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Author Topic: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!  (Read 95027 times)

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Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #405 on: April 24, 2021, 07:25:06 AM »
Day 11

Harold Watches Dragons

Harold Haskins sat on the shoulder of the gigantic dzonr statue of Moth, God of Benediction, and looked out at the beautiful landscape before him. His eyes took in rolling hills, lush blue multicoloured forests, punctuated by tendrils of oceans that stretched out far to the horizon.  He bit into his Chicken sandwich and waited, his binoculars ready in his other hand. The dragons would be coming any time now.

It was a great, grand morning to watch the magnificent beasts as they woke up and flew through the sky before heading off to their roost or territorial flights, and it was always a nice way to start the morning watching them. Their sheer size, their beauty, their awe was always worth the long climb up the statue. before he went on to discovering the rest of the quadrant. Surveying it for the Hel Mining Corp. It was so far both a great and disappointing venture. In terms of beauty and ancient history this planet was particularly interesting. There were enough ruins and enough interesting places to look at to satisfy the academic curiosity of 30 generations of scientists, but it took money and resources to run a galactic organization, and Neptunium was all the rage these days.

Becker FTL engines were galactic standard these days, and that was a vital component to support the day to day needs of the universe, and so mining coorperations came with their mega-drills, punctured planets and extracted anything useful. Harold expected that would be the same fate for this beautiful place even if he didn’t find anything interesting, but he was a bit sad that such a beautiful place would be destroyed.

But a job was a job. Till then he’d delay his report if only a little bit – They expected him to respond to them 2 months later anyway – so until then he’d explore the place like a child alone in a candy store, marvelling at every new sight and confectionary. He couldn’t possibly within a lifetime see every corner of the planet, but he sure as heck would try. And besides, that was the beauty in it all. He was alone here, surrounded by wonders, and he sure as Words enjoy it while he could.

There werea low, rising dull sounds, and Harold swallowed the last bit of his sandwich, grasped his binoculars, set the focus on ultri-high resolution and let it run the automated biometric scan run. It would record everything in every known spectrum, isolate, digitally disesect the subject in question and upload that information to a cloud. As much as Harold enjoyed watching dragons just for himself, it was still technically interesting stuff to know about. His wife Lisa, an exobiologist, would also love to see them, and his daughter always loved seeing the latest videos of the latest planet he’d visited. He missed her a bit, and told himself absently that he’d take a holiday after the next few surveys for a good while. He’d been a bit too distant lately.

There they were now – the dragons -  peeking out of their cave with the careful, inquisitive nature of a animal that does this every day: Looking for threats, tasting the weather, checking the temperature. Then, satisfied, the dragon mother burst ouf of the cave, a great gush of dust and wind followed her as she rose into the sky and looked down on the hole. She called – loud but endearing – and two smaller dragons came out, shrieking with glee as they flapped their small wings and finally came up to her in the sky. The two of them traced orbits around their mother, happy to start the day, happy to finally fly better than they once did.

“Cute tykes.” Harold rubbed his left ear absent-mindedly: They were so loud. He was at least 10 Klicks away from them and he could still hear their cries and feel the beating of their winds revebrating through the stone statue. He was very comforteable with being this far away from them. The beasts were large in all senses of the world.

The mother had emerald-blue skin, her children were pitch black, but glistened as well in the double-sun of the planet. They floated around a bit, before the mother picked a direction and straightened out her body, suddenly flapped one last time and glided along in the shape of a sine wave, heading off almost too perfectly over the horizon. Her children copied her gestures – a bit clumsily – and headed off in the same direction, crooning now. The mother responded with a bona-fide roar. Harold was buffetted by the wind of that strength, that proud cry, and he almost dropped his binocolours.

“Hot damn!” He laughed as he gathered himself and watched them go away.

When they were finally gone he sighed to himself and stood up, giving them one last good look before he started the long climb down the thousands of steps that he climbed every day to this statue. They were carved in a circular pattern around the statue. 2000 of them and it always gave him a good workout to go down their stone faces. As far as he knew, the monks that prayed to Moth made this pilgrimage every day to do… Something at the top of the statue.: Harold still needed to translate the exact  meaning of The God of Benevolence, and he was looking forward to pouring over the scans and texts he’d taken of tombs, writings, weaponry, scrawls and paintings he’d discovered within its interior. There was just so much stuff, and though alien, it felt familiar and very much like the way humans made their historical places. That was one thing, about this planet, it felt oddly familiar in comparision to the other planets he’d visited.. He was truly invested in the history of this planet, and if its fate was to be destroyed  then he’d at least have some data to show for it.

Till then a job was a job, and he’d get it done.


Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #406 on: April 24, 2021, 11:27:59 PM »
Day 12

Gar 440

In a desert city, two armies were engaged in a skirmish.

Samuel Pel-Adam cocked his rifle and took another shot, even as bullets exploded around him, hitting dust, sending sand, shrapnel in the air. Another one bit the dust and he took the time to reload to lean back and dig into the front pocket of his bullet proof vest, took a quick look at the picture of someone he knew he might not be seeing any time soon. He grinned, kissed the photo and stuffed it back in. Chambered the round, peeked out and shot another man in the chest. 40 Kills so far, this was a record.

The building exploded suddenly, and he swore for one second as what was suddenly a solid building just crumbled. Forget about footing, he didn't hear anything but the explosion and didn't see anything but darkness as he was buried. He was dead. Definitely.

And after the darkness, there was a short whine in his ears as he coughed. He was wounded, shell-shocked and most importantly... still alive.

He coughed as he crawled out of the building, pulling out a pistol. He was in the middle

Then he just paused. He was definitely outnumbered and outgunned. 14 of the guerillas lined the street and were all collectively aiming at him. A firing squad, practically. Samuel smiled and drew his pistol – Not nearly quick enough.

