Welcome to Rehab for Roleplayers, a series of articles aimed at helping roleplayers more successfully make the transition into writing fiction.
Introduction: How to Spot a Drow Illusionist
I can identify a habitual roleplayer from fifty paces. Those who've been spooked by my asking whether they're a roleplayer within ten seconds of reading their fiction will know what I'm talking about.
"But how did you know?" they gasp. When I'm done chuckling, I explain that I know they are a roleplayer, because they write like a roleplayer.
There's usually a pause, then, while the writer decides to what degree they're going to feel offended by this statement, and/or wonders whether I've been stalking them, before they pose the next question: "What, exactly, do you mean by that?"
What I mean is this: roleplayers almost invariably share the same basic writing habits, and some of these habits stand out as flaws in their non-RP material.
Many people develop their interest in writing via roleplay, and then a desire to write outside of that sphere as their RP skills grow past a certain point. The problem in transitioning from RP to fiction is that RP teaches people writing habits that simply don't wash in the real world of writing.
What makes these habits difficult to both identify and to shake is that they are generally learned by osmosis; the roleplayer does not deliberately or consciously learn them, but assimilates a set of habits over a period of time as they seek to become a better roleplayer, and strive to gain the esteem of their peers in the roleplay world.
The fact is, a great roleplayer does not need to be a great writer. While the best roleplayers are inherently, even obsessively, concerned with language, they still gain their successes in an area where the rules of publication-standard fiction do not apply.
In this series, I aim to help roleplayers identify these tell-tale habits so that they may, in doing so, eliminate those which are affecting their capacity to write fiction.
The language of RP is not the same as the language of fiction. The structure of a great RP is not the same as the structure of a novel or a short story. For the purpose of these articles, I have divided the relevant RP habits into two categories: language and structure.
In Part One, I'll begin the discussion of language, and identification of those RP habits which I have observed to be problematic in fiction.
you're a disco dancing, drama queen with dirty hair and the permanent smell of stale cigarettes. but god, are you beautiful, twisting and dancing under circular lights,
and vomiting when you're done.(acid does some crazy shit)
your hair was once blonde and beautiful like your eyes, but now it's laying in clumps almost everywhere, because you fucking pull out a strand whenever i'm around, i don't know why i do that to you.
but i never really ever offer to leave, either.
there's that one song that i always hear you listening to, it's the same old shit about love and loss and never being able to forget that special someone, i use to get mad at you for giving in to such conforming types of art.
but now i just let you go, because last time i actually made you cry.
"would you rather fly, or read minds?" i told you i'd rather read minds, and know what everyone thinks, because you can fly on a plane anyday, but no one ever thinks the same. and you nodded and pulled out some hair, turned over and watched the walls turn colors.
but that night i saw you jumping off your porch, and now my stomach hurts.
whenever you'd get fed up with me you'd leave out the front door, but you never slammed or shut it because you said you wanted me to feel sick as i watched you get smaller and smaller the longer i stared at you.
but i never told you, that i really did feel bad, and once even put on my glasses(and i watched you walk away longer than i ever have before)
i don't know when the time came that you just weren't happy anymore, but i remember the day that i forgot you altogether, but cigarettes just don't taste the same anymore, and i can't go on a plane without wishing i was falling from it,
but disco lights still spin, and sometimes i can see your eyes behind them.
I wanted to see if I could write an HiE... here's what I came up with. Not sure how it turned out..
Summary - Leon is tired of life and all the lies of his so called friends. So when he decides to end his existence, he somehow gets a second chance. How will he handle living in Equestria? Can he learn to live again and make friends? And why did he get a second chance to begin with?
MLP:FiM is owned by Hasbro. I mention a lot of other stuff in this story, so anything I mention is owned by their creator.. may make a list later.
we use to watch Fight Club together, because she said that it made her feel a little less alone, and i could never reply so i held her in my lap.
and she told me she was kalea's dizzy mind.
and in real life, you would think nothing of anything really, because she watches the birds fly just like you do. the morning rises on the same side of her window, and she can watch the clock tick away hours, just like you.
and she told me she was kalea's spinal cord.
i watched her pick at her fingernails for too long, and always decided i would leave as soon as they started bleeding. her arms are full of scars where she thought she felt something crawling up her skin, only to find she was still alone. i told her i was here, but she turned over(and i can still hear her uneven breathing)
and she told me she was kalea's collapsed lungs.
it amazed me how everything reminded her of something. there was a time when she said her favorite color was orange, and a smile forced over her face. she was connected to the window the rest of the time.
