Tag Archives: my writing

Kelso and the Whip

Aurora cracked the whip and it lashed outward, hot plasma edges wrapping
around Kelso’s midsection. It twined up her body, cut through her shirt
and into her back. Searing pain followed. It sank into her back, crisp
stench of burning skin filling the hall.

This months $3 subscriber benefit is live. In this one, I use an example to provide a discussion on some different problem solving methods by characters with powers/magic and their reactivity in the scene. Mainly a discussion surrounding a character being limited by circumstance, one being limited by another individual socially, and one who self-limits themselves in accordance with their goals.

If you’re one of our $3 subs give us a shout if you like or have questions. This blog is supported through Patreon and we always appreciate feedback.


Can we see some of your writing? I’d love to see what these tips look like when properly applied.

Sure, I guess. I’ll throw a bunch of little snippets under the cut. Some is original fiction, some is not. None are the full stories, which will hurt a little bit because properly applied theory affects everything and build up is important. But. You know. Take what you can get. Some of these characters aren’t human and they play by different rules. Not all of these will actually be fight scenes and some of them are rough drafts. So, forgive grammatical errors.

A couple of these are original fiction and some are fanfiction, I’ve linked to the stories of mine where they originate from so you can check for context. My stance on fanfiction is always that while it’s not necessarily an end goal, it is a great way to practice writing a variety of different characters and practice exploration within a rule set you understand. When it comes to writing violence, understanding detail and the actions themselves are half the battle.

So here’s a piece with a non-human character:

He stalked across the deck, the soft soles of his boots silent on well-oiled wood. As Arlick stepped towards the rigging, Garret stepped forward and seized him by his sensitive neck, just below the base of the skull. A simple closing of his right fist was all it took to collapse the vertebrae. Arlick slid, eyes rolling back in his elongated skull. Garret shoved him forward. Tumbling over the side, Arlick’s body dropped into the stewing mix of black clouds below.

Easy come, easy go. Garret didn’t bother to track the naga’s fall. Instead, he dropped over the side and circled back toward the window. He had no fear of heights, not even while lacking wings in his human form.

If he knew Asra, she’d still be fighting with Wilks or taking her time putting him squarely under her thumb.

There’s this:

The stallion pawed the ice, snow spraying beneath its hooves. Nostrils flared as the creature snorted, turning on its hind legs. Its rider sat up in the saddle, pointing the tip of his blade at her chest. Black eyes pitted with amethysts gleamed behind the faceless white mask.

“All right,” Katie whispered. Flipping the spear’s tip up, she settled deep into her stance. Katie’s fingers squeezed, her grip on the shaft tightening. “Come on.”

The rider dug his heels into his beast. The stallion charged.

Obsidian hooves flashed across white snow.

Katie waited. Eyes narrowing, she watched the world flicker. A twisting pattern connected their souls. One guided by the threads of their lives, the passage of interweaving moments had led them to this. A battlefield far from here, he had lain crushed beneath the body of his fallen mount. All around the air smelled of blood and smoke, churned blackened earth greedily swallowing up his life. A finger twitch, fractured shells buried in his skin. Torn through one eye, burned, a single gaze focused out of the mud to a far off wall of barbed wire, to sense the lives of other men, of humans bleeding out their last breaths.

He had not died there.

The blade came down.

She lunged to the side, letting it sweep past. Turning, Katie launched forward and drove the spear into the rider’s side. Knocked free of his saddle, a friendly, buffeting wind carried them across the snow to slam into the ice.

Cracks broke like spider webbing on the white-blue surface, exposing the familiar gray-black of asphalt. Black blood bubbled through the rider’s armor, dribbling out in waves of ink. Leaning forward, Katie pressed the spear deeper. Down, down into his soul, down until she pierced his Mark. Her eyes locked on the amethyst pits, locked on the lip-less white mask.

Then this:

A crunch lingered in her ears, ball of a foot digging into sand and gravel. Preparing to lung.

Katie spun, bringing her right hand up and out in front of her. Flattening it, she shoved her palm forward. Eyes meeting the wide gray-greens of a hulking seven foot catman, she stopped centimeters from his nose. “Enough!”

