3 Simple Steps That Will Bring Internal Movement

You might be stagnant right now. Emotionally, I mean. To write well, you’ve got to open up your internal flow. Here’s how.

What Causes Emotional Stagnation?

Gosh, nearly everything can. Fear of what may be, spiritual possession, emotional theft, and the opening of tremors from your past all slow the internal flow.

How To Diagnose Yourself

If you’re emotionally stagnant, you have a lot of energy blockage through your heart and in your neck. You have a hard time breathing, and your brain feels just a little hazy.

Send your mind down into your home-center, which is right under the top of your sternum. Picture, let’s see.

Sternum_composition

Now, somewhere under the tip of that bone there’s a cluster of prescient knowledge about yourself. If you shove your concentration in there, and let yourself feel things, a person or a situation is going to rise up in your mind.

There it is; that’s the source for what you’re experiencing just now. Sometimes there are ten things stacked on top of each other, but for now, we’ll only look at the top one.

Pull it out of your body, as if it were a piece of colored tissue paper, and let it hover in the air right in front of your chest.

Step One: Tear The Paper Up

We’ve pulled out the top-most cause of your stagnation, and imagined it as a colored piece of tissue paper. Go ahead and tear it all to bits. Really rip the thing to shreds, as if you were trying to make sure there was no piece left bigger than your thumb.

Once you’ve destroyed that piece, make the scraps into a little heap on the floor at your feet. Got that? Great.

Step Two: Bring Fire From The Lumbar Vertebrae

Your spine is filled with three different sections of vertebrae; the bottommost bones are called the lumbar vertebrae. Here’s a picture:

lumbar

Those bottom ones are what we want. Now, at the very base of your spine, imagine a lick of fire, like the flame of a steadily-burning candle, right between the double rise of your pelvic bones. This fire is going to burn up your lumbar vertebrae, and when it reaches the full top of that gentle curve, take a lick of fire into your hand and put the flame into your heap of paper on the floor.

Take that fire and lay it against the tissue paper scraps. The colored scraps will burn up as readily as hair, and leave something like mist behind.

Step Three: Breathe In The Mist

You’re going to consume your burned-up problem now. Like a cleansing acid (the friendly kind), that mist from the colored paper will flow through your nostrils, down through your lungs, and spread all in your veins.

Your own pain acts as an accelerant to your natural soul. Pulling out, burning, and then breathing in your blockage eats away all the blockage, and makes a temporary surge of comfort and sweet pain, like love, flow all through your aura.

And Now You Can Write With Loosened, Free Emotions

To recap: send your mind behind the top of your sternum, and find a knot of colored energy there. Pull that energy out; it’s a thought of a person, or about a situation in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is, or how you feel about  it.

Pull the energy out, and imagine it as a solid piece of colored tissue paper hovering in the air in front of your chest.

Now tear it all to bits and arrange it in a tidy heap just at your feet. Feel a flame of licking, raw fire at the base of your spine, and allow it to burn up and fill your lumbar curve. As soon as the fire fills up to the tip of that lumbar section, take some flame in your hand and feed it against the pile of tissue paper.

The paper will consume at once into a sweet mist; breathe in that mist, and feel a rush of warmth, of bittersweet longing, and of emotional life go through your veins.

And Now, You’re Ready To Write

This is an exercise that takes just a moment to perform. In three steps, you can bring strong movement through your emotional life and write with clear, bright feeling and a strong flow.

You’re reading Victor Poole. My books are designed to heal several hidden things, all except for Intimate Death, a story which is purely frivolous in every way.

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Jumpstart Your Writing Voice In Five Minutes

How To Get Stronger Voice

Standing out in the crowd of books is hard; to make yourself unique and memorable, the more you can sound like your deepest self, the better.

First, Strip Tension

This is really hard to sustain without repetition, but it’s physically based, and you can familiarize yourself with the technique in five minutes.

If it helps, think of it like the river Jordan–you know the dude who had to go bathe in the mud to heal his leprosy, but he refused? And his slave was like, “Dude, you totally would have done anything hard Elijah told you to, so why won’t you do this stupid shit?” And then the captain was like, “Fuck it, you’re right,” and jumped into the river Jordan.

