Apprentice Wordsmith A Writer's Blog

Friday Fiction -- When the Valley Blooms

Inspired by “The Story So Far” by Vindsvept

I saw him as soon as I came over the ridge and entered the valley. He came from the east. I couldn’t help but keep my eye on him as I made my own way down into the valley. Come now, Mary, he’s probably just an ordinary traveler, I told myself. He had his own business. I had mine.

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Idea You Can Steal 35 + The Elephant in the Room

Can we just unplug 2020, wait ten seconds, and restart?

Knowing my audience, you’ve probably heard this joke and dozens of others like it as they spread across the internet in the wake of Corona-chan’s world tour. All jokes aside, the world feels very different than it did a week ago. I don’t know what I can say in response to the mass insanity that hasn’t already been said. However, the light-hearted notes I usually write in this section would be tone deaf.

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Can Dark Stories Be Uplifting? Part 1

What began as a relatively simple response post has turned into a mini-series. This is going to be at least a two-parter, and there’s a sequel in the works too. Just a fair warning that I’m going to spend the next few months on this topic.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with some old LegendFire friends over Discord, and I asked for their feedback on a brand new character and story idea. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that all of my characters start out fairly vague and extreme. The initial concept I gave them was quite dark. I believe it was the extreme harshness of the concept that sparked this question from HD: “Why do a lot of great stories show the harshness of life?” Later in the conversation, he added,

“We need uplifting stories. Like so many we consume are about grit and dark. Where is the fun? Stories can be both, you know… Stories using tough circumstances is realistic, yet storytelling is meant to be fun! So have it be uplifting at narrative beats, be sad in others. The end point is a positive ending carrying meaning.”

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Writing Prompts 27

The weather’s warming. The daffodils are blooming. And here’s a brand new group of writing prompts.

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Friday Flash 17 -- A Day at Camp Cottonwood

Inspired by “Gracie’s Theme” by Paul Cardall

You walk through the woods in the dim light of dawn. You’re surprised by how far your memory has taken you. The path is narrower now, nearly clogged with young bushes and saplings. The buildings are still here, ready to collapse, covered in moss and vines, bleached pale or rotted to muddy brown. It’s your memory, not your eyes, that tells you where the ruins end and the undergrowth begins.

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