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Arlesienne    8,985

So all the cool kids on the block are making their fanart threads. @Arlesienne is neither cool nor a kid, but apparently has just tried.

People browsing this, well... to quote Różewicz, they came to see a poet and that's rather boring for the great populace, but Minespatch asked and just how do you refuse MINESPATCH so I oblige and...

Well, introductions aren't my strength. So just take a look at this if you want, starring OCs by @minespatch, @ScienceMachine and @DragonMage156 as well as @GiddyGuy (as himself based on this) and my own kiddie. It's quite inspired by the excellent players:

@Fortie as Webber

Slapy as Wigfrid (on hiatus)

Sugarcombo as Ruri

FuzzyIggyPoyo as Demo

Daniel as Soldier

 

In a nutshell: a dark little story about a girl and her toys.

 

Consider it tagged mature for one instance of strong language (dependent on your side of the pond), the dark setting, mental issues, shtuff... Oh, and for elfeminate puns!

* * *

Whoever needs a bit more of an introduction, here you go. This is also the blurb of our roleplaying campaign Project Rosebud. Otherwise just skip to this fat post.

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Arlesienne    8,985
9 minutes ago, ScienceMachine said:

Startings are always the hardest part.

Its annoyingly poignant too.

Indeed, but then I reflected at how your pictures kept me writing as per that challenge in What'd I Miss? in spite of my sprained-suspected-broken wrist and I decided to man up.

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Arlesienne    8,985

"AS THE CURTAIN'S RAISED"

 

There is a swirl of contrasting colours, bright sparks of lightning and sudden jolts of suffocating smoke, stars beyond counting bursting before your eyes. Your mind is in tumult, the countless stimuli threaten to overwhelm your simple senses in a cacophony of synaesthesia, cold and warmth, and otherworldly noises all around you. Cobalt. Turquoise. Jade. Magenta. Cyan. Ochre. Ultramarine. Why are you there? Where is there? Who are you?

There is a throbbing sound of silence in your ears, along with a subliminal whisper you instinctively try to shirk away from. It reminds you of the damp darkness of a cave, of sounds of predators and little creatures cowering in fear of what they mean to them, although for the life of yours, you cannot tell why. You’re blinded in the poignant light piercing through your eyelids screwed tightly shut, waiting for a sign of life, friend or foe, anything familiar. You vaguely register hovering a good distance above the darkened ground, like a frond on the wind, the last autumn samara or perhaps the tiniest particle of moondust. In the distance, a storm is raging over the vast expanses of a rumbling sea. You hear no seagulls. The dissonance of this noisy silence terrifies you to the very core. You see the rocks beneath you and the stretching field of grass, an army of verdant spears jutting into the sky and swaying in the furious wind, and prepare for a crash just about to turn you into smithereens, this first and last flight.

Suddenly, it stops.

You must have just reached the eye of the storm; you hover a good distance above the ground, with the storm smashing trees against each other, but remaining oddly non-affecting towards you. Everything is still blurred and distorted, but it slowly solidifies and you start to discern the surroundings you are finding yourself in. There is some kind of a forest here, all submerged in this unnatural darkness, except for one puny circle of light in the distance. You hold no hope to see that far, but somehow you find yourself able to, and it morphs into some sort of a hastily-assembled campfire with a single willowy figure huddled on a boulder with a set of etchings on its side.

A sudden gust of wind assaults the creature and tears off a part of its skin, no, a hooded cloak, spilling silvery blonde hair everywhere along with a quiet hissing curse in some language you don’t comprehend despite it sounding familiar, words out of time, as it vanishes beyond the horizon. It rises from its perching spot, but doesn’t cross the circle of light it resides in. You wonder for the reason, the cold is chilling to the bone, you would do everything for the garment they had just lost, but then, then it shows, stretching from the core of darkness and creeping towards the faltering fire.

A hand of shadow taken form.

“You needn’t bother. I know who you are. I’m not afraid of you.”