"Did you know that jack-o-lanterns are orange, and for even a little while, they are happy just to be. and then one day, their light goes out, and sometimes, you can never find that light again."
He was tired. He was always tired these days; between the chemo, the meds, the fucking fighting for his life, he was exhausted.
And it never seemed to end.
Life was hard, getting the best of him these days. Most of it was spent alone in a quiet apartment he shared with no one. Most of the things that had been important to him had stepped back - not gone entirely, but just far enough away that their faces seemed blurred, unrecognizable.
Looking back on it, it made sense and the more he'd learned over the years, he understood why it had happened this way.
He would never have imagined him thinking it then, in his youth, but women dealt with shit in a way totally different than men. They tended to stiffen their upper lip and face life head on, for better and for worse.
He remember all too well, her leaning against the bright red monstrosity that was her car outside of the hospital: him out of his first bout of chemo and feeling so sick that he wanted to find a bottle to crawl in for several hours.
She'd driven him home.
And that was all there was to it. Nothing had really been said or done, but she'd been there, without question, without explanation, without needing a thanks. He saw her at least once a day - whether he wanted to or not.
It was hard for a man to ask another man for help. Maybe that was what it was. It had been different before, them in the thick of things, of life that had no seeming end. When you're young, you think you can do anything, be anyone. They'd been a rag-tag bunch, fighting for their lives and the lives of everyone else, it seemed. But years had gone by.
The day he'd told them all what the doctors had said, everything changed. And he didn't blame them. He could only imagine what it must have been like, them watching him go through the motions: the chemo, the sickness. His hair had fallen out; it would start to stubble back to life, and then there was the chemo again.
He didn't blame them.
The door to the kitchen swung open and she walked inside. A pair of scissors settled on the table at the chair opposite his. Then, his clippers.
Her boot slid around the leg o the chair, and in a neat motion, she spun it around, sitting in it backwards.
"What are you doin'?" he asked her, but she said nothing - nothing worth saying, at that point.
The only sound between them for a long moment was the sound of their breathing, the nearly-silent hiss of his cigarette burning between his lips, the thing that was helping him die.
She started to take her braids out.
They sat in silence, her fingers working - fingers that were rough and calloused, subtly stained with nicotine and too much grease from cars and cordite.
It took her a while and he didn't mind the quiet.
When she was done, it was nothing but kink after kink of dark hair, so brown it was nearly black - the color of good top soil.
"What are you don'?" he asked again, but she said nothing. Just smiled at him, as she started to gather her hair in her hands.
She suddenly looked young, her realized; like it was ten years ago and he was giving her a piggy back ride, the both of them sloppy drunk in the middle of the night, coming back from some bar. It was good to see her smile like that.
She hadn't done it in months.
Hair in her hand, she reached down for the scissors, lifting them.
"Madion," he said sharply, surprised that he still had that much bark left in him...but it didn't matter. With her, it rarely had, really: she'd always been stubborn, hard-headed, not willing to listen to him.
The scissors clicked atop the table and she set the handful of wild kinks on the table between them, before taking up the pair of clippers.
In mere seconds, the hair had been evened out, and now she had less hair than he had.
He couldn't quite recall the last time his throat had been that tight, that closed up, and this time, it wasn't because he was staring at a blank, empty ceiling at night, staring down his mortality. It wasn't because he was lonely or in pain or so unforgivingly tired.
She put the clippers down, one hand smoothing from the back of her head to the front, tiny, shorn-short hairs stirred up a moment, falling to the white of her wifebeater.
And after a moment, she reached out, taking the cigarette from his lips for a slow drag.
"These things'll kill you, yanno," she said, before giving it back to him, dark eyes half-masted and lazy, as they'd always been - even when he was at his worst, when he was furious with life, with everything, biting her head off because she was the only one there.
Most tiresome and scintillating pathways Toward endlessly intoxicating lights, Glow longingly for better days, And the want of a nail for horseshoes rotten With the taste of blood and the steaming scent of regret. A purple eye and blood-stained thigh, And something better, maybe soon. A punctured heart and knotted veins, And telltale signs of wishful thinking For love in the morning, and the lights on at night.
Archwizard Lerrin Tocsell looked up from the work spread across his desk at the sound of the soft knocking. There, standing in the doorway was the portly shape of Stefan Ostwick, nervously ringing his hat in his hands as he looked into the tidy office. As the Arcane Brotherhoods Chief of Messengers, Stefan was responsible for the safe delivery of its goods, both magical and mundane, between its many buildings and outposts. Lerrin placed his quill in an inkpot with one gnarled and shaking hand, and affected his warmest smile.
