Write, Kill, Revenge (A Short Horror Story)

Happy Thanksgiving! Because I like being contrary, here’s a short horror story I wrote for school last year.


 

Write, Kill, Revenge

Log#666

Just sent off the final draft of Robin Hood and the Twelfth Hour to my editor. Twenty freaking years worth of cat-and-mouse between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham finally come to an end. I’d open a bottle of champagne if the doctor hadn’t told me to cut back. Age may only go up, but it sure likes to bring you down.

Anyways, I’m going to bed. If Sharon isn’t asleep yet, I may just get lucky. More later.

Log#667

My editor called. She loves everything about the new book—except for the part where Robin Hood dies. She wants me to rewrite it.

I told her everything in the series had been building up this to moment. Robin Hood is an anti-hero. He’s isn’t going to marry Maid Marian and go riding off into the sunset. His sacrifice is the purest expression of love he can manage.

She got really testy after that and said she had to consult her boss. I told her to take her time. Robin ain’t going anywhere, am I right?

Log#668

As my editor has so fake-happily informed me, Robin Hood and the Twelfth Hour has been given the green light. I would’ve said “I told you so,” if I wasn’t scared she’d jab out my eyes with a nail file.

We talked a little while on cover design and minor revisions to speed up the pacing before hanging up. Right before the cut-off, she added, “You’re going break a lot of fans’ hearts, Joe,” then beep beep beep.

Jeez, Robin’s just a character. Ink and pressure on paper. If people want a happy ending so bad, they should rent Disney’s version. Anamorphized animals and musical numbers; should be right up their alley.

Log#669

Had a weird dream last night. I was in the Sherwood Forest, attending Robin Hood’s funeral. All the Merry Men were crying and Maid Marian delivered a eulogy on Robin’s numerous good deeds. During the lowering of the casket, it suddenly burst open, revealing a blackened Robin Hood with his neck stretched unnaturally long from being hung at the gallows.

“This is your doing,” he’d hissed at me before lunging forward, fingers outstretched.

That’s was also when I woke up, sweaty and a little more than disturbed.
I spoke to Sharon about it and she said that dream was my subconscious speaking to me, saying I covertly didn’t want to kill Robin. I should probably mention here that she’s totally on my editor’s side and thinks I’m making a terrible mistake.

Well, I’m not changing a single thing. Take that, Freud!

Log#670

Book came out yesterday and fan letters are already rolling in.

Unfortunately, most of them are negative. Here’s a sample of some of the wilder ones:

How could you kill off Robin Hood? He and Maid Marian should’ve gotten married! You’re going to bring him back to life, right? Please tell me it was all just a misunderstanding!

I’ve always been a huge fan of your work, but this is just unacceptable. Other than the shock factor, there’s no point in you killing off the main character. I would even rather the ending be left ambiguous than what you did.

I only have one thing to say: bring back Robin Hood. You’re the writer. You’re God of your own world. Just write him back to life, please.

This must be what Arthur Conan Doyle felt like when he killed off Sherlock Holmes in 1893. Least I don’t live in the Wizarding world or people would be sending me Howlers.

Log#671

Had another weird dream about Robin Hood. This time, he chased me through the Sherwood Forest, claiming that he’d put an arrow through my heart if I didn’t write him back to life. When I refused, he did just that and I bolted upright.

Must be those stupid letters. I’ve stopped reading them altogether and just dumped them in the fireplace where they belong.

Oh, wait, I hear Sharon leaving for the grocery store. I need to remind her to pick up some ointment—I have an oddly shaped bruise on the left side of my chest. I must have bumped the bedside table in my sleep or something.

Log#672

Well, that’s the last book signing I’ll ever do in the foreseeable future.
All my fans did was pester me with questions on the next Robin Hood book and I had tell them, through gritted teeth, that there wasn’t going to be another one because Robin Hood is dead. Gone. Food for the fishes.

