The writer in you

I read this book called, Deeplight. It’s about two orphan boys who just try to survive in a fantasy world where there once existed deep sea monsters, or Gods. The gods are dead and the people collect the parts of the monsters and they are highly valuable. The boys try to steal some of it but one gets caught and they are seperated. One of the boys, Hark, is conflicted, on the one hand he’s loyal to his friend but to the other he likes his new life and he realise the other boy hadn’t been very nice to him. He hopes, secretly that he never sees him. But Harks friend does show up and threatens to expose him if Hark doesn’t help him.

So far so good. I love slice of life stories like this, very grounded and relatable. Nothing too major is happening, it happened! Harks friend is infected with one of the monsters and he grows more and more powerful until he’d become a new sea god if he isn’t stopped. From here, the main character Hark becomes a dull character. It’s almost as if his choices aren’t his own anymore and he’s just pushed along by the author to hit those plot points.

Before, Hark did things because that was his character, later, he did things because that’s what he was supposed to do. That in itself could be interesting to explore but they don’t. I skimmed through the last half of the book and I knew exactly what would happen all along.

I don’t know if I felt this way because I’m a writer, that I think about these things everyday or that regular readers catch on too and that they are just unable to articulate the problem? Or maybe it’s just me. I feel like the characters in our stories have more agency than we realise. I have certainly tried to control their actions before and that is too much trouble than it’s worth.

It’s also not very fun.

(If you find this topic familiar it’s because I redacted the original post. It was embarrassingly bad)

The Law of the Jungle – Poem

NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep.

The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own.

Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair.

When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.

When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.

The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come.

The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away.

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!

If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.

The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill.

Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.

Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law.

Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!

I think I’ll go ahead and read the Jungle Book now…