Peeling Pretension Starts In Your Outer Hips

There’s a muscle that runs along the outside of your hips and upper thighs. Here, I’ll find a picture online.

Here you go. We’re looking at the tensor fasciae latae, right on the side there, at the top.

thigh

This muscle hugs your femur, and it can become enormously tight and overused in artificially supporting your skeletal system.

Step One Is Relaxing This Muscle

To slip into your authentic, unique writing voice, put your fingers into your fasciae latae on either side, and push down hard, ploughing through the muscle and down your outer thigh.

This works best if you start at the flat part outside your hip, just on either side of your pelvis, and then rub down, as if your hips were full of jelly, and you were squeezing it down towards your knees (or toothpaste in a tube; that’s a better analogy).

If You Feel Pain, That’s Good

Whether or not you hold bad tension here, combing the muscle down against the bone should create an influx of deeper breath through your lungs, and a sense of relaxation through your core.

If you tense hard against the relaxation, then you have serious problems through your spine. In this case, skip to step two, and also, start doing a half-spinal twist (yoga, I’ll find an image), every night before you go to bed.

Half-Spinal Screw

half spine

Link here. The internet wants to call this “Half Lord of the Fishes,” but I learned spinal screw. Whatevs. It will pull at your tensor fasciae, if you do it gently, and loosen the muscle on each side over time (which will improve the state of your spine).

Step Two Is To Find Pain In Your Mind

Everyone in the world carries fear, trepidation, and insecurity in their minds. This is formulated of different shades of color, depending on the tones of your aura.

If you close your eyes and imagine a scared feeling, you’ll get a sudden, warm sense of color in your imagination. It doesn’t matter what the color is; fix your mind on it, and allow it to seep out and cover your whole face, as if you’re wearing an air-bubble of that color around your skull.

What Will This Cloud Of Fear Do?

Fear creates common ground, and tastes like humility to the reader. Carrying insecurity and an ability to be hurt on your face protects you from pretension, since no frightened person can seem completely hauteur-ish.

So, To Recap Thus Far

First we rub our fingers hard along our tensor fasciae latae, to create pain, relaxation, and deep breath. Second, we find a lick of color that tastes like fear in our minds, and urge it out like a cloud around our whole heads.

Next, And Finally, We Write From The Groin

If you’re biologically male, you imagine your writer-brain in the nestling warmth of your testicles and the base of your shaft. If you’re female, you imagine the writer-brain in the depth of the vaginal and clitoral area.

This sounds insane, but remember, we’re river-Jordaning our way into fresh, authentic voice.

Anyone Who Writes From Sexuality Sounds Raw

Your authentic voice will rise naturally, between the sudden release in your hips, the deeper breath through your lungs, the exposed sense of self throughout your face and mind, and your writing impulses should flow surely and instinctively from the base of your sexual organs.

Yeah, it sounds really unconventional.

You Can Do This In Five Minutes

Improving the unique, fresh tone of your voice in writing is an integral part of winning followers. To recap, dig your fingers firmly along the latae on both sides (which will feed a need for sudden breath and relaxation through the lower spine), find and release a twist of fear-color from somewhere inside your brain, and then write while imagining the energy for such rolling up from the depths of your sexual organs.

The worst that can happen is you’ll get a deep sense of embarrassment for reading about Victor’s crazy methods on the internet. The best that can happen is that you’ll have instantly clearer voice in your writing, and a simple technique you can use to drop into your authentic voice any time.

You’re reading Victor Poole. To release deep rage, and process gendered fear, read my fantasy series. I cleaned the shit out of my files this afternoon.

Why You Leave Out Anchored Details When You Write (And How To Fix It)

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When you write, you often leave out the best parts. You don’t write about the most exquisite feelings, or the tenderest moments. Everything ought to be pat action and tight dialogue; all things should push the story forward. That’s the way you might feel, anyway, but what your reader wants the most is the deepest and strongest experience of the heart of the story, and that often includes happy feelings, exciting or startling sensations, and even scenes of tender friendship or love.

