And I’m back! The move went well, though I still have a ton of unpacking to do. Over the next couple of days I’ll be getting settled in the new place, and then setting up everything that needs to be set up with the school (I’ll be honest, I’ve kind of been avoiding thinking about that). So, today is your day for a picture challenge post and boy do I have a treat for you today. I’ll be honest, I’m tempted to make this today’s post and the next picture setting post, it’s just that awesome! So, see for yourselves. You know the rules: I give you a picture and you give me a story of 1000 words or less (at least if you want to post it here) that explains what is happening in the picture. Remember the lesson from last time, stay true to the picture. Let the audience know what is happening in the background of the picture without actually altering any of the picture’s own details. Enjoy:

green forest knights grass fantasy art collosus artwork medieval zeppelin air balloons skyscapes _www.wallpaperhi.com_75

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20 thoughts on “Story Challenge of the Week

    1. Justina (I’m assuming), if it’s five hundred words or less you can feel free to post it as a comment. If it’s longer and you’ve posted it on your own blog, feel free to post a link in the comments. If not, then you can email it to me at tmastgrave@gmail.com. I’ll do my best to read it and give some comments, but I’m kind of swamped right now so if I forget please forgive me (or just remind me :P).

  1. Arising
    By: Justina Luther
    Melody stamped and whinnied, her breath coming in short gasps after our gallop. My father’s armor was a loose fit, but beholding the iron behemoths as they waded through the sea and the wooden ships sailing on the air, I was thankful for its covering. What would the king say about his daughter going as ambassador to these strangers without consent? Would these outsiders accept my presence?
    My heart began the rhythm of retreat and the clattering of metal echoed as I fought to control my form. When I again was still I became aware these impossible giants moved without sound! As my ears strained to detect even a trace of reverberation, I heard something. Melodic, whimsical strains swirled around me.
    I thought it was some ode to their homeland, but no, it was too complex for one song, too many levels for even my father’s musicians to comprehend. Suddenly I understood. The cadence and urgency behind their tones reminded me of my father’s cry to arms. High above me, beings I couldn’t see were speaking to one another. Calling out orders and readying for something, a battle?
    A prayer flew from my heart. Our own army was badly wounded putting down the rebellion of outer lands. This new threat was far more than it had faced when whole. A war with these beings would end before it began, and my homeland would not be victorious—No! This could not happen. There had to be something to be done! My grip tightened on my father’s spear. If I was going to prove my ability to one day rule this kingdom I couldn’t back away in times of uncertainty.
    I will go to them, and if they cannot be reasoned with I will find some way to fight.

    1. Justina, I like the tone of the piece as a whole, and in some places your wording is really good. I really like the third paragraph especially! There are a couple of bits that just don’t work. The phrase ‘control my form’ at the beginning of your second paragraph makes it sound like she’s some sort of shape-shifter. I keep imagining her bursting into flames atop her horse. From the piece as a whole I don’t think this is what you intend, but that makes the phrase confusing and somewhat problematic. I think your character might be a little too determined and confident at the end as well. Determination against overwhelming odds is great, and can make for a great story, but it sounds like she’s planning on taking on the entire army of metal giants alone. This makes her seem more insane than confident. However, I think if you just give confidence about ‘reasoning with them’ then she would sound naive. Perhaps something along the lines of ‘I will go to them and do my duty, come what may’ might be better. You want her determination to come through, but not to strike the reader as ridiculous. I hope this helps :).

        1. I think that’s a great idea. I really like the approach you took. The part about the army already being exhausted and hurting was a great addition. It adds a lot of tension. You should probably replace ‘outer lands’ with a real place, but that’s where background writing becomes important.

          1. Hahaha! I don’t know if you have much experience with this, but one of the things that many people struggle with when first getting into writing Fantasy is building the background world. Names can be difficult (I think there’s a post about that somewhere in the archives… or it might be in the LHP archives), and building the world that you’re writing in can be daunting.

          2. I have zero experience with writing fantasy, so nope. Never run into that difficulty. I guess we’ll see how I do when I turn this into a full short story. Ha

          3. Well, if you go over to the ‘Categories’ button and click on ‘World Building’ there are a number of posts discussing various techniques and ideas to approach background writing through. If you want to start into fantasy you might want to pay attention to the Friday challenge posts as well. I’m getting ready to start a series of connected challenges focused on helping readers develop a fantasy world.

  2. Ok, I have one more question. I would like to use characters I’ve created for a novel series idea, but I’m not sure how copyright/intellectual property works. I’m guessing the characters belong to me, but since the story would be generated by an idea from your pic, would I be able to incorporate it into my novels? Or should I just consider this purely an exercise to maybe get to know my characters? I have had this idea since 2007 and I have notes all over the place. I would also like to use your world building exercises to organize my thoughts and I would want to use the results from those if they help me get my idea off the ground. If I ever actually write and publish this book and your world building exercises help make that happen I would of course give you credit for it in the acknowledgements. 🙂

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