Fiction Writing: It Was A Dark and Bloggy Night

Just when I thought I might give up on my feed reader, this little gem of a meme poked its head out. Not only was the post a fun read, but it also looked like an excellent exercise in writing fiction.

I don’t do link love often, mainly because James always beats me to it. So here’s a peek at what’s in my feed reader and a tag to all of our readers who want to give it a try. Click here for a full rundown of the rules.

In addition, this post will give you a little glimpse of what’s to come on our new creative writing role-playing game set to launch… soon. Very, very soon.

Jake pushed away the keyboard and rubbed his eyes. Trying to write from home was becoming harder these days. It wasn’t that he couldn’t think of ideas; he had plenty. Some nights those words refused to let him sleep until he’d put them down on paper, like rogue ink he had to rid himself of before resting.

No, it wasn’t the writing that cluttered his mind. The voices in his head did, subtle whispers on the edge of his senses speaking to him in the darkness of his home office.

They called themselves The Seekers. Although these voices were neither masculine nor feminine, Jake felt they were women whispering at him, gently nudging him towards something he couldn’t explain.

Maybe they were shades of reality, or maybe they were more elusive, like words on water – there one second and gone the next, slipping through his fingers.

Each night, he struggled to push the voices aside. Each night, he felt as if he were trying to put things off. The more he ignored the issue, the stronger the anxiety became. The pressure felt so great that some nights he began to wonder if he’d spontaneously combust.

“A storm is coming, child,” the voices told him. “You won’t be able to hide. Don’t even try.”

“I’m not a child!” He shouted at the empty room. “I’m thirty-fucking-years old!”

Jake ran a shaking hand through his hair, the sun-streaked brown strands dark with cold sweat. He had to get out. The walls were closing in. He needed air. For six weeks, he’d been locked away in the cabin by the lake. People irritated him to no end these days. Crowds made him edgy and the stench of town made him nauseous.

At the same time, he felt an urge to live an extreme life. He wanted to take more risks, as if he were invincible. His buddies wouldn’t go climbing with him anymore up in the mountains because Jake had gotten careless. He’d always go too far too fast, not only endangering himself but everyone with him.

They were used to his daredevil antics, but he’d never been like this.

On the nights he couldn’t sleep, he’d head to the Lost and Found, a local bar. He’d chase anything in a skirt and drink until he passed out or until John dragged him out.

He didn’t care about his day job, either. Eventually, he just stopped going to work. After all, if the words for hire gig didn’t pan out, he could always get a job at the bar. That is, if John didn’t laugh in his face and toss him out on his ass.

But, hey, if John wanted a fight, he’d get one. Many nights, Jake found himself itching for a good knock-down-drag-out. He wanted a release for what he felt boiling below the surface of his skin. Something inside of him was desperately trying to claw its way out.

Warmth filled the palm of his hand. Drops of blood stained his fingertips where his nails dug into the flesh of a tight fist. His eyes burned and his throat felt tight. The curtains billowed with the night air from an open window, revealing a misty figure in the moonlight for just a moment.

Jake jumped out of his chair, one hand clutching his chest. What was happening to him? Was he going crazy? The figure was gone when he took a second look and that left him wondering if he had really seen anything at all.

He had never been the type of guy to believe in the supernatural or be spooked by ghost stories. Lately, he’d begun to think differently. Too many dreams, too many cases of déjà vu.

Reckon had been around for a long time and the small town propagated its share of legends and tall tales, everything from Big Foot to a lake-dwelling monster the locals called a charfish. He recalled adults talking in hushed whispers when he was a child. They spoke about the odd lights in the cemetery on the hill. Now that he was grown, Jake had heard of plenty of strange events from locals down at the bar.

People came and went, often disappearing without a trace into the mountains around Lake Tahoe. Most of them were drifters that no one would miss. Would he end up on that list? No, he knew the surrounding mountains and woods like the back of his hand…

“Holy shit.” Jake blinked at his knuckles. A mixture of awe and revulsion made his stomach churn as he touched the soft layer of white fur sprouting from his skin. “No…”

The chair hit the floor. Jake stumbled backwards, trying to get away from himself. His vision blurred and then went bright white. Searing pain shot through his head and his whole body felt like a team of horses had just ripped it apart.

“No!” He shouted, scaring himself more. This was just another one of those dreams. He’d wake up. The alarm clock would go off any minute, and the nightmare would be over.

Wouldn’t it?

Post by Agent X

Agent X is the name many mysterious and intriguing people take on when they guest post at our site. Their mission is to slip in like a thief in the night, leave you with entertaining, valuable and useful content, and slip away again - without getting caught.