Victor Poole, You’re So Judgmental!

How do I know you are probably skipping the good parts in your writing? Well, I’ll tell you: I’m extrapolating from a combination of my own experience as a writer, my days of studying story-making in amateur theatre, and my personal findings as a reader of fiction.

So I’m pretty sure, like ninety-nine percent sure, that you’re skipping most of the good parts in your story.

Why Are These Soft, Squishy Bits Getting Skipped Over?

The super short answer is embarrassment and shame, but the longer, more complete answer is that everyone has, at some point in their life, been rejected or left out, or excluded in some painful manner, and this has taught each of us that sharing our truest and deepest selves with others is scary, bad, and sometimes dangerous.

Well, I Don’t Feel That Way, Victor!

Good for you! You rock on with your bad self! However, I shall continue, since not all of us are as lucky and/or resilient as you.

When you start to hide the squishy, human part of yourself in your writing (which is what skipping these deep parts is), the story suffers immeasurably. The characters become dry and unemotional, almost like rote-reading robots, and your prose becomes, shall we say, a tiny little itsy bit tedious at times.

You Can’t Call MY Prose Tedious, Victor! You Cad!

On the other hand, when you share your very favorite parts of the story with genuine excitement and generosity, the prose gets all filled up with good, edible chewiness, and your characters become real people, fully dimensional and memorable.

I Want Memorable Characters! Teach Me, Victor Poole!

The way you can tell if you’re skipping good parts in your writing is if you are bored. Honestly, there you go. If you aren’t excited by what you’re writing about, and eager to put it down, you are more than likely hiding the good parts of the story, possibly even from yourself.

Look! I just explained writer’s block!

No, Really

I’m actually serious; when you can’t write, or you don’t really wanna feel-like-it-right-now, you are probably hiding a really great part of the story from the reader, and writing around it, or over it, or through it.

Let’s take a break from the jibber-jabber and look at some examples:

Skipped good parts:

They sat next to the fire with their hands turned towards the warmth, and the touching that had almost happened two hours ago made them reluctant to speak.

He hadn’t meant to brush against her, and for her part, she found him far less attractive now that she knew he hadn’t lived away from his mother yet.

She started to make the food, and he roused himself and unpacked their bags. They were silent, quiet, and utterly without words for each other, and they slept on opposite sides of the fire that night.

With the good parts:

Thadeus and Jewly sat next to the fire with their palms towards the warmth.

“I thought you were going to kiss me earlier today,” she said. He looked at her sharply, and flushed.

“I wasn’t,” he said.

“I know, because you didn’t,” she said pointedly. His cheeks reddened further, and he scooted a little away from her. She moved closer to him, a frown of deep irritation creasing her mouth.

“Well, what are you getting closer to me for, if you hate me so much?” he demanded.

“I never said that,” she snapped, and eased closer. He glared at her suspiciously.

“I heard you say that you thought I was a lame excuse for a knight. I heard you say that,” Thadeus exclaimed.

“Living with your mother after you’ve been knighted is decidedly out of the spirit of adventure. Where are you supposed to take your true love, after you’ve gotten hold of her?” Jewly demanded. His face darkened; he frowned at her, and scooted closer; their legs pressed together.

“Well?” he asked.

“Well, what?” she replied.

“Aren’t you going to squeal, and go sit over there?” he asked harshly.

“Why would I squeal when you keep not trying to kiss me?” she asked, color mounting in her cheeks. Thadeus stared at her, his face undergoing a gradual revolution. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, and then closed it. She sniffed, and her breath shivered, as if she was concealing a heartfelt sigh.

His hand crept towards her knee; she eyed him, and he hesitated.

“Aren’t you going to run away and tell me how much you don’t want to kiss me?” he asked. His voice had turned husky.

“No,” she said.

“Do you want me to kiss you?” he asked.

