1. Fanfic Competition -- Topic -- HOGWARTS DAYS

    Word count? 500-17500 words!

    Due date? October 2nd! CLICK HERE! write now!

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Writing Exercise Thread

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Blorcyn, Feb 13, 2021.


Will you commit to improving your writing with unfun exercises?

  1. No, I am afraid of my future self who will be more successful than me in every way.

  2. Yes, I will get stuck in immediately.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Golden Shadow

    Golden Shadow Third Year

    Feb 7, 2020
    I had intended to do all of the exercises, but got busy with some other projects, so i'll have to catch up later.
    That said, I have been working on a cradle fic, and in the spirit of the first exercise, I wrote two different types of openings for it, and I'm not sure which I like better.

    Disclaimer: It references concepts from the books a lot, but the main context is 'Madra' is basically chi which allows you to use quasi-magical abilities.

    The world flashed red.

    He ran as fast as he could manage with his injured foot, his vision blurred by tears.

    He could smell the smoke, the fire still raging some distance behind him.

    The door breaking open as Skysworn rushed into the house.

    Not now. Later.

    The road was rough under his feet, the sky dark, there was no one around who would help him here. And no one who would stand against the Skysworn if they could.
    His parents pushing him out the window, his father easing his fall with his wind madra as he fell.

    Just as he turned a corner, his spirit screamed a warning.
    He threw himself to the ground, barely avoiding a (adjective) fireball, and turned just enough to see the man who would come to plague his nightmares for months.
    A man with eyes as black as death, fury apparent as he burned down the house from the inside, dooming two parents and their child huddled together on the second floor.

    Chen Lei shrieked in horror, as the reality of his circumstance came crashing down on him.
    He was a jade being hunted by a highgold.
    He would die.
    His parents’ sacrifice would be in vain.

    And in that critical moment of desperation, he struck out with everything he had.
    His spirit screamed with the effort.
    His entire core emptied in an instant of ultimate effort, forming into a technique.
    A single length of shadow and sword, a Blade of Darkness, screeched through his madra channels and struck at the highgold before him.

    It struck the man’s emerald colored armor, right above the heart, and pierced... and didn’t break the skin.
    But Shadow affects the spirit more easily than the flesh.
    And his lifeline was slashed from the inside, his skin still unbroken.

    The man stood still, shock turning to anger turning to rage.
    And in that final moment of life, out of revenge or spite or both, he released his final technique.

    Night fell.
    Her troops surrounded the house, veiled, and as of yet, undetected.
    For Luo Meifing, this was the most important moment of her career. The reports had been hard to obtain, harder still to verify, but after months of hard work, she had finally succeeded.
    She was a truegold, the highest ranked Skysworn on this mission, but for all that she still wasn’t a proper officer.
    Depending on the outcome of this night, that would almost certainly change.
    She had staked an entire career’s worth of credibility on this hunt, and had requested, even begged, her superiors for permission to see it through till the end.

    Seeing no good options before them, her superiors finally caved. They didn’t want to stake their own reputations on something so uncertain, but they also couldn’t risk letting something of this magnitude go. So they sent her.
    If she was right, she alone would reap the tremendous benefits.
    If she wasn’t, she might be executed.
    A shiver ran down her back.
    An ambitious truegold promoted to acting officer who succeeded in doing what her commanding officers couldn’t, would certainly have a bright career ahead of her.
    But for that, she would have to obtain hard proof of a conspiracy against the empire, one few people even believed in.
    She had been lucky enough to be part of the interrogation that the Underlord Captain of the Skysworn conducted on the captured Soulsmith researcher.
    Heard of how some highly placed people in the empire had, allegedly, funded forbidden research, research into weapons of death and life madra, constructs of shadow and blood.
    Weapons to be used to overthrow the Blackflame Empire.
    The interview was sealed, the details suppressed, on the off chance that any part of the confession was true.
    But after a year of investigation, almost everyone believed the ‘confession’ was the desperate rambling of a Soulsmith who went too far, on his own.
    Everyone but her, that is.
    For she had heard the Soulsmith mention how the Conspiracy intended to use fighters on the ancient Path of Crawling Shades.
    And while everyone else scoffed at the thought of an ancient, lost path being resurrected, contributing in large part to many dismissing the rest of the allegations, she had investigated.
    Investigated rumors of practitioners of shadow paths.
    Rumors that led her from the desolate wilds, to the city of Serpent’s Grave, and finally, to this humble house in a quite village, far away from major cities and major powers.
    The house belonged to a retired Skysworn officer, and so the price of being wrong would be severe.
    But if the report she found was right, this was the house that sheltered a rebel soldier on the path of Crawling Shades.
    She had brought overwhelming numbers and perhaps unnecessary firepower, but she wanted there to be no mishaps, not here.
    Not today.
    She gave the signal, and her soldiers breached.
    She marched in, second to enter the house, and took her first proper look around the house.
    She extended her spiritual perception, and froze.
    There was the Shadow path that she had been expecting.
    She hadn’t expected it to come from a jade child.
    And then she connected the dots.
    The conspirators weren’t harboring foreign soldiers, as she had suspected.
    They were raising living weapons.
  2. Story Content: Week 5: Altered Perspectives

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Oct 16, 2010
    Yeah I thought last week would go one way or the other, and it went the other.
    Still, there's time to attempt it if you want to. I'm halfway through exercise 1, and I hope to manage a little more and throw that up with some feedback for whoever's had an attempt, by that point.