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  1. Brett Legree says:

    Cool! Thanks for tagging me Harry, this is a good exercise and something out of the box to make us think.

    -Brett

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..viking fridays – a friend’s fire.

  2. Stop eating the nachos and fudge bars before you go to bed. BTW the Seekers link is not working. 🙁

  3. Harry,

    Well-written. My favorite part was Charlie the lake-dwelling monster. LOL.

    On my way to check out a few I don’t know. I’m glad you got a chance to show us what you’re reading.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Building an Empire on Resentment

  4. Harry, who is not up yet,

    A couple of the links are buggered. Drops of blood, Seekerville, and Xtreme Life are what I noticed.

    Furry hands making adding links difficult!

    Kelly’s last blog post..Building an Empire on Resentment

  5. Thanks for the heads up, guys. Transferring from a word doc to a post screws up the links (James has to learn to edit in the edit page). I’ll take a look and fix them.

  6. Brett Legree says:

    @Harry,

    Word is an instrument of Baalzebul… James needs a good text editor for this, perhaps. I use Notepad++ myself http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm but there are lots to choose from (Q10 isn’t really well suited for this, I’ve found).

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..never be complete.

  7. That’s the most creative and coolest way of doing link love that I’ve seen yet.

  8. Lame.
    1. Who need a meme to write fiction? Just write.
    2. LInk love should give the reader an idea of what the blog is about, not just some meaningless words integrated as the writer sees fit.

    GoingLIkeSixty’s last blog post..DeGeneres/DeRossi Any Little Hyphens in Their Future?

  9. @ Harry – Apologies. I have now corrected the errors of my ways… um… after paying someone to go clean up all my screwups… Nothin’ like money to make a guy think twice, eh? 😀

  10. @GoingLikeSixty: Believe me, I don’t need a meme to write fiction. That wasn’t the point. This was something for fun, had to do with writing, and proved to be a useful way to promote our upcoming game launch.

    I happen to think it was pretty a creative idea on the original meme author’s part and personally, I’m a little tired of reading the same old link love posts over and over.

  11. It was clever enough that I’d read half of it before I realized that it was a link-love post..

    Tony Lawrence’s last blog post..Why use that primitive Vi? by Anthony Lawrence

  12. I’m enjoying visiting your links (and, of course, plumping up my Bloglines subscriptions — some great blogs there). The story was huge fun to read, too. Thanks for including Drops and for participating!

    Carolyn Bahm’s last blog post..‘Once Upon a Bloggy Night’: The New Village Witch

  13. The Charfish — a lake-dwelling monster! I like it; I’ve been looking for a more creative way to spread some much overdue link love. Perhaps this is it…

    Thanks for the giggle, Harry.

  14. Thanks, Harry!

    I hadn’t recognized the lack of fiction in my life until this weekend. Well, there’s been some fiction, you know, “I’ll get right on that”, and “the check is in the mail”. I even read fiction (on occasion).

    I haven’t written fiction in years! That statement is almost as sad as my story, but I’m going I’m going to work on it, not wallow. At least the “bloggy night” exercise gave me ideas for 4 or 5 new blog posts, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. Read at your own risk! 🙂

    April’s last blog post..A Sloggy, Bloggy Tale

  15. This is awesome! And totally fun. I did it and just posted! Thanks for this!

  16. Harry, you are the best cure for a case of the blues. 🙂 I loved this post. In fact I was so into the story that I missed the link love on first read *blushing* thank you. I am very excited about the character game, and it comes at a time when I have firmly cast my hat into the storytelling game. I read On Writing recently and he talked about reading writers that are so good that they make you want to give up and never write again. You are one of those writers Harry. Thank you.

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..Backward is the New Forward

  17. This is fantastic! I’ve got a big big smile on my face! Just when I thought the internet was starting to suck (again) and be no fun (again again)!

    Thanks for the link, Harry, and for the opportunity to have Kelly and Nick call me a lake-dwelling monster. If self-inflicted wounds to the jugular don’t end my life tonight, I’m gonna have to respond in kind! Stay tuned…

Trackbacks

  1. 6 Weeks says:

    […] man’s friends here, it would take up pages and pages.  Plus, the man is on the hook for a link post soon anyway, which means he will be writing that list […]

  2. […] widespread lately, from Carolyn’s ingenious ‘Once Upon a Bloggy Night’ link meme through Harry’s excellent response to Bob’s thoughtful consideration of how best to do link posts. From the standpoint that […]

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