Posts tagged vignette
100 Themes 037 - Eyes

I wanted to write a sequel to 035 - Hold My Hand but this wasn't quite what I had in mind. It's there, though, and done now.

I'll admit that this is a little loose. There's too many places, it's too bitty, I'm not really sure why Shania came back to see John and it ends with someone's nipple being forcibly embedded in a person's back. But hey, I wrote it and it's staying that way. I'm feeling tired and cold and slightly feeble, and I don't want to go back and rewrite it.

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The Light That Finds Me

While watching an episode of the original series of Star Trek, I stumbled upon a journal post in my deviantArt account. Live-Love-Write, one of the groups there, has a weekly writing prompt, and to be honest I rarely give it much thought. This week, emboldened by the two pieces of fiction I've already completed and uploaded today, I looked at it.

The result is a post-apocalyptic mix of a true gentleman in a situation not unlike The Hunger Games (the first book of which I've read and truly enjoyed) and The Running Man (King at his best as his pen-name Bachman). It's not long, it's not even particularly good, perhaps, but it's a successful twisting of what should have been a wonderfully positive prompt. All of the examples they gave were about lights finding you in the darkest of times, positive things leading you onwards. Of course, I immediately wondered what it might be like if you didn't want the light to find you, if the darkness were your friend. This is the result.

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100 Themes 035 - Hold My Hand

A love story, this time, and taking the theme completely literally this time. I really enjoyed writing this one and it's something I'm sure I'll return to. I know a lot of things have been set on Mars but I tried for a slightly different idea here.

Edit: My wife (who has an excellent blog over here) has suggested I make a sequel to this, continue the story. It's swilled around in my head for a couple of weeks and I think I have a solution. It's going to be a bit of an homage but I think I can pull it off.

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100 Themes 034 - Stars

Well here we are. The writing bug is back, and feeling good. Each piece seems to feel more natural much better.

I don't plan these in any way. I generally start with a central idea, given to me by the theme, usually a twisted idea. Thought process for this one went 'Stars in the sky, stars on TV, stars sewn onto something as badges or embroidered (like Soviet stars), been looking at tattoos today, ooh, tattooed stars.' The whole story went from there.

Probably the first time a character in a story has surprised me by revealing something about themselves right at the end.

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100 Themes 033 - Expectations

I've been out of writing for a long time. My last piece was Easter, about two months ago, and before that it was a long old time.

My reasons for this sound, to my ears at least, mournfully self-pitying. However, as far as I'm concerned, this is my story and I'm sticking with it. My job has kept me very busy and I simply haven't had the mental space to write. I sometimes feel like writing requires at least two of these three: Time, willpower, energy. Pick two. I haven't managed to have two of those in the same space for nearly a year now.

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100 Themes 032 - Night

Initially an idea we had for the Manga Jiman competition 2010, I was stuck for inspiration when I came across the plan. The next theme fitted it quite well; originally it was set during the day, but it was easy enough to repurpose, and actually I think it words better this way. I enjoy the idea of the grainy green night-vision goggles with the people picked out in white.

Written in a Cornish pub called something like Cornubia in Gwithian.

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100 Themes 031 - Flowers

The last piece for Oxy. The real thing will be here someday, promise.


Robert turned the flower over in his hand. A lily, pale white, stamens heavy with pollen. He held it up to the light, catching the delicate tracery of veins in the glow from the phoslight.

“And you found this... where?” he asked.

The young man sitting on the other side of his cluttered desk gulped down air. He was one of the furthest patrols in the area and there was no telling how far or fast he had run to get this back to base.

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100 Themes 028 - Sorrow

Another piece for the failed NaNo entry. Meela, as a character, stayed in, as did Richard from the previous Theme.


Meela stared out the window. The rain spattered against the pane, droplets combining to form rivulets that dribbled down over the windowsill and fell the twenty storeys to the ground. Her forehead rested against the cold glass, breath misting up a small circle.

“Why do you have to go?” she had cried.

“If we want a healthy child, I have to go.” He had been so careful to keep his expression warm, loving, despite her outburst. Damn him, he had always been so good at that.

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100 Themes 027 - Foreign

This was originally designed to be a taster piece for my NaNoWriMo 2011 work. Ultimately, I didn't like that and never completed it. It will definitely come here as a short piece, though; it deserves to be finished.

The setting is somewhat more sci-fi than most of my stuff, too; perhaps I tried too much change all at once. Anyway, here it is! This and the next few of the 100 Themes were for NaNo, but obviously with different focuses.

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100 Themes 026 - Tears

Something rather more a period drama, I think. Also an experiment in first-person writing, once again. It's not my favoured type of writing but it's something I'd like to work with.


'My Dearest Clarabel,’ the letter began. There was a strange splodge of dark brown in the space before the end of the line, as if something liquid had been dripped onto the paper. My mouth twisted in distaste. She’d cried over this. Ugh.