The first shot hit him in his shoulder, the next one took his right molar, the next one his head and then that was the end of that. Medal of Honor after the fact. 2 Year tour and one of the most impressive body-counts a soldier could ever get.

***

"He's ready for you." Said a neatly dressed receptionist.

It was a pristine, white room, complelty made up of white LED squares and with black, minimalistic furniture. He was obviously sitting in the reception, or a waiting room, like at hospitals. Samuel hated hospitals.

He blinked as the receptionist called his name again. She had glasses, had kind eyes and a hair turned into a bun,

"He won't be able to give you much more time than this, Mr. Pel-Addam."

Samuel cleared his throat. "Oh. Um. Yeah."

It occured to him that he was definitely dead, but he was already heading towards the open door because he knew that was a bit more important than trying to process that fact. Who knew, he thought, that the idiots were right? He hoped to everything this was heaven. A sense of fear and wonder overcame him for a short moment, but he was a soldier – a damn good one and he pushed it down.

God turned out to be a floating black blob of ink that hovered behind a desk. It had a telephone that even now had a red-light from an incoming call. A river of papers were flying in and out of two trays, one labelled "TO" and the other labelled "FROM". Samuel had the distinct impression the diety was busy, so he took a chair and waited.

Finally, the blob of ink seemed to take notice, formed itself into a humanoid shape, and then into the form of Tessa Burg, one of the first girlfriends Samuel had ever had. She smiled evilly. No matter how she looked her smile always looked so insincere, and damn was she the funniest person Samuel had ever met.

"I imagine you have a few questions" Not-Tessa said.

Samuel scratched his chin, "I'm pretty sure I'm dead?"

Not-Tessa laughed, "Yeah that, but I meant you probably want to know why you're here and what the purpose is, right?"

Samuel paused for a moment. Looked at her, looked around. Took a breath and exhaled then looked her in the eye,

"Pretty sure I don't have a choice, whatever the case may be."

"Very good." Not-Tessa laughed. She grabbed one of the papers that were streaming in and out of the office (It had been going to the FROM) pile and he handed it over to Samuel, who read it.

He looked up at Not-Tessa, "Seriously? Since when did Gods start taking out contracts on eachother?"

Not-Tessa laughed and stood up, slowly dissolving into ink,

"You'll figure it out in a couple of millenia. You're one of the more smarter humans. And a word of advice." She was now just ink floating over the chair. Sam felt it and saw as he was pulled backwards and the sight of the pristine office zoomed away. He barely caught the last words,

"You should probably take time to enjoy the lulls in the battle." She said

"I probably should." Samuel laughed as he was stripped, atom by atom and reformed into something greater, something deadlier.

He wished his father could see him now, all suited up in a clean armani suit, with a katana sheathed on his back. He was walking through a mega-city, a super futuristic city, a couple of millenia and dimensions away from the Earth he used to know, the war he used to be fighting, the woman he used to be living with.

He looked left and right at the over-input of light and life. Neon signs, hover cars, people wearing glasses that flashed advertisements, robo-cops patrolling the streets, a running man, a laughing woman with deadly-looking red highheels, and an octopus in the middle of a conversation with someone else. Everything else was just screens and screens and screens.

Samuel loved every bit of it. It was always his dream to get to live long enough to see a cyberpunk city, so this is what it felt like.

He looked at the paper he'd recieved from Not-Tessa again,  looking for the particulars of his new found profession and sighed.
"This is gonna suck."

He looked up at the sky scraper that stood out amongst all the skyscrapers, a giant Red C emblazoned on its chest: Coleman Corp. On its face the richest company on the planet, but it was only the front for a god that had taken shop here, and Samuel had to kill him.

Knowing it was probably another death he was walking into, he cracked his fingers and nodded, always a man ready for a mission .

"Well. Time to get to work."

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #407 on: April 25, 2021, 06:36:06 AM »
great stuff, I'll try and review on my commute again.

how long does it take to knock out these short stories?

you've done great recently for regularity and output!
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #408 on: April 26, 2021, 01:55:30 AM »
Thanks a lot suuper. Means alot coming from the master of productivity. Typically 20-30 Minutes. Most of the hangups is that I start from scratch otherwise I could do 15 easy.

I just need to plug in extra steps to iteratively polish up stories (and even previous steps to brainstorm the stories so that I don't always feel so dry when trying to come up with something.)

I can't stop to think up something new though. Can't lose my momentum. But it shalt be planned.

And would love whatever you can point out!



Day 13

A Misadventure

„This is ridiculous.“ Jonathan thought to himself. He was going to bleed out in an abandoned warehouse, all because he’d been trying to catch up on his childhood.

The plank had 4 Nails that were stuck on the left side of his leg. He didn’t even want to look, but he had to. He’d crashed right through rotten wood while walking around the gigantic old place. Until a few minutes ago he’d been that risk-taking teenager, the ones who broke into shuttered off places and scared eachother about the next ghost, the next horror. He’d been with perhaps a bunch of friends, maybe four five? Maybe there was the local daredevil childhood sweetheart who hung around, or an annoying sister who was whining and warning everyone to be careful, and he was the gruff, a bit douchey but protective older brother, telling her everything would be OK and while taking part in the nocturnal adventure, still keeping an eye on her and making sure they’d turn back as soon as things got too dicey.

“Idiot.” He groaned. He could feel a dampness in his foot and he knew for a fact it was only a matter of time until the adrenaline and shock removed its shielding, and if there was any time to fix anything or see how badly hurt he was he needed to get to the down and nasty.

