Aundes Aura: Over 20% Complete

I have just passed 16,000 words and this puts me more than 20% into Aundes Aura.

I'm constantly trying to determine whether the novel will be long enough at the end to make room for revisions and be marketable to agents and publishers. 80,000 words would do, I think.

Not that I really have to worry because I have a backup "Part Two" if it isn't long enough. It's not milking it, it's just stuff that could go unsaid and allow for the readers to speculate, but some interesting things would happen if I were to write it. I may just write a short Part Two regardless. This would allow me to almost "start again"with the tension, a miniature "book two", so I don't have to try to keep raising the tension. This way I can have two different climaxes.

Anyway, logically I have a ratio of 2:3 finished and unfinished novel. If I go through the outline in my head, I could have three more parts the size of one part to finish the novel at my target word count.

Are you the kind of person who would worry about something like this? Do you think it's unwise to mix logic with creativity?

A Sonnet: The Elements

The Elements

So burns fire, like the tongue of the devil

Its biting flame searing like a hot blade

An enigma on many a level

But simple it can be easily made

For water trickles like tears down a stream

Only to reach a fall, where it will then

Flow like a stitch, like a runaway seam

Reaching the end where it will only grow

The earth, the ground, whatever it be called

Let us see what it will seed from rich soil

The stone will allow cities to be walled

And allow for men to endure less toil

Air, ultimate of elemental four

Lets us know why the rest we do adore

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A Satirical Short Story: The Fourth W'll

The Fourth W'll

This is the first time I h’ve ever written ‘nything like this, wrote Ry’n. This is ‘ piece in which I will bre’k the fourth w’ll. Unfortun’tely, the [‘] on my keybo’rd h’s ce’sed to work, ‘nd thus ‘ll letters being the first letter of the ‘lph’bet will be repl’ced with ‘ [’]. But let this hinder us not. Without ‘ny further ‘do, we sh’ll st’rt the story.

J’ck is ‘ simple m’n. He lives in ‘ simple home, with simple neighbours, ‘nd he works ‘ simple job. Unfortun’tely, this simple job does not p’y p’rticul’rly well. But th’t isn’t why he is going to rob ‘ petrol st’tion in ‘bout h’lf ‘n hour.
He rushes out of the house. He knows even though his job doesn’t p’y p’rticul’rly well, he needs wh’tever money he c’n get. He stops ‘bruptly ‘nd looks to epic’lly into the sky.
“Who s’id th’t?” he ‘sks. Little does he know th’t authors do not live in the sky, but they ‘re ‘ll ‘round, w’tching ‘ll the time, ‘ bit like th’t God guy, or Big Brother from the book Nineteen-Eighty-Four.
“Nineteen-Eighty-Four? Wh’t in the world ‘re you t’lking ‘bout?”
What? You’ve never he’rd of Nineteen-Eighty-Four? It’s ‘ dystopia. ‘ bit like I’m trying to m’ke this story but you’re ruining it by m’king sm’ll t’lk. Now, stop this ‘nd re’ct to my boring, long-winded n’rr’tion.
“No! This is not norm’l. I dem’nd ‘n expl’n’tion!”
J’ck doesn’t re’lise th’t I’m ‘ctu’lly ignoring him.
He hurries up ‘nd gets in his c’r.
Oh, come now, J’ck. You’re boring my incredibly e’ger re’ders. He obeys ‘nd hurries up ‘nd gets in his c’r. Oh, wh’t ‘ sh’me. His petrol is ne’rly out. Th’t’s out first conflict. I suppose he’ll h’ve to go to the petrol st’tion.
“Ye’h, I know wh’t to do with ‘ low petrol gu’ge. Th’nks.”
I w’sn’t t’lking to you. Now, r’ther th’n bore you with tedious n’rr’tion while he drives there, I’ll tell you ‘ little story.

Once, ‘ long, long time ‘go, ‘ mother duck w’s feeling low. The mother duck h’d l’id her eggs, but h’lf of them looked just like kegs! One d’y the eggs beg’n to h’tch. They cr’cked ‘nd cr’cked, ‘nd ‘ll ten m’tched.
One h’dn’t h’tched ‘nd it w’s big, ‘nd looked different. Like ‘ fig. The mother thought, “Oh me! Oh my! I guess this duck will never fly!”

