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Black Beginnings|M's Short Stories

 
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2/7/2009 4:23:56   
mastin2
Member

It needed to be done eventually. All my short stories are piling up, too much to share with my Library. I already have The Elements in a new thread, but with as many things as I have written, I needed a new post for all of them. The tittle comes from the fact that most of these are dark, and that they might be short stories now, but might be something...else. It also has another secret meaning as well. PM me if you want to know more. ;)

Story order is from oldest to newest, so if I say 'my newest story yet' and you see another one with that same claim, it's because I'm too lazy to change the description. :/


Life can be so ordinary, so boring. And miserable. When your own siblings cause you pain, won't you cherish every chance you can to strike back? Depends on the type of blow. But when trading jokes, there's nothing better than seeing them laugh and admit defeat. The joys of a Family are truly great.
---
Black Stains

It needs a rewrite. Too info-dumpish, doesn't portray what I fully want it to, but because of the humorous intent of the one line near the end, I am keeping it. :)



The mind is a powerful tool. It permits us to expand our knowledge. It allows us to increase our skill. It furthers us as a civilization. It is the greatest weapon mother nature has permitted us to use, greater than any metal, greater than any source of food. It is our greatest ally...and our worst enemy. When we lose our comrades, when the hive of civilization is destroyed, our knowledge keeps us alive. Yet over time, instinct takes over. Instinct can save a person even in the worst of situations...but when we rely on it too much, then the knowledge of what we need to know will vanish. When we no longer remember what we need to survive, when we fall into such a crazy state, what happens?
---
Descent Into Madness

It is one of my first short stories that I can be truly proud of. It's masterful. I've edited it, and now I'm actually kinda proud of it. For one, I suck at first person, yet managed it in this case. Two, while I feel I didn't capture the true descent into madness, I think that I did a fairly good job, the best that I was allowed in the style I chose to write it in. It's fairly good, and only needs a little polishing. ;)



War is part of our lives. As much as we might hate it, war will always consume us. Be it for money, power, or survival, we will always be forced to fight bloody battles. And leading those fights will always be those that others call heroes, those that are remembered for all time because of their great deeds. But what about the rest of the fighters? They all have lives of their own, they all have their own stories, and they all fight for the same goal. What of them? History forgets those that are just ordinary warriors...
---
Just Another Soldier

One of my first rather powerful short stories. The technical writing isn't amazing, or anything, but I rather enjoyed writing it and it is something which I feel you'd enjoy reading. It needs some editing *points to Firefly's critique in the Library*, but otherwise, is still darn good. ;)



Humans as we know it are at the top of the food chain. We dominate all other life forms, and call them animals. We are superior in every way. We are smarter. We might not be stronger, but with the arm of technology, we can win any battle. We develop faster than they evolve. But what if the tables were turned? What if we were herded like animals? What if there was something that was smarter, stronger, faster, and better in every way shape, and form? What would we do? Fall to instinct? No. We would fight back. With superiority, comes confidence in victory. With cunning and their overconfidence, what is the result of just another mortal's struggle?
---
Life of a Mortal

An interesting idea by me. Right now, it is labeled as a short story/Flash Fiction, but I might choose to make it a story. (Like Spoils of War [look down], I have many details thought out, but this one is much stronger. Dozens of characters not featured would be made, for example. I've already got the world planned out, but lack the time to write more on it and am not sure whether I should, since what I have is rather fine) It's definitely not my best in technical writing, but I find that it's a rather nice story.



War has always been with us. For thousands of years, it has plagued us. We manage to fight on even the slightest excuse. And through it all, there are casualties. People die. Lives are ruined. Empires fair and noble fall to tyrants, and people uprise and kill their kings. All for victory, all for the spoils that come with the win of any war. And the lives lost are forgotten, because we keep on fighting. Why?
---
Spoils of War

My latest short story, and quite frankly, one that I feel puts my others to shame. It, again, isn't my best writing. But the impact, I feel, is extraordinarily powerful. At least, in my head. I knew what I wanted, but what actually came out of the keyboard isn't nearly as good, in my opinion. (For example, a lot of the wandering around the town was added, the old man was presented in an entirely different manner, the graves were supposed to be different than what they actually ended up being, and the old man's tone was supposed to be mocking, not hopeful) Still, you get the general idea, and it is something that I am labeling a must-read.



