Outlining vs. Going Unplanned (A Superhero Story)

The deadline for my second story is coming up and I haven’t written a lick of it yet. I’ve written plenty of ideas and basic premises and even character plans and world building….

And yet, I don’t know if I’m going to stick to any of it. I might just grab a vague notion of a protagonist and dive wildly off script.

It’s entirely unprecedented, as all of the fiction I’ve written since I restarted trying to master this genre has all been carefully planned out and everything has taken shape in my head. But not this time- this time I’ll be making it up as I go, jiving to the character’s beat, you know?

I know that recent, earlier attempts to write in this way have crashed and burned, but I think I have a voice to channel into a story, so we’ll see how well it goes.

The voice is also telling me something that I’m not sure is such a good idea.

This story? It’s going to be a superhero story.

Oh, joy. Personally, I think the entire genre’s getting a little tired but you know what? I’ll work with it. See if I can’t get anything fresh out of it- although I’m pretty sure the entire animals has been hollowed out and stuffed with a printer that makes money.

There are so many ways this could go wrong as all hell… but eh, what’s a life without a little bit of a risk.

I’m running late on a couple of things, so I’m afraid no flash fiction or honest poetry today unless inspiration strikes. Sorry about that!

(However, you can expect another post later today.)

Until then, folks!

-D

Flash Fiction – Observers

(A/N: This is a very rough, very experimental draft. Descriptions of the child and the aliens are a bit sparing so you, the readers, can build your own images in your heads.)

Above the Earth, two entities reclined in their seats. One taller and thinner leaned back, almost indifferent, while the other, a face unlined with age, leaned forward, as if they were preparing to study what happens next. At the moment, their viewscreen was focusing on one house in an idyllic neighborhood like any other.

Right below them, a young child was trudging up the stairway. While their light feet did not stomp in any kind of angry march, their footsteps couldn’t sound any more heavier. As they finally scaled the staircase, they walked into their room and gently pushed the door closed. As the latch clicked quietly into place, they leaned the door and gently slid down. Holding their knees to their face, tears began streaming down their face, and they cried in earnest. Heaving sighs and wails of grief punctuated the silence of solitude.

The elder looked at his student and said, “Do you understand now, youngling? This is what it means to be human. Sooner or later, the inhabitants of this treacherous world will destroy each other and everything that they ever had. Even those with the purest of intentions will fall.”

“But sir, they were so happy before we interfered…”

“It does not matter- if we had not broken them, someone else would have.”

“You don’t know th-”

“Yes, yes. I do.” The elder’s voice grew steely, “But it’s far too late to show you now. Even I cannot reverse time, and show you all the heartbreak and horrors for this little… thing.” Composing himself, his blank, impassive face smoothed out, the creases of age thinning out. “It is clear that you do not yet understand, youngling. Come, and I shall show you another exa-”

“No.”

“No?”

“You can’t destroy any more lives just to prove a point.”

“Lives,” he scoffed, “These pathetically fragile, corruptible beings hardly count as lives. Their entire time on this mortal coil is barely a hundredth of ours. Their planet is insignificant compared to our smallest colony. They could never-”

“What does that matter? They are still beings like us.”

They couldn’t even begin to be like us.” He stood, grabbing the younger being out of his seat and tossing him to the ground. “And I’m going to show y-”

And that was when a *thwip* of a blaster reverberated through the old man’s body.

“No,” said the student, “Perhaps it is we who are more like them than you think.”

 

Flash/Fan Fiction – “Everything ends.”

(A/N: Because I started writing fan fiction with a Twelfth Doctor post in the early days of this blog, I thought it fitting with his departure approaching to write him a pre-regeneration scene.)

Everything felt so clean.

He knew that in fact, it was the regeneration healing and cleaning him, burning off any dirt and grime that may have been on him. He knew that soon, the tingles running down his spine would begin to sting. The regeneration energy pumping through his veins would begin to trickle down his skin until it all finally burst in a golden flash. It would radiate off of him and in one golden moment, he would be wiped away.

But until that moment came… The Doctor intended to enjoy his last few moments with this face.

His hands gently rested on the electric black guitar. Plugging in the amp, he began to play through one last time. As the guitar wailed out “Amazing Grace” and Beethoven’s Fifth rang out through the TARDIS, the Doctor smiled at times long past- at the thrills of running and falling out of airplanes and pudding brains. He remembered.