And So,

In conclusion, when you are writing, watch out for lackadaisical lack of interest from you towards your story, and beware of writing around or away from the really good parts. Remember, if the reader would want to hear about it because it’s really intense, go ahead and write about it, even if it’s scary and/or too embarrassing.

You’re reading Victor Poole; my books are here, and I recommend starting with this one.

The headless horse is a study of this.

Adding Intoxication And Arousal To Your Novel

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Look, guys, I’m talking about sex again! (This is a study I made of a whale. There are cute little silver fish, too; you can just see their fins and tails.)

That Time When I Worked In Theatre

So a long time ago, I started directing shows. Super small time, you haven’t heard of me, there’s very little evidence. But I was good. So good that old ladies and mid-level managers occasionally tried to throw free marketing at my face after they saw me work.

You Fool, Victor! Everyone Needs Free Marketing!

Yes, yes, I know, but I was working on something much more important than “big success right this very minute!”, and pushing growth without a foundation is really dumb, and a good way to destroy your long-term career.

I decided to think long-term very early in my life. But we aren’t talking about my childhood right now; we’re talking about sex. Ha ha! What a segue, am I right?

Shakespeare And The Sexy Bits

He had them everywhere, didn’t he? Shameless, but oh so effective. Here is Dick, the serial killer, worming his way into Lady Anne’s knickers:

ANNE. Thou was’t the cause, and most accurst effect.

RICHARD. Your beauty was the cause of that effect:
Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleepe,
To vndertake the death of all the world,
So I might liue one houre in your sweet bosome.

ANNE. If I thought that, I tell thee Homicide,
These Nailes should rent that beauty from my Cheekes.

RICHARD. These eyes could not endure y beauties wrack,
You should not blemish it, if I stood by;
As all the world is cheared by the Sunne,
So I by that: It is my day, my life.

ANNE. Blacke night ore-shade thy day, & death thy life.

RICHARD. Curse not thy selfe faire Creature,
Thou art both.

Here we see Richard retreating while saying intimate things, right up until Anne rushes at him in anger. Then we see Richard step smoothly up into her face and get too close and too calm. This is a recipe for an insta-crush, which Anne immediately develops (and is understandably upset and confused by).

Predators, Honor, And Romance

People usually vilify Dick, seeing as he cuts short the lives of several people in this play, but Richard is an honorable man and uses his pure soul to attract Anne into loving him (she dies in misery because of him, but she is super-duper turned on anyhow).

How, might you ask, is Richard honorable? You know, seeing as he kills a whole bunch of innocents and then does his best to secure a little girl as a second wife.

The Devil In The Character

Shakespeare does something wonderful in his plays; he writes on occasion about honorable men who fall (or are led) into evil ways, and he marks their progress pretty studiously. For example, Claudius (Measure for Measure) is not a bad guy when he is imprisoned; he has gotten Juliet with child, but they entered into a common law marriage, which was an acceptable practice at the time. He turns into ugly places when he tries to pimp out his sister to save his life, but he is not quite a murderer.

Dickie, on the other hand, pushes and lies to get people to murder each other. He doesn’t, as far as I recall, shed blood by his own hand until the end of the play, which is when the darkness overtakes him and he becomes genuinely evil.

Darker And Darker

But, you may exclaim, you promised to talk about sex today, Victor! And now I will explain what growing towards evil and sexuality have to do with each other.

You see, romance–that genuine, fluttery, hot-flashing, touch-me-now feeling–springs from the exchange of internal energy between honorable beings.

What Do You Mean By Honor, Victor Poole?

When a man or a woman extorts intimacy from the body of another, romance dies, and the interaction becomes abusive and ugly. When, on the other hand, the exchange of internal self is autonomous and self-willed, romance abounds.

The more volitional the exchange of selves, the stronger the heat of sex. Now for some examples of what I mean (because intoxicating writing generally does well, commercially).

Examples

Bad Writing:

Valerie hung sheepishly behind the butcher’s; she heard someone coming, and held her breath. Old man Hans came around the corner. He laughed when he saw her, and winked; she ducked her head and studied her books.

“You’re following that young man again,” Hans said.

“Am not,” Valerie said.