And this:

Her steps carried her across the stones, the soles of her boots barely more than a whisper in the long, black hallway. Framed by the inky darkness, a single guard stood illuminated in the warm, orange glow of a torch. His back was facing her, a green cloak sweeping down off his wide shoulders to disappear into shadow. Kerilynn’s fingers clenched, exposed nails biting her leather clad palms. Carleon, it had to be. He always forgot to wear his helmet on midnight patrol.

Her legs moved forward with a mind of their own. Her pace quickened. If Carleon was here, then the only other guard between the Fallblast and herself would be the one covering the east exits. There were the guards watching for invasion by the underground dwelling Melwich, who made a new try for the Fallblast every eight years.

The knife slid from its sheath.

Carleon had yet to turn. A glance in Kerrilyn’s direction and he would alert his skyfel early.

Her free hand snapped out, wrapping the flat of her palm across his mouth, pulling his head back. Orange light flickered off the silver blade. It drove up into the back of his neck, through the base of the spinal column, and into his brain. Carleon slumped. The weight of his body slammed into her chest. She caught him before he hit the floor.

If you’re really interested, the one below belongs to my long-fic On the Wings of Ravens, which you can read online.

Her head lifted. Summer blue eyes gleaming like twin stars inside her head, her pupils alive with an inner green flame. Slowly, she drew the blade forth. It slid free in a blaze of light. Tiny runes flared beneath the cross-guard, shining on crude steel. Valefire licked down its edges, fanning across the surface in flickering green fire.

The Templar’s blade came crashing down.

Eirwen whipped hers up.

His angled down, swept, and went right through her. The ground rocked, exploded in a spray of red and brown. Tiny bits of grass and leaves flew into the air.

A single leather sheath hit the earth. Cleaved cleanly in two.

Light flashed through the Templar, ghostly green slashes and cuts. Faster than the eye could follow. His body jerked, silver armor rippling. He buckled. Then, the last passed through his neck and the helmet spun off into the clear blue sky. Bloody sprayed up out of the headless body, drifting down in a hot red mist.

Simultaneously, the second, left facing Templar and the third one on her right both detonated.

She shot through the Behemoth moving in behind them. Rotated her blade and slashed down, a diagonal cut. Like the others, the giant slid to the ground in two massive pieces.

Red bladed hands flashed, another Templar leaping forward.

Eirwen swung away. Her body shifting and turning with each lunge, with each cut. A minute turn here, another there, not bothering to lift her blade. She simply danced back, real body sliding away between the after images. Her bright blue eyes locked on her enemy. Each of the Red Templar’s hits landed, missed. Valefire glittered, flashed. The blade spun in her hand, a clean stroke carrying through above the right arm’s elbow. Then, the left.

Whipping up fast enough to halt an incoming overhead strike, it spun round and the enemy blade whirled away. She twisted, leg drawn up and driving out to knock the next Templar back.

Gone again as yet another enemy rushed through a lingering phantom.

This was part of an example I wrote for the blog about picking improvised weapons:

As the door slammed shut behind them, Ella, Beth, and Serenity came skidding to a stop. Ella’s fingers gripped the knob. Music pounded through the wood, loud even this far from the gymnasium. It drowned out the sound of following footsteps.

“Okay,” she said with a slow exhale. “We should be safe, for the moment. Kick off your heels and grab a weapon, girls.”

“Gotcha, boss,” Serenity replied and she started across the room.

“Weapon,” Beth mumbled. She patted down her chest. Black silk and chiffon tickled her thighs. Not much there, she thought. She had her belt, but it was a cheap chain. And I left my purse back in the gym. Biting her lip, her eyes dropped to the silver sandals still strapped to her feet. The heel was only three inches, but… Better than nothing. Well, she thought, at least they were cheap.

With a regretful sigh, she undid the straps and stepped out of them. Picking up the left, Beth gripped the base of the heel and gave a wrench. The shoe buckled, silver plastic biting into her hand. Beth gritted her teeth.

And, after another grunt, it popped free. 