Run, you clever boy, and remember.

He finally settled on strumming out a sad song. He managed to strum out a minute’s worth before her laugh threatened to ring out through his brain and he had to just stop. 

The neural block whined and moaned at him, distracting him, but almost seeming to ask, “How much longer will you try to remember her? How long will you gaze into the empty abyss feeling a loss that isn’t really there?”

Not much longer, it would seem.

Forgetting her had been like regenerating. She had disappeared in a flash of light, taking a piece of him with her. And now here he was, facing down the real deal.

He was done fighting. He had no more azbantium walls to punch, no more Clara to save, no more song left to sing.

He was ready to go.

And the new man was ready to carry on.

Everything ends, and it’s always sad. But everything begins again too, and that’s always happy. Be happy.”

Flash Fiction: Sandwich of the Demon

Prompt: While putting your favorite condiment on a sandwich, you accidentally make a magical occult symbol and summon a demon.

“RAAAARGH, FEAR ME, MORTAL, FOR I….” The demon stopped, and looked down at the sandwich he had trod upon. “….is that jelly?”

He looked to the housewife trembling in the corner, her tearstained eyes red and as wide as dinner plates. As she shuddered, she managed to give an almost indistinguishable nod.

“Mmmmm, I love jelly,” the demon murmured, taking a bite. “Pulverized organic life? Who could say no to that?” He closed his eyes as he chewed, relishing the sandwich’s taste.

“Oh, by the way, Susan, I’m not going to kill you because you summoned me.”

“You’re- you’re not?”

“Oh no,” the demon smiled, waving his hand nonchalantly, “I’m going to kill you because it is a crime to have dropped such a good sandwich and fucking wasted it.”

Flash Fiction – The World

(A/N: So the thought I had when writing this very, very rough draft was that people wouldn’t give a world a name, it’s just “the world” to them or “the universe”. And there are all these fantasy and sci-fi worlds that have names to them that probably describe the whole country or planet to them that they might not actually have named themselves. They’d always have just thought of it as “the world.”

See, this is the weird shit I dream up at 2 am. -D)

“Hey! Hey! Are you okay? Please, wake up!”

It didn’t truly occur to the man that he was lying in a field at first.

He was, at first, drowsily dismissive of the hands that shook and batted at him. It was only when he remembered what exactly had happened before he had passed out that he sat up with a jolt and truly took in his surroundings.

“Oh, thank God!” The woman sat back in relief. “I thought you were just dead for a second there.”

“What?” He shook his head as if it would dispel the frenzied, disjointed haze in his head. “No, no, not dead, just… confused. Sorry.” He stared out in the kelly green field around him, and at the aurora of the setting sun in the horizon.

“Well, I’m just glad you’re alright,” the woman patted his shoulder, “What happened to you?”

“I don’t recall…” he stuttered, “No… there was a blue… a portal? And I remember falling towards it before ending up heeeeeere….” He gasped, “No… I must be on another world!!!!”

The look on the woman’s face seemed frozen between a sneer and a furrowed brow of concern. “What.”

“Where am I?”

“You’re in Jacksonville Memorial Field.”

“What year is it??”

“2017.”

“Is this Ameri-”

“Yes, you’re in America.” The woman buried her face in her hands. “For fuck’s sake,” she muttered, “why do I have to deal with all the druggies?”

“…are you sure that I haven’t-”

“LOOK, MY DUDE,” the woman finally started seething, “No.

“Oh.” He looked crestfallen, but the woman continued, “Do you know where we are? We’re in this thing. It’s called the uuuuuniverse.”

The man just looked down at his feet sheepishly as she continued, “And it’s made up of star systems, like Alpha Centauri and galaxies like the Milky Way…” Satisfied that her job was done, she stood up to go, “And planets like ours. Like Theraflaaargian.”

“Yeah….” The man muttered to himself. “Of cours-”

Wait a minute.

“WHAT?”

 

 

 

flower in the fountain

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Photo credits to Jewlsies (jewlsies.tumblr.com)

He experienced everything.

His feet felt the cobblestone. It was strict, unforgiving, solid ground marred with straight borders outlining each brick. He stepped gently, as if at any moment, a stone might break through the thin canvas of his shoes and stab his heel.

He knew it wouldn’t though. The passage of time and all those people who had treaded where he now walked had worn the road much smoother than the coarse bricks that made up the houses in the tight alley around him.