You peek around the swirling column of antitime you have been frozen in, searching for the source of the voice, the soft, lilting cadence with a faint suggestion of a cough somewhere, but the creature and the hand are the only inhabitants of this harrowing world.

There is a giggle in the night, its melody both chiming and biting, like a sacrificial knife being sharpened, and you feel the fear of all the little creatures cowering in their caves and burrows, and the sudden understanding. A disembodied thought emerges it is the primal darkness taken form, the ultimate harbinger of your untimely demise, the monster in the dark your kin warned you about. It terrifies you to the very core, you try to wail and scream, and plead mercy, but no sound escapes your lips, gagging in your throat.

“You think you know me-”

“Charlotte Eleanor Devery,” the first voice counters as if reciting a well-learnt formula, “the youngest daughter of William Stephen Devery, Chief of Police, born on the 13th of August 1884 in New York City. Home-schooled, adored, pampered…” he pauses for a split second before delivering the second part of the sentence, “up to 1901 when your father intends to force you into an arranged wedding with a man twice your age. This is when you run away and vanish, your family doing everything they can to erase you from the community’s memory. Officially, you are stung by a killer bee. Every single person who knew you is dead now, but this is of no notice to you, is it not?”

The darkness appears to hold back its breath.

“But while they try to remove your existence from every possible source of information,” the voice continues, “you reach San Francisco and attempt to make ends meet working as a typist. It’s a brave new world for you, squatting in a tiny flat with several other girls of mixed professions, walking everywhere rather than being driven, the new status of a complete stranger, but you never look back. You cannot afford it. San Francisco State Normal School is possibly the worst place you can imagine, but it lets you blend in and self-develop. You’re young enough and look even younger.” The figure turns to the side and it strikes you it has to be a man, starved, no doubt, the willowy frame is almost certainly not a natural thing, and lets out a rueful sigh like a teacher unwilling to scold a naughty child.

“It doesn’t work in your favour.”

The darkness shifts uncomfortably, the hand retracting as if being bitten. “Stop it,” a different, youthful female voice cuts in, almost hysterical, “just stop it!”

“And suddenly it’s the 6th of June 1905, a borrowed newspaper covering your knees and a certain air of hope in the air. You meet him. He’s different. He treats you like a lady and a friend, not a prospective lady-friend. It matters. Charlotte is gone. Here comes Charlie. You feel safe again, and happy, alive. All up to the moment you discover the room. But then… it is already too late.”

“H-h-how do you…? The past is the past. You’ve had your warning. I will not repeat it. You will not dig in old wounds.”

I don’t. You, however…” the voice is oddly persistent despite the menacing quality of who he calls Charlotte. “You wonder how it would all look now if there had been one migrant less to reach Ellis Island in July 26th, 1901. You wish <<Quest>> had never set sail that year. You shudder at every recollection of August of 1904, and you curse the 17th of April 1906 for ruining your lives. You hate Maxwell, Charlotte. You hate him for stealing your William.”

“How dare you speak to me this way?! Do you not know who I-”

“I know this perfectly well.” There is a soft, mirthless chuckle from the blonde figure. “And I’m also aware of the fact the rules of the game are changing. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. You do realise I’m as real as Webber if bereft of the boy’s innocence. He would have never reached that far. For an entrepreneur, his mind is surprisingly narrow. You, however… You have always loved stories, Charlotte. And could tap into them. There is power in words, worlds beyond counting, and you know it. Your reign will be different. No point denying the fact, don’t you think?”

“I… I…” the female voice falters. “I just wanted him safe. Safer. Free-er? Them all. I thought I could free them- I am the queen of this world. Who are you to deny me what belongs to me? A new era is about to begin, elf, and you will all bow before our might!”

Before you can try to even remotely comprehend the shower of new information, each element making less sense than its predecessor, the errant half-coughing chuckle returns. “I noticed the roses, thank you very much. Your favourite, I imagine. He’d always shower the little Charlie with them, back in your sunny California. You certainly are more style-consistent, are you not?”

