• Hi Melanie, thank you for stopping by. ‘Argusaugen’ is where the idea for the talisman came from, actually. I was not aware that there are too many characters in the story, or that they are confusing, but maybe I will include a who-is-who in the end (especially because I always like going through those when reading)

  • Thank you, Julie, for your kind comment. Honestly, I had a feeling the backstory was taking over, taking up too much time/space, that’s why I limited myself to this short tale here. I know I should probably start plotting at some point, but I want the story to surprise me. I keep telling myself: this is a first draft, I have total freedom in my…[Read more]

  • Hi Deryn, could you please tell me what it was you didn’t get? This is important, if I want to improve my writing. Plotting, at the point, is not something I can bear, I have a general idea where everything is going to go eventually, but I feel it would be too mechanical to just flesh out a plot (I am afraid I would get bored and stop writing, and…[Read more]

  • Hi Deryn, I am terribly late here, but I have been thinking all week what to write. I didn’t notice any inconsistencies, but you have already explained to Michael why there may not be any in this particular scene. I was wondering whether Gio would be aware of the rumours about him and Chrissie at all. He sure is playing with fire. One thing I…[Read more]

  • Hi Julie, I really, really liked this scene, such an interesting backstory to Bridget, and masterfully told. The only thing to consider to somehow distinguish dialogue within Bridget’s memory from dialogue taking place at the present (the man on the ferry). Can’t wait to find out more 🙂

  • Hi Natasha! Another awesome scene, great setting at the zoo and information on what happened to most of the animals. You always draw me right in to this world. Everything feels natural, although it is so foreign. Is Andromeda really going to give up on her rampage of revenge?

  • Hi SJ! I had forgotten that it had been Luca and Walter who had rolled Afra over on her back in a previous scene and so the beginning of this scene with Henry and Bobby was a bit disorienting. But other than that the scene works perfectly. Just as Augustine is about to find a cure for Afra’s plight, she is snatched away – and by none other than…[Read more]

  • Hi Rachel! I am completely new to your story so I have no clue what happened before, but I had no trouble understanding this scene. It was easy to understand the setting and although at first I was a little overwhelmed by the number of characters you mentioned, it quickly became clear that there are three main players in this scene, and also that…[Read more]

  • Hi Monica, wow, another great result of pantsing! I got a strangely menacing vibe from Mrs Brown this time – don’t know why. Stumbled a bit over the introduction to the impression of Bette Davis, but otherwise, wow! Oh, and the chaperoned date at the coffee shop was genius!

  • Great scene! Actually, perfect. I loved every moment of it, especially the ending

  • Hi Elizabeth! JD seems a lot less ‘supernatural’ than usual in this scene, especially since other patients seem to agree with him. Some very important questions are asked here, and the patients suddenly seem a lot saner somehow. At the end, JD seems to return to his ‘not-quite-human’ self. I find it interesting how we have gone from JD being a…[Read more]

  • Hi Riana, I have been reading your scenes the last couple of weeks and feel that I am getting into the story. I liked Albert exploring his grandpa’s garden, places where he obviously spent a lot of time in his childhood. The herbs and plants he doesn’t recognise and Tina asking to get her herbs back – this is quite intriguing. Are they really just…[Read more]

  • Hi Adam, just dropping in after a long break. This scene feels very emotional, strangely heartbreaking, even out of context. Well written, as usual. Will have to drop in more frequently

  • Hi Christa! Seeing Faya puke black worms in the last scene made me feel queasy, you described it so vividly. The idea that her wellbeing is connected to the wellbeing of this creature is quite unnerving. I really hope she finds a way to detach herself from the worm. I love your scenes, love your worldbuilding. The question why someone would want…[Read more]

  • So much here not boding well for Thomas! I wish he would say something to Beth about his symptoms so that she could administer the blue serum before it’s too late. Great pace and as usual, you leave us wanting more.

  • Hi Anne, I remember Mia talking about this slump, so I try to see it as a ‘rite of passage’ of sorts… I am determined to finish this story – and now I feel I owe it to you that makes it much easier. Still can’t make myself plot anything, but the story is kind of plotting itself anyway. Couldn’t bring myself to write a single line this week until…[Read more]

  • Thank you for still reading this (I am getting a bit tired of my own story at this point, but I guess that was to be expected…). Truculent, yes, but I see them rather as in their early twenties, which is way worse, to my mind. As to ‘another cliff hanger’: I have to keep you interested somehow, don’t I? Since there’s not really much going on yet…[Read more]

  • Hi Anne, reading this I had an emotional reaction like when watching a horror movie where you yell at the characters ‘Don’t go into that house!’ or ‘Look behind the door!’ Here I wanted to yell at Barker ‘Tell him she is engaged!’ or something like that. This has always been my go-to response, it’s always seemed the only one that worked. You must…[Read more]

  • Scene 14 by Eva-Maria

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    “Ok,“ said Niklas, „I can imagine what an ‘Eye of Argus’ might be, even though I’m not clear how it will help this Dmitry. But I would still like to know more about Iraida. Who is she […]

    • Hi Eva- Maria
      Malikat’s voice is so strong I sometimes forget she’s a cat, so it was surprise when Evie wanted to scoop her up and hug her.
      Another great scene, takes the story forward, lots of explanation without being a lecture.
      ” .. ran around with that terrible crowd from Mount Olympus for a couple of centuries” Love it. I always thought they behaved like a bunch of truculent teenagers.
      And … groan. Another cliff hanger, another wait. Sheherazade’s star pupil.