He heard the scattered chatter of the people around him. Laughter, arguments, and desperate tourists trying to discern directions permeated him and he understood the arrhythmic taps of every step someone took overlapping with one another.

He breathed in the crisp air, tinged with the smell of cream sauce and the smoke of the grills inviting him to a feast. Oh, he wanted to just sit down so badly, or perhaps even go running in the sunset, away, away from his final destination. But he tiptoed on, wishing that he could still feel the burning tears cool on his cheek as they were buffeted by the air.

But he was at the end. He felt nothing and no tears came.

As he finally arrived at his destination, the maw of the path opened up into a large, rectangular courtyard lined with buildings and benches and geometric, perfectly cut patches of grass. And at one end, opposite a tan bricked building with wall-sized glass windows, was what he was here to see.

He took a seat at the stone basin of the fountain. He didn’t mind the occasional spatter of water as the fountain’s spouts continued to shoot water into the full fountain. Reaching into the pockets of his jet-black coat, he pulled out a single chrysanthemum. He twirled it around his finger tips, admired the many pink petals before leaning down. Leaving one hand on the slightly wet off white concrete of the basin rim, he gently set the flower down in the water with his other.

As it floated away merrily along the ripples of the fountain water, he smiled.

This was goodbye.

And she was finally free.

-a flash fiction to say goodbye

Losing Time

I can’t keep doing this.

I don’t mean that I can’t do this project, God no I’m only in Day 4. What kind of quitter do you think I am? But I can’t keep losing focus. Losing focus means that I lose time. And I cannot afford to lose time. I need all of it and then some to perform my best and to be the Oddity Writer of old.

But anyways! A bit of a progress report for you all- I’m going to plan out my article today and then actually finish it by tomorrow. As for the third snippet, I’m having fun with it! It’s a bit lighter fare than it should be so I’ll definitely raise that concern when I try to get it peer checked.

I feel like my reading goal is being neglected, so I’ll also try to do something about that.

Until then, I’ve got some reflections to do, so I’ll be off. But you’ll hear from me soon 

Run.

Everywhere he looks, that goddamn smile follows him. The laughs, the thoughtful words, the declarations of loyalty, the memories ebb and flow about him as he gets further and further away from them. As every step propels him forward, as his arms and legs pump desperately and as his lungs burn, his mind finds itself right back where it started.

Maybe if he keeps running, he won’t have to acknowledge that they were gone.

Maybe if he keeps running, he’ll just forget.

He knows it’s a lie.

But he’s not gonna stop just yet.

 

 

What’s The Plan For Today, Doc?

Step 1: Finally finish the article for today. Check! There wasn’t too much writing this time. It was just a matter of getting those final interview responses I was waiting on, adding a photo of the interviewee with biographical data like their major, given college and age and surnames- which involved quite a bit of tedious Facebook digging.

Step 2: Fiction writing- Sort of check! I’ve started writing Part 3 of this little tale. It’s the goddamn silliest one so far, but I think that the work as a whole is kind of lighthearted and cheeky so that’s alright. I’ve gotten a lot of insights and thoughts from other events today. Once I do finish Part 3, I do think I’m going to set in more concrete plans for other bits that are absolutely necessary.

Step 3: Reading- Not actually there yet! I think I’m going to read Freakonomics tonight and then add in my penny’s worth of thoughts in tomorrow’s post.

What Am I Listening To Right Now: Shrug by Christina Grimmie. She had a real talent and passion for what she did and I can only hope to achieve at least half of what she did in her too-short life. (One of her other songs actually was a big influence on this current fiction project.)

What Am I Watching At The Moment: The Stan Frederick series. Recently, I’ve been looking into people my age who are seriously talented, and Evan Santiago is one of them. His visual effects on this horror series are really well-edited. I’m really fascinated to see what he does with his character in the future. Now’s actually a good time for anyone to jump on the bandwagon as Season 1’s story reached a turning point, so I’ll leave a link down below.

And that’s actually where I’m gonna leave off for tomorrow. Thank you all so much for keeping up with me on this journey, and I’ll see you all soon!

Concrete and Traction

This is the first (of hopefully very few times) that you will see my face.

I’ve been considering this Project for Self-Improvement for awhile and I’m really looking forward to settling it in motion. I want to be the best version of myself again, and now I’m taking steps to become that person again. So thank you for sticking with me thus far and for reading as I start this new journey once more.