“I will recover what was lost by his foolhardiness, just you watch. Your thrice-damned book destroyed all we had. He betrayed me. THEY will give me my revenge… No! Don’t listen to this! I just want to go home- this is my home, my playground, my realm. He had always been a royal fool, elf, I was simply too blinded to notice. All transients of his – all complacent, all stagnant, building their little mud huts and the puny farms, only to watch them burn, all starving, all insane…”

“They are not like this, Charlotte,” the male counters with a sudden steel to the soft voice. “They learn, form alliances, they grow, something THEY cannot comprehend. Do you think there is just despair here? They are all human beings. They are so much more. I watch and-”

“Then you know how they rebuked you,” the dark voice chides, creeping closer once more. “You are a monster to them, elf. They believe in some hidden agenda of yours. Can you not comprehend your resistance is futile? They do not wish to learn, they solely care for survival.” The voice grows even darker, and you shudder as the spiteful hiss comes, “I saw what they’ve done to you, back in the forest. You think it is a secret? High time you learnt, Ayenth, that someone is always watching…”

“It doesn’t matter,” a fierce snarl follows. “What matters is that I helped! They all survived! They’re thriving, damn it!”

“Foolish child! Do you really believe it? Do you think there is any gratitude in them? Was there any when they left you for dead after stripping you of all your meagre belongings? Pathetic. They despise you, for they all fear you, fear you’re an emissary of THEM or an elaborate trap THEY’ve conjured.”

There is a scoff at the fire. “THEY have no imagination. Elaborate and THEY are two mutually-exclusive factors.”

“But THEY are- you have to be more careful, Ayenth, THEY are- you will not speak defiantly of THEM, foolish plaything! You belong to THEM!”

“They’re not my gods, Charlotte,” the man hisses as he throws another twig into the fire, blatantly ignoring the hand snaking closer. “And there will be others. It is no secret. I may have not been entirely successful, but now THEY don’t have the Codex, and neither do you. You have to adapt. You may lure in new transients, but your foul magic is waning and new approaches, and THEY won’t be ready, for THEY have no minds of THEIR own! They don’t evolve or grow, or learn! This is why you must fight that other side of yours! Stop giving up and pull yourself together!”

The darkness shudders, blurring at the edges of the crackling fire as if there were two Charlottes struggling for dominance over its smoky domain. You try to see the details of the two participants of the eerie conversation, it’s impossible that you can’t see their faces if you’re able to count every tree and grass turf swaying in the nightly wind, yet you fail completely. It all feels like an intoxicated dream, no, your sheerest nightmare, with your body not being your own and stretched in the vast dark nothingness, with just the tiny fire on the horizon of what’s familiar and tamed.

“You must fight it, Charlotte,” the male voice whispers, a sudden quality of rueful acceptance in the lilting cadence brought out with another cough. “I don’t fear you, but I pity you. Don’t give up after all you’ve been through. Fight it.

“Ayenth…”

“Eleanor is light, Charlotte. Remember it.”

Slowly, the wind subsides and with the first hesitant ray of sun of a breaking dawn, the minuscule samara of your shape is startlingly gently lowered onto the rolling verdant grass filled with roses.

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ScienceMachine    997

Like most forms of creative crafting, it's always the hardest when it comes to balancing the qualities. Word count and substance being the hardest qualities to balance; how does one know too much substance from too little? How many words is too many and not enough? Am I using the right words from the wrong ones? Too fast or too slow?

It doesn't help that all of these qualities tug on each other, tangled in a mess of elaborate strings and no one seems to know how it all works. Educators would like to think otherwise but I doubt their opinions as facts.

Personally? I think you're doing alright, but I'm much too biased in the ways of "squeezing out as much substance from as little word count as possible", much like getting the last few wads of toothpaste from a paper thin tube, to really be a good judge on that; a bit too wordy, but I'm sure you've heard this one too many times.