      • Thank you for still reading this (I am getting a bit tired of my own story at this point, but I guess that was to be expected…). Truculent, yes, but I see them rather as in their early twenties, which is way worse, to my mind. As to ‘another cliff hanger’: I have to keep you interested somehow, don’t I? Since there’s not really much going on yet (I hope that’ll change as soon as the quest starts), I have to use every trick in the book 😉

        • Hi Eva-Maria
          I get the sense a lot of us are taking a bit of a breather so I wouldn’t worry about feeling less than enthusiastic at the moment, it’ll change. I’ve got to do the dreaded plotting with mine, my scenes are like an incomplete set of jigsaw pieces. We must stiffen our sinews and get once more into the breach, dear friend…I had a really clunky time with my writing this week and to say it didn’t flow is an understatement, but I have to have faith that if I plod on it might get there. Please don’t give up and leave me forever wondering what the hell happened to your characters.

          • Hi Anne, I remember Mia talking about this slump, so I try to see it as a ‘rite of passage’ of sorts… I am determined to finish this story – and now I feel I owe it to you that makes it much easier. Still can’t make myself plot anything, but the story is kind of plotting itself anyway. Couldn’t bring myself to write a single line this week until Thursday 1 a.m. when it was either write – and write quickly – or miss a week…I think jigsaw pieces may not be a bad thing at this point. This is a first draft, after all. We will all have to go back and make our stories make sense in a second draft. You are doing great, your story is the first one I read each week (even if I don’t comment immediately)

            • Wow, thanks for that, and I’m so glad you’re still on board. I trust you to be honest and tell me when I’m off the rails, and that is such a good feeling.

    • Hi Eva Maria – you nearly lost me this week, just because your plot is actually v complex, the who did what to whom, but it is testimony to your writing that you are keeping us riveted. I loved this, read it a few times to get it, but I love this band of human friends ad their commitment to help Malikat. I’m with you all the way. And btw, if you can bear to do it, that plotting thing along a diagonal line that takes you from start to finish with all the key points along the way is so worthwhile. It doesn’t have to be cast in stone but it gives you a real sense of who is meant to prevail, who gets thwarted..I had a brainstorm last weekend and it was just at the right time, as we come into that slumpy/middle scenes section. Keep at it, you are doing really well x

      • Hi Deryn, could you please tell me what it was you didn’t get? This is important, if I want to improve my writing. Plotting, at the point, is not something I can bear, I have a general idea where everything is going to go eventually, but I feel it would be too mechanical to just flesh out a plot (I am afraid I would get bored and stop writing, and I don’t want to stop). So for the moment, I am aware that all I have is parts of a mosaic that in a second draft will be forged together somehow. Please, let me know if there’s anything that bothers you or you would like to be there…

    • For a week where many of us are feeling lacklustre and tired you’ve packed your story with events that could easily each have a scene to themselves. I applaud your imagination and am here to tell you that Malikat lives – becuase I think about her as I go about my daily business….this is the mark of the creation of a great character. I think you can slow down and tease out the story more, more show less tell. I know; it’s an overused comment. We’re all struggling a bit this week, my contributions is off – but we’re here to support one another. Deryn has given good advice I think – I am fighting with myself to sit down and really look at the plot – keep writing as you will eventually have a wonderful story that loads of people want to read.

      • Thank you, Julie, for your kind comment. Honestly, I had a feeling the backstory was taking over, taking up too much time/space, that’s why I limited myself to this short tale here. I know I should probably start plotting at some point, but I want the story to surprise me. I keep telling myself: this is a first draft, I have total freedom in my first draft… I don’t know, maybe the whole story will be about Malikat eventually (it started out being about Evie and her adventures). But I am very happy, you are still reading

    • Hi Eva-Maria, I like how you interweave all these different bits of mythology. I’ve never come across the eye of Argus in English. It’s quite common usage in German. We are getting so much deeper into the story now. There are quite a lot of characters. Are you planning to include a who-is-who of characters in the final version? I applaud your imagination. This is turning out to be quite a complex tapestry of story.

      • Hi Melanie, thank you for stopping by. ‘Argusaugen’ is where the idea for the talisman came from, actually. I was not aware that there are too many characters in the story, or that they are confusing, but maybe I will include a who-is-who in the end (especially because I always like going through those when reading)

    • Hi Eva -Maria
      Your backstory is intricate and rich. I see in the comments below already suggestions for less tell and more show but as you said for first draft and getting story down I applaud you for persevering and championing space for your imagination to unfold. I felt quite moved by certain aspects in this scene – a heaviness to Malikat which gave another layer to an already intriguingly crafted character. Amira’s plight was/is aching. Iraida’s secret power in her abilty to withstand the humaness of the world fascinates me- it’s all quite haunting ( I mean that in the best possible way). Thank you xxx

  • Hi Sean! Great scene, good explanations for what we have witnessed through Thomas’ eyes so far. I am not sure about the whole Mesotardigrade thing, though: If it was doubted that they even existed, how did Martin come by fragments of their DNA? (Am I just nitpicking here? Or did I miss something?). Also I did not quite understand Beth’s…[Read more]

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