The Fox's Dinner A hungry young fox once chased after a plump rabbit, intending to catch his dinner. However, just before the fox could capture his prey, the rabbit disappeared into its warren.
Being young, the fox was unsure of how he might force the rabbit out of hiding, and decided to seek advice. He ran to his mother's den, explained his trouble and listened carefully to her instructions. To be doubly sure, he also visited his grandmother and asked for her opinion. Still worried that he did not know enough, he further enquired of his uncle. Then he lay down and carefully thought through what he had been told.
At last, feeling confident in his newfound knowledge, he returned to the warren and found that the rabbit had moved on.
Much knowledge cannot replace swift action.
Three Act StructureThree Act Structure5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The three act structure is a common and effective method of plotting a story. This tutorial aims to serve as a straightforward and practical introduction to that structure, avoiding excessive detail and technicalities. For those interested in a more extensive overview, I recommend reading Alexandra Sokoloff's posts on the topic at The Dark Salon. (See the links in her sidebar.)
If you've heard a story described as a beginning, a middle and an end, you've already encountered the three act structure. The first act is the beginning, where characters and ideas are introduced. It's the first quarter of the story and ends with the first climax. The second act is the middle. It's all about conflict and opposition. It's also the longest act, at roughly half the story. As such, the second act contains two climaxes: one at it's midpoint and one at the end. The third act is the end of the story and leads up to the
The Knife's SpeechIn the early eighteen hundreds, a sixteen year old girl decides to leave her hard home life and go out to seek her fortune. She takes with her a blanket, some food and her father's old knife. On the road to London, the knife speaks to her.The Knife's Speech5 years ago in Drama More Like This
I left the forge in years long gone by,
with blades of great renown and greater strength,
but none of them has done so much as I,
though they may be recalled whilst I am not.
It was with them that men waged cruel war,
displaying awesome power before the world.
I'm agent of small deeds which no one saw,
but which will have effect until Earth's end.
There's little in those youths who name me beautiful,
run fingers down my spine to test me,
feel my balance, call me graceful
and having paid that tribute soon abandon me.
To them I'm but a toy that men outgrow
and leave behind with boyhood.
My subtler power's a power they'll never know
in heat of war and sound of soldiers' feet.
Yet gentle women know my power well;
and quiet girls unleash my strengt
Queen of GeeksUnexpected end to kidnapping caseQueen of Geeks4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
[Sunnyvale Tribune 23 Feb 2007]
In an unexpected development, police have closed the case against the kidnapper of twenty year old Nicole Cantrip. 'The circumstances surrounding Miss Cantrip's alleged disappearance have become clearer,' Inspector Frank Jones told the Tribune, 'and it's come to light that the case was filed in error. There is no evidence whatsoever that a kidnapping took place.' Since Cantrip is over eighteen, the applicable missing person legislation is almost non-existent, much to the dismay of her mother.
'Something has gone horribly wrong when a girl can be forced away from her family by people she's never met and it's called normal,' said a tearful May Cantrip. 'Nix wouldn't have abandoned us, dropped out of all her classes and left everything behind unless
somebody was forcing her.' Mrs. Cantrip claims that her home was invaded by several men who demanded that her daughter accompany them to what she describes as 'a k
Numbers"You try, Byron. What's five plus seven?"Numbers5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Byron considered. Five and seven probably got along okay. Seven was a jerk, but five was a gutsy little fellow. He smiled. Five could handle seven just fine. Byron liked five. So together
"I am, Miss. It's . . ." Something pretty, but also quite complicated. ". . . twelve!"
Fairground The clockFairground6 years ago in Concrete Poetry More Like This
is a ferris wheel,
lifting me up
all the little things
a quarter to,
I cannot jump.
I am too far
until the hour strikes
and I tumble,
GlassJosie was digging holes out behind the kitchen when Matt found her. She held up something small and wriggly in greeting. “Look, I found an earthworm!”Glass1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Matt crouched down beside the hole and leaned forward, balancing himself with one hand. “Nah, I don't think that's an earthworm, Josie. It looks like some kind of larval beetle.”
“No, it should be -” she broke off and her face fell. “Glass says it's a rhinoceros beetle larva.” She dropped the creature and sighed loudly.
“And you're just going to believe it?”
“Well, it's Glass.” She shrugged.
“And what does Glass have to say about this?” Matt frowned and moved his fingers in a flickering pattern that was too complicated for Josie to follow.
“That can't be right.” Josie giggled. “Glass says you're a lesser spotted palewing butterfly. Have you filed a bug report?”