A couple of them cried when they heard too. Jesus, if that’s how they get wherever a character dies, they’re going to be wrung dry before George R.R. Martin finishes A Song of Ice and Fire.

On a side note, I’ve reminded my gardener to take his shoes off if he needed to come in the house. I’ve been spotting muddy footprints all over the place lately. He denied it of course (he has to keep his job after all), but I gave him fair warning. Any more of that and I’m docking his pay.

Log#673

Sharon’s changed her perfume. It’s a sort of musky smell that puts in mind tobacco and pine trees. I wouldn’t mind it so much if she didn’t do her walk-in perfume trick all over the house. Now the whole place seems like an evergreen forest.

To top off today, I had to fire the gardener. The dirt-tracking was getting out of control. I’ve even seen prints in my office, which he shouldn’t even be entering in the first place. He swore he’s never been in my office, but forensic evidence doesn’t lie. Who knows why he’s skunking around. Good riddance, I say.

Log#674

They’ve started a Bring Robin Back petition. I’m sad to say it’s actually gaining media attention and now signatures are pouring in from all over the world. The phone’s been ringing nonstop from nosy reporters so I disabled it. Sharon isn’t happy about it, but she grudgingly conceded after I pointed out she still had her cell phone.

I fired the maid today too. She keeps shadowing me for some reason. When I confronted her, she denied it just like the gardener, but I wasn’t taking any chances. For all I know, she’s taken money from those Robin-lovers to spy on me.

Who’s laughing now, losers?

Log#675

Sharon says I’ve been acting strange. It’s not me who’s strange; it’s those crazy Robin-lovers. They’ve started camping out on the lawn, holding up signs proclaiming Robin’s likeliness and slapped on the bottom are slogans like: ‘WE WANT ROBIN’, ‘BRING BACK ROBIN’ and ‘ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE BROUGHT SHERLOCK BACK. WHY CAN’T YOU?’

I want to go out and yell at them to get a life. Robin Hood’s just a freaking character! He’s not even real, for God’s sake!

Plus, the bastard has been single-handedly responsible for the dark circles under my eyes the past few days. Just for that, I’m not writing him back to life. Not now, not ever.

Shoot all the arrows you want, punk.

Log#676

The Robin-lovers have broken into the house. I can hear them. Smell the wood of their signs. Creeping around, tracking mud all over the place. Inconsiderate jerks don’t even have the decency to wipe their shoes.

Well, I’ll take care of them. I had a friend of mine mail me his Smith & Wesson. It’s not murder if it’s in self-defense.

They started it, officers!

Log#677

Sharon’s left for her mother’s. She says she’ll come back after I’ve screwed my head back on straight again. My head’s on straight, it’s her head that isn’t on straight. She was wearing a crooked hat. A CROOKED HAT! HA!

Log#678

Sharon’s back and she’s working with the Robin-lovers. She was always on Robin’s side, never my side. Wedding vows? What wedding vows? I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals and betray you. BETRAY YOU! GEDDIT?

She must have been the one to give them a key to the house in the first place. She’s plotting against me. They’re all plotting against me. Robin was always good at gathering followers. Smarmy sounds like slimy. He’s a slimy one.

Log#679

The Robin-lovers have taken it one step further by dressing up as their hero. I saw one of them today. He even had a bow, the nerve. He smells of my wife’s perfume too. They’re probably sleeping together. She ain’t getting one cent of money after the divorce. Let her cosplay with the vagrants. The whore.

Log#680

That particular Robin-lover is sneaky. I can feel him following me, but I can never catch him. Every time I whip around, he’s gone. Gone like the wind, hehe.

But I’ll get him. Turn my wife against me, will you? Turn my whole fanbase against me, will you?! I’m getting rid of him, once and for all. Self-defense be damned.

Log#681

Cheeky scumbag pulled a Robin Hood—left me a note on the dining table. Robin Hood and the Four Crossroads, chapter 15. No originality whatsoever.