He growled in advance as he turned. No pain. Yet. He turned a bit, looked down at his armani pants and almost chuckled at how well the wooden plank stuck to his leg. It would work quite well as some form of Avante Garde fashion. He almost tugged at but saw how well it stuck as he shuffled and nodded,

“OK bud, you’re coming with me.” He had no knowledge of first aid, but assumed if it was fit in that well, moving it would be bad news. He took his belt, was surprised at how well it slipped out – He shouldn’t be, the firm insisted on suits fitting excellently. - And he mercilessly but carefully wrapped it around the plank and his leg, tightening it and feeling only a dull tug. The pain was coming slowly right now, in a dull throbbing ache in tandem with his panicked heart. With each ebb and flow the pain got worse and worse, and as he committed to standing up it was a hell-fire that made him naesous. He allowed himself to whimper and moan. He allowed himself to swear under his breath, he didn’t allow himself to not hop, drag on one leg and look around.

The problem was it was so damned dark, and even though it was a full moon today there was only hazy shapes to make out of the place. It was normally quite spacious, being a warehouse and all but it seemed to have become the dumping ground for all paraphanelia of all the apartments in the city. Truly, any savvy cheap antique dealer would’ve felt like they’d discovered a lost city. He’d found silverware, glass chandeliers and sets of cutllery and lamps and clocks that with a little restoration were bound to be worth at least a couple of hundred dollars – thousands, to be honest if they were given the proper care or sold to the proper people. The one that almost made him angry was a mountain of beat up guitar cases. In one of them, he found an electric guitar with a turquoise sheen that almost begged him to take. In fact, he’d been planning on taking one as a trophy, before the floor said nope and he fell through.

He found a silver rod somewhere, using it as a walking stick as he walked past impossible mountains of debris. He bumped into one and had to hop away quickly as the mountain of microwaves and televisions dislodged and crashed with an amazing BOOM. His ears were ringing and for one ridiculous moment he was scared of being caught, scared of police coming around. But then he remembered that would be exactly the thing he needed. Anybody. Anything before his little misadventure became his last. His phone was lying at his office. His phone with its gajillion messages and impossible bosses and incompetent subordinates. He’d left the office uncharacteristically on time with the sole intention of going home and getting to sleep, too tired to even think of winding down at his local pub. Then the warehouse, and now this.

He found a door. He knew it the moment he saw it that it was locked but it didn’t stop his dissapointment when he tried to turn the handle and pull. Judging by the rattle it was double chained outside.

He was in a bit of a clearing now though. The giant windows above streamed silver light down onto the room, and it gave the quiet warehouse almost a sense of solemnity. The pain was amazing and he felt dizzy again. He leaned on his stick, hyperventilated, feeling the damp on left leg become cold, then frightfully numb. He inhaled and screamed,

“Help! Somebody help!” His voice echoed magnificantly. This warehouse could’ve made a nice Opera house, once upon a time.

He coughed and tried for another step but this time he just sort of keeled over and nearly kissed the floor with his teeth. He lie there for a second, thinking of giving up for a split second before carefully, carefully pulling up his knee and getting up. He wished, for an absurd moment that he was bleeding out in a mountain somewhere. Not in a damn abandoned apartment. At least there’d be a sense of heroism there. If his father could see him now. He chuckled.

He started thinking of a cup of coffee, of a smiling woman he’d once married ages ago. He remembered a peaceful morning, and then there was a voice echoing, and then there was the sound of an EKG monitor as he opened his eyes lazily, feeling so well rested it was ridiculous,

“Mr. Hadley? Can you hear me?”


He woke up in hospital. Blinked at the kind eyes of a nurse looking at him. She nodded. Standing beside her was his boss, still in a suit the bastard.

“You mind telling me what the hell you were thinking?”

Great. The only visitor he got was from his boss. But he felt so relieved he sighed with a smile.

“It’s a long story, boss.” Jonathan said. He glanced at his bandaged left leg, then leaned back.

His boss hovered for a moment, then snorted,

“You have one week off, then you’re in first thing in the morning.”

Jonathan saluted the man and settled in, just awash with gratitude and mortification.

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #409 on: April 26, 2021, 02:48:37 AM »
Quote
Typically 20-30 Minutes. Most of the hangups is that I start from scratch otherwise I could do 15 easy.
man I'm jealous of that speed...It takes me about an hour or two to write an incredibly dry, plot-hole-full chapter of manga script :P and that's assuming I can even get in the mind-set for it, which might take longer to settle down. I wouldn't have a problem doing my weekly manga if I could write scripts at that speed >_<
And you could go even faster? man that's legit cool.

Quote
I just need to plug in extra steps to iteratively polish up stories (and even previous steps to brainstorm the stories so that I don't always feel so dry when trying to come up with something.)
From my point of view your stories are not dry at all. Perhaps that's my limited viewpoint, or just how you feel about your own work.
But iteration, yes, definitely that's always useful. I would say iteration is at its best when it has concrete stages and levels that work moves between. Even when polishing objects in real life you go through specific stages of smoother sandpaper 80grit, 120grit, 320grit etc.

on a similar note have you always found it that easy to write, or through practice over the years you've gained speed and quality?
I hope I get better >_<
I hate my scripts so badly currently...it's making my manga extra worse :P

I'm hoping if it's anything like my art growth that both speed and quality will go up, eventually, although hopefully sooner than 10 years :P

I'm wondering if I need even more writing practice in addition to my manga...might try writing survival again if I can figure out a workflow and cram it into my schedule.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 03:29:36 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #410 on: April 27, 2021, 05:41:33 AM »
I'll get back to you in detail on the answer and some other stuff, stay tuned hahaha I have some really really old stories I managed to save that predate even my arrival on the forum (but feel free to check out my post history) and believe you me I needed some practice on the writing part haha.

You can use Writing Survival quite well methinks: Plug it into your manga project development line as you were already trying. Writing is writing and it doesn't need to be a complete story. I'm planning on returning to these stories like I said to use for my own stuff so hop on right in. And yes dude you'll get better 120% hahaha. I have absolutely no doubts of that.