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minespatch    56,449
2 hours ago, Arlesienne said:

And there is a lot to assess before making the decision who shall enter the stage next: though truly inferior to THEM and her, each is a bruised and broken masterpiece. Walking across the chamber with her gaze sweeping over the shelf with crystal balls - such a silly memento of the past, little Miss Devery loved the faux snow falling onto the minuscule buildings and the tiny figurines upon every shake, but Her Ladyship prefers full-sized characters and tangible settings to bury in blizzards - she takes her time, examining each of her recent finds. There is this artist with a skull for her head, cheerful like a Mexican puppet for their Día de Muertos despite this morbid love of everything sepulchral gone so terribly wrong here - maybe she will do? The name is of a spirit of air. How fitting. But then she remembers how they once visited for the celebrations, how he placed a bright sempasúchil in her hair in her usual stage rose's stead, and how they- no. Better not. 
 

2 hours ago, Arlesienne said:

 cheerful like a Mexican puppet for their Día de Muertos

 

  • Because you're not too far off. I do have Hispanic heritage. :wilson_ecstatic:
  • I like the crafty mechanics in the narrative! The change in fonts and style, you definitely adding character to the work. Just like @Paxtonnnn, both of you should not be hard on yourselves.
  • You might even want to do a @Aileen-Rose and add sketches to your chapter breaks to illustrate some scenes that you feel interested you in your own work.
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DragonMage156    24,451
4 hours ago, Arlesienne said:

Perhaps the little girl in this draconic form? Yet, somehow she cannot, not with those hopeful eyes piercing through her. A bitter taste forms on her tongue and she turns away. As hard as it is to admit, she isn't ready yet. She still has to get rid of her weak self first.

Who's the weak one? Me or her?

I'll be honest, when you said "OC", I expected my anthro characters XD Interested to read more of it. Although it took me a while to figure out who was talking. Think you can clarify some things?

Ok what characters are in this story? So far I've got Webber, Wigfrid, Wickerbottom(?) as the less important characters. Charlie/Charlotte (is she having a war within herself/with her shadow self?) William, Maxwell(?), @ScienceMachine's OC and a couple more yet to be introduced. Have I missed anyone?

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ScienceMachine    997

      I don't think I gave the story so far justice by saying it's "Too wordy." Frankly that's unfair and undermines the rest of the great narrative you're trying to tell. I should be trying to be a bit more precise with my own wording and criticism.
      Lemme start by saying how I'll be looking forward to the rest of the story, how excited I am to read what you have in mind for my own character. I'm sure you'll aim to please without too much compromise.

      Now, to the nitty gritty;

"Too wordy."

      A common complaint I see when it comes to your writing and to be fair, I can see where the others are coming from. You have a writing style that while isn't bad, does lean more towards word count than substance density. It'd seem like a silly thing to complain about, right? "Too wordy? I thought that was the point!" The sheer amount of words to read through can be daunting and frankly, terrifying for those unprepared.
      I suggest adopting the Terry Pratchett approach and try to condense the substance, trim down on the word count and make each sentence mean something more. "Less is more" rings very true when it comes to writing.

"Who's up first?"

      Another symptom of amateurish writing is the story-teller unable to tell who is talking to who to their audience and what is happening. So far, I had a rough time keeping track of what was actually transpiring. A few rereads was needed to get a solid idea of what was going on and that's not exactly fun. Rereads should be for catching hints or foreshadowing the next time you read through.
      I suggest using a subtle dose of specific descriptors of the characters. Alternatively, setting up the dialogue so that it's easily read. Observe:

Quote

"Which one do you think I should get?" Dale browsed through the massive selection.
"That one," pointed Tim, indiscriminately.
"Which?"
"There, that one over there!"
"You're not- that's not helping, holding out your finger and not looking at it doesn't help."

"First Person Crisis"

      While I could be a fun thing to do, switching the perspective around, I haven't exactly found a piece of fiction that has done it well. I think its simpler to say to just stick to one perspective, i.e. the 3rd Person. Another thing to mention is Charlie's inner monologue. I've never really enjoyed reading the character's inner thoughts, despite- ironically- having a great fondness for psychic characters. While this is probably the least egregious thing I could mention, I prefer reading the characters struggling with their thoughts than reading their thoughts directly.
      Then again, Charlie isn't exactly the most subtle when it comes to duality issues ...

