Weekend Writing Warriors #2


This snippet is a continuation of last week’s for the Weekend Writing Warriors project.  I included the link below.  Writers share an 8 sentence snippet from their WIP.  It is from the last chapter of my current fantasy story.  It has a complicated back-story, but I’ll give you the bare bones.  Zack and Cloud were trapped in a mad scientist’s lab for several years, they broke out, and are being hunted down.  They were both in the military prior to their enslavement.  And Cloud is in a comatose like state, so Zack is dragging him around the world hoping he’ll wake up.  Zack is trying to get back to Midgar because that’s where his girlfriend lives, and she has no idea what happened to him.Here is a link to last week’s snippet: Snippet #1

Here is a link to the Weekend Writing Warriors: http://www.wewriwa.com/


[Zack] remembers standing amidst the charred ruins, struggling to breathe through soot-covered lungs while flying sparks danced around him to the tune of bloodcurdling screams.   Sephiroth took the lead in this waltz of death, walking with slow, even steps through the chaos like he was Ifrit himself raised from the underworld.  As Zack followed him up to the Mako Reactor, thick clouds of smoke rose towards the blackened sky while flames licked at his boots.  He had failed Sephiroth, but he wouldn’t let the same dire fate befall on Cloud, not as long as he was on this planet.

It wasn’t possible to do this journey alone because a hero was no one without someone to save.  He didn’t want to admit that there was something else behind the altruistic notions that had motivated him to save his friend, but he knew, could feel it in his heart even if his mind had convinced him otherwise.  At first he thought he was rescuing Cloud, dragging his lifeless body out of a vat of poison and into the fresh mountain air, but as the months passed with no significant improvement in his condition, Zack wondered if he was actually helping Cloud.  At times he wondered if there was even anything left to save. . .


So the fire Zack referenced was both metaphorical and physical.  Sephiroth burned down Cloud’s hometown after he had a psychotic break.  Fire is symbolic of one’s spirit, and Cloud’s burns as bright as Sephiroth’s.  The interesting thing about Cloud is that unlike Zack, he is not really good or bad, and could swing either way depending on circumstances, similar to Sephiroth.

And I wanted to explore Zack’s reasoning for rescuing his friend (Cloud) from the lab.  I don’t believe anyone is 100% good or 100% bad, so I was exploring some of his darker thoughts.

I’m not sure if I should share the next part in this chapter because it is from Cloud’s POV, and he’s fading in and out of consciousness in addition to the fact that he has amnesia.  So he starts incorporating Zack’s memories into his thoughts, which become an amalgam of reality, Zack’s memories, his memories, and nightmares.  I’ll think about it. . .  I like the way it turned out, but it might not make sense XD

25 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors #2

  1. I really like the first paragraph, as it does a good bit of showing the reader (with some interesting setting and description), along with telling us about what has happened.
    You really come out and tell us what he’s thinking in the second paragraph, and I just wondered if it might be fun to show that a bit more gradually: since it’s an internal conflict you could maybe develop it and hint at it over time through their actions and dialogue?
    Keep up the good writing! 🙂

    • Thanks for the insight 🙂 Hmmm, I think you bring up a good point. Well the other character is comatose, so he can’t really respond XD The story focuses on Zack being the hero and saving his friend. So the reader knows that they are friends, but up to this point they aren’t aware that Zack’s motives are anything but altruistic. And Zack has contemplated killing Cloud before, but that was a different situation. There is another member in their party, and she’s just normal without super strength like Zack. So Zack told her that if something happens to him, she needs to kill Cloud so that he isn’t captured and tortured again. Maybe I don’t need that second paragraph? Or I could have Zack reconsider killing him again, just because he can’t handle it anymore. Or maybe just cut it shorter and summarize it in one sentence. I’ll think about it. I tend to be redundant :$

      • Hmmm, could do, but I don’t think you necessarily need to remove a bit just because you’ve talked about it before, because in real life our thoughts often go back to the same problems again and again. Also, this is a natural time to have those thoughts. I think having that scene would be great!