The sandpaper analogy... Melike. I'll use it for sure haha.


As for writing speed NaNoWrimo was always my go to thing. When I coffee fueled pushed myself to write 50,000 words in a day I understood what it meant to write off the seat of your pants. Merciless challenges like that really force your brain at the quitting point to decide to go on, and the quality definitely suffers quite a bit, but you develop a sort of flow of sorts I'm pretty sure you already know when it comes to drawing haha.



Day 14

Samuel and the Queen


Samuel had faced many a fight in his life, many a battle, many a thug, many an evil spirit or demon king, but he was so nervous for his wedding with the princess he needed several breaths before he felt even remotely prepared for the occassion.

„You seriously look green right now.“ His floating blue ethereal familiar, Mixy commented wryly.

Samuel was too scared to make a comeback, „I’m dying here man, no lie. Help me.”

Mixy sighed, “You’ve literally pined over this woman for the better part of your life. At some point you gotta take responsibility for your obessions.”

Samuel looked out the castle window, “It’s just… There’s just so many people.”

And indeed there was. Not counting the 20,000 or so people that lived in Giantfall, it seemed every nation had come to celebrate the wedding of one of the bravest heroes known to mankind and one of the most powerful witches known in the four realms. It was a match made in heaven, and bards and poets and historians would be writing of them for thousands of years to come.

Their star-struck romance, their trials and tribulations (all almost too mythical and absurd to believe, but every bit true) were known to anyone with an ear or an eye to hear or see. It seemed everyone owed some little something to the two, and it seemed for all their 15 years of life they’d almost lived a thousand lifetimes. They’d crossed the world together, helped people, saved lives, changed evil men into saints and absolutely destroyed those who refused to change their ways. People loved them, people respected them.

“I just wish we could elope dammit.” Samuel said. He was perfectly capable of doing so, and he was sure the bride wouldn’t argue, but he was never one to lie, and he knew the importance of symbols. He’d learnt, a few years ago that being tactically political was every bit as important as narrating important speeches. One more wisdom he’d learnt from his father. He wished the man could see him now.

“Son of a farmer, husband to a queen.” Samuel stood up in his black suit and cloak, “Life is funny sometimes.”

“You look good, Sir Samuel.”

“It’s Sir ‘Cole’, thank you very much.” He growled, then looked himself in the mirror, nodded at his reflection, feeling out of place but ready, then he walked towards the door.

“Wish me luck, Mix.” He said, and the familiar only dissapeared into his right shoulder blade, where the summoning brand had been placed, and he felt Mixy smile in his head in response and he felt warmly encouraged and confident.

He walked through the hallway where all his adventuring companions waited. They lined the walls. There was Borris the Paladin, still sworn to his vow of silence and yet clapping his hands in a blantant disobeyance of the dictims of his faith. He would have to be on probation for two weeks after that. There was Alice the Shadowmancer, utterly uncapable of saying anything without insulting him, smirking her evil proud smile that said, “I told you so, you wimp.”  There was Rogers, there was Dallas Cowley, an adventurer from another world, there was Trabadour the fighting bard, and there was Sir Gregory, the trustworthy brother in arms who’d saved him many more times than the man himself would ever dare to admit. There were scores of friends – no family – waiting to welcome him before he marched into the wedding hall, where his queen awaited.

Queen. You’ve got to be kidding me. He remembered living on a farm with his father, he remembered playing knights and scoundrels – with her. Just two dirt-poor happy simple farmers’ children, who had no idea of what horrors and glory awaited them. And even if Samuel took away all the magic and adventure and craziness of his life, it had still felt distinctly impossible to be able to be with her. She was just so beautiful.

He opened the doors and saw her standing there in her green dress, she looked as relaxed as she always did. But her eyes stared at him. She could talk entire languages with those eyes, and Samuel almost wanted to shy away at the love that they held, at the mirth of his nervousness, at the beckoning in them.

“Don’t melt.” Mixy said.

He cleared his throat and went up to her, and the cardinal said their vows, and as much as he meant them he was a million miles away, simply feeling happy at the fact that he got to be with her.

---


They said that he was the happiest king in history. Even when he lay on his deathbed staring at the ceiling he carressed the rings that they’d exchanged during their wedding as he dictated his last will and testament before his sons and daughters and grandchildren, first the wishes he had for his heir, then the last political responses, then personal letters. It was a 7 hour process but he did it carefully, with an almost musically charged cadence. It started dry and precise, then emotional and deep. Always full of humour, always full of humour. Finally, when he was done he smiled and looked at all his children in the eyes,

“You will not have easy lives, but I believe in every one of you. And I love you oh so much.”

With that, he nodded and Sir Gregory II saw the signal for what it was and with one raised arm ushered the family out of the room. The stenographer left first, followed by the Bloodguard, followed by his children and grandchildren (Marcus, the future King glanced at him with worry on his face, but Samuel gave him a look that told him everything he could possibly communicate to a future ruler of the world, and so he left.)

Sir Gregory II stood at the door before it closed and said,

“You were a good king.” And he closed the door.

But Samuel was already tired, closing his eyes, the rings in the cusp of his hands, thinking of her, dreaming of her. He could almost feel his soul being primed on a bow to fire an arrow into the after wherever she was.

He’d so like to see her again.

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #411 on: April 27, 2021, 11:15:01 AM »
Quote
I'll get back to you in detail on the answer and some other stuff, stay tuned hahaha
I shall look forward to that.

I think partly the issue is that I've done so little writing I dont even understand the aspects of skill that I dont have yet. I can't even see the tech-tree yet. I have very little skills in quality assessment :/

Something else I noticed is that while my manga projects do indeed give me writing experience, it's not the right kind, or it's not enough, or what I don't know. I think I ought to do something with no art attached that I can dish out more chapters quickly and gain more experience.
The manga projects are primarily to gain weekly-manga related skills, and while writing is in there somewhere, it's not prominent enough compared to the art.

