Weekend Writing Warriors #10

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This weekend I’m participating in a blog hop known as Weekend Writing Warriors.  A bunch of writers share 8 sentences from a story they are writing or have written.

This snippet takes place after last week’s snippet.  It was about Tifa and Cloud going through their morning routine, but it’s anything but normal.

XXX

Nighttime was always the worst. In those few seconds before falling asleep she was defenseless against the monsters of her past, which feasted on her fear and gnawed away at her sanity.  She hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since the day Sepiroth destroyed her village, Nibelheim.

Barely escaping the inferno, she chased after him, legs moving so fast it felt like she was flying amidst the ruins.  She followed him into the mako reactor, her feet clunking across the steel floor.  He turned around and smirked, his eyes as cold as a Nibelheim winter, the spark of humanity long extinguished.  Perhaps she was a fool to think a mere mortal with a mastery of martial arts could take on a demi-god, but she just saw a little girl burnt beyond the point of recognition, and she wasn’t about to let him get away with it. As she wound up to deliver a roundhouse kick, his sword sliced into her flesh like she was made of butter, and she crumpled to the floor.

XXX

I just wrote this today (technically it’s a revision) so it isn’t as polished as last week’s :$ If you have been following along you may have made the connection that this is the same event I wrote about earlier from Zack’s point of view.  Tifa and Cloud both come from the same village and were childhood friends.  What happens after Nibelheim’s destruction changes their lives forever.

I struggled with the tense here because she was kind of having a memory/flashback.  If one were being grammatically correct they would add “had” to each verb because the story is already written in past tense, but it sounds so awkward like that.  This is something that came up in another short story I wrote, and I used some advice I had read online, start with “he had cooked,” and transitioned into “he cooked.”  But I got a few people commenting that was awkward too, so I don’t even know XD  I just left it past tense here.  Meh.  It’s pretty short so I could italicize it, but some people hate that -_____-  Any advice on this issue would be appreciated 😀

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15 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors #10

    • Okay, I had to look up what chutzpah is XD Yes, she definitely has chutzpah, but she was a fifteen year old girl against a genetically engineered superhuman so she didn’t really stand a chance. I’m awful at writing actions scenes, but I kept it short because the story is from her POV, and she doesn’t remember a lot from that night. I might go back and redo that last line >_> Thanks for the comment 🙂

  1. Wow! Exciting snippet! I’ve been struggling with that same issue on flashbacks. In my first draft I just used “had” for the first verb and then carried on without it. I’ll have to see if it’s too awkward on the reread.

  2. This is developing great tension, PB. 🙂 I’d read more.

    I don’t know what to say about the verb tense. I get what you’re saying. I might be tarred and feathered for saying this, but I think that as long as the reader understands, it’s better to choose what doesn’t feel awkward. Choose what feels natural and smooth. If I’m reading “had” over and over again, it feels stilted. I get annoyed. I would put a book down.

    I’m not an English scholar–I’m just answering as a reader. 🙂

    Contractions help break up the monotony of “had” over and over again:

    “Barely escaping the inferno, she’d chased after him, moving so fast it felt like she was flying amidst the ruins. She’d followed him into the mako reactor, her feet clunking across the steel floor. When he’d turned around and smirked, his eyes were so cold– a Nibelheim winter with the spark of humanity long extinguished. Perhaps she was a fool to think a mere mortal with a mastery of martial arts could take on a demi-god, but her thoughts kept returning to the image of a little girl burnt beyond recognition; she wasn’t about to let him get away with it. As she wound up to deliver a roundhouse kick, his sword sliced into her flesh like she was made of butter, and she crumpled to the floor.”

    I hope you’re feeling better. 🙂

    • Yep 🙂 I got my start in creative writing in the Final Fantasy VII fandom a few years back. I wrote a 200,000 word fanfic novel, and there were a lot of problems, so I wanted to take a step back and really work on my writing technique before embarking on another novel. I started writing original fiction a few months back when I started this blog, but it’s only short stories. Since my goal is to get my short stories of original fiction published in literary magazines (hey, might as well dream big XD) I can’t post it on my blog till post-publication >_> I post my original short stories on a locked critique site for now. I don’t write fanfiction anymore, but it’s a good writing exercise to revise it. The characters from FF VII will always be close to my heart 🙂

      So cool that you work in the game industry 8D I’m guessing you love video games? I’m a big RPG fan 😀 Final Fantasy 7 is my favorite, and Final Fantasy 9 is a close second. My husband loves video games, so we play together. He just recently finished Dark Souls II. It’s too scary for me to play, but I love to watch 🙂

      • Sounds like you have a plan. 😉 Any project that gets you writing is a good one to hone your craft so keep at it. Which critique site are you using? I’m on Critique Circle so if that’s yours too, we could critique each other over there.

        I’m a Lead Game Designer so, yes, to do my job I need to eat games for breakfast. My genres of choice are RPG and action/adventure, but I play everything since I need to understand what the industry is up to. I’m currently catching up on shooters.

      • I’m on Critique Circle too XD I have a different penname over there, and it’s kind of similar to my old fanfiction one, which I don’t want to advertise publicly on this blog. There is another way to find me. On Critique Circle, if you search for the story, “A Crown of Dandelions,” you should be able to find me. It’s a story about a man’s suicide and his name is Kyle. There are several versions of it. You can find the most recent one on my Critique Circle profile. I’m not sure I would recommend reading it though because it needs another revision :$ I need to cut quite a bit of it to make it more powerful. It drags in certain areas, and I’m sure there are bits of awkward prose. There always are XD I was about to do a major overhaul of “Bleeding Heart,” when I started a new job, but I haven’t gotten a chance to read or write till now.

        I have a few friends into shooter games, but it’s not for me :$ I get scared very easily Not sure if you’ve heard of Amnesia: The Dark Descent? A friend and I played it together, and we kept screaming whenever something made a noise, and this was in the beginning before any monsters came out XD Final Fantasy 13 was almost too real for me. My husband played that one while I watched. I’m super excited for Final Fantasy 15, assuming it will ever be released, lol. Noctis * -* I’m really into the “Tales Series,” as well. Sounds like you have a pretty awesome job ^-^ Also, your blue hair is awesome 😀 I’m into bright makeup, like Fyrinnae, but I’m a pharmacist so I can’t wear that to work XD Same thing goes for my bright nail polishes ;____;

      • I’ve sent you a message on Critique Circle so we can get in touch over there. I’m planning to set up a queue for my steampunk novel today, if you’re interested. I believe in giving back crit-for-crit, 😉

        Yes, I know Amnesia. It’s on my To Play list, but I haven’t had time for it yet (so many games to play!) I haven’t played the Final Fantasy games (yeah, I know, shocker!) mostly because I started in gaming late and the games for that series that came out at that point were dissed by fans. I did play Tales of Symphonia though and remember it fondly.

        My hair has become my trademark. They’ve been blue for 9 years. And yeah, I love my job. I’m moving to Melbourne in January to start working at an Electronic Arts studio. So excited!

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