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    Default Septimus Writes

    I'll be honest, I don't know how well this is going to work. But one of my greatest dreams is becoming an author and I have got next to no writing done for, well, years. It was seeing Thanqol's thread on a similar subject that finally inspired me to get up and do something about it, so many thanks thereto. I'll be posting random bits of writing and short stories that I come up with. I don't know how frequently I'll be able to get things up, but I think if we say a maximum gap between scribblings of a week, with options on more often. Please feel free to post feedback and criticism constructive or otherwise. First attempt will be up shortly.

    Thanks for reading,

    SeptimusFabrius
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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    This little snippet was written in a moment of madness, and looking back at it it's barely even coherent. But it's a start.

    Spoiler: Incoherence
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    When you look at the moon, do you expect it to look back?
    Will it stare into your heart on a cloudless night as you divine meanings from the stars?
    No.
    Yes.
    It is for us to decide.

    I talked with that creature. I told it of myself, and it did the same. I would lie on a hill, at night, and smile at the moon; and I imagined that it would smile back. What else would a friend do? Answer me that.

    I helped with its problems, and it with mine. It told me of how lonely it was. Sitting up beyond the air. All it could do was gaze at the earth, so far away, and know with perfect clarity that every one of us had another of themselves.

    But not the moon.

    I called it by its name, and it did the same. It had no name for itself before I spoke to it. Who would use it? So I called it the Dreamer, the Watcher, the Watched.

    I think it liked that.
    But this was long ago.
    I do not see the moon anymore.

    There was a time when I would talk to the moon every day. I was a child, a dreamer like my friend, and had little else to do; but I grew up. I think. I did not speak to the moon, I did not hear it, I did not see it.

    And when I looked up it was not there.
    Perhaps it left. Perhaps it fled.
    I think it vanished. When it was alone. Maybe it died, maybe it simply faded.

    Only I remember.
    And when I die, what then?
    Last edited by SeptimusFabrius; 2015-01-06 at 07:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    Quote Originally Posted by SeptimusFabrius View Post
    I'll be honest, I don't know how well this is going to work. But one of my greatest dreams is becoming an author and I have got next to no writing done for, well, years. It was seeing Thanqol's thread on a similar subject that finally inspired me to get up and do something about it, so many thanks thereto. I'll be posting random bits of writing and short stories that I come up with. I don't know how frequently I'll be able to get things up, but I think if we say a maximum gap between scribblings of a week, with options on more often. Please feel free to post feedback and criticism constructive or otherwise. First attempt will be up shortly.

    Thanks for reading,

    SeptimusFabrius
    Copycats! Pretenders! I will outlive you, too, as I have survived everyone who has come before me!

    No, seriously, writing is the hardest thing. My biggest piece of advice is make sure your motives are pure. Writing for bad reasons makes bad writing and bad people.

    Okay, exercise. Take something profoundly non-verbal and condense it into writing. Take off your shoes and go for a walk outside and run around on the grass and then write something about the experience. Broaden your mind a bit! Remember that authentic, personal experience is the heart of all writing.
    I know you feel you need to prove
    that you are good at simply everything you try to do
    And people hang on your every word
    that you deliver with conviction
    though they may just be absurd

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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Copycats! Pretenders! I will outlive you, too, as I have survived everyone who has come before me!

    No, seriously, writing is the hardest thing. My biggest piece of advice is make sure your motives are pure. Writing for bad reasons makes bad writing and bad people.

    Okay, exercise. Take something profoundly non-verbal and condense it into writing. Take off your shoes and go for a walk outside and run around on the grass and then write something about the experience. Broaden your mind a bit! Remember that authentic, personal experience is the heart of all writing.
    I took your advice. Non-verbalism produced this, which... I have mixed feelings about.

    Spoiler: Behold, non-verbalism in action!
    Show

    'Oh foolish hill that takes me for a fool. I am not drawn back for your sake, not for the moors nor all the hope and rain the world may bring. It's not for you. Neither your standing stones nor your howling winds can sway me. It's the sky that brings me here, and the trees, and all the world, but not your lonely self. Remain here and I can leave, go yourself and I shall not care and you think this is about you. Arrogant! You beautiful thing. Quite, quite outmatched, and oh how na´ve you are.

    Give me water and I shall not drink. Give me a view and I shall not see. I hold no hatred, but I do not need you. Go, talk to the heather, you'll find more sympathy there.

    I could call you many other things. Shallow, pretender, deceiver. But it'd be wrong, don't mislead yourself. I have no need of you, but you are part of the world. I've no say in that, nor anyone else.

    So instead I leave to the trackless sun that leaps across the sky and to the veils of rain that hide her face. I leave to the wind and to the sky and to the clouds, and I'll let you lie. I see no worth in you. Perhaps you have some I couldn't make out.'

