The Exodus Journal: Entry 10

Fantasy Friday


As we climb ever higher, the more arduous the journey becomes – the terrain turning rocky and inaccessible. The land, borderline desolate, with only thin patches of grass and bushes growing on the mountain side. Not even birds or rodents seem to thrive on these heights and I am starting to wonder if the land is indeed as accurst as the stories suggest. For even mountains has some sort of wildlife, an ecosystem where resilient animals live.

Furthermore, could a civilisation really survive this harsh climate? Or did the climate change? Perhaps something else allowed it to survive and thrive? Something that we couldn’t even fathom today?

But, I am getting ahead of myself, as I have yet to find any proof of the existence of such a civilisation, regardless of how much I wish it to be… And I really do; to the point of lunacy, one might say. But the prospect of such findings helps me cope with the endless drizzle that chills down my bone. Never allowing our bodies to fully warm – our clothes always wet.

At least the wind is calm, mercifully sparing us of the additional suffering such weather would bring. Not that it would hinder us more than it already has, with its slippery slopes and none existent paths.

That we have managed to take our wagons this far is nothing more than miraculous, but I fear this is as far as we go for the peaks are simply too steep. Impossible to climb even alone.

We can only pray that we may find something that will allow us to escape these wretched lands. Another miracle perhaps? Avos be willing.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal

Confidence Lost: Part 4

Poetry Wednesday


I am but a humble writer

Always complimented

Never appreciated

Never understood

Never read

*

For such compliments are lies

Lies to hide the face of my incompetence

To hide my inability to convey the beautiful

The ugly

And the complex


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Read the entire series here: Confidence Lost

The Exodus Journal: Entry 9

Fantasy Monday


Having performed my duties as overseer, I was heading back towards the front of the caravan, where my superiors were eagerly awaiting my report.

It is safe to assume that they will be pleased, for the supplies are lasting and the people remain spirited, despite the horrors that they have faced. However, it is clear that it is going to take weeks before we are able to ascend the mountain, perhaps months before everyone is safely on the other side.

Time we simply do not have.

I cannot help but think that all of this would have been much easier if the caravan had remained split into homogenised sections, as was the plan from the beginning. But time was not on our side, and as a result, the caravan is a mishmash of different peoples; different nationalities and social classes. Though such things do not matter any longer, it is hard to deny the inevitable conflict that arises when so many people with different opinions and experiences are mixed together.

We truly are a strange race who manages to find conflict in the midst of our demise.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal

 

How To Make A Short Story Work

Making stories that you wanna make, and making the stories that people wanna read, can be two different things sometimes.

I have this short story, my very first short story in fact, called “Colony Sane” that I have been working on for almost a year now.

Writing the same story for such an extensive time can be exhausting, but it is, unfortunately, necessary when you are starting off as a writer. Because in the beginning of your writing career, or any career for that matter, you improve your craft incredibly fast; making slightly better garbage each time. Hence, my story has been revised more times that I can remember.

In any case, the idea was for the story to be around 30-40 pages long. But after some reviews, it seemed that was not possible. People wanted to learn more about the characters and the world I created, which is awesome criticism, but I didn’t want to make the story as long as they wanted it to be.

After my second major revision, I received the same criticism, that the world and the characters needed to be fleshed out. At this point, I considered ignoring the critique and simply publish it as it was. But I realised that their criticism wasn’t unfounded, it was their solution to the problem that was.

You see: more words doesn’t equal a better story. In fact, some of the greatest works are short stories.

So, how do you make a short story work then?

In my case, the problem was that the readers wanted to know more because the MC (Main Character) knew things that the readers didn’t. I had left out information just to keep the story short, which is a bad idea. The readers need to know exactly as much as the MC does, this is the key to a good short story.A lot of things can happen in the background and be implicit, but as long as the MC doesn’t know what’s going on, and sometimes never will, then the readers can accept not knowing as well.

I may end up expanding the story in the future, if the demand is high enough. Much like how Hugh Howey did with the Wool Trilogy. (Strongly recommend this story, by the way)

If you are curious, about Colony Sane, you can read it for free on Tablo. I am still editing it though

The Exodus Journal: Entry 8

Fantasy Friday


The terrain is becoming more and more elevated as we go on, and I can now see, with utmost clarity, the vastness that is the mountains ahead. Though I have read about its greatness several years ago, I was still shaken by the sheer height of its peaks – snow clad and menacing.

Beyond that, the sheer width of the mountain was breathtaking in its own right. It stretched as far as the eye could see on both ends, beginning at the furthest reaches to the north and ending by the  great ocean to the south. Or so I’ve read…

Aside from the view ahead of me, I could now also see the the land we have left behind.