“I’m here.”
Ugh. Well I c’n’t end the story there! I’ll just h’ve to sum it up for you. B’sic’lly, he goes on ‘ big ‘dventure, ‘nd ‘t the end he wonders if he is ‘ sw’n like the ones in the pond with which he felt ‘ speci’l bond. Turns out he’s ‘ll out of luck ‘nd he’s just ‘n ugly duck! I re’lly love th’t story. It’s got everything you w’nt. Tension, emotion, ‘n eng’ging plot (‘s opposed to this story), and--
“Hey, I’ve been sitting here for ‘ges. Can you direct me ‘lready?”
Jack gets out of the car and enters the petrol station.
“I thought you couldn’t use [a]s because the key is inoperable,” Jack points out.
I c’n’t. J’ck p’ys for his petrol.
“I h’ven’t even filled my c’r yet!”
J’ck shuts his mouth ‘nd p’ys for his petrol. He pulls ‘ gun.
“I don’t h’ve ‘ --”
-- Yes you do. He pulls ‘ gun.
The st’tion keeper g’sps. “Wh’t the -- I c’n’t swear in this story c’n I?”
No. It’s going up on ‘ school intr’net.
“Oh, ok’y. Wh’t the ****?!”
“Wh’t now?” ‘sks J’ck.
I don’t know.
“Wh’t do you me’n? You’re writing this story, ‘ren’t you?”
Yes, but I don’t know wh’t to write next. Wh’t’s th’t excuse writers use when they don’t feel like writing? Oh ye’h, writer’s block. I h’ve writer’s block.
J’ck shoots himself and f’lls to the ground.
Hey! You c’n’t do th’t! I’m writing this story!
“I’m writing it now,” s’ys J’ck.

But do you live or die?


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A Look Back [Grade Two]: A Magical World (Part II)

A Magical World: Sam's Life!

Part II: Next Year

I was on my way to school, when I remembered about the old magic Castle. As soon as I remembered, I dissapeared as fast as I could, down a path, up a hill, East, North, West. I walked across a long path for about Seven days and a night. Then I saw it, the huge Castle. I walked up to the door (without going straight for the handle) and politely knocked on the door.

The doors received the knock and opened. I said the password for the portrait and walked through. The old man came up to me.

"I see you have practiced how to control yourself about pressing buttons." [Interjection: I love this line!]

"Yes, I have," I started, "And a bloody whole lot too. So this had better be worth it."

"It will, It will," He replied, "but don't go pressing any more buttons." So I didn't, but I got foolish and wanted to see what would happen if I ripped off my button and pushed it into the wall. The wall pushed right forward abd across.

I walked through and came to a band and read: FIRE TABLETS, WARNING: MAY BURN THROAT AND CAUSE TO BREATH FIRE. -->

I looked t the right and saw the FIRE TABLETS. I tranceported over to the basket. [Interjection: I adore the use of the word transport in this context.] It I took Two tablets missing sight of a sighn read: I TABLET EACH. >

My throat was burning like hell. It repeated as I struggled to find water or something. I couldn't find a single drop. Of course I wanted a plural drop. I breathed as hard as I could and instead of breath I got three fireballs about the size of a bowling ball.

I think I'd better keep my breath to myeself.


The bell went.

MOVING OBJECTS, I read on a door and walked through. A teacher named Professor Levana was in there. "Ah, your all here. Welcome to MOVING OBJECTS class."
"We will start with LEVITATING."
"Excuse me, but could you please repeat that?" asked a boy named Peter.
"LEVITATING! She repeated in an angry voice. "Now, to LEVITATE fist all your fingers exept your pink-"
"-y," she added, "aim at the OBJECT you want to LEVITATE. It will float in mid-air. For it to follow you, step backwards, to push it, step forwards, to pull right, step right, so, of course, to pull left, step left, and at last to drop, unfist your hand.
I walked outside the door. Two people came up to me. "HI, I'm Peter and this is Ashley, want to practice Levitation with us?"
"Yeah, ok, but only if I get to show you some thing first."
"Ok, we'll follow you."
"My name's Sam by the way," I said on the journey.
I went back to the spot where I pushed my button into and did the same. Peter and Ashley were right behind me. I showed them why they should take the Fire Tablets. But to my suprise, Ashley didn't take any, but then again, Peter took Four.

I told him to breath, and he was really suprised when he saw what happened.

Character Interview: Sir Lorne

Ryan Sullivan: Good afternoon, Sir Lorne.

Lorne: It is not such a good afternoon.

R.S.: Why not?

Lorne: I've been working my darned backside off, that's why!

R.S.: I did hear about some commotion earlier. What happened?
Lorne: Oh, it started out a fine day. But then when I was in the middle of afternoon tea, the captain rushed in and screamed at everyone that there was something going on at the Arena. I had to abandon my food and go there with all the other guards, running like a right madman, and then when we got there the only thing that was going on was a rattled crowd.

R.S.: That was the commotion? You got called over there for that?