    Having said all I needed to say, I turned my back and left the way I came, along the single path that still leads up the tor. It was a pleasant feeling, knowing that, for better or worse, what I'd meant to say had been said. Nothing I nor anyone could do about it now.

    Onwards, down the path, for me. To look back would be weak, so of course it's what I do. And boldly yet the hill stands out against the sunrise, swathed softly in what it can never hope to become.

    A single half-turn and I'm back the way I meant to be. I haven't returned since; perhaps I might, when I need to.
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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    Hmm. I think it's really heavy on the commas. It gives this feeling of saying things, then instantly contradicting yourself. Interesting.

    Next exercise! Have a long conversation between two people using only what they say. Don't say 'he said' or any description. Let us learn about these people purely by how they talk.
    I know you feel you need to prove
    that you are good at simply everything you try to do
    And people hang on your every word
    that you deliver with conviction
    though they may just be absurd

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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Hmm. I think it's really heavy on the commas. It gives this feeling of saying things, then instantly contradicting yourself. Interesting.

    Next exercise! Have a long conversation between two people using only what they say. Don't say 'he said' or any description. Let us learn about these people purely by how they talk.
    Here we go! Not sure if it qualifies as long, but I think it's long enough.

    Spoiler: Conversation
    Show

    So, how're you today?

    Not too bad. And yourself?

    Could be worse, considering.

    Come on, cheer up. You'll be out soon.

    You act like -

    Oh, don't give me more of that nonsense. You know everyone leaves sooner or later.

    Not everyone.

    I'm sorry?

    You know perfectly well what I meant, Doctor.

    You aren't seriously suggesting that I...

    Come on, say it.

    Kill you.

    What else would I be saying?

    Something saner.

    What's wrong with it, eh?

    I...

    Well?

    I... Oh, you bloody fool. You complete idiot. All this time I've -

    Nothing I haven't heard before. Come on.

    How can you be so... So calm about this?

    Inside, Doctor, I am screaming. But it's better for both of us I don't show it.

    You deserve everything that's coming to you, you know that?

    Again, nothing new. Think about it.

    I'd sooner die myself. I'm here to help you, God damn it!

    ... Oh, so that's what it is, eh?

    What?

    It's your ego. You can't admit you failed me.

    You...

    And you'll send me out into the world just to reassure yourself you're as good as you thought you were.

    Ah, I was wondering about that.

    Come again?

    You seemed too friendly. That's the patient I know.

    Better?

    Much, thank you.

    Think about it.

    ... I will.
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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    This'll be the third time I've posted this on the forum. But it's written. And that's something. And it's a dark shroud of text to hide my shame at letting this thread languish in vacancy decent.

    From now, I'll be tracking how much I owe the Playground.

    Backlog: 4

    Spoiler: Backstory of an RPG character because I ran out of ideas
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    Well met.

    If you are reading this, I have almost certainly passed into the next world. It is not such a great loss, I suppose: I never contributed much, I have no friends (but ah, my enemies...). Perhaps this sounds needlessly self-deprecating. I assure you I am not exaggerating. I walk alone on a path no-one else has trodden. Nor would they want to.

    You are wondering why I would choose to do so. From the start I knew what I wanted to be. I had destiny. I would change the world, that much I knew - of course, I couldn't have told you why. I was different from the other children. I was a hero.

    Then I discovered I was right, and it was the saddest day of my life.

    I was different. I didn't belong. And they hated me for it. I could be anyone! Any being among them was no match for me, for I could become them. A hero? No. I was an outcast. Oh, I had destiny, and for the first time I knew what it was. I would remain on the fringes, forever and ever and ever - these words I would repeat to myself constantly. I cried many times as a child, more than most - not that I ever showed this to the others - for I was different. My destiny was a blessing that was a curse that was an immutable fact of life. It took me a long time to understand this.

    I had no-one. But loneliness did not bother me. If they did not want me I would not want them. Instead, I would observe. I saw what made the delicate clockwork mechanisms that were the other children go, and I learned how to change them. The tiniest flick of a spring or turning of a gear off its path would give me utter control. Complete dominion over them. They never knew what I was doing. I simply knew how to push their buttons skilfully. I was not a negotiator. I am not the sort of person who gives things away. I took and made them think they were giving. Perhaps they thought I had changed my soul like I change my skin every day. They amused me.

    Beings are not worthy of me. They bore me. Things are important. They define you. Beings can be converted with a word. They are tools to be used. You have to fight for wealth. Nothing is superior.

    Some beings are irrational. They don't understand that their wealth would be better off in the hands of someone more worthy. These people are little more than wraiths in a world of solid things. They cannot truly understand the reality of what goes on every day, and they are easy, oh so easy to deceive. A change of skin, a switch of outfit, and they are convinced you are someone else. And changing my appearance is my forte.