Breaks rule. Around Christmas time, even the hardest workers can get some rest and relaxation. Actors who have earned their pay can finally get some rest, talking about the events of the last year, about the project they are working on...and of how miserable they feel when their contractor is a perfectionist, when it comes to scenes such as a siege of a school or discovery of hidden powers. What do they say?
---
Darmichristmas

An odd little thing that I decided to write for the holidays. It's rather humorous, and is quite happy, in comparison to the rest of my stories. It's main inspiration would probably have to be _Depression's Author's Fantasy: The Outtakes. I think you'll enjoy it, so I recommend reading it. (Obviously, quality was not my aim, here)



Evil never dies. It is a sad fact that we must all learn to accept eventually. No matter how much you hit evil, it will always find a way to come back. And we always push it back again. Yet when evil pushes with such force as to remove the light from our hearts, the question is, does good have the same advantage? Can we win against a darkness threatening to eternally rule the land?
---
Etertnal Darkness

Eternal Darkness started out from me just wanting to describe a scene with as much detail as I could possibly muster to show of my skill. Then I decided to go for a powerful work as a spark hit me, and it was truly good. I decided that I had to leave a sense of hope in there, and leave some things open to interpretation. Put together, it's still good, but due to laziness and a couple other factors, it isn't as good as it could've been. But I would not show you if I didn't view it as a wonderful piece, worthy of reading. ;)
For more info, see my nomination post in the Writer of the Month Nomination thread. Okay, I'll quote the relevant parts for ya.
quote:

Now, that dialog could be said in half the time. Remove all the descriptions; just have them stand there. That’s what most people do, and what I did. Yet I’ve gotten better at it. Now, at the very least, half a paragraph separates the dialog, filled by their actions. Smiling at foe’s discontent, for example, is something you could see in your head, but not write down. Perhaps you give it a sentence, as that is all it needs? I prefer to take it further, give it at least two.

Another one of the largest ones is the impact. What is going on in a story? Not as much plot there, but the impact, the metaphorical meaning (if there is one), and any message I want to convey make it what it is. Sure, descriptions are good, but those things are what make it a story, in my opinion.

Of course, my greatest strength of all is perhaps my most fatal weakness: Excitement. To be specific, I am calling this part of me the ‘Subconsciously Lazy’ section of my writing. What is it, exactly? It is when I begin typing a story, and can’t stop. Admit it: a good portion of you have done something similar. It’s my strength because I 1) Get the story idea out of my head, 2) Save Time, 3) Write Faster, and 4) helps me get deeper into the story.

The weaknesses are equally as strong, though. For one thing, typos are more common. Worse than that, the deeper I am into the story, the more my style changes. I keep on writing more and more. Yet I also lose the advantages I am accustomed to. I lose the extra-detailed descriptions. I can lose the plot. I might give a different message. So while it gives me strength, it also is my weakness.




When you know you cannot win, what do you do? Do you keep on fighting to the very end? When your enemy might show mercy, do you keep on fighting and let your followers die with you? If you know that your enemy is reasonable, that if you were to give up, only you would be killed, would you be selfish and keep on fighting? Or would you give up, and let your subjects live?
---
A True Ruler

Forum-wise, it's my latest short story. Reality-wise, it is the oldest, perhaps even matching Black Stains in age. That's old. As in, one of my first. Writing quality isn't amazing, but the impact is fairly strong, in my opinion. ;)



When two enemy forces collide, defeat will eventually befall one. Yet what is defeat? Is it just being beaten? Or is one only truly defeated when they are killed? When one wishes to win so badly, can they ever truly be killed?
---
Two Kings

I just wrote this one today. :)
...Okay, well, yesterday, to be technical, as it is past midnight for me. :/

Anyway, has the same source of inspiration as A True Ruler. This one might have two sequels planned, as I enjoyed writing it so much and the storyline didn't truly close up. Even in the sequels, it still wouldn't, but the possibility remains that I will not make them. Moving on, it is rather the impressive piece. The descriptions aren't stunningly realistic, but they are still darn good, in my opinion.






A Mountain And An Ant

I thought I put this story up over a year ago, but I guess I never got around to it. Still, I thought it'd be nice to give an update, since I haven't done so in a very, very long time.