Lorne: Hold your horses, matey! I'm not done. Apparently there was some explosion of white light come from a girl. Nothin' I ain't ever heard of. But that's why the guards were called. But how were we supposed to pick her out of a whole Arena crowd? We're guards, not eagles. But then I noticed the crowd was all lookin' in one direction, and I looked where they were lookin' and I saw her. She was right near the top of the stands, cornered in with a couple o' body guards. So me and the guards, we went up the Arena steps an' into the stands, but then when we made it to the second level she wasn't there. I looked at the whole Arena and I couldn't see her anywhere. It was like she disappeared. She left a right mess behind, though. Bodies layin' all round the place, even on the steps. Tell you what, the council's not gonna be havin' any fun after this.

R.S.: What did you do then?

Lorne: Well, naturally I went back to the guards' barracks. After that I heard stories. Like, a group went out to the stables in case the girl tried to get away. When I got back I heard they were all dead. Then, even later, the wall and tower guards came in and told the captain the girl got away, but they wounded one of her bodyguards with an arrow. You know, I heard the other one protecting her was the one fighting in the Arena just before the explosion thing. Funny. Everyone always thought he was such an honorable representation of our country. Now he's protecting the descendant of an evil goddess.

Ryan Sullivan: [Laughs] Yes, it is curious how people's perspectives can change so quickly. Thank you for your time, and I hope the coming days are more pleasant for you.

On Writing: Novel Structure

[For examples, I will use a story that I never finished and likely never will. It's called "Until They Unite", which I have talked about in my "Life in Writing" post.]

Three Act Structure

Act 1:
  • Beginning: The main character carries out life as normal. [In "Until They Unite", Marco is inducted into a prestigious group called the Shadow Faction.]

  • Plot Point 1: Something happens that changes everything. This forces them to do something they'd rather not. [Marco is suddenly expected to embark on a mission of great urgency, and he's been with the Faction for barely a week.]

Act 2:
  • Middle: The character's emotional and physical journey. The character should endure and overcome many challenges throughout this act. [Marco has to face and tame a dragon, and he and rest of the faction have to fight and tame many a beast in all areas of the continent of Xakei. He has to accept the deaths of two of the group.]
The key to act 2 is conflict. This can be physical, but is more often emotional or something of discovery. There should be a good number of these "crises" leading up to the second plot point.

  • Plot Point 2: This comes at the end of Act 2, and turns the story in a new direction again. The hero seems beaten but something happens to turn things his way. [Marco and the faction are in the Temple of Air, where they can find the final Elemental Piece. But the gigantic raven is powerful, and when they pluck the Circlet of Air from its pedestal, the Temple begins to fall in ruins, and they are still inside. They manage to escape by the skin of their teeth, a protective forcefield from the Circlet having protected them.]

Act 3:
  • Lead-up to the end: The third act shows how the character succeeds or becomes a better person.
  • Resolution: Ties together the loose ends and shows the result of actions taken throughout the story.
  • Denouement: A comedown after the intense final points of the story. Show how the characters have changed or developed after their experience.

A note on tension:

From the beginning of the story, the tension should become progressively higher until the climax of the story. Readers need a break, though, so after each crisis, allow some drop in tension before raising it again. Otherwise the reader could get fizzled out from the constant action.

These sections after a crisis are also a fantastic point to develop the characters and reveal tidbits about the backstory or describe the landscape to give the reader some sense of the world.

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So I wrote today...

True story. I counted the days on my calendar since I last wrote anything on Aundes Aura and it has been 17 days. That's funny, because it was the 17th of May last time I wrote.

But O, the pleasure of finally writing past that darned paragraph that I read over at least twenty times wondering how I would possibly continue from here. The pleasure of continuing something that has been stuck in limbo for an eternity. The freedom of doing something other than school, or homework, or study, or watching TV, or surfing the internet. The incredible joy of doing something creative! Something familiar! Something that I'm proud of, and that I want to complete. And to the point that I have developed my idea, it would be O such a terrible shame if I didn't complete the project.

And suddenly I wasn't in my body anymore, but by the river with Eoin and Saera, ready to discover what they were going to say. What would I discover about how Saera was feeling? And I did. And despite their circumstances, they are hopeful again. They have a goal again.

My goal is to keep to my goal. My goal is to write on average at least 5,000 words a month over the next year. So far I'm keeping up. Over April and May, I wrote on average just under 6,000 words. If I can keep this up...

...I could have a full-length novel by this time next year. I've never completed such a task.

Another Contest at The Lockless Door

Rebecca Hamilton (Rhamilton) is holding another exciting contest over at her blog!

The Prize is:
- A critique by Rebecca of your first 5 pages.

- A review of the first chapter and the premise.

- An interview and a spot on the upcoming Authors page — Lots of promo for you and your book!

You MUST complete the following to Qualify:

1) Blog or Twitter about the contest.

2) Post the first page of your novel in the comments section with a link to your blog or Twitter so she can see you have linked the contest.

Note: A first page will be about 250-350 words. A first page is double spaced, with a standard 12 inch font.

To enter the contest, go here:

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

If he does, bribe him with cookies.

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