“You’d better hurry and slide against him then,” the old man sneered, and he patted Valerie’s arm with his gnarled hand. She waited for the old man to go away, and then went and looked at the bridge.

Frank was standing on the crossing, one leg stretched forward and both arms on the stone balustrade. His dark hair fell in thick curls over his neck. A bouncy woman was just beside him, her hand laid on his arm.

“We’ll see about this,” Valerie growled. She put her shoulders back and stalked towards the pair.

Good Writing:

Valerie waited around the corner; she heard approaching footsteps, and held her breath. Old man Hans came into view; she ducked her head and pretended to arrange her books.

“Morning,” Hans said.

“Mm,” Valerie agreed. Her heart throbbed painfully in her chest. She waited for the old man to hobble away, and then crept to the edge of the wall and peered around the bricks.

Frank lounged on the bridge, one knee knocked forward and both arms stretched along the stone balustrade. His skin was like sun-kissed gold, and his dark hair fell in thick curls over his neck. Bridget O’Malley stood in front of him, her whole body hooked forward, as if she thought she would magnetize the young man into falling on top of her.

“Hussy,” Valerie said under her breath. She put a wide smile on her face and swung around the corner, her bundle of books slung carelessly under her arm as she approached the bridge.

Fledgling arousal and romance is best built up by scrupulous attention to the freedom of interaction between the soon-to-be-smooching characters. Extortion kills romance, (and is great, if carefully used, for thrillers and scary bits), and autonomous sharing of the inner self is what builds the anticipation.

You’re reading Victor Poole. There is a good bit of kissing in the last few books of this series. Here is the picture I used for my whale study.

How To Make Your Prose More Poetic And Profound

2green dress

When you’re writing serious fiction in the realm of science fiction and fantasy, it’s vital to keep an edge of importance in your tone, even if you’re writing comedy. A key element of both genres is a sense of reverence, and of marvelling at the profound.

Deep Fiction, Only With Magic And Spaceships

A British author who had a smashing success, far beyond what he expected for one of his works (he had several, of varying levels of greatness), later in his life said that he wished he had said something meaningful within the breakaway work. He had made it fluffy, and almost absurdly inconsequential. Once the work did well, he wished he had put more thought into its lasting message.

He Could Have Influenced Society

Shakespeare did this all the time; he snuck nuggets of what he thought and believed about pretty much anything and everything into every corner of his plays, and anyone who really wants to have a fight with me about authorial intent can go jump in a lake.

A Dropt Love Letter

JULIA. And yet I would I had ore-look’d the Letter;
It were a shame to call her backe againe,
And pray her to a fault, for which I chid her.
What ‘foole is she, that knowes I am a Maid,
And would not force the letter to my view?
Since Maides, in modesty, say no, to that,
Which they would haue the profferer construe, I.
Fie, fie: how way-ward is this foolish loue;
That (like a testie Babe) will scratch the Nurse,
And presently, all humbled kisse the Rod?
How churlishly, I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly, I would haue had her here?
How angerly I taught my brow to frowne,
When inward ioy enforc’d my heart to smile?
My pennance is, to call Lucetta backe
And aske remission, for my folly past.
What hoe: Lucetta.

The Silliest Of Plays

Two Gentlemen of Verona is a frothy, rubbery thing; it flops around and bends willy-nilly, but the underlying narrative structure is strong. For example, there’s that scene at the end when Valentine, in a fit of brotherly affection, attempts to gift his girlfriend Silvia to Protheus; this looks ridiculous on stage if it’s performed wrong, because Protheus just finished up trying to assault her. When you examine the light-hearted nature of the tone, the act becomes a sardonic commentary upon the frantic follies of youth and inexperience. You know, like a Simpsons episode.

But Then, Shakespeare Grasped The Importance Of Profundity

There are many scenes in Shakepseare’s plays where a heroine blusters breathlessly through a seeming-contradictory litany of “yes, I like him, but no! I don’t!” speeches. Since we just looked at Romeo and Juliet the other day, I will call up the spectre of that perfect woman, Portia, as an example of another variation on the above speech, delivered by Julia, this time rendered in the profound and poetic tone adopted by the Bard shortly after he wrote Two Gentlemen.