Updates:

2/7/09
1:22 am, local time
4:22 am, server time.

Thread posted, along with two never-before seen on the Battleon Forums stories! (One I have show others before, though)
My next update will be Hunter, my best short story yet. I am looking forward to it.

6/29/10
4:01 am, local time
7:01 am, server time.

...Okay, so I'm out of date with my updates. I could've sworn I posted Hunter and A Mountain and An Ant years ago. Turns out I didn't. Ah, well. I uploaded A Mountain and an Ant, just now. Haven't thought of flavor text, so I'll have to do that later. Probably after I post Hunter, which I'm not going to do, right now. (I have enough 'Hunter' stories up here already--Hunters Slain, The Hunters, Hunted... :P)

-Mastin

< Message edited by mastin2 -- 6/29/2010 7:03:15 >
Post #: 1
2/14/2009 15:25:29   
Fleur Du Mal
Member

Hello!

Excuse my stupid question, but what's the lightbulb doing in the thread? =P I've always wondered what's the meaning of those instead of the normal text-sheet-thingy.

Anyways, I read the short story called Descent Into Madness. While I found the general execution good -- the first person, the increasing delusional state as time progresses -- and entertaining to read, I still am somewhat at loss with the justifications of the madness in the story. What does exactly force the character to think humans as dangerous? Why does he focus on surviving by himself and not on finding help and shelter? I didn't quite find any defining incident that would've 'reasoned' the character's choice for that in the story. Nor did I perceive that the said person was at that time yet 'crazed' beyond the point of explaining oneself more about why to turn the back on civilisation.

Of course, these opinions are only according to my conceptions of losing one's mind. =P

One little detail on grammar you might want to check:
quote:

Perfect for population, assuming they can live off of snow.

I don't think you need that 'of'. At least my dictionary uses this phrase without it.
DF  Post #: 2
6/28/2010 6:07:23   
mastin2
Member

Ah, good to be back (even if it's only for two more days...)

Anyway,
quote:

Excuse my stupid question, but what's the lightbulb doing in the thread? =P I've always wondered what's the meaning of those instead of the normal text-sheet-thingy.
Well, I'm special that way. :P
Quite frankly, I don't like using the standard text symbol, so whenever I think about it, I change it to one of the others. (Exclamation mark, question mark, light bulb, grin, anger.)

quote:

Anyways, I read the short story called Descent Into Madness. While I found the general execution good -- the first person, the increasing delusional state as time progresses -- and entertaining to read, I still am somewhat at loss with the justifications of the madness in the story. What does exactly force the character to think humans as dangerous? Why does he focus on surviving by himself and not on finding help and shelter? I didn't quite find any defining incident that would've 'reasoned' the character's choice for that in the story. Nor did I perceive that the said person was at that time yet 'crazed' beyond the point of explaining oneself more about why to turn the back on civilisation.
Yea--I've been thinking about it, too. When I have more time, I was thinking of expanding it some more. You know, make it longer, more logical to the reader. (The character? Not so much. :P)
As for the grammar,
I think that both ways are correct. Old-me probably would keep it (the wordier, the better! :P); current me is considering removing it, but will leave it be for now due to laziness. :P

Anyway, a few things:
-I might remove "Life of a Mortal". It's no longer a short story. Currently, it's the ONLY novel I have ever FINISHED. Started? Eighty+, at last count, and that's with actual writing (with drafts, that's over a hundred). But never have I gotten all the way through. The closest I'd gotten was half-way, before I couldn't stand the low quality. This time? I finally suppressed the urge to make it better (mostly) and finished it. (225 pages, 92,600 words, and this is only the first draft.) It doesn't really fit in "short stories", anymore.
However, I currently am not. The short story version is significantly different than the old version. I might keep it up for sentimental reasons. (I've got a copy of the original short story version on my flashdrive, but nobody else can see it, there. )

Also, I could've sworn I posted "A Mountain and an Ant" at some point, but I can't find it, so I might actually update this thread! Yay! :D

-Mastin.
Post #: 3
6/29/2010 6:56:17   
mastin2
Member

As promised, I posted it. Not really my best, anymore, and really, a bit of a recycle of Just Another Soldier, but, hey, I updated!
Post #: 4
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