Edited by ScienceMachine
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DragonMage156    24,451
18 hours ago, ScienceMachine said:

"Who's up first?"

      Another symptom of amateurish writing is the story-teller unable to tell who is talking to who to their audience and what is happening. So far, I had a rough time keeping track of what was actually transpiring. A few rereads was needed to get a solid idea of what was going on and that's not exactly fun. Rereads should be for catching hints or foreshadowing the next time you read through.
      I suggest using a subtle dose of specific descriptors of the characters. Alternatively, setting up the dialogue so that it's easily read. Observe:

"First Person Crisis"

      While I could be a fun thing to do, switching the perspective around, I haven't exactly found a piece of fiction that has done it well. I think its simpler to say to just stick to one perspective, i.e. the 3rd Person. Another thing to mention is Charlie's inner monologue. I've never really enjoyed reading the character's inner thoughts, despite- ironically- having a great fondness for psychic characters. While this is probably the least egregious thing I could mention, I prefer reading the characters struggling with their thoughts than reading their thoughts directly.
      Then again, Charlie isn't exactly the most subtle when it comes to duality issues ...

I agree with this. I was taught when writing a series or dialogue that whenever a new person speaks, it goes to the next line. I know you probably know this but it may make it easier to read in future chapters :)

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ScienceMachine    997

As I return back to this, I have to admit, I may have lied about not enjoying reading the character's thoughts. As it turns out, I actually enjoy tidbits about a person's thoughts.

Oops.

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Arlesienne    8,985

First of all, thanks to all of you for replying - and bearing with me when I lost the link, rendering me unable to reply! This is probably fixed now as I bookmarked it on my phone. All should be well.

I'm quite bewildered to see this garnered interest and worked out the way I aimed at (this will be addressed further on). I jumped onto the bandwagon out of a little innocent joke in Science's thread and thought little of it (it counts doubly as I am a research purist). Yet somehow you were patient enough to read all this and even (wow) upvote it! This little ficlet literally born on my phone. Incredible...

Now, I am going to struggle with multiquoting you. Bear with me for forum formatting hates my guts :D!

On 09/23/2016 at 1:26 AM, ScienceMachine said:

Like most forms of creative crafting, it's always the hardest when it comes to balancing the qualities. Word count and substance being the hardest qualities to balance; how does one know too much substance from too little? How many words is too many and not enough? Am I using the right words from the wrong ones? Too fast or too slow?

It doesn't help that all of these qualities tug on each other, tangled in a mess of elaborate strings and no one seems to know how it all works. Educators would like to think otherwise but I doubt their opinions as facts.

Personally? I think you're doing alright, but I'm much too biased in the ways of "squeezing out as much substance from as little word count as possible", much like getting the last few wads of toothpaste from a paper thin tube, to really be a good judge on that; a bit too wordy, but I'm sure you've heard this one too many times.

Points which deserve upvoting on their own (sucks I can't upvote fragments on top of the post as a whole; alas). Maybe this technique will help you or somebody else: think of a voice of your narrator (with time, it should emerge on its own) and construct the flow to fit their prosody. Some characters work best with crisp, concise writing: I'd say WX would be like this, DS-wise. Others need a longer, more meandering pattern (think Wickerbottom), a "drummy" gist (Wolfgang), perhaps a melodic cadence (Willow, Wendy). If you develop a voice of the narrator, you will be able to imbue the narrative with it to match their personality and linguistic traits. I've been having a very productive conversation with Skyflower51 on DA recently on rhythm and "tacting" you may want to take a look at ([url=http://comments.deviantart.com/1/625851506/4191344907]one[/url], two and three). In a nutshell, different patterns for different narrators and situations. I am so glad you highlight it, because it's important. I will explain my reasoning in a few more paragraphs.