He’s challenged me to a duel at midnight in my old office. If I lose, I have to write Robin Hood back to life. If I win, he’ll go back to where he belongs. Screw that. If I win, I’ll send him back to his maker. Once and for all.

Log#682

It’s 11:55pm. I have my Smith & Wesson and from what I’ve glimpsed, dork only has a bow.

Log#683

11:59. C’mon, Robin Hood. You wanna play hardball? Let’s play hardball.

 

FAMOUS WRITER JOE EPSTEIN FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME

American writer Joe Epstein, most famous for his 12-book Robin Hood series, was found dead at his residence at 9:34am this morning. The cause of his death is internal bleeding and excessive blood loss from what appears to be two gunshot wounds to his left lung and heart respectively. A Smith & Wesson was collected at the scene with Epstein’s fingerprints on it.

Epstein’s spouse, Sharon Epstein, claimed her husband had been acting “strange” before the time of his death. “He thought everyone was against him and pointing out ‘evidence’ that wasn’t there. I know he was under a lot of stress because his fans wanted him to bring Robin,” she wept, “but I never thought he’d go as far as to take his own life!”

The Robin Hood series is arguably Epstein’s most renowned work, having garnered numerous literary awards and been on many bestsellers’ lists. The last book, chronicling the character’s noble sacrifice and ultimate demise, sparked outrage among the public and many called for the writer to write him back to life. When Epstein stood by his decision, protests and “BRING ROBIN BACK” campaigns followed, including an online petition, which currently stands at 10,894 signatures, and a sit-in in front of his house.

The sit-in was going on at the time of Epstein’s death, but the police suspect no foul play.

“It’s most likely suicide,” the head of case stated. “The man wasn’t in his right mind. We found a journal in his computer and the entries are quite…disturbing. He actually thought someone, or Robin Hood, was out to get him. We found a note, calling for a ‘duel’, which may be his version of a suicide note.”

So far, the police are ruling Epstein’s expiration as suicide. Coroner’s report will come out on Tuesday.

 

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Writing Competition {OPEN!} – Submit a Chapter!

Hello writerlies!

Today we have some exciting news! We are declaring the first writing competition here on These Writerly Conundrums open! It is open internationally, as long as your entry is written in English! We want to read all your lovely novel chapters. Find out what you can do to enter below! become-a-writer

WHAT TO SUBMIT

Throughout this month we have given you plenty of novel writing tips, and we want to see them put into practice! As NaNoWriMo is also coming to an end, you writers must be sure to have something to submit! Send us a chapter of your novel, maximum word count of 1000 words! Make it your best!

HOW TO SUBMIT

Email us your submission at thesewriterly@gmail.com

In the subject please include your name, and the title of the chapter/novel you are submitting. Microsoft word submissions can be attached or the chapter can be copied into the body of the email. Make sure it is maximum 1000 words because we will not read any further than that mark. In the body of the email make sure to include how we can reach you if you are a winner as well.

WHEN DOES THE COMPETITION END?

All submissions must be sent before the 7th of December. Anything received after that date will not be entered into the competition.

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

Read about the prize in detail below. The wonderful author Charlotte Huang who is soon to be releasing her debut novel has sponsored us with these fabulous prizes for first and second place!

1st Place: $10 Itunes Giftcard and certificate!

2nd Place: Some Swag related to For the Record and a certificate!

MORE ABOUT CHARLOTTE HUANG’S AWESOMENESS

21424692If Almost Famous were a YA novel… a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything
 
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
 
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

8041886About Charlotte: Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (Delacorte, 2015)

Stalk her! On Twitter, her website, Instagram or Goodreads! Or maybe just check out her new book?

Books I Read When I Write

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” —Stephen King

Choosing the right reading material while writing is very important. Either a) it makes you feel utterly inadequate and insecure because the author’s work is rainbows and unicorn hair made into prose (*waves at Markus Zusak*), or b) it’s utter shite and you laugh so hard, your face turns the color of the Communist Manifesto. The main thing is it motivates you to write.

