Sunday, 29 June 2014

Flash Fiction Prequel 9: Cinaer

"I don't have long. We're leaving in a few hours … No, she's got no chance, I'm sure of it … Let's just say I've got a… contingency plan in place. You don't need to worry. I'm certain she'll fail.” I patted the knife at my hip as I spoke, smiling. “How are our pets doing? Not causing you too much trouble, I hope?” As if eager to answer my question themselves, I heard a high, blood-boiling roar in the background. The smile on my face only grew wider. “I should let you go – it sounds like they’re getting hungry.”  

This is the last of my planned prequels and hints at a few things which will prove very important in Air. If there are any other characters you wanted prequels for, post a comment below and I'll see what I can do. 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Flash Fiction Prequel 8: Brody

Okay. Deep breaths, Brody. You can do this. You’re just asking if she needs help, not if she’d like to go out for dinner. She won’t say no. She won’t think the request is strange. She will be grateful you offered. Then, once you’re there, you can show her how amazing you are. She’s have to notice you. You’ll be the hardest working volunteer she’s ever had. Maybe she will be so pleased that she’ll even ask you to dance… No. Stop. That’s thinking too far ahead. Just focus on now. You can cope with now. You can-

“Hi, Devon!”

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Flash Fiction Prequel 7: Vincent

I would never get away it. As soon as she heard the faintest hint about being sent home there would be no stopping her. She wouldn't stop asking until she wore me down. She was infuriating, my Firefly. But there was no reason why I should give into her. I was her mentor. Her superior. If I refused to tell her she would be unable to find out any other way. The king had trusted me to keep this a secret. And that’s exactly what I was going to do. There was no way she was beating me this time. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Future Learn: Challenging Stereotypes

The challenge for this piece was to take a character stereotype and alter it in an interesting way. When ever I think of artists, I think of mess and chaos as an integral part of their creative process, so I decided to write about a painter who didn't like mess:

Hazel brushed a stray blond hair from her eyes to clear her vision, before blinking her bright blue eyes. Leaning back, she was able to take in the image before her: a lilac skyline, a cerise sun and indigo sea. She glanced back to the real, live sunset happening on the other side of the cottage's window. Perfect. 

Paint pots were scattered around the room, the lid of each placed cautiously beside it, with the wooden floorboards beneath them remaining remarkably spotless. Between her pristine fingers she slowly twirled a freshly washed paintbrush before dipping it into a small pot of ruby red paint. She flicked the excess back into the pot, then used it to add heat to the rays of the dying sun. As she lent towards the canvas her spotless white shirt billowed forwards, coming perilously close to an aubergine pot before she glanced down and noticed it. A slight frown on her face, she moved the pot further away. 

In her oasis of clean, Hazel could be happy. The paint could blend and splatter as much as it needed within the confines of the canvas before her. But not on the floor, or on her skin; she couldn't bear the mess. She didn't like the feeling of dry paint on her skin or the constant sight of green matted in her hair. She couldn't even stand to see the old grey floor spotted with colour or splodges on her clothes. 

Everything had its place and paint belonged in its pots or on a canvas. Anything else was a mess and unnecessary waste.  

I'm going to expand on this idea and use this character as the basis for the short story I have to write for the course this week. Coming up with these stereotype-challenging characters is quite fun once you get started and I definitely recommend giving it a go. I also imagines a pianist who only liked listening to metal music and an eco-warrior with an addiction to long, hot baths and paperbacks. I liked the idea so much that I'm trying it out with my creative writing group on Thursday. I'm sure they'll come up with some even better ideas. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Flash Fiction Prequel 6: Devon

Oh air, this was hopeless! I was never going to learn to control my Powers. Not before I took out the entire Realm with an out of control whirlwind, anyway. It shouldn't be this hard. None one else had struggled like this and I had the benefit of watching them all go through it. This should have been a breeze for me. Instead, I was causing disaster after disaster. Yesterday there had been a mishap with that bridge, today it was the banners for Brae’s party, which was going to be a failure if I couldn't get myself under control. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Future Learn: Creative Writing

At the moment I am taking part in an online creative writing course, provided by the Open University through a fantastic initiative called Future Learn. There are all sorts of completely free courses you can sign up to take part in and I am really enjoying the creative writing, which I'm now just over half way through. Since it seems a shame to have all this new writing saved on my computer and not share it, I'm going to post a few of my assignments as I go. This challenge for this first example was to expand an idea from my writing note book into a 200-350 word short story. Here it is:

The low moan of centuries past drifted across the rolling waves, up the cobblestone path and through the cottage window, into the ears of a little girl who really should have been asleep. Instead, she swung her torch, which had been poised above a dog-eared book, towards the window.
“Hello?” she whisper-called out into the garden outside.
The moan continued, grumbling through the floorboards beneath her feet as she padded over to find its source.
“Who is there?” she called again to the bushes and the trees and the nesting pheasants who hadn't so much as ruffled a feather at the groan.
When no reply came, she pushed her glasses back up her nose and swung her leg over the sill and down onto the ground outside.
Clutching her torch tightly she climbed all the way out, seeming not to notice how cold the floor was beneath her bare feet, or how the chill night breeze permeated her summer pyjamas. Unperturbed, she headed over to the garden gate, pausing only to tuck her book under the arm carrying the torch so that she could swing it open. Then she was outside and heading towards the shore – and the source of the groan.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Flash Fiction Prequel 5: Cameron

I breathed a deep sigh of relief as Arcan winds enveloped me; we were nearly home. I had enjoyed my trip to the Brizan Realm – they had been welcoming, kind and courteous. But they had been very different to the people of the Arcan Realm and I was desperate for the familiarity of home. I was more than ready for a rest, too. Brae was my friend, but that didn't make guarding him any less of a job. I was in need of some rest and relaxation… and a few high energy games of ice hockey out on the lake.