I Went to a Writing Group Today - July 24th, 2019

The official prompt for today was "bucket." But, there was some chaos at the meeting. In the next room there was a drawing class full of kids learning to draw knights and dragons. It looked pretty cool. We only had 3 small tables to work with, so the logistics were a little awkward. I jokingly suggested that the prompt might be "chaos." Analiese liked the idea and so the official prompt became "bucket and/or chaos."


I wanted to use the ideas of "knight, dragon, bucket, chaos" all in one. Here's how it went down.

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Hazing was officially against the university's policies. So this wasn't hazing. It was considered an initiation. Officially, it was recorded as "voluntary after-class extracurricular participation." The word voluntary was misleading.

There's no real reason to feed a dragon by hand. And Kaos wasn't a nice dragon. In the pamphlets given out to parents at visitations his personality was labeled as "feisty." The cadets in training had a different word for him, and a few phrases too.

Ned grabbed the bucket of chickens. Their throats had been slit and bled before being dropped into the bucket, so it was half full of blood. Blood that was dripping between some of the old wooden planks.

Ned stared at the dragon. It was twisted around on itself, chewing on its tail. One of the first things that you learn in class is that dragons are not trainable. Even though they run like lions, and fly like eagles, they have the skin and the mind of an alligator. The most dangerous animal in the world.

Ned heard laughing and glanced to his left. Credus and Ophelia were looking at him with malevolent smirks. They wanted him to fail, expected him to fail.

He squeezed the handle of the bucket, shifted it in his hand, passed it to his other hand, took a deep breath, reached out and opened the gate.

Kaos opened one eye. Not a single muscle moved, but his eye wasn't sleepy. He had never really been sleeping.

"He's not going to do it." he heard someone behind him say. Credus started making chicken noises and Ophelia doubled over laughing.

Ned reached into the bucket, grabbed one of the chickens by the leg and pulled it out. As he walked forward it left a light trail of blood behind him.

Ned hadn't intended to run, but run he did. He ran directly towards that one open eye.

Kaos sat bolt upright, alert, tense. Ned stretched his arm out behind him, like the arm of a catapult, and launched the chicken as hard as he could.

The chicken took its final flight in a tumble of blood and feathers.

- - - - - - -

There are a few glaring errors in there, the biggest one being that I have the dragon chewing on its tail at one point and then waking up from sleeping a few lines later. Oh well, that's what happens when you're creating on the fly.

A woman asked me how I knew when to use description versus narration versus dialogue. I have a long list of reference material about writing and it's great, and you can find a ton of advice on this, but the deepest, truist, and most honest answer is that it's a feeling. When you're creating, you find your way forward by feel.

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