I’m very picky about what I read when I begin an intensive writing session. My style is first-person, past tense and I make a point of choosing similar books, so my Muse doesn’t get confused and book off.


She’s a fickle one.

I also avoid dreamy, literary stuff with a lot of metaphors and musings on life in relation to a perfect storm or something. Your writing will inevitably absorb part of what you’re reading and I want it stay as true to my usual ‘voice’ as possible. Oh, and it has to have a spark of humor.

I told you I’m picky.

Sometimes I can’t be bothered to try something new. There’s always a chance it’ll be a dud and I hate not finishing books. That’s when I turn to an old friend:

Summer’s Crossing by Julie Kagawa is a novella from her Iron Fey series, which is—you guessed it—about fey. The Summer Prankster ranks high on my Book Boyfriend list. Puck is delightfully witty and an entire book in his POV really lets his humor shine. The series as a whole has kickass world-building, and Kagawa has a way of describing places and people without going overboard. I suck at description scenes, so reading hers provides a good starting point for my own stuff. And she can write fight scenes like nobody’s business.

https://33.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_md84q3L6gO1qca6zso1_r1_500.gif

My dear writer friends currently writing Fantasy, this is definitely a series you want to check out.

https://i0.wp.com/strangechemistrybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/iron-fey-series.jpg

Build-a-Character

Hello everyone!

When I write and plan a novel, the first thing that I have in mind before I have plot, setting or even have the intention of planning a novel, are the characters. Characters come easy to me and jump into my mind without me asking them to be there. I don’t know if this is because in general I like watching people and seeing how they interact. Or maybe because I spent too many hours on Sims when I was younger. Whatever it is, I am grateful for this sense of character-finding seeing as I know a lot of people who struggle with making characters. That’s why I wanted to share this post with you and hopefully help make character making a bit easier.

Please step up to the build-a-character machine. Seeing as first impressions are everything, let’s begin with appearance.Darcy_Edwards_Sexy_Appearance 

The appearance of a character is vitally important! Readers are vain and are always interested in knowing what they look like. The key thing to remember here is not to dump all the description in one place. Maybe one chapter you mention the colour of her eyes, and the next is when you mention her hair colour. Either way, we gradually build up the impression of the character without having it all dumped onto our plate at once!

Next we shall move along to the language bar. Feel free to take a proportion of goody-two-shoes, English accent, or curse word sandwich. 

HLG_Curse_Relief

You should always know how a character is going to speak. Sometimes it helps to have a friend and choose their kind of language to fill the mouth of your characters. Maybe they curse pretty often, maybe they rarely do. Do they have an accent because of where they come from? (Killing two birds with one stone!) Is there a signature word they use pretty often? Everyone mentions this exercise but I am sure a lot underestimate how much sitting in a cafe and hearing everyone speak can help!

 

Welcome to the Divergent section of our build-a-character. This serum won’t hurt a bit…Your-New-Source-Fear-Birthdays

 Everyone has fears and wants. Even the Sims do! Choose one thing that your characters are going to be gravely afraid of. (HINT: They usually have to face this at some point in the novel as well, so nothing like spiders please! Unless they have to face a giant one!) Also, what is it that the characters want. Is it something beyond the novel’s plot line, or is their want to do with the novel? For example, in an adventure novel, maybe all the character wants is to get home.

Welcome to the dance floor! Here, we shall be examining the movement of your character. 

fHctpKnowing the way your character moves may seem like a small detail, but it has a lot of branches to it. We want to know if your character oozes confidence when they walk, with a swagger or a cocked up hip, or whether they curl into themselves and hide away. That can really show us more about the character. It’s also useful to know so that you can put in nervous ticks or certain movements they make only when experiencing a certain emotion.