    But don't ask me to be someone else. I will never truly change. It's an act, a tool and nothing more. Becoming attached to your other forms is dangerous. My fellow changelings - the only true people among the beings - for all their greatness do not understand this. Despite their name they can never truly change. If they do they lose the freedom that makes us better than the people-beasts that surround us on all sides. They must remain between states like a coin in the air, for this is what lets us survive. We deceive, we lie, we cheat, and we constantly appear to be other than what we really are. Letting them see your true form is suicide. They will try to change you.

    My mother was the only true person I knew. Among all the feeble mockeries of personhood, these humans and elves and dwarves and all the other thin variations on the same pathetic theme - only she was superior. She was human, but she was a person. And by virtue of it mightier than a thousand legions of shallow beings. She knew the true value of things. Thief? Liberator! Saviour of those creations of the world that actually have value from the tyranny of the scraps of parchment that are those beings who think they're people.

    So I take her bag wherever I go. A thing to remind me of a person. A true person, not an imitation. In its depths her soul resides - the thing that makes us different from the trompe l'oeil paintings on the walls of life.

    Maybe if I met another true person, or a changeling who knew the worth of things, I could have a friend. But I do not hold out much hope. We are rare, and those who would have you think they are us cover the face of the world.

    You may be wondering why I wrote this. Perhaps you are a person who understands the value of things. If so, you will know the worth of this little piece of parchment - a thing to remember me by, a way to ensure what I have learned of the world does not die out entirely. Take it with you, take me with you. Remember me as the person who saw clearly and sought out fortune. And always know the people from the imitations.

    Yours faithfully,

    Metsa


    I am ashamed.
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    Default Re: Septimus Writes

    This is pretty good. I can really feel the loneliness and isolation of the character; you've made a way to tell the readers what he (?) values and fears in life, as well as the fact that, knowingly or not, he wants companionship despite his statements to the contrary.

    There's also a unravelling mystery element, where the character reveals the reasons for his outlook on the world over the course of the letter, which hooks me in the further I read.

    I can't think of much else to say about it. It's a solid intoduction to a character that could easily be slipped into any scenario and tells us a lot about this person. It could be used to help pave the way for their proper appearence, or as part of a breadcrumb trail of notes, or just as a piece of background setting with no direct influence.

    Anyway, I hope you keep writing and await your next submission.
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    Backlog: 4

    Prologue-to-be.

    Spoiler
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    The place isn't important; neither is the name - no, no, it was. It was a corner of the old building, the place where I met a stranger and I don't remember the rest of it except that there was a library. A small library with dusty books that no-one ever read except that young woman in the corner who probably had some other motive. I talked to her once and we didn't say much but it was pleasant. I don't remember her name either - why've I forgotten so much? - but it began with E. Perhaps Elizabeth? Eleanor?

    The place. I said. The stranger and the place, personality and setting. Personality, right. Grim. Tall. Dark. Scared me a little. Gave me a book, a paperback, battered old thing, said I should keep it for them. Heh. I'd read enough thrillers to know better'n that. Stayed with me for a while, person and book, like one. Weatherbeaten, the both of them, could've done with a bath or two. Not the book. Don't be silly. The person - good God, who were they? - they'd spent enough time outdoors to last them three lives and more. Hair all tangled, disgraceful, shouldn't have been outside looking like that, eh? The book was fine. Battered, so I said. I think I asked what they wanted me to keep it for, though it was hardly like I was going to. Really? Sure. Total stranger, asks me to keep some random book for them. Right. I said that, didn't I?

    Had an air of haughtiness about them, when they were done being grim and menacing and whatnot. Didn't want to associate with the likes of me. Didn't have a choice, hah. Someone wanted them, wanted them dead, and they didn't. Can't blame them. Not much to look forward to there - what am I doing, I'm rambling, I'm sorry. The guy. Girl. Person. I don't know, it was too long ago - yes, it was. Person. Said to me the first night they weren't staying long, said that all the time for a month and I shouted at them in the end, hit my fist on the goddamn table and almost broke my finger, don't lie to me! I said. What's your name? And they wouldn't tell me and I don't know why I kept them in my house - I had a nice place then, couple of bedrooms, no idea why I bought it but it seemed like a good place to live so I suppose that counts, right? Sure it does. You've got to do things on a whim. [Subject demonstrates, snapping fingers. - A] Like that. Or you never get anything done. Like he did! That's what she did. I think they did. I'm not sure.

