future self, which is where I’m up to. My hero has a plan and he’s just woken up on the day of his death to try and put it in motion.

I can’t imagine what I’d feel like if I knew, without any doubt, the day and exact time I was going to die. What would I do? I’d like to think I’d do what my hero is doing. Everything possible to stop it. I already roughly know how the story is going to end but I always like it to form as I write. With all this in mind I’m going to get back to it. But I leave you with a question.

If you knew when you were going to die and exactly the time of your death, what would you do?

The story gets bigger and (hopefully) better.

Hello

So, last time I said I had started a story and that I would probably need only another 8-10 pages to finish it.

That was a lie.

And…well that was the only lie from my last post.

My story, which involves time travel and the impact it has on those who are lucky or unlucky enough to partake in it, is picking up speed but is taking longer than I thought it would. It is for a good reason though.

I realised that I had a lot to explain and that I just wanted to get the story written and not worry about it being a short, novella or long story. In my head I thought 15 pages would be enough but I sit here now with fifteen pages of it done and no time travel having happened. How could such a thing happen? You might ask.

I don’t know, is the answer.

I have made sure to describe everything well enough and to move the story along at a natural pace that I’m comfortable with and 15 pages isn’t enough. At this rate I’m sure it’ll be double that by the time it’s finished. And it doesn’t help that each time I think the next paragraph is going to have my hero travelling through time, which will change the pace of the story and everything from there will move along a lot faster, I discover I need to explain something else. Or set something up. Or describe something important. Each time this has happened with this and every other story I’ve ever written, I’ve been annoyed.

But then I move on.

To what? You may ponder. Well, to bigger and better things regarding my story hopefully. Each time I thought of something else I needed to cover I immediately knew that it needed to be done for the story to work. All the seemingly endless parts of the story must link together to make the whole thing run just like a song right?

And so it is that I’m now on the cusp of making my hero travel through time. What will happen to him? How will it change him? What will happen?!

No idea. But I’ll tell you when I know.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week.

Bye.

Feedback request – An excerpt from my latest finished story.

Hello

 

As mentioned in my last post yesterday, here is the first half of the first chapter of my demon vs hunters (searchers) tale the Searcher’s Want.  I would appreciate some feedback on it and as always if you choose to please keep it constructive. Thank You.

 

No one in the bar tonight is paying much attention to the demon except for the barman who is making good tips off him, a few women hanging off his every well-groomed and disguised word, and the searcher Aaron Watch looking to kill him without causing alarms to ring in the process.

The Catcher demon has a talent for blending in, which has been perfected over the past four hundred years or so, and hiding in plain sight using their superior disguising and survival techniques that put humans off their scent and to attempt to, which has failed so far, to repel the searchers. The makeup and strategic use of clothes covered their true, green, scaly form and to cover their talons. The Catcher was dressed well but not so much as to stick out of the crowd.

“Can I buy you a drink?” A woman said, sitting next to the demon at the bar. The Mox bar is very busy for a Tuesday night and a place well known to be an easy pick up spot for anyone looking for something that didn’t mean anything.

“I would say you can. Whiskey, please. On the rocks.” The Catcher replied, in a perfected mancunian accent. Catcher’s had become very good at sounding charming, sophisticated, and most importantly, human. Aaron sipped his water as he watched intently.

“Coming right up. Oh barman, two whiskeys please.” She said, adjusting her top ever so slightly. Aaron watched the his eyes flash yellow for an instant before returning to the human blue it had adopted. Aaron knew from looking at her that she is prime meat for this monster. She’s tall, pretty, and has a curvy figure, which is all just about held in by a tight, ill-fitting dress. She was the type of woman that frequented this bar every night of the week. The type that had a look in their eye that said they were destined for something greater but had gotten very lost along the way.

“You shouldn’t stare, you know.” a woman said, leaning against the bar and blocking Aaron’s view. The bar curved round so he could sit at the end of it and watch discreetly. He had always been good at spotting women who fancied the look of him and moving away from them whilst fulfilling a search and kill order. He was not a great looking man but he was nice enough and a lot of women thought so too. Every so often he would take advantage of this but not tonight.

“You shouldn’t talk to strangers.” he replied, before taking a big gulp of water so he could see what the demon was up to.

“I could change that for you if you like?” she said, leaning in a little more. Aaron hadn’t taken a proper look at her yet as he was trying to keep as much of his eyes as possible on his target. The woman was still flirting with the Catcher and they had just started to drink their newly acquired whiskeys.

“And how could you do that?” Aaron said, giving her as much attention as he could spare. She is very elegant, he thought, and she has nice, almost clear, light brown skin and high cheek bones. She was has a toned physique which only just fitted into her dress but she is in proportion, unlike the catcher’s whiskey drinking prey. These kinds of women could either be prostitutes or actual women. It was difficult to tell in a place like The Mox Bar.

“By flirting with you a little bit and getting to know you.” She is an actual woman. She has bright, searching eyes and seemed to be putting on a false longing just for him. He’d taught himself, through many confrontations with demons and deceiving humans, to spot falseness in an expression and body language.