 

Now it is time for a little x-ray. All we need to do is study those brain waves…

brainwaves

Knowing the way a character will think really does help. I would highly suggest choosing an MBIT personality of your character and then reading up about what they are like/do to be part of that personality. We then get an understanding of the way they will think, and because of this, know how they will react to certain situations and problems as well.This also hints at their morals and values too.

We’re just about finished here! But we would hate to leave any of our wonderful characters underfed. What would you like to eat?michellepastaa

You should always know at least one little unnecessary fact about your character! Choose a favourite food for them now. Or maybe another kind of fact that would be fun to have crop up in the novel at some point.

You look marvelous dear. I do hope you end up in a lovely novel. Not one of those dystopia books! Too many of those characters end up living much shorter lives than others. 

Hope this guide was helpful!

Olivia-Savannah x

Micropoetry [1]: Beautiful Disasters

Hello there,

Life is a bit hectic for us bloggers at the moment. Unfortunately, two of us will be dropping from your ranks – Inge and Aly. It was good to have them though, and we see them leave with all our love headed their way.

As well as this, for the remaining bloggers – Olivia, Natalie, Keionda and Joy, a lot of things are happening and we’re all so busy! Nonetheless, here’s a little poetry break from all the novels. Written by Joy!

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Have a brilliant weekend!

On Writing

Good evening everyone!1421010234753

It was very tempting to call this post On On Writing. 

Today I want to talk to you about the book called On Writing by Stephen King. A lot of writers read this as they are writing their NaNoWriMo as inspiration to keep them going. Some writers even refer to this book as the bible for all writers. After hearing all this wonderful gushing about the book – and not having read a Stephen King novel before, I decided to dive right in and read this book. I started it, read seventy pages, and then put the book down. I didn’t feel compelled to come back to the book for six months before one day I decided I was going to give it another shot. And on that day? I managed to read the entire book in a single sitting. I did not stop for anything. After that mixed reading experience, I want to share with you why if you’re writing the novel, this book isn’t for you at all, it is perfectly suited to you, and why we should all marry Stephen King’s wife. Well, not actually, but you’ll see what I mean!

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T READ THIS WHILE WRITING

The first reason why you shouldn’t read this while writing, is that the beginning part of this novel tells us about Stephen King’s writing journey and how he came to be published. It doesn’t start as him being an adult and sending off query letters, but can go quite a bit into his childhood and background too. When I first picked up this book, I didn’t expect this section to be in there. I thought it jumped right into the whole writing advice thing – which is why I decided to put the book down. I didn’t mind reading about King’s life, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. And when you’re writing a novel, it might not be what you need to be reading either. Perhaps it would be more worth your time to read a book which jumps right into the writing advice you need.

I was also writing at the time that I was reading this novel, and it made me feel very demotivated. Yes, King wasn’t published the first time he sent off his work to a tradition publisher. But when a company did accept his first novel, well, the figure he got for it was pretty good. King does reassure us that not everyone has such a big first break, but as I was reading, the only thought swirling around my head was that, ‘oh gosh. That’s never going to happen to me!’ Suddenly, I wasn’t up for writing too much. What was the point?tumblr_inline_nos77nsXff1tqql8l_500

Even then, when I got through all the King’s-life-story bit, I was sorely disappointed with the writing advice. Thanks to endless quotes and this wonderful thing called the Internet, all the tips were things I had already heard before! I had knew all this advice, and therefore I wasn’t learning anything more. The Internet had definitely given me all the spoilers it could possibly cram into my mind. (Don’t worry Internet, I do forgive you.)chalkboard_quotes_king

WHY YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD READ IT WHILE WRITING

YET, all those reasons aside, you should definitely be reading this one while writing. First and foremost, it does tell you all the writing advice you’ve probably already heard. To his credit, King did say all of this stuff – it just turned up on the internet all over the place as well. But sometimes, in the process of writing, you need age old information you’ve already heard before to be repeated to you in order for it to really hit home. It’s a reminder when it comes to all those tips.

