Friday, January 27, 2012

Grimurl part 2

A sudden throbbing pain jolted Grimurl from his dream of his father’s old pipe playing. He was greeted with another burst of pain, a thump from a villager’s booted foot that rolled Grimurl onto his back. Groaning, he took a moment to scan his surroundings: a few decaying horse stalls, mounds of rotten hay stinking of some yellow fungus, a scythe racked on the wall, and a trio of gruff men.

“Please—I’m sorry—It was an accident. I just wanted to ask about her roses,” moaned Grimurl, trying to sit up from the hard earthen floor. He glanced at the villager standing over him, a barrel-chested man with shaggy blonde hair, garbed in a filthy white tunic. Grimurl smiled lightly, looking deeply into the villager’s dark chestnut eyes, hoping he would feel some sympathy for the satyr. A scoff from a rotund, greasy looking man behind him foiled that idea.

“Liar!” screamed the blonde-haired man, kicking Grimurl’s side again. “Why us? What have we done to you, beast?” he demanded, shoving Grimurl back on to the ground and placing his foot on the satyr’s chest.

“Why you what?” asked Grimurl, confused. Though wracked with agony, groggy, and a bit hungry for some fern leaves, he couldn’t help noticing a peculiar musk in the stable. He hadn’t noticed it before, perhaps because he was unconscious, but now Grimurl smelled it—like wet fur.

“He’s lying, Bertrand,” interjected the other villager, a lanky redheaded man, sitting nearby on a pile of the rotten hay.

The blonde man, Bertrand, growled and turned back to Grimurl, “The sheep, the goats, the cattle! You’ve been sneaking around here at night killing and slaughtering all our livestock.”

“Ha! You look at him shake,” sneered the lanky villager, with an outstretched finger.

“Shut it, Corwyn! I want to know why us? What’ll it take for you to leave us alone?” growled Bertrand, removing his foot, bending down, and grabbing Grimurl by the horns. He hauled the Satyr up to his feet, ignoring the fae creature’s bleating cries.

“Sirs, you’re wrong. I’m sorry, but you’re just wrong,” Grimurl moaned, stamping his hooves on the ground to show the villagers.

All three men glanced down at the satyr’s goat-legs, and burst out laughing. Bertrand let go of Grimurl’s horns, and pushed him away. “Now that’s funny!” he exclaimed.

“I don’t think so,” grumbled Grimurl, rubbing his sore horns, and then brushing the dirt from his furry legs. “But since we got off on the wrong leg so to speak,” smiled the satyr to another gale of laughter from the villagers, “Maybe I can help you with whatever’s killing your livestock. I can find any animal in the woods, you’ll see!”

Bertrand and Corwyn fell silent, exchanging glances. “How you know it’s an animal, beast?” questioned Bertrand suspiciously, both villagers looked to the third, who as of yet said nothing. He was bulkier than his companions, wearing padded armor, furrowing his thick monobrow.  

“Oh—” said Grimurl uneasily, “Well, I just assumed since you saw me,” he looked at his goat legs. “And figured it was an animal, not to mention you used the word ‘slaughter’…that’s how,” he smiled cheerfully.

“Aye, it be an animal. The worst kind there is,” said the bulky, armored villager. “I kept quiet till now—thought with the full moon passing two night’s ago, it wouldn’t matter. But, last night…there was no full moon…we have ourselves a werewolf, boys,” he said ominously. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grimurl part 1

I decided to post some short stories, just for my own giggles! :)

Grimurl had to rest. He halted, heaving clouds of breath into the cool night air. Laying a hand  against a towering oak, he could feel Nature's lifeblood coursing through its woody veins. He glanced around him, and decided he had taken the right direction—this forest was thick with trees that had been born centuries ago.

Villagers shouting for Grimurl's blood echoed through the woods, reverberating off each leaf on every tree. Their violent calls terrified the young satyr. There would be no escape this time, thought Grimurl and in a single bound, his goat legs propelled him onto the treetops. He climbed several feet higher, finding a long sturdy branch, he crawled to where it met the tree's crown. Still shivering, half from fear and half from the chill in the breeze, Grimurl huddled himself close to the tree so the wood warmed him. It was delightful, Nature wrapped her leaves around him and for a moment he forgot he was being hunted. 

Grimurl cursed under his breath when he spied the pinpoints of torchlight bobbing among the trees. He remembered. But it was an accident. Grimurl had not meant to frighten the woman. He just wanted to ask her about the roses in her garden. Perhaps his legs had frightened her, he thought, studying the hairy appendages. No, that couldn't be it—maybe the sound of his hoofs on her floor? No—they sound just like a horse's...his horns! "That's it," he whispered excitedly to himself. Grimurl felt the small curved bones atop his head. 

Maybe he could reason with the villagers, yes that is a great idea, Grimurl thought. He would properly introduce himself, let the woman feel his horns to prove they're harmless. If that didn't work he would show the woman the field where the perfect flowers grow, and even give her his finest flute. Of course, that had to work! Grimurl began the awkward climb down the oak. If only he was not afraid of heights he would jump, he thought. "You old fool, why'd you jump up here?" he asked himself with giggle and a bleat.

Grimurl turned around as he made his way down through the branches. He wanted to be able to talk to the villagers when they found him. Suddenly, the sensation of fire struck his chest and his heart seized. Clutching the arrow in his chest, Grimurl cried out in pain and fell from the tree.

End of Part 1

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Avid Writer: You Ask Too Many Questions

A great article about freelancing, check it out!

Avid Writer: You Ask Too Many Questions: When I first started freelancing as a business writer, I used to troll Craigslist and other job boards regularly. My experience was pretty p...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Developed World Breeds Developed Characters

I haven't written anything in a while due to a class I took at Harvard. It kicked the crap out of me, emotionally and physically. Haven't even found out my grade yet, but anyway I digress.

Today I had a conversation with my mother, whose an avid reader, about what makes a good book. Everyone's different—my personal favorite genres are Fantasy (of course!), Philosophy, and nerd stuff.

My mother prefers World War II novels, but reads a variety of genres. During this conversation I was explaining the premise of my second book, and in order to do so had to explain a little about the Romani/Romany culture ("Gypsies" is a slur, which developed from the false belief the people originated in Egypt...they came from India). She said something that may seem fairly basic, but struck me in a deep way.

She said, "Good books need developed characters, and more than that they need a developed culture."

"A developed culture" what stuck in my head. Think about it...we develop our characters, or try to, in such a way that a random person could say, "i like/hate this character, but I know this character." Knowing a character is more important than whether we like or dislike him/her. When we are able to chuckle, knowing "Joe" is going to open the door clearly marked "Zombie inside, BEWARE"...the writer's done a good job. I should note I have a friend I know so well that I could predict what he would do in most situations...and he would open that door and run in with a smile. I know him.

I suppose the same goes for movies...knowing a character on an emotional or intellectually level makes us enjoy the movie that much more.

Back to the "developed culture" (I ramble, I know!)...we create worlds, whether in a movie or a book. The world we create may be exactly the world as it is today, but we make it our own by having control over it, weaving intense situations from meaningless moments, beginning wars over a hot dog, or showing back door politics, etc. A good book needs a developed culture...something that sets it apart from everything else. Harry Potter is a great example, though I hate the story, but it is so vividly real. It has its own distinct feel of existence.

A developed culture is providing the world in your story with a voice of its own.

Ramble over. :)