“You’re a cheeky one, aren’t you?” He said with a smile. Aaron had a slightly chiselled jaw and nice hazel eyes and teeth. His brown hair touched his ears in a by design scruffy way and she took her time eyeing this and the rest of him up, which he liked. If she kept smiling, he was in. If she became serious, she would be polite until she got her drink and then she would make an excuse to leave.

“Do you like that?” she purred, leaning in a little bit more. Aaron suddenly realised where he’d seen this before. He glanced over at his target, still entertaining his ample and potential meal, and glanced back at his. She followed his eyes across the bar.

“That’s Sarah. She had her eye on you as soon you walked in. We’ve both been without men for a while so we figured we’d help each other out. I however, when asked to chat you up for her, decided I wanted you instead. She then spotted the hunch back at the bar and went straight over. He’s cute, but you’re sexy.” Her eyes changed as she finished talking. In truth, he wasn’t really listening. He was making sure his demon was occupied and quickly surmised that he couldn’t kill him until he did something. If the catcher walked out with Sarah he’d have to follow. This would mean that he had to walk out with his woman and when all four of them met for the first time, the demon would run having immediately identified that he was a searcher. Searchers can identify demons from a long distance whereas demons can only identify searchers from a short one. It’s something Aaron wanted to avoid.

“You keep looking over there. What can I do to keep you looking over here?” She said, brushing her hands against her chest nonchalantly. Aaron was interested and to find a woman who looked like she did and wasn’t a prostitute didn’t happen every day.

“Could I have your number?” he said, hoping to get the number and leave. He would wait outside for the demon and complete the order there.

“You can, but under one condition. You kiss me in such a way that would make me want to give it to you.”

“Kiss you in such a way? You don’t usually come here, do you? Or dress…in such a way.” She immediately got the sarcasm, which he was secretly thankful for. At this, her face changed and she noticeably calmed down. He glanced over and he could see that the demon was starting to charm Sarah now.

“No I don’t. I’m a secretary at a law firm in town. I usually wear suits or just casual jeans and such. I only came here because Sarah wanted to and she’s in the mood for sex.”

“That’s fair enough but you don’t have to dress like that. You could come in wearing your pyjamas and still be the prettiest woman in the room.” A more natural looking smile crossed her face and she leaned back taking something out of her handbag from over her shoulder.

“Here. It’s my business card. Call me and we’ll have a proper date.”

“Yes we will.” He’d been told enough times that he’s a ‘smooth operator’ but never really understood it. She stood up and straightened her long brown hair before moving some behind her ear. She walked off towards Sarah and the demon. Aaron looked at the card. ‘Isabella Woodley – Williams Kim & Associates Barristers and Solicitors.’ “Isabella.” He put the card in his pocket and looked back at the demon. Isabella walked over and put a hand gently on Sarah’s shoulder and whispered in her ear. Sarah nodded and as Isabella turned to walk away she stopped dead and looked at the demons neck. Aaron knew what it was immediately. Some of its make-up had smudged to reveal the green scaly skin underneath.

“What is that?” Isabella said, looking frightened. She looked over at Aaron and frowned. Did she know this was why he was there? Instinctively, Aaron got up and started to walk over to them. The demon turned and spotted him, downed his drink, and quickly walked out of the bar ahead of him. As Aaron passed, trying to look casual before a full on pursuit began, Isabella continued to frown as she watched him leave.

 

And as I try to edit…stuff gets in the way and that.

Hello

 

I started, and finished, editing the fifth chapter of my tale regarding searchers (hunters) and the demons they take down in order to keep the world a safer place. I didn’t intend to finish the whole of the fifth chapter but as I was editing I just wanted to keep going. I finished the first three pages on Thursday night and then the last three on Sunday morning. I thought I’d only finish a few pages this week. The chapter concerned a visit from the hero’s estranged sister.

Now, so far Aaron (our hero)’s sister is going to be used as the device that turned Aaron towards a life fighting crime. First, with the police and then as a searcher. I’m thinking that I’ll keep this in as she also helps to link nicely with Aaron’s back story and how his upbringing was. At the end of chapter four I flashed back to when he was eleven and what caused the happiest memory he has from his childhood. After this, at the beginning of chapter five, I had Aaron mention how much of a waste of time it was whenever she came to visit. This will hopefully build to the exact reason why they are estranged and what ultimately what helps to drive him to do what he does. I seem to recall a few chapters down the line that I do come to this point so I’ll make another mental note to examine this story line in more detail. I’ll have to write the whole story separately so I can slot the important parts in to the main story. And that story will have to be edited. Wonderful. The job just keeps on getting bigger.

As to the stuff and that getting in the way, me and my girlfriend have found a house to rent after months of searching and trying to find someone to rent her flat beforehand. This has meant that a lot of packing and planning has to be done, which has gotten in the way of my editing. I’m not that fussed though. I’m looking forward to moving into to the new place. It’s just, packing is hard!

Anyway, I’ve got something else I need to pack. As always I hope you have a good week.

Bye!