And oh yeah, even though the internet spoiled a lot, it didn’t manage to spoil everything! There were still a lot of tips in there that I am sure some people haven’t heard of, but really could benefit from reading as well. So there is some credit to the writing advice section as well. stephen-king-quote

Secondly, this book seriously motivated me. Although I did have to get through part one and also the writing advice section (which I enjoyed more than part one), part three was something I didn’t even know ever happened to King. He went through an accident, and I am not going to say more than that because I believe this is something you really need to read for yourself. But it was a seriously moving story, and about how he got back into writing after that. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But he did it. And if he could be at such a low place and still write, guess what? YOU CAN TOO!

And lastly, when I finished the whole book and looked back on part one – all about Stephen King’s life and all – it showed me that you can always be published. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you’ve done before. There’s a chance out there, and it has your name on it. Whether it’s a big or small break, take all you can.giphy

WHY WE ALL NEED TO MARRY STEPHEN KING’S WIFE. OR WELL, SOMEONE LIKE HER

As I read this book, I got to know Stephen King’s wife a bit through the novel. She was someone who challenged him for the better, who motivated him, and encouraged him to be a better person. She didn’t take any nonsense, and was also a beta reader for basically all his work. Some authors will tell you to have someone you hate, and you should write to defy them and show them what you’ve got. And yes, maybe that is all fine and dandy. But we all need to have someone who is going to support you through the highs, the lows, and will encourage your writing no matter what. They will give you brutal criticism, and tell you what you did well as well. They will be the person who pushes you to your full potential.

It might be a wife. It might be a sister. It might be a best friend. Whoever it is, I hope we can all find our Stephen King’s wife. tumblr_n462shMnnV1tq4of6o1_500

Happy writing!

Olivia-Savannah x

You Don’t Have To Write Every Day

Good morning!

Whenever you ask someone for writing advice, one of the most commonly given pieces of advice is to write every day. Write every day, they say, and you will make the most progress, and hone your skill the fastest, and get better results.

I say that’s a load of phooey.

PHOOEY, I TELL YOU.

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There is some truth to the “write every day” scheme. It is true that when you write every day, you will see quick results and will probably finish your project sooner. It is true that if you practice something every day, you improve quicker.

Projects like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) were designed to help you and motivate you to write every single day. NaNoWriMo urges you to write 50,000 words in one month – a solid 1,667 words a day. It is crazy, but doable – I’ve done it several times. Sure, you may be ripe for a mental institution when the month’s over, but you do have a first draft on your hands. A very rough and very imperfect first draft, but a draft nonetheless. NaNoWriMo tells you to bind your inner editor and silence them with duct tape – don’t think too much, just write. Just write and things will work out in the end. It doesn’t give you time for writer’s block; you just write and see what happens. And it does work; I once started a story I had no clear vision on, and by the end of the month I had a partial draft and had a much better idea of what I wanted to do with my story. My story ended up surprising me.

But writing every day doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve loved doing NaNo, but I always feel like I need to go into hibernation after two weeks. It turns writing into something I have to do instead of something I want to do and that sucks the fun out of it. It burns me out really quickly and I won’t pen another word for the next few months. My creativity will be as dead as a dodo.

someecards-on-writing

Every writer is different. Some people thrive under setting themselves a daily goal; others do better to just sit down every once in a while and let it all out. If you’re able to write a first draft within a week, chances are the writing community will hate you a little, but all the more kudos to you. If you write one book a year, that’s freaking awesome, dude. If you’re more the type to write a book every three years, than that’s also great! Don’t let others rush you. Write in your own time, at your own pace. Whatever works for you.

Because even if you write a book every three years, that’s still more than all those other people out there who write zero books every three years.

Writing every day definitely has some benefits to it, but don’t let anyone rush you into it.

Find your own pace.

Find what works for you.

Mean-Girls-GIF-Kevin-G-Dont-Let-The-Haters-Stop-You-From-Doing-Your-Thang1

~ Inge