Concept #1 – Role reversal

Image by tomhotovy


Prompts & Concepts

Context: adventure story, most likely (during) a Manichean type of conflict. Good guys versus bad guys. Single characters or groups, doesn’t matter for either side.


During one of the fights between the protagonists and the antagonists, one of the antagonists, a particularly antagonistic character is captured/taken in by the protagonists.

At first he tries to free himself/leave and go back to his own companions. He doesn’t succeed and is stuck with the protagonists for some time.

Over the course of said time he tries to destroy them or convert them to his point of view to get them to come to his side but he doesn’t seem to succeed.

Slowly, however, and without completely realizing it, he starts to turn to the protagonists side and to befriend them.

At one point in the story he even begins to help them towards their cause. Overtime he changes to their side.

A possible twist to that would be that one of the protagonists, at one point in the story (possibly around the moment the antagonist who has been captured starts becoming a protagonist), betrays the other protagonists and decides to join the antagonists’ side.

Why not make this happen during a great battle (meaning a major conflict in the story). The antagonist who has been captured finally starts helping the protagonists and as they are about to overcome (or even things out with) the other antagonists (who feel betrayed by the captured antagonist’s desertion) they are betrayed by one of them and that betraying protagonist leaves with the antagonists and joins their cause but not before badly wounding the captured antagonist.

This could be either about the point of view of the good side or the bad side: a dark/evil character becoming good (with all the struggle it implies), or a good character becoming evil. Or something else entirely.

Also, I say ‘he’ when talking about the character(s) but that doesn’t mean I mean them to be male (nor human), anything goes.

This may seem common (it uses some common tropes/plot devices) but the whole psychological aspect of the betrayal of the antagonist towards his companions and then the betrayal of the protagonist to join the other side could be very interesting to exploit.

Also, why not mix in a few love interests here and there to make things more complicated? Like between a protagonist and the antagonist they captured or between a protagonist and the other one who will betray them? The person the antagonist who starts to become good likes is killed (or gravely wounded) by the protagonist traitor?


Yep. There you go.

This is a short and simple one to begin with, but quite interesting and efficient nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy!

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The Phone

a short story by Sullivan P. Oopy.

*

handonphone

She jumped with a start as the phone rang again. The piercing beeps echoed in the empty house. A second time, a third time. It kept on ringing, and yet she wasn’t making a move to get up and pick it up. Instead she was rooted to the spot. Fear? Apprehension? Anger? Frustration? All of these feelings boiled inside her. She wanted to scream at the top of her lungs, to let her tears flow freely, to get up and run far away from that place. But she couldn’t. If she did it would only mean surrendering to her most primal feelings, it would also mean surrendering to him. No. That was not acceptable, it was not an option. She had to remain calm and strong. This was nothing. It would soon be over. She closed her eyes and tried her best to drown the sound of the phone out of her mind. One deep breath. Two deep breaths. As she exhaled for the third time she slowly opened her eyes. The ringing had stopped, the room was silent again.

She could feel her heart slowing down slightly, her breathing becoming less ragged. Oh, she wasn’t relaxing yet! No, not yet. This wasn’t over. It never was. Each time it kept ringing again and again for as long as she refused to pick up. It drove her mad. But this time, this time maybe… Maybe she would be stronger. Maybe she would stand up to him and not cower by answering. That was the kind of woman Hope Wien was, strong and independent, reliable and friendly, someone her friends could definitely count on. That came from her mother, Camellia, from the Wien side of the family, the strong side. Of course it was strong, her mother had somehow managed to convince her father to take her name when they had married, a feat that Hope had not seen repeated anywhere else. Wien was a strong name. Originally coming from the european city itself, and pronounced the same way, it had changed to a softer ‘ween’ when she had arrived to America all those years ago. Reluctant to accept this at first, she had slowly got accustomed to it, even getting her brother, who had remained in Austria, to say it that way when he talked to or about her.