Please, do take a seat, Master Ostwick, The Archwizard rose partially from his own seat as he spoke, his back protesting slightly as he gestured to one of the chairs on the other side of his desk. And many thanks for taking the time from your busy day to cater to an old mans needs.
It is no bother, Archwizard. The jowly man went wide-eyed as he spoke. Its an honor to be of service. How can I help you?
I have a rather important package to be deliv- Lerrin began, and then narrowed his eyes as he was interrupted.
Then youve called the right man, sir! The Chief of Messengers blurted out, and then looked sheepish as the Archwizard tried not to let his annoyance show through. I mean, I would be happy to personally deliver it wherever you might need.
I am quite sure that wont be necessary. Lerrin spoke, shaking his head slowly as he forced his smile to return. This particular delivery will need to be made tomorrow afternoon. Its carrier will need to be magically shielded from its contents, so I would need some preparation time with whomever you select in the morning.
Of course. Stefan nodded. I will rearrange tomorrows schedule so that Timmons can be available for you all day. I will send him over first thing.
Timmons, Lerrin pretended to think about the name for a moment, and then asked a question whose answer he already knew. Is he your swiftest messenger?
No, Archwizard, though hes no slouch. Stefan shook his head. Hes been with me for nearly a decade now, though, and Id trust him to deliver my children if the midwife went sick, if you know what I mean.
Lerrin laughed along with the chubby man at his little joke for a moment, and then pretended to look through some papers on his desk. Later, if the Chief were asked, it could be important that he believe the outcome of this meeting was his own choice, so the Archwizard was prepared to walk as slowly as possible through the exchange.
I only ask, Master Ostwick, because the contents of the delivery will be very temperamental, and speed will be of the essence. The longer they take to make their journey, the less effective they will be upon arrival. The Archwizard looked up as he spoke. If you feel that Timmons would be the best choice, I will defer to your decision. You know your staff better than I do.
Oh, well, sure. The other man began, and then his face brightened. If speed is so important, though, Ellywick might be the better choice.
Ellywick? Lerrin asked, pretending not to recognize the name.
Yes, sir. Stefan nodded. She is the newest to my staff, but gets through the city like no one else. Its how she got the job, actually. She just kept showing up every morning and beating my fastest messengers.
Really? Lerrin raised an eyebrow.
Oh, sure. It was funny after a time. Stefan chuckled. Id hand out assignments in the courtyard, and shes be there listening. Then, shed race off to the farthest destination, get there before whoever Id sent, and tell the person waiting for the package that it would already be there if Id hired her.
Thats very bold. The Archwizard smiled. But why was she so intent on working for the Brotherhood?
Turns out she wants to be a wizard, herself, and hopes to attend the Academy. She figures that working for the Brotherhood might give her an edge while she saves up. The Chief of Messengers shrugged, and then added. Of course, shes got an advantage over the rest of my boys when it comes to getting through the city.
An advantage? Lerrin asked.
Sure, on account of her being a gnome. Stefan answered. She can slip through places the others cant.
I see. The Archwizard nodded, knowingly. Well then, if you believe she is the fastest, then send her to me in the morning so that I can prepare her.
Yes, Archwizard. The Chief of Messengers smiled as he rose from his seat. She will be here.
Thank you for your time, Master Ostwick.
Lerrin watched as the portly man bowed awkwardly and then left the office. He shook his head, not for the first time, at the complex plan that was laid out before him. Through painstaking use of Augury, after so many doors had been closed to him, hed learned that the way to achieve his dreams would begin with this seemingly innocent step. Hed hired assassins, tried poisons and potions, and weaved countless curses; all to no avail. So now, he put his faith in the result of his magical inquiries.
Tomorrow, it would be done. This cryptic plan, the costly result of so many castings of such powerful magic, would be set in motion. He wondered, for a moment, what lay in store for the persistent messenger girl as he watched her boss close the door behind him, but then turned his thoughts to more engaging the more engaging matter of his future. Nothing and no one would stand in his way now.
Ellywick cursed softly as another oafish human collided with her, nearly causing her to drop the sealed letter she carried as she worked her way through the bustling crowd. Making it through the gathered throng of petitioners in the palace courtyard was always the most challenging part of her daily route from the Wizards Tower to the Arcane Academy on the other side of town, and today was no exception. Being a gnome in a human city, almost two feet shorter than its average inhabitant, was challenge enough on its own; a constant blend of mocking jibes, being treated like a child, and getting knocked to the ground when they didnt see her. Forcing her way past the desperate men seeking an audience with the Baron, each sincerely believing his problems to be more pressing than everyone elses, made her life all the harder.