  2. First off, I can tell you are a skilled writer by your strong vocabulary, description, and flow of your writing. Although writers do it all the time, I have a personal pet peeve to the words “standing there.” My mind immediately shouts, “Standing where?” but it might just be my personal bias. I love the metaphorical way you connected the fire to music and the great personification all around. I wish I had more advice for improvement, but I don’t. This is really good.


    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! You are too kind :$ Thanks for bringing the part about “standing there,” to my attention. Would it sound better as, “Zack remembers standing amidst the chaos, struggling to breathe. . .” Zack remembers standing amidst the charred ruins, struggling to breathe. . .” I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I like the way it turned out too. Fire has a lot of imagery to play with, so I love writing those scenes.

  3. Oh…this just drips with imagery! And you’ve packed a lot of information into these few sentences without it feeling like an infodump.

    Only one thing tripped me up while I was reading, and it comes down to a simple vocabulary choice. “… Ifrit himself raised from the underground.” The word underground didn’t work for me. But, to be fair, I’m not sure where “the underground” is, and what it means–in a larger sense. Death? Hades? A physical place like a prison? I might be extra sensitive to things like this because I understand the desire to be unique in my own worldbuilding. And in doing so, sometimes the end result escapes me–and it’s not at all what I’d envisioned. 🙂

    Good 8, Paper Butterfly!

    • Thank you for the kind thoughts Chelle 😀 I think what makes villains interesting is the fact that they have some good in them, and what makes heroes interesting is the fact that they have some bad in them. It makes them easier to relate to. Characterization is my top priority, and then prose, lol.

  4. Thank you for the kind thoughts Teresa! Oh, Ifrit is a god of fire, and he lives in the underground: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ifrit I was just going off of what Wikipedia said :$ I didn’t give too much thought to what underground means, lol. He’s a god/supernatural being of Islamic and Arabic folklore, so he’s not really the equivalent of Hades, who I believe was a Greek god of death and rules the afterlife. Ifrit is the god of fire, so I imagined Sephiroth walking through the flames like that. He wasn’t scared or intimidated by the fire. I mean underground might mean hell or it might mean he lives in the planet. I guess I could omit that part,”raised from the underground.” I’ll think about it 🙂 I never gave it much thought until you mentioned it. But it’s definitely something to think about 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Yeah, I hadn’t really addressed these specific doubts of Zack. I think it would be normal for him to question whether his motives were truly altruistic and whether he was doing what was in Cloud’s best interest. As humans we do stuff and make decisions, but we aren’t always aware of why until later.

  5. This is great, very intense and you’re right, it does make Zack more interesting when we get a glimpse of his internal conflict. This is a very interesting world you’re building.

    • Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I love Zack. I think Cloud is a more interesting character, but I love the good guy heroes that want to rescue damsels in distress. Well, Zack wants to rescue everyone XD But I think he would have doubts about whether he was actually doing what was best for his friend. Thanks for stopping by :3

    • Thanks for the comment 🙂 Without giving it away, Sephiroth’s psychotic break wasn’t really Zack’s fault, but because Zack was there he felt like maybe if he did something different it could have been prevented.

  6. What a dark situation. His effort to save his friend makes me want to root for him and the shadow of self-interest makes him seem real. Curious to see what happens next!

    • Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Yeah the story is pretty dark, but I love angst. Zack is a sweetheart. I think I might post something from a different story next week. The next part in this story is from Cloud’s POV, and it won’t make much sense without reading the chapters before it. I might post it later because it’s kind of disconnected from this part anyway. Not sure. Thanks for the lovely comment ^^

  7. I loved this snippet. The beginning had great imagery, and I really felt the second paragraph. It had me thinking in a philosophical sense, especially the line of “…a hero was no one without someone to save.”

    I think it’d be cool to get a taste of Cloud’s POV, even if he’s in and out of consciousness. There’s more leeway to experiment 🙂

    Keep smiling,

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ll use Cloud’s point of view for next week, maybe. In the actual story it shifts between Zack and Cloud to show Cloud’s altered perception of reality, but that would be way too confusing if I only post 8 snippets at a time XD If I post it I would just post snippets from Cloud’s POV, which reads like it’s own mini story. I’ll ask a writer friend of mine about it. Yeah, I had never done anything like that, but I guess there is a first time for everything 🙂

  8. Pingback: Weekend Warriors #5 | The Paper Butterfly

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