I'm also not sure what timescale to expect to get better at writing, it's not going to be instant I know, but I'd like to put my foot to the floor if I can. Probably writing a novel would have been a better idea I wonder. maybe change things up with my manga project and have a hiatus where I write a novel in draft style over a month (NaNoWriMo style), and then back to manga for 2 months or something. just thinking out loud here.

I'll see what I can come up with for sketch survival, possibly sort of copying your style and format for a short piece of a larger story, like a first chapter of sorts. I could definitely use loosening up and free-writing a lot more.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 11:57:17 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #412 on: April 27, 2021, 09:13:29 PM »
Gaaah still a couple things I've got to add but off the top of my dome right now

1: Manga is actually a lot more storywriting than you'd think. I mean, you literally make scripts before storyboards right? You should totally binge read Neil Gaimans Sandman at a point or at least check out how he writes scripts for his stories and movies. It was such an eyeopener. All in all are all mediums of art and writing and comics and animation very related so don't think that you have to start at 0 for one aspect, the interconectivity automatically means you've levelled up more than you think.

2. I'd like to know the timescale to get better at drawing goshdarnit hahahaha. It's a constant process of improvement and the only thing that helps personally is doing things first then tracking your progress over time (Check out your previous art to see how far you've come basically.)

Day 15

Patricia Summons a Demon Lord


Patricia looked outside of the window, saw the smokey white clouds and thought to herself: I wish I’d died that day.

She was the daughter of a billionaire, and that wasn’t exactly the most fun of existences to have, honestly said. The Red Fox, a world famous extortionist took her hostage on one sunny July and demanded, as always, vintage VHS video cassettes as payment, plus a couple of thousands of dollars and so. It was a well known fact that the kidnapper slash thief was an antique collector with military training that had a taste for old school films and sold them on the internet,

Patricia looked to her right: There was Ralph, the coolest dude of the coolest. He seemed to be perfectly unpopular and perfectly popular at the same time. He never excelled at anything, but his langour and listlessness, punctuated by the days that he swore and-slash-or said something correct in class made him quite interesting. Patricia wished she could date him.

She looked to her left: Here was Sophia Santana, the class president. She was looking as excited and happy as always.

How are you always so damn happy, Patricia thought. But she let it be, she let it be.

After class, she walked through the flood of humanity with her necromancy book clutched to her chest. She honestly wished that someone could or would stop her, but everyone was busy living their lives. (The intercom announced that she had an English class soon, but she was focused on something else).

She walked outside to the basketball court and nodded at the janitor as she set the book on the floor and opened it. The book was literally unreadeable: It only transferred symbols or feelings and to the unchose n observer simply looked like scribbles. Patricia was everything of the best of both worlds: She could bot hsee the symbols, understand them and feel the pull and push, the churn and gush of the dark magic within the surface level depictions etched into the book.

She took a deep breath, and started humming a tune, and the book started activating, its pages flipping as she cast the magic that would summon Kamagoa The Bloodsucker, and she was looking forward to dying by his hand as he destroyed the entire school. She smiled to herself with a tear in her eye thinking: Good riddance, good riddane. These bastards will finally understand I’m not a victim.

And the book started floating, spinning, twirling. A whirlwind came to the court, tearing up the artificial grass, bringing it up into the air in a small whirlwind. In fact, Patricia started floating just a little bit as well as the sky turned dark and a red miasma emanated from the book and the devil circle she’d drawn.

The crown of a skinless humanoid form with wings started rising from the circle for one split moment, and then a silver light cut its head off and Patricia caught the decapitated head of Kamagoa by instinct. It burnt and she stared into the surprised eyes of the evil demon-lord for a split second before tossing it away.

The summoning circle vanished, the sky returned to normal and it was a normal sunny day again as her classmate, John landed in a 3 point landing, a rapier in his right hand. He dematerialized it and held out his hand to help her up, and she accepted his offer with an open mouth.

“Howdy,” He said, then he winked, then he dissapated his rapier and hid his face in embarrasment, then he looked at her again and nodded,
“You OK?”

She stared at him, wondering what sort of magic training he’d received to be able to decapitate a Lord of Chaos with no effort, wondering if she’d ever even noticed him in class, and she decided that she would absolutely like to be his friend.

“No.” She shook her head instead, “I’m not OK.”

“Mmmh,.” John said, looking over his shoulder, as though he were looking for witnesses to the event, then he held out his hand,

“I’m John, by the way.”

“We literally learn in the same class.”

“To my defence, you don’t talk that much.”

“To my defence, you didn’t tell me you knew magic existed.”

They stared at eachother for a moment, for a silence, enjoying the fact that they’d finally met someone who understood how crazy and dangerous the world was, how vast and undiscovered, and that they were both bonded to super specific histories of magic and curses.

“You wanna get a coffee?” John finally asked.

They talked about everything. Patricia explained her lineage, showed John a few spells and tricks, warned John that killing a Demon Lord would make him a target. John explained it away with a smirk: His soul was cursed and he was doomed to a hell worse than hell, and his only repentance was by killing the most evil of evil demons in the universe. (In his explanation, he slipped into a foreign language that Patricia could barely decipher until he caught himself talking about it and then he simplified his particular proble,.)

“I liked this.” John said as he stood up and nodded, sucking on his Starbucks milkshake.

Patricia nodded, “Me too. You wanna meet again?”

John tossed the cup into a nearby bin and nodded in reply. And then his eyes became cold, “Don’t go summoning anything nasty in between, yeah? It won’t end well for you.”