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Two short bits for Poisonroot

I've been prevaricating long enough over this. I had a good long chat with Sue today about the plot to this and she said it seemed to be pretty good, though I'm still having trouble grasping it in my own mind. It's like trying to grab a soap bubble; I don't want to grab it too hard in case I pop it.

Anyway, I've written a couple of pieces of non-story stuff to get the characters better acquainted in my mind. The first is a short piece about Victor. He's old, he misses his wife, he's lonely and he's fed up of kids coming and standing on his roses. The second is a piece about young Trip, aged 6; he's quite advanced for a six-year-old in thinking, I guess, but that's ok. In the main story he'll be about 12, but this is how he ends up doing a job by choice that most others have to be ordered to do, namely working in the Library.

Victor grunted and spat into a flowerpot. There were tourists outside his house again, damned bastards, always wandering around and pointin’ at this and that. Damn it, they’d be in the rose bushes in a minute trying to see into his windows.

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100 Themes 025 - Trouble Lurking

Ok, so I had this idea and then decided to fit it around one of the 100 themes. I don't know if the result's any better, but it certainly gave the piece a little bit of structure. The tone's different too; negative theme, so negative tone.

On other news, I lost all the planning I did for this year's NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I will still be taking part, though. My ideas must not have been that good, as I've not had an urge to rewrite either of them... still, I like the peacock riders idea. Might work on that.

I'm reading a textbook at the moment, and therefore am in no mood to review a book :D So, here's another 100 theme. Interestingly, I got up early and wrote this before 7.30 in the morning! Rarity for me, if you know what I'm like. I'm usually dead to the world before then, and after then too.

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100 Themes 023 - Cat

Now then. I've just got a cat with my darling wife Susan, and I could have written a smushy thing about him. Pfft.

This one is a play on a few things. The picture they're talking about exists; I don't really like it, and Sue does. I have one she doesn't like, so we hang them both, or neither. Fair, see? The smells Cat likes, I like, but she's not me; I just wanted to have a character that liked some of the same things I liked so that I could write about liking them. Selfish, yes.
This isn't based on any reality; Sue and I were never at Uni together, I don't know anyone that's done anything like this... it's just a nice thing based on a few real things. One or two truths in a big pack of lies, I guess. I've been told to 'write what I know'; this has some things I know in it.

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100 Themes 022 - Mother Nature

I make no bones about this; Mother Nature, or Mrs Henson, owes a lot to Stephen King for her existence. I recently finished watching The Stand again, something I encountered in my early teens as a four-part serial, then read. Mother Abagail (I believe that's how it's spelt) is a wonderful voice in my head, a deep South bible bashin' ol' black woman, she won't take no nonsense but if you think you gon' put one over her you got another thing comin'. And so on.

I hope she comes across. There's a certain amount of Day of the Triffids in there too.

Oh, and while I think about it; this represents the start of something. Wonder if you can spot it :D

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100 Themes 021 - Vacation

I... don't deal well with enforced relaxation. In fact, I hate it. That's why my writing output goes down when the holidays are on. As a teacher, it's hard to get around the Summer holidays. How Erik feels in this is pretty much spot-on.

Erik von Nesslinger was a character created for a forum RPG a while ago. I recently toyed with resurrecting him but, thinking about it, he's fucking whack; I mean, he's Sean Connery in my head, with a sniping crossbow; what fun is that? The physics of that alone is impossible, the idea that you could have a crossbow that was accurate over a long enough distance to make sniping possible. Unless someone wishes to correct me, Erik will never see the light of day (and now I feel like a kidnapper with a hostage).

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100 Themes 020 - Fortitude

This was a toughie. I played with a couple of ideas, and this fell out; it's not great, so I'll stop talking and let you read it :D


“Fortitude. Chastity. Faith.”

Sir Clement of the Fairweald murmured these words in time with the other knights around him. He was knelt, as were they all, dressed in full armour, holding his sword out in front of him. The point dug into the ground as he leant on it, standing. The armour was heavy, but he barely noticed its weight.

The Grand Master strode forward to stand in front of the three-tined cross. His own armour was covered in gold, glinting in the light filtering through the high windows.

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100 Themes 018 - Rainbow

I was trying something here; writing without planning. Yes, it's writing a myth as well. But the Mother character has just sat down and is telling this story, or at least that's how I wanted it to come across. There are holes in it, because it's not planned, and she finishes it rather hastily because she's fed up, maybe, or the child wants to sleep. I'm quite pleased with it, as simplistic as it is.


“A story, is it? Very well.” Mother sat on the seat next to my bed, her knitting needles clicking quietly together. I sat up, suddenly not at all tired despite the heaviness of my eyelids. My duvet was warm, my pillow was soft and the fire crackled in time with the clock on the wall.

“My tale begins hundreds, no, thousands of years ago, and on a world far from this one. 

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