Her brother. Thinking about him brought her immediately back to reality and made her shiver. He was the one responsible for all of this. Slowly and methodically torturing her with those calls. Each year, on the same day at exactly 6pm the phone would ring. Wherever she was, whatever she was doing, whether she was at home or only had her cell phone. It would ring without fail. How he got ahold of her, she would never understand, the point was he did. Every time. He would let it ring for as long as it would: once, twice, three times, as many times as it was necessary for her to pick up. Sometimes it lasted a few minutes, sometimes hours. Once she had just thrown her phone into the river out of frustration. However he somehow had managed to call the friend she had been spending the evening with. He never stopped, he was relentless. As if this call and the feelings it brought down on her was the sole purpose of his life on that precise day.

“You psycho!”, she wanted to pick up and yell at him. “Why won’t you leave me alone already?! What have I ever done to you to deserve this?!”

But she couldn’t manage to do it. Never. Because somewhere, deep down, she knew she deserved it. Once upon a time it had been her who had the role of the torturer and him the role of the victim. Oh how she regretted it! How much she wanted to go back and change it, make it up to him. But time only went forward and karma had caught up to her. She was too far away for him to actually come over but the psychological torture he imposed on her each time seemed to be enough to content him. She sighed once more and looked outside, anxiously waiting for the phone to ring again. Rain started pouring heavily over the city, night was dark and cold. She was prepared this time and yet, as the phone rung again, she couldn’t help jumping one more time. She closed her eyes, repressing her emotions deep inside her and inhaled one last time. Two rings. Then, slowly, she got up and walked to the phone. Three rings. She extended a trembling arm towards it. Four rings. Five rings. She quickly grabbed it and picked up.

“Y- yes?”, she said.

Damn it! She cursed inwardly at her trembling voice.

“Who is it?”, she added in a more confident tone, for the form, despite knowing perfectly well who it was and what he wanted.

Her heart had stopped beating as she now waited for the dreadful reply. At first there was silence, no, not silence, she could hear him breathe! But he said nothing. Then there was a slight change in his rhythm. The bastard is smiling, he’s enjoying this! She couldn’t see him but she knew it. Rain started pouring more heavily and the sound it created against the large windows was harrowing. Come on! Come on! Say it! She silently prayed, wanting this to be over. A flash of bright light momentarily lit up the sky. Tears welled up at the corner of her eyes and she was about to say something when, finally, he spoke.

“Hallo… Wien!”, her brother said as thunder roared outside.

*

Paint me like one of your french girls

It was blue, it had always been blue. So why not?

The thought had occurred to me like a self-evidence. A statement that needed no explanation or demonstration, a universal truth. Or what should have been a universal truth. Unfortunately, things weren’t the same over here, they didn’t understand them like we do.

It had been weird at first, difficult to believe and to get used to even. But over time it got easier, it almost became normal. They needed my help for basic things, things that might be easy even for one of our young souls but which, for them, even adults couldn’t do…

I tries my best, helping when I could, explaining when I couldn’t, trying to teach them a few tricks to get by more easily. It got slightly better but not by much, that was their existence and There wasn’t a lot I could do to change it…

I could see something they couldn’t and they idolized me for it. Not all of them, but a majority. Not that I really wanted this. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you view things, I made a few mistakes, that made them realize that perhaps I wasn’t so perfect…

They started doubting me a bit more, questioning, which was good, that ways they would become curious and look for answers on their own. Maybe even fond them. It took some time for me to really win their trust as a normal person and not as some messenger of a vengeful god… But I manager it, slowly but surely.

That’s why I was so excited and proud when they came to me that day and asked That favor of me. They had not asked for something of the kind for a long time. It was a strange request, not that easy a feat either but I accepted with glee, after all, that was giving me a chance to help them one last time.

So what did they ask me?, you wonder. Well they asked me to paint the sky blue and to let them finally see the wonderful sight I had always been speaking about. That mysterious color they had never been able to lay their eyes on…


My short story for the writing prompt I suggested earlier this week, enjoy.

Writing Prompt #1


“It was blue, it had always been blue. So why not?”


So, here is something I have never done, at least not from this side of the game. I love participating to story prompts like this, most of the time it’s motivating and brings inspiration, and the rest of the time it’s just interesting to go and read what others have imagined.