But still, shed come to embrace the advantages that her slender build and gnomish grace gave her in the city. She could make her way through crowds more quickly and easily than its common inhabitants, who rarely paid her any mind. It was that ease of travel that had resulted in her current employment with the Arcane Brotherhood, delivering messages and other goods between its many buildings and towers. It wasnt the dreamy life shed imagined for herself when shed struck out on her own and moved to the city, but they fed her and kept a roof over her head, and paid her enough that she could begin saving toward the life she dreamed of.
Even the wizards were beginning to recognize her unique talents. She smiled at the memory of being hand-selected by one of the Archwizards to deliver an important package just a couple weeks before, and wondering at the display of his power when he had imbued her with his magic to protect her from its contents. Reassuringly, she patted the little bulge of her coin-purse where it was pressed between her thigh and soft woolen leggings. It wasnt enough yet, but it was a beginning. In time, it would be her admission to the Academy itself.
At long last, she pushed her way past the edge of the crowd and into the winding alley that weaved between the guild halls. The cacophony of the courtyard was replaced by almost perfect silence, save for the sounds of her soft leather boots on the stone street. At this time of morning, the guild district was always abandoned, its members either jockeying for position to air their grievances in the courtyard or hawking their wares in the Market Square. She picked up her pace, feeling as though a weight had been lifted from her shoulders as she left the crowd behind and followed the familiar path between the impressive buildings.
Veknara Endashi Ohklamm A mans voice suddenly began speaking from the shaded entryway of one of the buildings.
The words themselves were meaningless to Ellywick. But from her many hours spent listening in as the Academy students practiced, she recognized the pattern of speech and the intonation as that of a spell being cast. A quizzical expression on her face, she turned just in time to see a young, blond man step from the shadows, wearing the formal robes of an initiate of the Arcane Brotherhood. She took a half-step back, more confused than afraid, as he lifted his cupped hands to his lips and then blew out across them, sending a fluttering cloud of rose petals out to swirl in the air around her.
The magical energy of the cloud seeped into Ellywick almost instantly. She opened her mouth to speak, but was consumed by an overwhelming need to sleep before she could utter a word. The sealed missive fluttered from her hand to join the softly falling flower petals as she fell abruptly to her knees. Struggling to keep her eyes open, she tried to focus on the initiate as he approached, watching through her shrinking field of vision as he uncoiled a tasseled, rope-like belt from around his waist. She recognized the magic as a sleep spell, one of the basic spells taught to initiates, though this knowledge did not help her to resist its effects or to understand why it was being cast upon her. Her mind reeling, she sprawled forward onto her stomach, unable to remain kneeling or to keep her eyes open any longer as she succumbed fully to the magical slumber.
This story was born from many years playing the game of Dungeons and Dragons, and how so much of the fantasy world always appealed to my kinky side. I wonder if my interest would have been kindled so strongly were it not for chained maidens being offered to dragons, slave auctions, and all the devious magic?
Well, it's no matter now, because the two are so firmly intertwined that there's no sorting it out, and I am happy for it.
Here we introduce Ellywick, the heroine of our tale, and get a glimpse of what might be happening behind the scenes.
Whether you enjoy or don't, I would love to get your feedback!
he has spider-leg fingers and eyes so cold they could stop your heart. (and they will.)
every night william goes to sleep knowing that someone else is waking up with his only friend, and he wishes he could brush the honey-stained hair from her cheek.
(not the man, who can't even spell love without cheating.)
william dreams at night.
his spider fingers are creeping up the jagged edge of her spine. her skin is the color of milk, and lightly freckled. william keeps her safe, and has made a tiny door, where he keeps her in his heart.
(he wakes up next to an empty pillow, with an empty feeling)
william writes a book in his nightmares.
she is in every chapter. her legs stretch across every page, and taunt him with sex, and things that spiders are not allowed to touch. she holds a box inside her heart too, and william watches as she locks the door with william's heart inside.
When Jake awoke, he was in a bathtub filled with ice, an unnecessarily long scar where his liver should've been.
Towering above him, a man in a ski mask, a bloodied scalpel still in his hand. Seeing that his victim had awoken, he put the knife down, running his hands through the sink.
"Dude, what the hell?" Jake asked, not all too pleased with the removal of his vital organs, consent explicitly not given, at that. "I was using those."
The man ignored Jake and wiped his hands off. Picking up a fine pair of kidneys from the operating table, he slipped his hands into them, rolling his fingers as he tested out his new boxing gloves. The man turned to Jake.