    Just the one exercise this week, and perhaps for the foreseeable future, if it's more interesting. This one is to challenge yourself about antagonism, and about creating convincing obstacles for your protagonist (and probably perspective character).

    1. Take the last scene you wrote where your MC had some degree of antagonism/obstacle with another character (if it's not written, go for that one you've been stirring in your head, the confrontation scene you've been imagining) and rewrite it from the perspective of the other character - that scene's antagonist. What's their play, what's their goal, how are they thinking? How can you, in their shoes, get what you want despite the protagonist's interference?

    This exercise comes recommended to me as an excellent way to get through fight choreography too (physical or emotional). Sometimes when you're stuck with what you can do when you're in a corner, the answer is to write the scene from the mook's perspective. How do they plan to succeed, what are they worried will happen, what do they not want her to do, and how will they course-correct if she does it?
  3. Dirty Puzzle

    Dirty Puzzle Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Dec 11, 2016
    Northern Hemisphere
    High Score:
    A little late, lol. But I'm gonna be adding exercises to last week's on here as spoilers because I really like those prompts and I didn't check on them until today.

    “Your humanity’s your own to lose, but my home is not!” Faizah spits, rounding on Reeve with fury. “I’ve allowed you to live here; I’ve housed you and fed you; I shielded you from the worst the Confederacy has to offer! And you repay me with this?”

    Reeve sneers, a mean distortion of what used to be a beautiful smile. “I never asked for shit from you. You could’ve thrown me in a cell to be hauled off, no skin off your nose—hell, it’s not my fault you were too stupid to.”

    Faizah works her jaw in a vain attempt to reign in her flaring temper. “You have the gall to accuse me of stupidity? When you’ve brought the Confederacy down on our heads because you wanted to be a hero?” She clenches her fists rhythmically, holding onto fraying calm by her fingernails. Reeve tries to avoid eye contact, but— “Look at me.” She follows Reeve’s line of sight—no distraction. “I gave you a home, and you’re going to destroy it.”

    “Don’t you get it? They were going to destroy you anyway, and neutrality”—Reeve hisses neutrality like she would a slur—“won’t protect you for long. The Confederacy takes what it wants, only I have the balls to fight back.”

    “Then die at the bottom of a dank holding cell from pneumonia with the rest of the imbeciles that think grand gestures and terrorism will do anything but bury you.” Faizah grabs for the decanter of gin off her office’s dry bar and pours a glass, barely refraining from shattering it to bits. “But more importantly, this planet isn’t yours to bargain. You’re here by my generosity and my generosity alone.”

    Reeve scoffs. “Generosity, sure.”

    “Yes, generosity,” Faizah says through clenched teeth. “Or are you shameless enough to believe I’ve gotten the better deal? When you’ve very likely brought the end of this planet as an autonomous state?”

    “Do you really think they’ll leave you alone? The only people in the galaxy that know more about their own tech than they do is your boonie hovel on the edge of the universe, and you might not have much, but your tradesmen—by sheer fucking necessity—have knowledge the rest of the galaxy would kill for, have killed for,” Reeve shouts, red in the face. “So I blew up a refinery, what of it? What’s it to you? You don’t give a damn about anyone off this fucking trash heap.”

    Her glass of gin flies, and the expensive crystal explodes into a million tiny pieces against the wall behind Reeve’s head, stunning her speechless. Faizah heaves with a wrath she’s never known before, an all-consuming anger that devours all thought, fuelled by corrosive betrayal so toxic she can barely touch it. She trusted Reeve—but apparently that means nothing. Apparently she means nothing.

    Faizah stalks forward and grabs Reeve by the chin. She expects some kind of retaliation, but there’s nothing but a defiant glare in watery blue eyes. She used to like the contrast in their skin, when it was the dead of night and Reeve would be ghostly under the glow of the moon, when Reeve would marvel at Faizah’s body as if every time was the first. It made her feel wanted. Loved.

    Her grips tightens as she yanks Reeve down to look her directly in the eyes, forcing her to bend down in submission. They’re almost nose to nose, so close Faizah can feel the warmth of Reeve’s restrained breathing. Faizah lowers her voice to make her threat clear. “Get off my planet before sundown or I’ll hand-deliver you to the Confederacy myself.” She leans in another centimeter. “Congratulations. The last place in the galaxy that would take you, and you’ve pissed it away. I hope you’re happy.”

    She shoves Reeve hard enough to send her to the ground. She looks pathetic, sprawled across Faizah’s carpet trying and failing to salvage her dignity. “Get out.”

    So Reeve does.

    Faizah stares at her office door long after Reeve’s gone, and wonders why the anger can’t stay. Anger is easier than the ruin she’s left with.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021