For some time now I have been toying with the idea of doing one myself, to see if I could manage to motivate some people to try playing with me and also to see how different our imaginations work. As I just said I don’t have much experience with this kind of exercise, except for those I have participated to so I apologize in advance if anything is unclear or not well-organized, this is my first. I’ll try to do better next time, because indeed, I hope there will be a next time!

After thinking about it for the last few days here is the prompt I have come up with. Imagine the sentence I offer you at the beginning is the beginning of a novel, a poem, a short story or anything that you might want to write. The goal is simple, you have to answer this single question: what comes next?

Your writing is absolutely not limited in any way, it can be in the form you want, go on for the length you want, be about the subjects you want and end or be destined to be continued later.The only restriction I would apply is that it has to contain the prompt as its first sentence, or in its first line(s) if you decide to go for a poem or something of the sort. That’s all, apart from that you are free. You choose, you decide, you write.

If you want me to give it a go and read it (to give you a bit of feedback on my impressions), you can send it to me via comments on this blog or through my social contacts on my Contact page (there’s a form to send me an email at the bottom of the page). Make sure you add a way for me to contact you and I’ll try to give you my thoughts on what you have to offer.

I will also (try to) participate to this prompt and (try to) give you my version of the inspiration I get from this sentence (if and when I have time). I’ll (try to) post it as soon as I can but it will be uploaded at the latest by next weekend, around the 27th or 28th of August so y’all have about one week to get to work and produce a masterpiece!

I really hope you’ll find this motivating and have fun trying it out!

All right, set your watches on me, grab your pens (or keyboards, as you prefer) and get ready… set… imagine!


My text for this prompt : Paint me like one of your french girls

Or another prompt I am offering!

Hands on her guitar

.

Oh delicate fingers playing such charming chords,

Feverishly striking strings, making a last stand,

A soft, melodious voice is blaring out words

That, no matter my efforts, I can’t understand,

All this sound, sweat and blood, together starts blending,

In a fervent potion, powerful elixir,

Affecting every soul, working as a fixer

For dreams of past deeds forgiven and heart mending,

Loud heartbeats, ragged breaths fill up the void around,

And roam upon the earth, free of everyone’s mind,

The old vengeful spirits of regrets left behind,

As music keeps playing and feelings are unbound.

Timeless echoes that still, to us, so much bequeath,

Have the strange power our emotions to unsheath.

.

Stanley – 33


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 33

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


“Uh oh…”, she said.

Michel looked up at her, his eyebrows frowned. he appeared not to have noticed anything.

“Trouble…”, she simply added, discreetly pointing to the three men.

As hard as she may have been thinking he would, the bearded man did not turn his head immediately, instead he stared at the window, looking at the reflection of the restaurant to see what she meant. Wow, he’s not as thick as I imagined, she thought. Well, not up there at least, she added with a smirk which, unfortunately, quickly disappeared as she remembered what was going on. The three strangers had entered the restaurant like cowboys entering a saloon, completely confident and proud of themselves, and they had reasons to be so! They were tall, buffed and all seemed extremely intimidating with their black suits, their black glasses and their neatly combed short hair. A normal person would have done everything they could to avoid even having eye contact with them, one could feel the strength of their gaze even through the tinted glass. They took a look around, slowly scanning the perimeter, as if they were looking for something. Or someone.

Stephanie had almost hoped that they weren’t there for Michel and her. Perhaps they are just coming here for a simple meal, she thought as she took a sip of her soda, still discreetly looking at them. Unfortunately she was wrong, they were there for the two of them, for as soon as they took a look at the whole room, making sure the way was clear, they approached their table without even a hint of hesitation. Damn it…, cursed the young woman. How did they know we were here so fast? How did they even know it was us? We made sure to cover our faces when we escaped and the cops following us weren’t able to see us clearly, I’m sure of it. Plus we were careful not to leave any DNA on the scene. So how?! She couldn’t explain this. Somehow the government -because these guys were clearly not cops or private goons, they belonged to the government, probably a well hidden branch too- had already heard of them and was tracking them.

“Do you think we should try to run?”, Michel asked quietly.

Stephanie shook her head.