Matt looked at her seriously. “Josie, you can see right now that
MonstersI once sat in an orphanage, pouring make-believe tea. The little girl I was playing with told me to add milk and sugela. I suppose I should have corrected her; should have told her that I would stir in the sugar and ignored the isiZulu word. The orphanage teaches the children to speak English, because English speaking children have a much better chance of finding new parents. I suppose I should have done that, but I couldn't bring myself to take away one of the last few words of her mother tongue. I put usugela into the tea.Monsters6 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
I've visited homes that I wouldn't call houses. I stood outside an abandoned garage with a broken door. A young man only a teenager, really bent double to walk inside. Sewage-ridden water from the street seeped into the dank, dirty room. It was shelter of a kind; a place to keep things and a place to sleep. The boy cheerfully told us that the owner of the garage up the road allowed him to use the customers' bathroom. He explained how he
TechnomancyAny sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.Technomancy6 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Arthur C. Clarke
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
When my grandmother was a little girl, there were fairies in the gardens: flower fairies, tree elves and nature sprites. If you were lucky, you could find naiads in the streams. I daresay you might still find dryads and naiads if you go far enough out of the city, but we've seen the last of the apricot fairy and the rose elf. There are apartments where the gardens were. The fairies have gone.
They haven't gone as far as you think. There's an electricity elf who lives in the wires. He's tall and thin you might say emaciated or anorexic, but how else would he flow through the tubes? He's quicker than greased lightning: he has to be if he's going to keep up with the current. He's much faster than your eyes can see. Most of the time you can't tell he's there, but sometimes, when he's had a
The Furnish Is EverythingIt was 183 days ago when Minerva Kisling the Yiddish Mentalist first came to my train station. She toured the Neptune-Aries circuit in vaudeville. I had seen her glossy photographs a few times outside of the Easton theater and The Springhouse when she played there, but I never saw her in person. At least, I never saw her until the locomotive that was supposed to be bringing her husband failed to arrive with said husband.The Furnish Is Everything4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
As a redcap for the Southwest Lake Station with a half-dozen sisters, I scarcely could afford the ten cents or the time to see a vaudeville show on a regular basis, but the children working near the tracks would put on cheap imitations of the more popular acts in hopes of getting pennies rained on them. They would dab burnt cork on their cheeks, bug out their eyes, and sing or tell jokes. Often they received the most money when they stopped singing and went back to carrying bags. What the children failed to re-enact, they retold to me on slower days. I was more than pr
The Business of Murder"Well, now that we're through with the pleasantries, Mr. Daniels, I must ask: Why is it that you want to die?"The Business of Murder4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Joseph Daniels sighed and slumped down in his seat, the picture of unkemptness. His face looked tired, with large bags underneath his eyes and at least three days' worth of stubble. His hair was a mess, his clothes were disheveled. He seemed to exude an aura of despair.
He surveyed the room he was in, which was quite his opposite: neat, orderly, unremarkable. Blank, white walls, some filing cabinents, three windows looking out on downtown. He was sitting in a plain, wooden chair in front of a plain, wooden desk with merely a fake houseplant and laptop on top.
The woman behind the desk, typing notes on the laptop, was similarly forgettable. She was dressed in a black pantsuit, her dark brown hair in a bun. Her eyes were blue, but otherwise ordinary. She wore little makeup on her plain face. She was as unremarkable as the room, which was how she liked it.
She had introduced hers
Poetry AnalysisI wanted to study English Lit without learning pages of notes by heart. I decided that the appreciation of Wordsworth was a necessary part of my education. I heard that by reading poetry I could improve my own poetry. Typing 'colon-doubleyou-oh-doubleyou-colon' whenever one of my favourite poets on deviantART put up new work seemed unoriginal. I thought it would be cool to be one of those smart people who read poetry for fun.Poetry Analysis6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Perhaps you can relate to some of those situations. Perhaps you're wondering why those five statements belong in the same paragraph. Those five sentences describe a few non-fatal problems that can be solved by learning to analyse poetry. I would've included a fatal problem if I could think of one, but poetry analysis doesn't seem to be that high on anybody's list of priorities.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure you know why you're analysing whichever poem you've chosen to analyse. If you're writing a critique, you need to be aware of flaws in the poem
Driving LessonsDonna opened the closet and repacked the outfits she'd left on the bed. Conventional first date wisdom could go victimise someone else. She was comfortable in slacks and flat shoes: that was what she would wear. She didn't need to impress James; she'd known him for years and he'd been asking her out for nearly as long. Despite her conviction, it took Donna a good ten minutes to choose a clip and scoop back her micro braids. When she was satisfied she turned to check her reflection. She liked the look of the maroon blouse against her skin. Her slacks and shoes were unremarkable. Hair and make-up were finenot brilliant, but fine. The doorbell buzzed. Fine would have to do. She kicked the closet shut and headed for the lift.Driving Lessons5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Evening, Donna." James opened the passenger door of his car with a flourish.