Funnily, somehow people don't say things should be shorter, but that's likely as I tend to compile an explanation of why the flow is like this and not like that - or maybe they just prefer the pattern, I'm not judging ;)!

On 09/23/2016 at 3:30 AM, minespatch said:
  • Because you're not too far off. I do have Hispanic heritage. :wilson_ecstatic:
  • I like the crafty mechanics in the narrative! The change in fonts and style, you definitely adding character to the work. Just like @Paxtonnnn, both of you should not be hard on yourselves.
  • You might even want to do a @Aileen-Rose and add sketches to your chapter breaks to illustrate some scenes that you feel interested you in your own work.

I swear me being hard on myself is the one flower been me and insanity :P. But I'm delighted to hear you enjoyed the reference! Due to the time constraints and the jokey character of this thread for me, I was not able to do as much research as I would have preferred. I relied on instinct - glad it didn't err this time!

As for pictures, I honestly have no idea. Life being busy as it is, plus my meh skills, say "spare them the grief" ;).

On 09/23/2016 at 9:58 AM, ScienceMachine said:

      I don't think I gave the story so far justice by saying it's "Too wordy." Frankly that's unfair and undermines the rest of the great narrative you're trying to tell. I should be trying to be a bit more precise with my own wording and criticism.
      Lemme start by saying how I'll be looking forward to the rest of the story, how excited I am to read what you have in mind for my own character. I'm sure you'll aim to please without too much compromise.

      Now, to the nitty gritty;

"Too wordy."

      A common complaint I see when it comes to your writing and to be fair, I can see where the others are coming from. You have a writing style that while isn't bad, does lean more towards word count than substance density. It'd seem like a silly thing to complain about, right? "Too wordy? I thought that was the point!" The sheer amount of words to read through can be daunting and frankly, terrifying for those unprepared.
      I suggest adopting the Terry Pratchett approach and try to condense the substance, trim down on the word count and make each sentence mean something more. "Less is more" rings very true when it comes to writing.

"Who's up first?"

      Another symptom of amateurish writing is the story-teller unable to tell who is talking to who to their audience and what is happening. So far, I had a rough time keeping track of what was actually transpiring. A few rereads was needed to get a solid idea of what was going on and that's not exactly fun. Rereads should be for catching hints or foreshadowing the next time you read through.
      I suggest using a subtle dose of specific descriptors of the characters. Alternatively, setting up the dialogue so that it's easily read. Observe:

"First Person Crisis"

      While I could be a fun thing to do, switching the perspective around, I haven't exactly found a piece of fiction that has done it well. I think its simpler to say to just stick to one perspective, i.e. the 3rd Person. Another thing to mention is Charlie's inner monologue. I've never really enjoyed reading the character's inner thoughts, despite- ironically- having a great fondness for psychic characters. While this is probably the least egregious thing I could mention, I prefer reading the characters struggling with their thoughts than reading their thoughts directly.
      Then again, Charlie isn't exactly the most subtle when it comes to duality issues ...

Really (cue gleeful noises)???

You couldn't have made my smile broader here. Why? Because that confusion, wordiness and general state of insanity is exactly what I was aiming for in this duo. I wasn't sure if anyone would point it out while hoping they would... I was not disappointed.

Why confusing sentences, errant thoughts, tangled threads and general weirdness? For this, we need to backtrack to the time. Everything is happening in the early to very late night, with William waking up on the edge of night being the ending. This is the period during which shadow!Charlie is the dominant side. Everything is tinged with the slight insanity she dwells in, the effect of THEIR eerie influence, as well as her struggle with both selves - not something I'm fond of portraying as I'm not a psychiatrist, yet required by the canon here. I need to capture her errant thoughts (a feature shared with Webber, though in a different way: Webber's stems from his young age, Charlie's is induced by the magic of shadows not meshing well with human minds), the haughtiness of a (puppet) queen, her isolation making her actually soliloquise for herself just to remember how to speak, only half-aware of the fact. It's not my style, I prefer saner narrative, but it felt very much called for.

