1. The world is ending in a month and we’ve run out of things to do.
2. Dragons are sharp, brittle personalities, objecting with chirps and warning belches at any change in routine.
3. Virtual reality has always been better than reality, it’s a life designed to be won– once the chance to choose one over the other is real, the results are terrifying.
4. Teaching Songs are passed down verbally from generation to generation. Too sacred to be transcribed, the words and lyrics fall victim to time until each town has it’s variations.
5. It wasn’t the sort of test you could fail, you got unlimited attempts and nothing counted against you. They wanted to know how you approached problem solving, not if you could solve this particular problem on the first try. But everyone knew that going in, so some of us got creative…
1. Tiny wisps of clouds float by on the horizon, like lost sheep scattered out across the sea.
2. She’s reduced her life to the very minimalist edge, everything she used to cherish now lives in photographs on the web.
3. Everything turns colorless as soon as the glasses turn on, the Technicolor jungle reduced to a grayscale version that immediately soothes his headache.
4. “I didn’t bother to patent the machine because it doesn’t work,” he grinned at her between mouthfuls of steak. “My competitors can try and backwards engineer it till the stars burns out and they still won’t find the secret.”
“Which is what?”
5. Breaking a leg is a thousand times worse than she’d imagined, but it was still totally worth it to see the look on his face.
This year’s NaNoWriMo has turned into another series of short stories and that’s sent me digging back into the vaults to see which outlines are ripe for word counts. I didn’t plan for the first story to die out at 10k, or the second to round out a 5k, so I’m needing some serious story bones right now…
So far I have finished off
- The Tear’s of Winter — New universe, 10kish
- Werewolf Sick Days — Tales of the Drunken Unicorn, 5kish
Older Stuff I have I can work on
- Last Requests — Nothing done on this one other than the really rough outline
- Chewtoys — Plenty of room for prose expansion on ‘this is what happened’ sum-up bits
- Silverwitch — very very rough idea of where it was going, so lots of room to run
- The Ties That Bind — Lots to prose out still, but it might be better to finish Silverwitch instead of working on the sequel
- Inheritance — Still needs a lot of prose written, but the story itself has issues, might be good to work those out in a NaNo rush.
- Natural Instincts — Almost no prose done, pretty much an untouched universe so lots of room to wiggle
- Three Tequila, Floor — Lots of room to run here, very vaguely roughed out. Also bonus for being in the same ‘verse as Werewolf Sick Days (TotDU)
- The Wolves of Windsor Dorm — Only a very loose idea, but I keep referring to it in the other TotDU stories
I have a few other stories in the wings, but I think I’ll start with these and roll out the others as needed!
1. The soundproofing is excellent and they watch the world burn in silence.
2. “Ever flower color has a meaning,” he said, fingers tracing the various cut blooms, “although sometimes they lie, if you put them together right.”
“You can make sarcastic flower arrangements?” She looked up from her phone, “Seriously?”
3. Old spacer stories were full of predictions of worlds where coffee wouldn’t grow– but history had apparently underestimated botanists.
4. “We’ll always procrastinate,” she said dismissively waving the wrench. “Even without cellphones and laptops– the trick is to procrastinate actively, not passively. So stop watching YouTube and help me come build my freeze ray!”
5. Ambush hunters thrive in the jungles and the colonists learn quickly that their lives depend more on luck than skill.
1. Dragons make horrible spies, but great distractions.
2. “If you listen hard enough you can find the silence,” he leaned back against tree trunk, eyes still closed. “Just pick one sound, focus on that until it’s all you can hear– then put it aside.”
“One sound.” She looked around at the crowded park, “Right.”
“Magic takes practice baby sister,” he cracked an eye open and grinned. “You want me to tell Mom you’ve given up already?”
3. You can tell the weather by the clouds, if you pay attention– but she settles for taking an umbrella everywhere she goes instead.
4. Shipboard food is bland, processed, and repetitive. Planetside cuisine is a hodgepodge of flavors, each colony has its own mix of native and imported flavors and his stomach is always in gleeful turmoil for at least a week after landing.
5. The songs are simple now, the subtle complexities lost to time until only the melody remains.
1. Immortals from bad families don’t have trust funds, they work retail.
2. It’s hard to stay scared, no matter how spooky the house is, when nothing bad actually happens. Things going bump in the night and shadows seen out of the corner of your eye take on this disturbingly normal tone after a few months.
3. “But how are we getting the guns to start with?”
“Details,” he shrugged, “I don’t do details, I told you that when we started.”
4. Thunderheads rear up among the mountains, dancing lightning down the magnetic spires and turning the horizon into a terrifying wall of storms.
5. We’re so far gone from the farming days– We don’t eat what we plant anymore, half my mother’s garden is actually poisonous.
1. The water defines the horizon with deep blue scars against the green.
2. “I don’t want to go home again,” she snapped, “I can miss the pass without having to wallow in it.”
3. They’d reached the peak, but the dogs were spent. The hounds had sprawled out across the cool rocks panting and only giving a halfhearted wag as their handlers walked by.
4. Being paid to play games all day really isn’t as much fun as it seems. My job is to test the bug fixes, which means following a checklist of scripted actions instead of playing for fun. Except this time the game’s fighting back…
5. The only birds that pass over the tiny island are the long distance gliders, none of which bother to land unless there’s a storm rolling in.