Patricia was absolutely in agreement, but she didn’t appreciate the threat, so she layed a hand across her chin and let her eyes burn with Faux-fire – they glistened and shifted, hypnotizing and prepared to cast spells of death and doom.

John got the message. He ckapsed his hands,

“Sorry. Old habits,”

Patricia smiled, “So long as you understand.”

“I’m totally stronger than you though.”

“You wanna try again?” Patricia’s eyes glowed green.

“Ahem” A Starbucks employee said as she stood before them. John and Patricia stepped back as she took up their trays and their order and, before she left she said,

“Kids, you gotta stop showing that magic..”  And she walked away, helping the other guests, doing her job.

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #413 on: April 28, 2021, 01:01:01 AM »
Oh manga is totally all about writing, but in terms of time spent it's about 75% drawing, even with my sketchy style. So what I meant was that I'm not spending as much time levelling up writing because I'm drawing for so much.
If I didn't draw I could do 4 times as much writing...easily 5k a day I think.

yeah looking back is typically the best way of gauging your progress, although time spent/projects completed can be a decent gauge of theoretical progress, although it may take time for that to show consistently.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 01:02:36 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #414 on: April 29, 2021, 03:45:39 AM »
Ah I see and yeah definitely no doubts there for sure haha. As far as levelling up is concerned you might as well have a concrete goal like '5 complete short stories' and then you'll be able to separately and concretely differentiate one project from the other and polish up your skills in that area... Or something like that.

Time spent is definitely my wheelhouse these days, if I can ever manage to sit down and make an excel sheet hahaha. I feel like reusing my RPG-esque levelling banner again. Thing was more useful than one would think haha.

Day 15

Michael Scores

„This his is not a game we can win.“ Said Coach Ford with a cigar in his mouth, „But it’s a game that could turn you into winners, and that’s exactly what you should focus on.“

The boys in the lockerroom knew exactly what he meant. They felt it in their skin, knew it in their hearts: How the hell had they come to the finals, up against the Bremen Wolves, one of the most decorated and loved local soccer teams? It was Coach Fords’ fault.

Coach Ford was typically good in all the coaching tips he gave. Gruff, tough love and very aware of what should be done and what shouldn’t be done, but after that there was a certain nastiness to him that was almost always right. ‘He told it like it was’ Was the adage that people usually said to explain how a douche was actually a good person underneath. That didn’t apply to Ford: He was absolutely a terrible person, but he was absolutely correct in his insights as well.

Michael had every intention of proving him wrong, but he was shivering. His nails dug into his hands as he clenched them and he was thankful for the fist bump he was offered from Tom, his best friend.

“You OK, man?”

Michael just shook his head. Visualized victory, focused on his breathing. He really wanted to win this game, no matter how badly outmatched they seemed. They’d come this far afterall, right?  He remembered signing up for the soccer team on a whim, remembered feeling so out of place and out of shape he wanted to quit the next day, but it turned out he had a certain sixth sense for passing and setting up goals. He was a midfielder in the team, and did he do a great job of it.

Tom was the striker, the shooter, the game ender. He was built up and had the intensity and concentration to dribble, to do tricks (Ford hated it, but Tom was fantastic at ridiculing the opponent, sending the soccerball under their legs or flipping it over their heads) and he always complemented Michaels’ passes with a goal. The two of them had no eachother who the other was when they first joined, but from day one, even during practice they’d been in tandem. Michael the quiet tactical set up, Tom the loud and proud finisher.

Tom cupped his hands at Coach Ford, “Hey coach, how about you prepare the champagne already? Because I have no plans on losing.” The other teammates whooped and roared. Someone rapped on the lockers and coach Ford looked bemused, almost impressed. He stubbed his cigar and waited for the racket to die down and he grinned,

“If you keep that mindset in your head you really do got a chance to make something of yourselves kids.”

He knocked once on the door,

“What the hell are you waiting for? Go show them what you’re made of, and for Godssake make it at least something worth watching.”

The team roared, Coach Ford smiled as he stepped aside. Everyone piled out of the room, out into the field. Out into the sun and to the match, to the battle field. Only a fool would think that this was only soccer – this was the time of their lives, the spring of their youth, the deciding factor in everything that they’d ever do, and the greatest playground that man had ever invented. Michael wondered sometimes if  he’d ever stop playing soccer. He loved books, loved taking walks. Maybe occassionally took a bicicyle ride to the library or musem, but he never knew that he’d be here intensively involved in a sport that required intensity and vigour and social interaction. He wondered, but he was not confused: He loved soccer.

The whistle blew, and everything went wrong for a beautifully long 45 minutes. Coach Ford was frustratingly right: The other team were just better, calmer, sure of their victory. Michaels’ passes were intercepted and read immediately. Even Toms’ bravado couldn’t do anything against the defenders and the nearly robotic goal keeper who kicked away the one shot Tom managed to make at the goal, turning an opportunity into a counter attack. They were screwed.

Coach Ford didn’t give them any words as they sat at half time licking their wounds. He only smoked his cigar furiously, feeling as pissed off and as mortified as them. When they had to go on the field he only curtly shifted his head in the direction of the field, and off they went.

Michael felt more exhausted than he had any right to be, and Tom punched him on the shoulder,

“If we’re gonna lose let’s lose well.” He whispered, and Michael felt awake again, he stretched, he waited. The whistle blew, and then he flew.

Everything felt slow, and he could swear that he heard music suddenly rising. An orchestra playing for him, and as much as he could see the openings in the fields, the potential passes, the potential counter attacks, the dangers and the players he felt absolutely no connection to them. His legs were moving, almost gliding across the field, and he suddenly knew that he was going to go score a goal.

The crowd fell into a hush, people were screaming, he knew (some of his teammates too, asking what the hell he was doing) but he could not see them  - no he just didn’t care.