In "Curtain...", the craze aims at completely stunning the reader in order to make them feel like being pulled through several dimensions (can't imagine it being good for you). I had to rework this ficlet several times to check when I start getting nauseous (engaged writing, huh). In a way, it made way to your gift: shadow!Charlie has little control over herself (though still more than Grue!Charlie), her train of thoughts has broken down ages ago, she has moments of not being sure who she's talking to or about. TL;DR: if you are utterly confused, overwhelmed with the tangled narrative and wishing for simplicity, I can feel at ease. Having your objective fulfilled doesn't happen every day.

On 09/24/2016 at 3:55 AM, DragonMage156 said:

I agree with this. I was taught when writing a series or dialogue that whenever a new person speaks, it goes to the next line. I know you probably know this but it may make it easier to read in future chapters :)

A bit of technicalities here: it's dependent on the school (Western and Central European, for one) and subservient to what you want to convey. If you want to retain a clear voice, go with one line for each speaker. If you aim for confusion like above (a rare case, but worth highlighting), you should do the very opposite. In a nutshell, fit it to your goal: those aren't exactly rules, but suggestions :)!

On 09/23/2016 at 5:08 AM, DragonMage156 said:

Who's the weak one? Me or her?

I'll be honest, when you said "OC", I expected my anthro characters XD Interested to read more of it. Although it took me a while to figure out who was talking. Think you can clarify some things?

Ok what characters are in this story? So far I've got Webber, Wigfrid, Wickerbottom(?) as the less important characters. Charlie/Charlotte (is she having a war within herself/with her shadow self?) William, Maxwell(?), @ScienceMachine's OC and a couple more yet to be introduced. Have I missed anyone?

Another wonderful reader gloriously caught in my snare :D. This part is shadow!Charlie downplaying the importance of light!Charlie here. Light!Charlie cannot bring herself to hurt an innocent girl, overruling shadow!Charlie's seeking of new actors, and this embarrasses shadow!Charlie. In a similar vein, Ariel and Giddy are protected by fond if painful memories of William - shadow!Charlie despises them as they still pain her, but cannot get rid of them either. They're slightly akin to security checks.

Now onto characters, the spotlight is on how shadow!Charlie aims to please THEM and sort her own stance on William/Maxwell by being "better" (in this light, subtler, more devious, elegant and amusing than Maxwell while on the Nightmare Throne). There are your OCs (GiddyGuy having his persona from Science's sketch when William pushes his armchair iff the cliff instead of a full OC), whom she considers as the next "actors" of her "show"; Science's William ends up chosen as he doesn't have something that protects him; more so, he is an ideal foil to Maxwell as it has been discussed in What'd I miss? and she wishes to bait them onto one another, favouring the psychiatrist over the magician (I swear she's the master of mobbing :/). Webber is very important, first due to shadow!Charlie bringing him back onto the stage against Maxwell who let him "hang in there" after Wilson (?) resurrected him, then because of being so amusing for THEM. Daniel's and Iggy's mercenaries are meaningful too as they serve as a foil to Webber and Ayenth (shadow!Charlie is fond of juxtaposition, methinks). They also prove much more than mere warriors: shadow!Charlie, in game terms, hopes for PVP, but gets cooperation instead. She admires their ability to surprise her. Sugarcombo's character gets a mention as it's a similar story, an obstacle turned ally. It's a bit quite like Wigfrid.