She was relieved that he hadn't dressed up either. "Evening, James." She stepped into the car.
James closed the door and walked around to the driver's side. "I must confess to some ner
Righteousness -- Expounded"Righteousness is being right with God." The phrase echoes around church sanctuaries, Sunday School classrooms and cosy Bible study dens all over the world. "Righteousness is being right with God," and people nod in agreement, let out gentle sighs of understanding or rub their eyes and sit up a little straighter.Righteousness -- Expounded5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
The next day, many of them have forgotten what they heard. A few find that a new understanding makes a subtle difference to their lives. A handful wonder what it really means to be "right with God." It is, of course, to be righteous. That is somehow distinct from being holy, and not quite the same as being God-fearing. Righteousness stems neither from virtue -- even Dante's virtuous heathens were consigned to the outer circle of Godless hell -- nor from the possession of graces, which may be little more than beautiful tools.
On examination, the handful find that while righteousness falls into a context of many concepts, it is no great task to divide these concepts into two gro
It wasn't supposed to be youIt wasn'tIt wasn't supposed to be you6 years ago in Scraps More Like This
supposed to be you.
I'd heard the lectures.
that AIDS might come for
the girl who slept around
or the addict three seats left
and two rows down.
It might find
that unfaithful husband's
wife or the son
of the beggar-woman
on Cross Street.
Anyone, I knew.
It wasn't supposed to be you.
"An eye splash
and a needle jab
on the same day.
He didn't stand a chance."
My ears betrayed me.
supposed to be you,
the handsome young man
with a future as bright
as his intentions.
You knew the terms:
I learned them
You never thought that
Med. School could teach theory.
You said the work
was always applied. Not,
I thought I might,
join you to help them.
to be you.
And now, my love,
I'll bear your twisted
badge of honour.
But it wasn't supposed to be you.
animated.css<text/CSS>animated.css4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
/*float: - */
A Stolen MomentCovered in graphite,A Stolen Moment5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Roam the page,
Tomorrow she will hold
An Average EssayTo be average: what does that mean?An Average Essay5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
How is it achieved?
It is best to start these things at the start of things: with the etymology of the word.
It is quite apparent to any man of letters that there is some argument as to the rightful antecedent to the unglamorous 'average'. Certain classicists contend strongly that the word stems from Avernus, the lake believed to lead to the underworld - specifically that underworld lorded over by Hades. It is the author's argument, though, that the classicists in question say this only because they found mathematics to be a hellish ordeal and wanted to achieve a subtle revenge upon the hated subject.
Some researchers are adamant that it comes from the french avarie, meaning damage to a ship, and try to extend and transmute that frivolous assertion through the centuries until it is stretched out and twisted to its modern meaning. Such an assertion, the author contends in third person, has several leaks to which the author does not wish to take
Footprints in Clay"Give the password."Footprints in Clay5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
His voice deep as thunder
caught in a matchbox.
Hers the littlest raindrop,
Where does the-
Just ask her.
What do I-
Just ask her already.
another life on target.
he wouldn't tell
what they'd said
but the whispering
When the world had fallen
away, He spoke:
"Well done, good and faithful
a shut in placeMeg's world is a world of uneven earth and blue skies, surface rock cracked and blown about by howling wind. She runs through wasteland, stumbles with purpose towards a wooden desk in the distance. She runs and runs, dirt and stones scuffing Mary Janes, but the writing desk is a finish line she can't reach.a shut in place4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Why a writing desk?" her friend Alex says when she tells him about the dream. He emphasizes the question with a hand, waving the sandwich he's holding towards her before taking a bite.
She's left out details: how she is smaller, younger, a smooth-faced child with little hands dressed in her Sunday best instead of the twenty-one-year-old English major she knows herself to be. How the desk speaks of a familiarity she can't place and screams of a significance she can't understand. How she's been having the same dream for weeks and how it haunts her every waking moment with an urgency of impending consequence and menacing complexity that reminds her of Kafka.
Meg shrugs, the motion cau
The Broken WallMilo woke up one morning in a different bed than the one he had gone to sleep in. Even so, the bed he was in now was still his own. He looked up at the ceiling and saw patterns there that he had never seen before and yet he knew they would be there. Sunlight slanted through the window in a line different from what he had expected.The Broken Wall4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He spent the rest of the late morning wandering through the house. It was full of knick-knacks from places he was sure he had been. Every thing that he found there was his. Every thing that he found there was new to him.
In a daze, he sat down at the kitchen table. His mind was running, but it was buzzing, too. He couldn't keep his thoughts straight or even pick them out of the eternal hum. It was as if his mind was deliberately keeping him from thinking too much.
Outside he found a garden, full of plants he loved. Down a path he found a bench around a huge oak tree. He suddenly had a vague memory of having planted it, but that could not be possible. He sat d