However, the most significant sight was not the greatness of nature, or the horrors of the fiery death at the horizon, but the snake-like line of people still submerged under the crowns of the trees.

It will take days before they will reach the point where I am now standing.

And here I will remain until they do, for the duty of the educated is to make sure people without it remain orderly, remain organised, and above all, remain calm. I will show my empathy by remaining here and document their arrival; to determine their various needs before continuing onward.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal

 

Confidence Lost: Part 3

Poetry Wednesday


Why is it only in distress

that motivates me to write poetry

Never in happiness

Never when the heart is content

*

It speaks volume of the mind of the writer

The mind of the human

And the mind of the reader

Who encourages such depressing behaviour


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Read the entire series here: Confidence Lost

The Exodus Journal: Entry 7

Fantasy Monday


The density and the roughness of the terrain have caused a great deal of complications on our travel, extending our journey threefold for what we expected it to be. But, after weeks of powering through the vegetation, the thickness of the forest finally seem to thin out as the mountains grew tall before my vision.

Thanks to this, I can now see ahead towards our destination, and thus determine where the strange light is coming from. Having perplexed us for some time, I can with certainty conclude that the light emanates somewhere beyond the mountain, further cementing my theory that it is anything but supernatural.

After all, we have long passed this supposed border of the “Land of the Dead”, and we have yet to see anything suggesting anything supernatural, nor any architecture for that matter.

Despite this, the Easterners, and indeed many of my colleges, glances nervously over their shoulders, wincing at every little sound, as if expecting some ghoulish creature to emerge from the foliage.

However, even though I don’t believe it myself, it is becoming harder and harder to remain level-headed when more and more people seem to subscribe to the notion of a ghostly presence in this land.

But regardless of anyone’s beliefs, nobody knows what awaits us beyond the mountain, and the only sign of what to come, is a faint light that is only visible at the peak of night-time; when the sun sets and the moon still lingers behind the smog to the east.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal

 

The Exodus Journal: Entry 6

Fantasy Friday


As stated in an earlier entry, I don’t know much about this land. However, I know of the drastic changes in temperature that can happen within the seasons of the region. And considering the placement of the sun, it will not be long before the weather turns to freezing and the first snow begins to settle. However, because of the cataclysmic events that continue to follow us, it is becoming apparent that the climate is not going to act as it used to.

Furthermore, I have noticed, ever since our departure, that it takes longer and longer for the sun to rise through the thickness of the smog in the horizon, now only granting us light as late as noon; effectively extending the night time to 18 hours.

Despite this, I can still feel the heat from the westward wind, warming an otherwise cold and damp environment. But even though the warmth is somewhat a blessing, all things considered, I cannot help to think what fuels said warmth; it consumed our loved ones, our homes, and the very land we used to live. Thoughts that sends a shiver down my spine.

As a result, warmth or cold, nothing is a certainty and the only thing we can do is to travel as fast, and as far away as possible.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal

 

Confidence Lost: Part 2

Poetry Wednesday


A story long forgotten

Never read

Never understood

Where do the readers hide?

Those that would make the story whole

Validates its content

Validates its creator

And the message it tries to convey

*

Like a fungus,

a story needs a narrative connected

Brought together by the minds and fantasies of the reader

Existing not only on paper

But at a conscious level as well

Beyond the words of its creator

Beyond the language of the written word

And into the matrix that we call

The universe


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Read the entire series here: Confidence Lost

The Exodus Journal: Entry 5

Fantasy Monday


Several days have now passed without any sign of civilisation, neither new nor old. And as I went to sleep that night, disheartened from my lack of findings, I awoke, hearing commotion outside my tent. In the glade, that I had chosen to set up camp, a large crowd had gathered, the people staring awestruck into the night; the sky strangely illuminated, as if the sun was set at dusk.

Curious, I powered my way through to the front of the crowd, and as I looked ahead, I found myself dumbfounded, as well. Between the dense branches of the forest I saw a faint light glow in the distance. The light had a purple colour in both the lighter and darker tone.

What this meant, I had no idea, but it did not matter at the time, for it was beautiful. Being engulfed in the magic of the moment, my revery was broken as I heard a group of the eastern tribesmen murmuring nervously next to me. Their faces showing terror rather than wonder.

Unable to take my eyes of the light, I inquired about their behaviour the next morning. Their explanation was unsatisfactory, as their tales were filled with ambiguity, which comes as no surprise as this is the furthest that any of them have dared to travel. They could not know what the light was, so naturally, they were convinced that we were entering into the Kingdom Of the Dead.

Though, such an explanation is unlikely, I cannot deny the ominous feeling the light emanates. I will watch this phenomenon closely from now on.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal

 

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