Portia’s Blathering (While Blushing)

PORTIA. I pray you tarrie, pause a day or two
Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong
I loose your companie; therefore forbeare a while,
There’s something tels me (but it is not loue)
I would not loose you, and you know your selfe,
Hate counsailes not in such a quallitie;
But least you should not vnderstand me well,
And yet a maiden hath no tongue, but thought,
I would detaine you here some month or two
Before you venture for me. I could teach you
How to choose right, but then I am forsworne,
So will I neuer be, so may you misse me,
But if you doe, youle make me wish a sinne,
That I had beene forsworne: Beshrow your eyes,
They haue ore-lookt me and deuided me,
One halfe of me is yours, the other halfe yours,
Mine owne I would say: but of mine then yours,
And so all yours; O these naughtie times
Puts bars betweene the owners and their rights.
And so though yours, not yours (proue it so)
Let Fortune goe to hell for it, not I.
I speake too long, but ’tis to peize the time,
To ich it, and to draw it out in length,
To stay you from election.

And Now, For Fiction

How, you may wonder, can I apply the difference between light-minded cynicism and profound poetics to my science fiction novel? Observe:

Light-Minded Writing (Acerbic Commentary):

Juhi, her snot-dried upper lip stiff with daring, took up the bowl of jingling change and skipped lightly away; behind her, the greasy barkeeper yelled in an alien tongue that sounded like fighting cats.

“Pxxthe! Cght rfopwe!” he masticated. A sprinkling of ruffians in the eatery looked at him, bored and uninterested. “I’ll pay you if you catch that whore!” he screamed in a different language, for he had command of several manners of speech.

Two heavily made-up tarts who carried vicious weapons perked up at these words and shuffled promptly out the door, their artificial hips swinging behind them. The painted ladies caught Juhi at the edge of a neon alleyway.

“Give it back,” the taller lady vociferated, one of her eyelashes bouncing loose.

“I’ll give you so much more money! Just let me go!” Juhi pleaded, her narrow chest rising and falling.

The shorter lady grabbed the bowl of out of Juhi’s hands with her painted and glued nails, and kicked at her with a ludicrously-tall plastic heel.

“How much money is there in that bowl?” the taller female asked the other one.

“Twelve whole bits and change,” the shorter one sneered, her purplish cheeks lopsided.

“I can show you where he keeps all his business funds, and help you steal it all!” Juhi cried in obvious despair.

“Get lost, wdrxth,” the tall woman said, using the word for dead dog, and she wobbled towards the bar with her friend.

Profound Prose (Reflective, Respectful Commentary):

Juhi waited until the greasy man turned his back; she lifted the tip-bowl and tore away. Behind her, the over-short barkeeper heard the jingle. He turned and cried out in an alien tongue.

“Pxxthe! Cght rfopwe!” he cried, his throat tearing over the awkward sounds of his native tongue. Several patrons of the eatery looked around at him, blank incomprehension in their eyes. “I’ll pay you if you catch that thief!” he shrieked in a more common tongue.

At these words, two rough-looking women with spears in their hands and wicked guns strapped to their wide hips sprang up and crossed towards the door. They split up on the street, and cornered Juhi at the edge of a neon alleyway.

“Give it back,” the taller woman demanded. Her face was coated with exquisite makeup, and her false lashes caught the wind and fluttered up.

“I’ll split it with you if you let me go,” Juhi said, painting hard. She inched along the wall, and the tall woman planted a platinum, steel-toed high heel against the building to block her way.

The shorter woman caught the money deftly out of Juhi’s grasp, her manicured nails clicking against the metal bowl.

“How much?” the taller female asked her companion.

“Twelve and change,” the shorter one replied.

“He keeps a vault in the back, and I know the code,” Juhi said, her face pinching with desperation.

“Get lost, you wdrxth,” the tall woman said, taking her leg down. The short woman jumped slightly forward; Juhi scrambled down the street with a cry, and the two ladies watched her run and then turned back towards the bar.