Wickerbottom doesn't feature here, however, at least not directly; she's with the initial group of transients. Firectly after the last panel of the Cyclum puzzle, vanilla characters end up together - for a VERY brief moment. Shadow!Charlie pulls Webber, Wendy, Woodie, WX and Wigfrid away. This leaves Maxwell, Wilson, Wes, Wolfgang, Wickerbottom and Willow. Wes is too traumatised to stand Maxwell, something that suits shadow!Charlie with her justified grudge against him, so when she spirits Maxwell away, nobody objects. Then, Wes turns into a leader, Wilson - his second in command. Things are better than ever with the new faces, Ayenth is spat out and capable of giving them an edge with the knowledge of things past and present the now-destroyed (true) Codex Umbra poured into him... at least for a time. Because Wes - and partially Wilson - grows suspicious of the source of this, and ultimately decides the scholar must be Maxwell's spy, an emissary of THEM or a mix of both. Ayenth has to opt for an expeditious retreat and the group stays in "their" territory, well-outfitted and confident about their chances.

Wes and Wilson growing paranoid, with Wolfgang heeding their every order, doesn't help as you can imagine. Things come to a crunch when Wickerbottom and Willow learn how the boys almost offed Webber, but this is another story altogether.

* * *

In all honesty, I had no plans to continue. It's just a little joke for you, ladies and gentlemen. Your positive and thoughtful response fills me with joy and startlement alike.

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minespatch    56,449

I'll be rereading Curtain later today. I need sleep soon, so I'll be interested in catching up on what I missed on my previous quick rereading.

 

If you ever get around to doing sketches, I'll be there to see them. :wilson_goodjob:

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Arlesienne    8,985
1 hour ago, ScienceMachine said:

As I return back to this, I have to admit, I may have lied about not enjoying reading the character's thoughts. As it turns out, I actually enjoy tidbits about a person's thoughts.

Oops.

Oopsie. Didn't expect that. Shame on me!

#FeelsAwkwardMilord

1 hour ago, minespatch said:

Don't feel ashamed. Psychic away, man.

This, I'm sure smashing some forum members will make William feel good again, and I will be there to upvote it!

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Arlesienne    8,985
1 hour ago, ScienceMachine said:

As I return back to this, I have to admit, I may have lied about not enjoying reading the character's thoughts. As it turns out, I actually enjoy tidbits about a person's thoughts.

Oops.

Oopsie. Didn't expect that. Shame on me!

#FeelsAwkwardMilord

1 hour ago, minespatch said:

Don't feel ashamed. Psychic away, man.

This, I'm sure smashing some forum members will make William feel good again, and I will be there to upvote it!

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ScienceMachine    997

The freedom of choice dictates I should let be your choices in writing methods.

Personal tastes says otherwise. While you should be able to convey the sense of confusion and delay, it should be something like watching a 1st person view of a coaster ride; you don't feel the hard banks, twists and turns yourself, rather seeing the motions should imply the induced nausea. This is where clever use of descriptors come in. Stories are meant to be engaging, not sickening; a story that's hard to read is going to be a story seldom read by many.

But that's just me, what happens in the future is all up to you.

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Arlesienne    8,985
3 hours ago, ScienceMachine said:

But that's just me, what happens in the future is all up to you.

You aren't serious about me continuging this, are you? Family taught me jokes go stale quickly.

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Arlesienne    8,985
10 minutes ago, Ninjanemo said:

Ethan too much to handle gif.gif

SO. MANY. WORDS. AT. ONCE!

(Please cue Macchiavellian laughter. It's a trap, my good artist. After this mind-boggling experience, @ScienceMachine, @minespatch and the others will never play truth or dare with me again. VICTORY. :wilson_evil:)

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Ninjanemo    6,603
10 minutes ago, Arlesienne said:

(Please cue Macchiavellian laughter. It's a trap, my good artist. After this mind-boggling experience, @ScienceMachine, @minespatch and the others will never play truth or dare with me again. VICTORY. :wilson_evil:)

Pogchamp.jpgDid you just call me "good artist"?

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Arlesienne    8,985
25 minutes ago, Ninjanemo said:

Pogchamp.jpgDid you just call me "good artist"?

I'm sorry. Should have been marvellous. I was in a hurry.

 

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Ninjanemo    6,603
15 minutes ago, Arlesienne said:

I'm sorry. Should have been marvellous. I was in a hurry.

 

Oh stahp it.jpg

Oh stop it you amazing writer!

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