Books!, Signal Boost, Weekend Writer, Writing

Weekend Writer: February Progress

Hey all, Dani here.

If you looked at my monthly wrap-up post earlier today, you know that my writing update this time around is not all that impressive really. I have not added many words to my novel, but I suppose I’ll talk in more detail a bit deeper into the post.

It would be really cool for all of us who want to write creatively (whether that is poetry, stories, novellas, novels, screenplays, RPGs, video games, whatever) to be able to help uplift and inspire each other, and keep ourselves motivated to strive for our dreams, so I decided to start this blog series here. This series will be a lot of me working through books on writing and creativity, maybe doing and sharing some writing exercises, and possibly doing some writing based discussion posts. It’s going to be an adventure for sure, and I hope it helps you as much as it is helping me.

Today’s post is a little bit different from my other Weekend Writer posts. Normally I’m breaking down a book on the craft of writing, but I had always imagined sharing some snippets of my writing journey as well. That led to me somewhat revamping this blog series in 2020, so now the first Sunday of the month I will be talking about my own writing progress and sharing a little bit of what I’ve been working on. Some of what I share will be from the novel I’m working on, and some of it will be from the writing exercises and prompts I’ve shared.

I have been in such a mood to ingest stories in the month of February and that has led to very little output but a whole lot of input. I read a whole bunch of books and I watched shows and movies. There were a number of conversations I had with myself at work, where I talked through some plots and plans for my writing, which is sometimes helpful…you know, provided people don’t just see you simply talking to yourself.

What was absolutely weird for me is that a sponsored advertisement popped up on my Facebook news feed a few days ago…advertising the release of a book with some similarities to the one I’m working on. The summary for the book sounds interesting, and so I’ll probably decide to read it in the future, but for now I’m going to avoid it until after I’ve written my book. The book I’m talking about is called Dating & Dragons and it is roughly 103 pages in digital form. I’m hoping my own book will be roughly three times that length, and based on the summary it seems like this book sticks with out-of-game details, whereas I am planning on writing two congruent stories, one in-game and one out-of-game, so while similar, I think our books will be different enough for it to be okay.

*** *** *** ***

The dwarven barkeep stepped up onto the top of the bar and scanned her gaze across the tavern. There were not many options for potential adventurers, but it was still early in the day. A few new quests had arrived, and some of them seemed pretty interesting. It would depend on which groups claimed which job, but any of them had the potential to become the start to a fantastic adventure, perhaps even the sort of adventure the bards would sing about when they stopped into the tavern to perform in exchange for room and board.

After posting the job requests on the board, it was clear that a majority of the patrons did not at all care about taking on extra work. Adventurers were an odd sort of people, always running out and seeking danger and the hopes of glory and riches. Yes, it could absolutely be a quite lucrative life option, but it was also one where a large number of them went out and never came back.

“Gert, can I get another ale?” asked Alfred, one of the regular patrons. Gert the barkeep hopped back down and moved over to refill the mug. The occasional bar fight was about as interesting and dangerous as this life ever got, and that was just fine with her. 

Gert scanned the tavern again, taking note of the random travelers who had decided to pass the night with some drink and a quick sleep in one of the small sleeping rooms upstairs. Best her trained eyes could see there were a couple options for training in martial fighting, with or without wearing heavy armor, and then there were a few who had the grace and fluid motion that either lent itself well to sneaking through forest or shadow, or that indicated someone more of a learned background. Then there were those few in the shadowed back corner. They either meant to rob the place or get up to some other sort of mischief. For now she planned to do nothing, but she was getting ready in case they did decide to make a move.

She put away the few coppers that Alfred had slid across the counter and made herself look busy by wiping down the top of the bar’s surface. 

A small group of farmers, as well as a couple blacksmiths, made their way in as the sun started to make its way below the tree line. They ate, drank down a few rounds, and then left without a fuss. Still, the group in the corner did not move. Nor did they request any sort of refill to their mugs, which were likely still untouched. It was a bit unsettling, and yes, quite obvious that they were planning something. Gert just wondered how much longer before they decided to act.

There were not many weapons in the room, and there definitely was not enough coin or treasure to make this a worthwhile pursuit. Then again, even thieves, thugs, and criminals had to start somewhere. Was it the sad state of affairs that led to Gert not reporting them when her suspicions were first aroused? Perhaps. But this property had seen many a drunken fight and it had stood past a great many attempts at robbery. She just had to hope there were enough good people willing to stand up and defend this place if something did happen.

A halfling and a half-orc walked in to the bar together, and while certainly an odd couple, Gert had seen much stranger partnerships in all of her years. You couldn’t make a judgment on someone purely based on their race. They both seemed to be the traveling sort, decked out as they were in stocked packs, cloaks, and furs. If she had to guess they were outlanders, specializing in traversing the less well-traveled roads. The halfling carried a battered bow that had probably been passed down to them, and the half-orc carried a dinged up greatsword, but both seemed familiar enough with carrying the weapons, which meant that they were not exactly new at weapon wielding. The half-orc gave the halfling a small boost onto a stool at the end of the bar and then sat down next to him. “Two ales, if you please,” the woman said. 

Gert nodded and started serving up the drinks. “That’s four pieces of copper, good lady.”

The half-orc chuckled as she tossed over the coins. “I ain’t no lady, but thanks all the same.” She gave a full-mug salute to Gert and then dumped back the mug, probably drinking down half of it in one long gulp. On the other end of the spectrum, the halfling gulped down a couple cautious mouthfuls, his eyes continuing to scan everything around them.

After collecting the money, the barkeep moved to the other end of the counter, wiping down a couple spots as she did. In her years here she had learned that most paid very little attention to a worker, instead focusing on their own conversations and business. That was how Gert learned most of the information she collected, was from when patrons spoke unguardedly.

*** *** *** *** ***

Okay, well that is all I’m going to share with you for today, but I would absolutely love to a) hear what you think about this snippet and b) love to see a little glimpse at your own writing, whether from one of the random prompts I’ve had in these posts or from some other writing project.

Links to Other Weekend Writer Posts

Introduction — Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer — Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day — The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell — No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty — The War of Art by Steven Pressfield — On Being Stuck by Laraine Harris — Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding edited by Janna Silverstein

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