And so we see, when we approach genre fiction with an eye to sobriety, profundity, and elegance of tone, our work is elevated from a sour mockery of characters (which often comes across as bad writing) to a poetic ode to the faults in our humanity.

You’re reading Victor Poole; my books are here. The sketch above is a study of this photograph.

You’re Not Getting Nearly Enough Out Of Your Existing Characters (And This Is Why)

horse practice2

Guys, Pinterest has some great resources for studying anatomy. I’m working on shoulders and hands right now. I’m like a has-been that never fully was. Oh well. Anyway, today I want to talk about how to dredge more juice out of your characters.

An odd thing happens when you have a familiar character about whom you write; you both know them well enough to feel cozy writing them, and frustratingly distant enough to be unable to force them to do what you need them to do in the story. (Kinda like when you’re the boss, and your underlings are stubbornly and slipperily evasive, instead of tractable and easy to command.)

I’ve heard people talk fondly about stubborn characters before; to me, they are nuts asking to be smashed open with a hammer. See, below:

An Uncracked Fellow:

Vince aligned the sights along the barrel of his ZQ-Bombast rifle (limited edition chrome) and waited for the fallow-parling to stand up from its nest. He fired, and the alien shrieked and crumpled out of sight. Vince slung the rifle over his shoulder and hoisted himself up the trunk of the F-aklen tree, which had oddly-curved rocks embedded in the bark.

He reached the nest and glared down at the bleeding parling; it was a female, and half her left shoulder was blown open. Vince dug for a bend-chip in his belt and knelt over the crying parling. She beat at him with her right palm, but her limbs were weak, and he pinned her and slid the chip into the opening under her skull. Her cries morphed slowly into words.

“Foolish ugly man-child,” she complained, “and after the season, you’ll be hunted by my brothers! They will strip out your lungs and use them as toys for our bargels!”

“That’s as may be, but I want your bones,” Vince said. She breathed in sharply, and her body grew still. Vince smiled at her, and pink tears sprung into her eyes.

“Mama!” she shrilled, her voice echoing through the copse with a ringing jangle.

“They can’t understand you anymore, darling,” Vince said. He pulled a leather belt out of his bag, and bound up the parling’s shoulder until the skin pinched white.

“No, no!” she screamed. “You must not take my wings.”

“Only your arm, lovey,” Vince soothed. “It’s hardly anything you’ll miss.”

“Mama, save me!” she howled, as he pinned her neck under his knee and unfolded his lapse-saw.

What An Unsavory, Uncracked Nut!

Here we see Vince wrecking mayhem on a winged lady on the planet Vhuar, and he seems quite a villain (from the perspective of the parling).

Now, if we tell Vince to let the lady go, he will laugh in our teeth and take her leg just to show that he cannot be controlled.

My Word, Victor, You’re Violent!

I won’t crack him in this scene; this would necessitate the addition of a third character.

We shall take him in a later scene, after he has obtained his ill-gained parling bones and is in the process of selling them on the Obloogo black market. We find Vince meeting with a new character, Hole.

Hole shall serve as our metaphorical hammer, and I shall bring him down resoundingly upon the unsuspecting Vince. See, below:

Vince, Smashed Into Docility:

Vince threw the black bag onto the table; the delicate objects within made a musical jangle.

“How many?” said a deep voice from the shadows.

“Five pieces,” Vince said. His eyes combed through the darkness; he could not see Hole, but he knew the ugly man was there.

“What kind?”

“Three arms, one leg, and a whole tail extension,” Vince said. He folded his arms; his Perso-fin pistol made a snug bump against his left hip. “All female, and pure through,” he said.

“They’ve been asking for the male bones particularly,” Hole said, coming into the light and lifting the bag. “Harder to fetch in the males,” he added, glancing up with a smile.

“I’ve no interest in killing,” Vince said.

“But at maiming, you excel,” Hole mused. He lifted an exquisite golden bone from the bag. “How did you clean them?” he asked.

