His fingers grasped at his cheeks within the small stall. it felt like they had been dragged down without his noticing in the classroom. The skin seemed looser and flabby. It disgusted him to even feel it, wondering what the hell had even gone wrong. He leaned against the graffitied wall, drawing his hand away and hit his head against said wall at the sight of it. It wasn’t his hand, it couldn’t be. Thick, yellowing fingernails and smattering of moles that weren’t his own, black coarse hair, leading from his hand down his arm, his entire arm. His heart was racing now, faster than it got ever have had been going until his chest was constricting in one continuous beat. All the while, his fingernails continued to grow longer, curling and the arm hair grey right in front of his eyes. His shoes were suddenly too small, his t-shirt was stopping him from breathing with how tight it grew and besides the sides of his head he felt his hair grow long to his shoulder before falling from his scalp in grey clumps. His fingers turned from pink to deathly pale the skin on them straining over the bone beneath and with that his heart stop. The body of the old man fell to the floor his fragile bones cracking with the impact. Whatever they thought of the body they found in high school bathrooms, at least the man had lived a long life.
You don’t actually need to write a novel in order. Usually it’s easy to write the end of a scene or the whole book because that way you have a more clear idea of where you’re going.
The baby is so small, about the size of my hand, if that. A baby shouldn’t be this small.
That’s the problem.
They say he doesn’t have long, that they don’t think it’s likely that he’ll survive the night, with or without the machine pumping his blood and breathing for him.
They are giving me a choice.
I know he’ll make it. I know how strong he is. How much he’s been fighting and kicking. Full of life from day one. He’s stronger than all of them know. They don’t know him like I do. He doesn’t need all of these wires, the white tape that keeps it all together around his oh so tiny face and chest. There’s barely any baby in the incubator, swamped by the machinery.
He can stay like that. Given round the clock care. and if, like the doctors think, he doesn’t make it, then I get a cold body where my child should be.
Or I can hold him, instead of looking through a box at him. Sit in a chair, cradling my son. No wire. No life support. And watch,
as he slowly falls asleep,
and passes away.
But I know he’s going to make it. I know he will. He’s going to pass high school with flying colours, get a degree, become an astronaut, scientist, cure cancer, have a beautiful family with beautiful children. Whatever he does I’ll be proud of him. Because he is going to do and achieve so much.
Because he is going to make it.
As you wake in your bed, you notice a black cube beside you and with its arrival everyone has started to ignore your existence.
When it comes to setting a scene, or describing any environment, it’s practically a given you need to know the ins and outs of the area. And like with most things, I take this very literally and go too over the top with this like the sixteen-legged freak I am.
If you know have the foggiest idea about what kind of environment your world resides in, then a good place to start is working out that first is a good place to start. Now this doesn’t need to be anything detailed the vaguest idea of the weather is good enough for now. Brainstorming this will help building the environment.
Once this is done you can start to put scenes to places. What places do certain scenes need to be in? What kind of weather do you want to occur? Is there a real-life city or architectural equivalent in real life? It’s around this stage I start to gather a portfolio of pictures that I believe best suits my environments. This way, whenever I’m stuck for words on a particular setting I can refer back to it, for inspiration.
At this point it’s a good idea to start adding detail to your environments. A good way to do this is by working through the senses, (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) adding as more information as possible to each bit. What colours are there? Is it a dry environment? What kind of materials are in the environment? So, on and so forth until the setting is built.
When feeling down about your own writing you really should read, mainly for two reason:
- You can get inspired by what other writers have done
- And realise maybe your writing isn’t as terrible as you thought it was
Look up everything you can about the publishing. I’d start with the ‘writer’s and artists’ yearbook’ which is an annual directory for all creative types.
A werewolf experiences its first transformation in a LA night club.
Darlin sat down beside Valar at the long plastic school table. Sat. It was an odd sensation, pressure having been something she’d long forgotten about. To have her lower legs pressed against the bench was both terrifyingly claustrophobic and grounding. She was real. She had real flesh that could feel and touch and pull and push.