    'Course the book was like that too, full of whimsy. Nothing made sense. Strings of it, strings of nothing, of nonsense. Letters and numbers and pictures of things I think were places. Other ones, places I didn't know, and I got around, let me tell you. Like that one time I went back to the library and the girl was there and she showed me a map of what it used to be like - the world, you know - and all sorts of names that looked like history, you know what I mean - you can feel the story behind a place. There's something there that's important. Highton. High Town. It's important, somebody called it that. The library was a place like that. Coldford Town Library. Someone had been there and thought it was worth calling it that, and that's the mark of worth in a place, if you see what I mean.

    I think my house was like that too, I don't remember what I called it - why don't I remember that? Not even the name of my own house?

    [At this point subject becomes incoherent and difficult to converse with. I have taken the liberty of omitting the transcript of these moments. - A]

    Sorry. It's just - it was so important and I don't know what any of it means, I say I do but do I really? Do you know what I mean? - no, that's a silly question, of course you don't, no-one does. Wait, no, the girl did, the woman in the library, she knew. She showed me a map, a map of - like I said, a map. It had exactly what I wanted on it, I was looking for a map, and I was so grateful. I thanked her and she said it wasn't a problem and I looked back as I went out. She was looking at me like she knew me. I didn't know her, it was odd, but maybe I looked like someone she knew.

    The person. Right. I think they asked for the map, took it from me, I might have got it for them, I'm not sure any more. They wanted to go somewhere, asked if I had a car, of course I didn't. Silly question. Small town. Not much more to say, really.

    No, I don't know when this happened. The girl at the library, that came last, I think, the map and the person leaving without their book - I yelled at them to stop, you know, but they wouldn't listen, and I suppose they'd wanted me to have it in the first place. Filled with a load of nothing much. What was I to do with it, eh? Put it away, didn't worry about it. The other things happened before that. I met the person first, I think I knew the library before that - damn it, did I? I don't know. It was a place I went, of course I did. I'd been there often enough. I said so, didn't I? Didn't I?

    [Subject remains silent for approximately thirty seconds. Encouragement to speak is useless. - A]

    Coldford. Funny place, like the rest. Quiet enough, you get to know the people there. All very friendly. I'd moved in not too long before, and bought that house with the lovely name. I remember some of the folk, not the girl, her name's gone, but Odell the baker and his wife, I remember them. Lovely people. I got a few nice loaves from their shop back when I lived nearby. And the librarian, bloke named Keaton. Knew his books. Wasn't the books so much, of course, but the maps, I couldn't find them, and the girl showed me where they were. I don't think he even understood why I wanted one. They're interesting, see, you get to know where things are, and that's one of the most important things there is. You need to know where you are. Otherwise you'd never get to them, and you can't stay still. I know that much, that's what life's taught me.

    Life, indeed. Never could get my head around it. Rolling along happily, and then one day you hit something and - poof! - gone. Just snuffed out, like a candle. At night, when you use them, you see. Knew too many people like that. If they were candles - why, I'd have no more candles. Apart from me. Little-flickering-candle me, huddled against the wind and the rain. I'm almost dead, you know. They'll say I died of loneliness, only they won't, there'll be no-one left to say it. Will you, eh?

    [I assure the subject that I will. - A]

    That's good. Knew I could depend on you, you look like the sort of person a fellow can depend on. Just the way you look, maybe it's in your eyes, maybe your face. I could've read you before I forgot. Why'd I forget?

    [The subject is reminded at this point that nobody knows the reason why. - A]

    True, true. I've not lost hope, don't worry. I don't care much about hope. I'm a broken man, but broken in little, odd ways, and there's nobody who cares to put me back together, even if they had the skill. You don't - hush, you know it - there isn't anybody. I don't care all that much. I don't think I was very different before. Perhaps I was and I've just forgotten it like everything else. This is useless, I'm sure of it. There's nothing more to say.

    I do remember why I came to Coldford in the first place. There was a great thing, a thing with sprawling limbs and oozing blood and it forced me out, forced us all out. It was said Coldford was better, Coldford would keep us safe and I never saw the thing again, so I suppose it was true. Years, more, and not much happened in my little haven in-amongst the meadows. Got a little chilly in the winter. Cold, indeed, and so you see the value of the name - in summer it was warm enough, with longer days and fleeting nights, and great evenings upon the hill with a hunk of Odell bread and too much wine. It's probably still like that. I wonder sometimes how my friends are faring, all of them with the names that just weren't memorable enough, I suppose. It's a little sad. They'll be all right. They found work in the end, I think, did the Ashtons - heh, so I remember that - went off somewhere to do something. Or other. Probably good enough, clever folk the both of them.

    All of them, clever, thinking about it. Quick and knife-sharp. Not me, no, all their airs went over me, utterly. Said things I didn't understand and things I should've done, and a few I did but didn't want to hear.

    Whatever. It's all over now, all done and gone like it should be. I'll have to stop now, I'm a typewriter, all out of paper. Nothing more to say, on anything, this time. That's all I've got. All that I can remember. All, really.
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