“Trade secret,” Vince said at once. Hole fixed him with a beady eye, and snorted.

“I told Crikey you’d come in soon,” the hideous man said, as if offering a pleasantry. Vince’s shoulders drew together, and his palm twisted towards his gun. “It won’t work in here, my friend,” Hole remarked. He nodded at the pistol, which was disguised as a utilitarian flashlight. “These are wonderful, all of them. I’ll take the lot, and in exchange, I won’t kill you for Crikey,” Hole said. Vince launched himself forward, and smashed against a translucent force field. “Oh, these are new,” Hole said with a smile. He pointed at the ceiling, where a hint of green illuminated the boundaries of a square. “Thank you for the bones,” he added, dropping the delicate pieces back into the bag.

“He’ll kill me!” Vince shouted. His eyes had gone wild, and a peculiar, animal-like fear was in his whole body. Hole paused over the table, and took in the vivid terror in Vince.

“Yes, I think you’re right. But I’ve been promised a great deal of work out of you first,” Hole replied. “Rumor has it, Crikey is going to train you as a retrieval hound, and send you out hunting.”

“Hole!” Vince shrieked, throwing himself at the invisible barrier. It held like iron beneath his blows, and Hole chuckled as he turned away.

“I’m sure you’ll look very handsome as a hybrid,” the ugly man called.

Ha! Now He Is In Nutty Fragments

The key to breaking down a recalcitrant character is to force him (or her) up against the most formative, purely-instinctual fears in his physical being. Once your man (or woman, or thing) is in emotional shambles, you can build a great story around them, and use them without any holding back or irritating unwillingness on their part.

May you have much luck in your own smashing endeavors!

You’re reading a blog about writing by Victor Poole. My books are here. I’m about to fry some homemade burgers, with cheese and pickles on top.

How To Get More Out Of Your Metaphors

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Metaphors are a powerful vehicle for sensory work and imagery in story-telling; particularly when working on science fiction, metaphors often make all the difference between an exciting read and a boring sludge.

For Example:

Interesting Story, But No Metaphor:

My sisters were horrible people. I sold them into the hands of the conquerors using the anonymous tip kiosk, and they have made me very rich. I’ve seen images of their children; my sisters, of course, don’t talk to me, but the Ilyemni are big on social media, and I have followed both of their mistresses there.

My oldest sister has four alien children now. She is pictured with the youngest on her master’s home profile, and I can tell they’ve had her surgically altered, to put extra space in her ribs and womb. I think they will plant seedlings for joined twins in her next, human twins. I’ve heard of the aliens doing such things on the news. I hope my sister dies when the babies are born.

And Now, With Metaphors:

My older sisters were a pestilent infection in my life; they tried to erase me, to make me into their mindless plaything. When I was old enough to register, I sold both my sisters into the hands of the fish-like conquerors. You have to be blood-related to offer human slaves on the live market; the pinprick of blood in the sealed registration kiosk drained my sisters’ poison from my veins.

One woman sold for reproductive work brings a high payout; two fertile humans made me very rich. The papers say you feel guilt; this was not the case with me. Every ounce of gold I use makes thick balm flow in my spirit. I’ve seen images of my two sisters’ monstrous children; my sisters, of course, can’t talk to me, as their tongues are gone and their eyes branded, but the Ilyemni masters are big on social media, and I have followed both of my sisters’ mistresses there.

My oldest sister has four alien babies now. She is pictured with the youngest creature on her master’s home profile, and I can see by the ballooning in her skin that they’ve had her surgically altered, to put extra space in her ribs and womb. I think they will plant seedlings for joined twins in her next, human twins. I’ve heard of the aliens growing exotic playthings in their slaves, after they’ve obtained the desired number of their own children. I hope my sister dies when the babies are born.

What Have I Learned Today?

Sprinkling metaphors through your prose can add impactful imagery, strong sensory grounding, and detailed interest to a story. As an added bonus, writing metaphors is fun.

You’re reading a blog about writing by Victor Poole. My books have a lot of metaphors. Rose is napping on my feet (and purring).