“No,” she replied as discreetly, “we still aren’t sure they are here for us, plus I’m sure they’re armed. Let’s wait a bit more. But be ready to act when I give you the signal…”

“Le signal? Quel signal?”, Michel asked, confused.

The young woman did not reply, moving slightly to get in a more comfortable sitting position as the government agents closed in on them. She was racking her brain to try to find an explanation to their presence so soon and a plan to get out of there if things went awry. Was it possible they were from… No, she thought, impossible. Or is it? She couldn’t say. She had heard things, rumors, about a special branch of the government, a very very very VERY secret agency that took care of… special cases. Cases involving events that weren’t really explainable with normal logic, mysterious disappearances, etc. But these were all heresays, and bad hearsays at that, nothing more. She had no assurance that it was linked to them. They couldn’t… they couldn’t have known about her, could they? No, it had been so long… She had the urge to get up and run away immediately, she didn’t want to see if what she had heard was true, but she couldn’t. If she did they’d surely catch her. She had to wait and take them by surprise if she wanted to make it out… But how?, she thought as the three men stopped besides her and Michel’s table. She didn’t know yet, she’d have to improvise… In the meantime she turned her head towards them and smiled.

“Hello! Is something wrong?”, she asked as innocently as possible.

To be continued…

Tale them love

.

Tell them about heroes and kings,

Tell them of these ancient battles

Taking place, ago, many springs.

Oh tell them about adventure,

And the dragons and the castles!

Those things that will, their hearts, capture.

Speak to your audience words charming,

So as to keep passion burning,

However in those tales thereof,

Do not forget to tell them love…

.

Stanley – 32


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 32

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


She had the impression they had been running for hours as they finally slowed down to a normal walking pace. They entered the fast food, trying to act as normal as possible despite their heavy breathing and the fact that both of them were drenched in sweat. They sat down at a table after ordering something to eat; Michel had insisted he “fill his belly with the sweet delight of fast cuisine” and she hadn’t had the heart to say no, her stomach rumbling at the smell of those delicious fries. Her partner started devouring his meal immediately and she followed in turn, both famished after having to run away from that horde of cops.

They had been halfway through the second rooftop when they had heard the shouts of police officers telling them to stop coming from the stairway behind them. How they had managed to get up there so fast was something Stephanie couldn’t explain but they had managed it. Of course neither of them had hesitated even a single second before starting to run faster, she couldn’t get caught, especially not after what she had done. She didn’t manage to stop herself from cringing at the thought, it had all been for naught… Plus she didn’t have a very fond memory of prison cells. Apparently Michel wasn’t too keen on letting himself get caught either because he lead the way without slowing down.

Where the shouts of the police officers had not even fazed her a bit, the first gunshots had almost made her freeze on the spot, almost. It had been surprising, she had never heard a gunshot from such little distance and the whizzing of the bullets as they rushed past both of them was quite surprising too but, since Michel didn’t skip a beat in his run, she didn’t stop and kept running. They had cut it close, very close even, she had to admit that. Even with all her good will and the energy she put into moving her legs one in front of the other at the highest speed possible she couldn’t help but being a little scare, or, more precisely, a bit apprehensive. Being on a rooftop wasn’t that dangerous in itself if one knew how to keep one’s balance and not to do anything stupid. The problem is that they were doing all the stupid possible at that moment: running at full speed, not caring where they stepped, running away from cops and being shot at. Not the most clever thing she had done in her life…

She had barely felt anything as the bullet had grazed her on the right side of her chest, making a hole in her jacket, it had been the feeling of wetness and the dizziness that had come after that had alerted her that something was wrong. She hadn’t said anything though, not before they had managed to get back down to the street. Then, and only then, as the cries of the police officers on the rooftops could still be heard, she had told Michel.

“Let’s get to the car first , we’ll see that then,” she had replied as he had advised to check her wound.

