"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Writing Challenge

I'm going to really strive to be putting these out as often as I can.  I encourage those of you who are interested in writing as a hobby, or as a a potential career, to do the same.  Either use the challenges I post here, or get some exercises from another source.  Writing is one of the few art forms where the practitioners don't want to consider anything they compose as anything other than a step toward finished copy.  We despise the thought of writing something with the intent of never using it for anything other than developing our craft.  I heard many students grumbling about waisting their time with something they couldn't send out as soon as they'd gotten a grade on it.  Okay, I might have been one  of those students once upon a time.  The point is, just like the musician practicing scales, or the actor practicing lines and going through rehearsals, or the painter sketching over and over again before heading to the canvas, we writers need to do the same.

So, here is today's writing challenge:

"Have a character write a letter to someone apologizing for a past betrayal on the behalf of a second character who does not know that the first character is writing the letter.  Then write a scene in which the second character finds out about the letter."

This time, I've actually written a written a challenge, and I'm posting it as a response to this post.  If you are a writer, I challenge you to do so as well.  Remember: it's not a full story.  It's a scene of a page or two, just for practice.  Have fun with it.

1 comment:

  1. Callie,

    If you are reading this, then Eris and I have been pressed into service… again. I will do my best to watch over him, as I always do, but this war is unlike the other wars. The crown is surely taxed for resources, both in manpower and raw materials. I fear that soon they might begin to conscript promising acolytes directly from the Academies. You’ve always shown talent and promise, despite the problems who’ve had with your various instructors and not being accepted into the King’s premiere academy. Now, I must tell you the reasons behind these things, and it has nothing to do with your talent, knowledge, or skill. Eris is responsible for it all. Through bribery, family favors, and not just a little blackmail, he has ensured that your education remains a mediocre one. I reveal this to you, because if you are pressed into service, you will need every advantage you can get to survive the war. Combat Sorcerers have a life expectancy of about two weeks, if they are fully trained. Learn whatever you can, any edge that you see that can help you survive. When this is over, we can confront Eris about this together. Just live. You have the ability. Don’t let your peers, your teachers, or even you brother hold you back any longer.


    Eris crushed the brittle and faded parchment in his hand. Over twenty years of wondering what set his sister on the path that consumed her sanity, and here it was. For a moment, he wondered how Somarys had come into possession of the letter. He shook the thought aside. Somarys was the most cunning, resourceful, and thourough person he’d ever met. Eris also pushed aside the thought that this letter might be falsified, but he brushed that aside also. Somarys knew Eris. She knew he would be suspicious of everything she said and told him. A little lie here and there to nudge him was one thing, but something this large would be too easy for him to punch holes in. And it made sense, perfect sense.

    Callie had begun her climb to power shortly after Jairth and Eris had been called to their second term of service. The chaos and destruction that followed in her wake had created the perfect opportunities, one after the other, for Jairth to also climb to power.

    Eris sighed and tossed the parchment into the fire.

    Somarys blinked. Her forehead wrinkled a bit as she regarded him. “Well?”

    “Well what?”

    “Now that you know the truth, will you help me?”

    Eris took a long drink of his dark ale. The serving girl knew how he like it heated and spiced. Such a simple and yet complex thing, perfect for taming the bundle of conflicting feelings battling inside his breast: anger, shame, hurt, fury, sorrow, fear. They battled against him, but the ale provided a barrier, not because it worked to get him drink – it was only his first mug, and he’d always been able to handle his drink – but rather because the brew reminded him of who he had become and what his place in the world was now.


    Somarys leaned back in her chair and studied him through narrowed eyes. She looked at him as if he were a new spell that produced an effect she hadn’t expected.


    Eris nodded. “No.” And drank again. “Good luck finding someone to aide you, but it won’t be me.”

    Somarys leaned forward. Eris did not like her smile. It was the smile many swordsmen gave when they were about to try one of the special maneuvers, tricks, they’d developed to quickly get through an enemy’s guard. Eris prepared himself for whatever tactic she planned to use next. Nothing could prepare him for her next words.

    “What if I told you, it might be possible to save and redeem your sister?”


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