“You okay?” Valar muttered, pushing the bland mash on his blue school tray from side to side. She nodded, although was unsure. She thought she possible liked it, but all the sensation were too strange to tell. It definitely was something she wasn’t ready to give up again. She doubted Selina would mind how long she kept her body. Selina liked being dead.
“You should eat,” Shylock muttered. He sat opposite her, chewing quietly, watching his food, refusing to look up.
“The hippie’s right.”
Darlin glared at Valar for calling her brother names, but Valar didn’t seem the least bit phased by it.
“When exactly was the last time you ate?” he continued.
She didn’t know if he was referring to her or Selina. For her it must have been about three, maybe four hundred years. Was she hungry? She’d forgotten what a normal body felt like. She pressed her hands into her stomach which gave off a loud gurgling sound as it did so. it tickled making her giggle at the strange sensation of actually having internal organs inside her. Valar looked at her as if she was mad. Shylock made no moment either way, continuing to mechanical eat his food. Darlin had picked out everything Shylock had because Valar had only gotten mash to push about his tray. She had mostly fruit; an orange, grapes and slices of pineapple, accompanied by a single packet of crisps. She had never had crisps before but she remembered oranges and grapes vaguely. They were sweet and sticky. She picked up the orange, holding it in the middle of her two hands, observing it with a critical eye. It felt rough and waxy, the skin shining in the dim LED lights from over head in the lunch hall. It looked like something man made, too glossy, but she did indeed remember them tasting wonderful. She sniffed it. Like being sent back in time, it brought back unsolicited memories of her childhood, of being able to feel sunlight and lie in fields of grass. Fuelled by her sudden nostalgia she bit deeply into the orange, tearing it apart.
It was glorious.
It was hard to chew and tasted bitter, the sweet centre barely coming through as she choked it down but it was amazing. She beamed, light almost radiating from her soul and through the body’s pours. The orange was dripping now, covering in sticky juice and Darlin lapped her tongue over it like a cat. The sweet juice tasting of energy and light, the life of the fruit igniting on her tongue, with the bitterness of the waxy rind still clinging to her tongue.
“You know most people take off the skin.”
She ignored Valar, putting down the orange in exchange for a grape. It felt wet and bouncy. She squeezed it but overestimated the fruits strength and little grape burst at the seams and splattering everywhere, making Valar yelled in protest and Shylock shield his food. They were gathering attention from other school kids. Some looked at the small group like they were mad, others giggled at the strange girl. Casey looked over her shoulder at the them and turned back to her gaggle of friends, her lips pressed together as if she was trying to stop herself from bursting out laughing. Darlin didn’t care licking the gloop left on her fingers. It was much better than the orange, sweeter like laughter and much easier to swallow. Shylock had cut his own orange into segments and passed her one, silently. She bit into it, delighted by the squelch it made against her teeth. it was sour with a tang to it like the sting of swimming at sea or the whip of leaves against her face. She grinned into the slice sucking up the last few remnants of deliciousness.
“If you’re with excited about eating it, Lord knows what you’re going to be like when it comes out the other end.”
She slapped (slapped!) Shylock’s hand. He slowly moved it under the table, still eating with his other. She was smiling despite his crudeness. even though she knew she shouldn’t feel so, hell she hadn’t been to the toilet in nearly four hundred years she was allowed to feel some anticipation at the situation.
“How do I know if I need to go?” she asked genuinely confused and worried.
“We are not discussing this at the table,” Valar said firmly, shaking his head in disgust.
Darlin smirked and turned to face him, “So is there anything I need to do, to make it come out or…”
“Right!” Valar jumped up from the bench, picking up his tray with him, “Valar fun time’s over! See you later weridos!” he then swaggered off, dropping off his tray before heading out to the courtyard.
Shylock silently watched him leave and when Valar had once out of sight, he said, in his quiet voice, “Glad we finally got rid of that pompous prick.”
Darlin glared at him, but like Valar, he didn’t appear to notice, only continuing, “Now we can eat in peace.”
She wondered if she was doing something wrong with her face. She took another one of Shylock’s orange pieces and bit it, the juice dripping down her grinning face.
Go out to a writing group. Not only will this help you find like minded writers and writer buddies but also help critique your writing and improve it.