They had driven off as quickly as possible, somehow evading all the police cars on the way and had finally ended up in the commercial zone. Michel had parked the car near a mall and had bought a few supplies to treat her wound while she was evaluating the damage. In the end it hadn’t been to serious, a gash on her side and nothing more. Still hurting but with a clean wound and a reassured mind, they had walked in the nearest fast food to grab a quick bite. And here they were, unsure of what to do next, if they had been tracked by the police or if they were now fugitives. After all, the cops hadn’t been close enough to get a look at their faces so they most likely were safe, but one never knew. Stephanie was starting to relax, thinking back to the apartment and the clues they had found as she ate her chicken burger, when she saw the three men in black suits walk in the room.

To be continued…

Stanley – 31


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 31

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


The dark-haired young woman and her more-light-colored-hair friend were about to move out of the apartment towards the staircase when they suddenly heard the police sirens that had been in the background since a few minutes ago ring out much closer and tires screeching as cars came to a halt in front of the building. They both stopped in their tracks as they were about to walk towards the elevator and looked at each other.

“Do you think we should go check it out très chère?” Asked Michel after a few seconds spent trying to figure out what was indeed happening.

Stephanie simply nodded before rushing back into the apartment and looking out the window. She immediately froze as she saw almost a dozen policemen in uniforms rush out of their cars and enter by the front door. The young woman somehow immediately knew they were coming exactly where they were, how she knew that would remain a mystery but somehow she did.

“Damn it!” She swore as she backed away and looked at Michel who had looked out the window too.

“What do we do maintenant?” He asked with a tense expression.

“I don’t know…” Replied the young woman as her brain fumed, trying to come up for a solution to get out of the hellhole they were trapped in.

They couldn’t leave by the front entrance, it would seem to suspicious but they couldn’t very well stay there either because it would almost certainly insure their capture and their prosecution as The Duck’s murderers. No one would believe them if they tried to explain what they were doing here, especially not her. Plus everything would come to light, everything she had had to do. The young woman shivered at the thought. No, it couldn’t happen, they had to get out.

“This way?”

She turned towards the bearded man as she heard his voice, he was pointing towards the window. As her eyes followed his well muscled and tanned arm she imagined herself being wrapped in it and relishing the moment as her mind went back to the previous night. Then she saw the staircase and it all became clear, the fog clouding her mind seemed to go away and she let a smile spread across her face as she understood what he meant. Of course! She thought. The emergency staircase! 

“Yes, you’re a genius!” She exclaimed as she gave him a kiss on the cheek before rushing towards the red metallic structure outside the window.

Michel followed her closely after closing the window as best as he could behind him. They ran as fast as they could up the stairs, hearing the sounds of policemen entering the apartment soon after they had exited it. The young woman thanked the upcoming summer and all those sessions at the gym for her cardiovascular system’s good shape. They finally arrived on the roof after a few seconds of silent effort and she didn’t have time to catch her breath as they started moving again.

To be continued…


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Writer thoughts about writing

As a reader, or perhaps a writer your self, you may have a certain idea of what an author’s vision about his story is like. A few years ago, before I really started to work on my ideas and try to put them down on paper, I had such a vision (which I kept for a long time and only recently realized it might not always be the case): to me an author (but it also applies to any other creations) is the master of his world, everything they say is considered ‘canon’ in the story, no matter if it is good or bad. They are the ones who imagined the universe, the characters and the whole plot of the story they tell (whether it’s inspired by real events, like historical books, or based off another story or completely made up, doesn’t matter) and so they are the ones who can whatever they want about the story, and that despite all that other people might say.

A few examples of this are when J.K. Rowling said that in her mind Dumbledore was gay, fact that was not ever mentioned in the stories though it may have been implied a little. It was quite a controversial announcement and many people were not okay with that. The fact is, however, that it’s her universe, whatever she imagines in the books is her decision and cannot be contested. Criticized yes but never contested. It is fact. Or when George Lucas imposed his changing vision of the Star Wars franchise on his fans, changing beloved details to satisfy the image of the movies and the universe he had. Perhaps it’s not exactly the same but to me they have the right to do that, it is, after all, their universes and their creations. I, myself, don’t condone all the decision Lucas made for example, a lot of the CGI that was added afterwards takes out the nostalgia and the charm of the original movies, but I respect it is his decision to offer his ‘true’ vision to his fans. However I also support the fact that he should allow people to have access to the ‘original movies’, when they were still untouched or barely changed. Not just to please them but also because it feel right because they were still good at that stage, perhaps even a bit better than before being changed. Plus it might be financially very profitable to the owner of the licence.