Here came the biggest mid-fielder on the opponents team. Michael spun, sent the soccerball under his legs, sprinted, got the ball, jumped over a sliding tackle, he was already outside the penalty box, and a veritable wall of defenders stood before him: Four of them, the bastards knew that this was dangerous and were taking no chances. The goal keeper was already crouching, primed to end this short second of glory,

Michael saw the undefended corner. Top right. He stamped his foot to the left, the defenders and the goal keeper jumped in that direction. He shot right.

The ball sailed in a perfect arc right into the corner, curved to perfection, and that was that.


Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #415 on: April 30, 2021, 03:33:38 AM »
Day 16

Antlantis is Falling

Search and Rescue and the Solomon Commission were pretty sure the whole situation was only a matter of how many people would die in a projected amount of time. The floating mega city’s reactors had overloaded, already irradiating at least a third of the population, and the other bomb attacks and the short gun-fight already put the deathtoll at 14 Million souls and counting.

Gabriel Cormack knew he wasn’t getting back from the radiation alone, but he had to do something. Just save at least one person.

„What the hell are you doing?! This situation is FUBAR get the hell out of that plane! “ His boss shouted up at him as the canopy of his Firefight Multi-purpose jet closed,

„Saving lives, Sir.“ And Gabriel saluted, ignited his engines and flew off into the sky. Even at this very moment Atlantis was crashing and tipping, Gabriel heard the radio chatter of people screaming, of the poor pilots of the ship explaining what latest system had failed, asking for help, but help would not come. It was literally a situation that would take the better part of two minutes before everything was said and done, and Gabriel had already seen the dead look in the operators’ eyes, the acceptance that this was just watching a car crash happen in slow motion. The only good thing about the whole situation was that Atlantis would crash into the ocean, so at least the deathtoll would be limited to just the few who lived there.

He had no time to be tactical. This was purely an egotistical, instinctual need to do something, so he tailed the crashing mega city and dived right into the fray. The Firefight Multi could fire rubber grenades that encased people who needed saving in fire-proof bouyant rubber shells. Initial impact hurt and sometimes if things went bad it could injure someione, but they were reliable. He had 70 Rounds loaded up in his vehicle, and he had every intention of using all of them before everything ended.

Here was a couple hugging eachother around a child. With a well aimed blast they were saved narrowly by falling concrete, the building bouncing them off and up into the air. Gravity was wonky now, what with the whole city falling.

„Computer. Filter by age.“ Cormack said. Kids first. His computer X-Rayed the city, showed him myriads of constellations: Kids who were hanging out with eachother, kids in families, younger couples stuck in their high rise apartments, some nurses working at hospitals. Just so many. He tried not to pay attention to how their blips and life signs were dissapearing second by second - Seconds he had no time to process -  But he knew in his gut that this meant a war was coming, or at least some form of attrition and retaliation that would have a higher body count than this catastrophe.

He targeted the vultnerable, shot the bullet-bouys. Some missed their mark, some hit. 20 rounds now. His computer informed him that he was now fatally irradiated by the out-of-control atomic engines. He grinned in response and just kept on focusing on saving the rest. If they were even saveable. The whole city was absolutely ruined. The temperature in the air could brurn skin, and he really didn’t know if any of this was worth anything.

A flying piece of debris perforated his engine and he flew into a tail spin just as he ejected his last round. He pulled his ejection seat and launched himself in the air, and he could see Atlantis in all its glory as it finally nosedived into the sea. All wondrous magnificent sound. He felt the shockwave even from way up there in the air. Concrete, ash and smoke trailed around him. And here, oddly enough, was a sneaker, trailing in the wind, and all the time there was just sirens, multiple explosions, and finally the great ocean accepted its offering and The wild water covered the city. It went under almost too quickly, like it had been rocket propelled into the ocean, and maybe in a sense it had: The city had still been operating in a sense, so maybe the thrusters helped it along with its demise.

Cormack felt a light drizzle on his face as he floated in the sky. His radio crackled.

„Cormack? Cormack do you read me?“ It hissed.

He answered it almost lazily as he touched down in the water. He unconsciously detached his chute and floated on his back, the radio was water proof, so he could still hear it even as he felt his strenght left him.

„I’m here.“ He finally said. He looked around at the debris and saw with a calm gratidute, a multitude of floating rubber balls. They were translucent, and he could see some of the people with in them, nervous, fiddling about, but alive.

„You… You should’ve waited for us man.“

„Didn’t exactly have time did I?“ He choked on water and realized vaguely that a piece of shrapnel had torn his throat. Ah well.

„You’ll be remembered for this.“

„Just…“ He wanted to say something, but was too exhausted. He just smiled instead, „Get the bastards who did this.“ And then he let the radio go and sunk forever. He’d dreamed, once upon a time, of going out like this in some sense of terrible poetry, but he never actually understood how comforteable it’d feel. He let himself filter through some memories, training to be a Search and Rescue officer by the greatest most technologically advanced institution in the business. He let himself dream… And then he woke up.


---

“Cormack?”

He blinked, not understanding for a moment, before realizing he was in a body of metal.

“New experimental procedure.” His boss said, looking at him, “We couldn’t exactly ask for consent.”

Cormack looked at his new metal body, understood in a few moments what had happened,

“Atlantis?”

His boss shook his head, ”That was 5 years ago. But you saved a lot of lives that day. More than you think.”

Cormack sighed a robotic sigh, then he nodded, “I’m not done yet.”

“Good man.”

Offline legomaestro

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #416 on: May 01, 2021, 07:36:16 AM »
I am officially ending my streak here, because I'm finally prepping all of my writing work and future comic projects for processing and so will count my outlines and refinement and other stuff to my daily word count but for personal projects.

Glad that I got a two week streak and I'm finally able to channel that energy to my other projects that have been sitting on the back burner for too long. Just processing these stories alone and polishing and putting them up on a blog is already a big win for me.