Anyways, this is just to say that an author is the reigning decision maker about his own stories or universes! But one cannot forget that it is also the fans that make the story popular and give the author credit by loving it and making it known. The fans take the universe and make it their own, each person takes it for themselves, that cannot be denied. Still, the author is ultimately the one who decides what comes out in the end, and that should always be independent of the fans, it should his or her own decision. As a fan you have to respect that. I know it’s hard, I for one had trouble accepting that when I read the end of the Inheritence cycle, I was so frustrated by how Paolini had decided to end the cycle, it didn’t feel right because there were still so many questions and things that hadn’t been explored… Or when I read Incarceron, a very good book in two parts by Catherine Fisher, and I found out at the end of the second book that the story ended like that despite me wanting something else so desperately… Yeah, it was hard. It took me time to get over it but, and I think starting to write my own stories helped, we all have to understand that an author has a precise vision for what they want to create and there is nothing we can do about it (especially when it’s already done), it is how it is. Just like real life. You can’t always get what you want, despite how hard you wish for it, so you come to terms with it and keep moving on.

This leads us to the point I wanted to make here. As and author I have realized that I have a precise vision of what I want to make but also that I don’t know everything about my story. In the general public’s idea, an author is thought to have a very precise idea of everything he writes, to know all about his story. As a writer, thought amateur, I can tell you it is very far from the truth, for me at least. I know what I want to create for my stories, I know what will be liked and what might not be, and I know I don’t care because this is what I want to write. But I also know that I have blanks and things that are blurry all over the place. You see, I don’t really feel, like you might imagine, as the creator of my stories in a sense. What I mean is that I am at the same time the ‘god’ reigning over the universe I imagine, knowing everything and capable of anything I want, like bending the rules or creating new ones. I don’t really feel like that. Of course I am the one who imagine the universe and the characters and the plot, and perhaps I was such an entity at the beginning, when I was still playing ‘who has the most Super Sayan transformations’ with my brother in our garden, but now I feel different.

I feel like I am more of an observer, a semi-omniscient narrator/viewer of the stories I create. I have scenes and ideas that pop into my head but it is difficult to say if I really decided to imagine them or if they came to me, created by the world itself. It’s complicated to make the difference at this point. Of course I still make decisions from time to time, like in Echoes of Power, which is a story about a teenager discovering he can use magic, where I consciously decided what the main character look like to sort of make a point, instead of simply let my imagination follow its own course. I, as a writer, am more of a historian, glimpsing moments and scenes of the story and discovering it piece by piece, than a true godly creator. At least that is how I feel. And I think that I am not alone, I think a lot of other creators are like this. That idea came to me when I was thinking about an eventual interview I might give one day, when I have become rich and famous and people want to know all about my stories, I asked myself: what if they ask me a question I don’t know the answer to? Like, what happened to this character to make him become like this? What if I know that something happened but I can’t say what exactly…? Will it make me look like a bad author? And I realized that no, it wouldn’t. I might be looked at weirdly but what i have created and written doesn’t need to have answers to everything. Realism, making the story believable doesn’t necessarily mean to be able to explain everything, just like with History. Which, ironically, makes this more realistic, more life-like…

Anyways! This is a rant I wanted to get out to you readers and authors, ask as many questions as you want but if you don’t get an answer or don’t get one that satisfies you because you are not okay with what the creator of your beloved story made something different from what you had hoped, remember that in the realm of the story, the author is king. and if he doesn’t have the answer it doesn’t mean something has no explanation, that is where ‘canon’ ends and ‘fanfiction’ begins, where you make the story’s universe your own. Respect the bad and blurry sides of what you love and enjoy, imperfections are what makes something perfect! (Such cool, very philosophy, so wow!)

Okay, that’s all! Thank you for taking the time to read, and sorry if I wasn’t very coherent or clear, I wrote this in one go… Alright, see you people later!

Soar Vandergeid out!


tldr; An author always has the final word, no matter what, even if he doesn’t have an answer.