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Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Reply #417 on: May 01, 2021, 11:54:00 AM »
overall a solid set of stories you've done lately, I'm honestly amazed at the similar tone yet completely different stories you've come up with. Are you using any prompts for this or just writing what comes naturally?

I really must pick your brain for skills because I would be tickled pink to come up with anything as good as these, even though they are just quickly thrown together, they would all make fantastic one-shot manga for the most part, and most could easily spawn a series.

Good stuff and well done for the work, looking forward to your other projects taking flight :P

also, you skipped back a day (you have 2 #15's), the last one is #17. congrats on doing an extra story than what you thought!

As promised, the reviews.


RE: Day 6, Silverback Dawes

You like naming vehicles, don't you :P
And weapons :P

A curious beginning since you give away the major intents of the character first and then explain the setting.

Quite a fun read actually I found myself liking the main character quite a bit.

No character interaction in this one although plenty with the hovercar and gun which was both bizzare and amusing.

I was imagining a nuke would be too heavy to punt like a football? I imagined it about the size of a large backpack at the minimum. Did the shields help in some way to strengthen his kick? I guess that's what you were implying.

RE: Day 7, The Heroes Last Battle

it would have been nice if the fight had more choreography, the parts you explained in detail were well described, but others were more generic "they fought some more"

I felt that given both characters were sort of main characters it was an interesting read.

super sad ending but nicely done, could feel the emotion.

RE: Day 8, The Whale Conductor

chuckled at the rocket to the moon comparison.

such a bizzare concept I can't really give much of an opinion tbh.

the use of magic was well described

RE:Day 9, Robert Montgomerys’ Last Portrait

I've noticed in quite a few of your stories you do have people who are good or trying to become good at art, possibly a leaking over of your own ambition into the story, or as they say "writing about what you know".

I found myself relating with some aspects and being very jealous of others.

the war interlude was a very strange middle for sure

The way the king spoke didn't sound very regal for some reason, I'm not sure why, perhaps the ",right?" interjection at the end of the sentence, or there just weren't many formal sounding words. I think the King being awed should have been mentioned before he spoke as otherwise you don't know who is speaking, and it's not like the King sneaked up on him unannounced.

RE: Day 10, Float

would you say the dog was playing soccer? playing with the ball, yes, but it sounds like the dog's playing a full-on game there :P

nice interaction with Mark, the dialogue felt very real and believable.

You end a lot of stories with "it was peaceful" or similar.

RE: Day 11, Harold Watches Dragons

you made me google "exobiology" lol. Turns out it's the old name for "Astrobiology". Who knew.

a nice read, mixture of nature observation and architectural descriptions.

Would very much like to see some illustrations of this, would make for a very beautiful one-shot manga.

RE: Day 12, Gar 440

a very interesting take on a reincarnation story, I can't say I've seen one like it.

this could definitely fuel some action filled stories with massive power battles for sure.

laughed at "not-tessa"

hard to describe this one but the writing felt quite passive, that things were happening to the main character but it didn't feel like he was connected to the event properly. I can't explain it. maybe he smiled a few too many times as a recaction.

RE:Day 13, A Misadventure

you use "damned" as an adjective quite a bit in your writing. not that I disagree, but maybe try for other interesting words, especially when it comes to darkness there's always a lot of cool ways to describe it.

the place he was in was described well, and I properly felt the pain in his leg and felt the tension "is he gonna make it?"

nice ending.

RE:Day 14, Samuel and the Queen

good intro paragraph, set both the scene and the characters backstory and emotions in very few words.

this story was actually really well written, the emotion, the characters, everything, definitely one of your better stories on the survival thread.

I wish I could say more but I just can't describe why it felt so much better. Just each line seemed to fit to the next one, nothing felt off.

only annoyances was the description of the summoning brand sounded a bit confusing, is that a typo when you said the "familiar only disappeared"?

also later on when Mixy spoke, rather than just "Mixy said", perhaps say Mixy spoke in his head or something.

RE: Day 15, Patricia Summons a Demon Lord

interesting read, could see this developing into almost a romcom possibly.

I felt the main character or setting wasn't introduced too well as the mention of the necromancy book had me like "oh is this a normal magic story". The story title implies the story is, but then the first few paragraphs aren't in the slightest mentioning magic or fantasy elements and so I figured that perhaps this is a "no-one knows about magic and the main character stumbles on it" story. but then it wasn't. perhaps the order of introducing things could have been different.

the first sentence of the story was interesting but I didn't get how it related to anything in the story.

also, mysterious Starbucks employee is mysterious :P

RE: Day 15, Michael Scores

very interesting first line by coach. I'm quite keen on writing motivation and possibly cryptic one-liners so I liked this one.

"everything went wrong for a beautifully long 45 minutes", I liked this.

I'm sure you've ended quite a few stories with "and that was that". It's a nice phrase but possibly a bit weak. perhaps refer back to the first sentence and end with "and with that, he was a winner", or something. I dunno :P

RE Day 16, Antlantis is Falling

well this started depressingly.

an excellently selfless main character, actually most of your main characters are pretty decent folk. I suppose that's how it goes.

and this also has a "main character dies but ends up being saved" plot twist. Not that I dislike them mind you ehehehe

although that does raise a few questions about how he was actually saved...he basically drowned, so you're normally brain-dead in a couple minutes after death. so given the chaos at the current moment I can't imagine his body was recovered that fast by his comrades and then stuck on ice or something for 5 years. Like did the procedure take 5 years? I think there's a limit to how much you can handwave with "it's an experimental procedure", perhaps add a "the radiation preserved your body until we could recover it". just needs a bit more explaining that's all.

Also you call it a body of metal/metal body twice, possibly swap one phrase with "cybernetic parts" or similar.
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