Rolling it around in her palm, Beth loosed a relieved sigh. “I know it’s not much,” she said. “But…” Her gaze rose, then it stopped.

Both girls stared at her. Their pair of matched expressions could only be categorized as chagrin.


The other two chuckled.

Ella lifted a pair of finely plucked black brows. Then, she shook her head and turned back to the door.

“Really?” Serenity asked. There was something in her hands. Long, thin, pipe-like, it rolled between black fingers. A set of perfect, pearly white teeth flashed between ruby lips in a brilliant grin. “You sure that’s the best you could find?”

Frowning, Beth shook her head. “Sure,” she said. “I… I mean…” her eyes moved back to the smooth tool in Serenity’s hands. For the first time, she glanced around the dimly lit room.

It was big. Much larger than their normal classrooms. In the center, a small silver car lifted up on some kind of steel platform. It had no wheels and was more than a little rusted. Tall moveable steel cabinets stood beside her. Red doors. Like the ones her father kept in the garage. Large wooden desks were set up all around the room. Plenty of long tables – no, she thought, not tables, work benches – mostly clean with a few exceptions.

“I…” Beth swallowed. “We’re in the machine shop, aren’t we?”

Ella’s lips twitched as she stepped away from the door and to some sort of desk next to it. A rattle followed. She produced a pair of thick brown gloves, work gloves, from inside the shelf. Pulling them on, she strode past Beth and snagged a small rotund canister off one of the shelves.

It looked, Beth decided, like a blow torch. Or a blow horn.

“Coach gets a little lax after he’s had a few beers,” Serenity said. “Leaves a lot of this stuff unlocked. Accidentally, of course.” She turned back to Ella and Beth thought she saw a wink. “Right, Elle?”

“Yup,” Ella replied. She didn’t look up. “Toss me the tire iron?”


The hand extended, twisted, caught the spinning steel object in a single sweep, and the girl set it on the table next to her. A warm orange light burst in the darkness. It turned beneath Ella’s calm hand and she pointed it at the knob. Firelight flickered off her hair, illuminating a cold expression in her eyes.

Beth’s stomach twisted. Ella’s my friend. Sometimes, even though they’d only met three weeks ago, it felt like they’d known each other all their lives. But this Ella? This wasn’t a girl she knew. “What’s she doing?” Beth whispered.

“Prep,” Serenity said. Her navy dress swirled around her, silver bracelet jangling on her wrist. Crinkling brown-black hair bound back in a small knot on the top of her head. Bare feet padded on checkered tiles. A second weapon, another like the one she’d tossed Ella, rested in her hands. “We don’t have to just sit around and wait, you know.”

Right, Beth realized. Tire iron. This place probably had plenty of those. A warm hand gripped her shoulder and she glanced up.

“You should grab a weapon,” Serenity said. Her dark eyes glimmered in the moonlight, their expression not unkind. “Then, find a good place to hide. Fight only if you have to.” And she gave Beth a good squeeze. “We’ll take it from here.”

“Like a hammer?” Beth asked.

“Or a screwdriver,” Serenity laughed. “Since you seem to like stabbing things.”

“A wrench would be best,” Ella said. “And pipe down, they’re getting close.”

This one is from another fic you can read online and it’s just one long gratuitous sparring sequence. A Kiss With A Fist.

Eirwen’s fist whipped up, plunging into Abelas’ stomach. Stepping forward, her hands rose and slammed into both his ears. The older elf stumbled. Cranking her knee to her chest, she rammed the ball of her foot into his gut.
“Yeah! Herald!”

Abelas flew backwards. Hitting the wooden fence surrounding the practice yard, his back to the cheering soldiers. His bald head gleamed in the noon day sun, dappling across the new fuzz of fine, white hair springing from his scalp.
Someone in the crowd slapped his bare shoulder.

“Get her, Abelas!”

He lifted his head, yellow eyes gleaming. A smile yanked hard at the side of his mouth. Wiping his lips with muddy knuckles, he stepped forward. “You have been practicing,” Abelas said.

Lifting her hands, Eirwen reset her position. Fingernails brushed her cheek, the other hand low and guarding her waist, she kept both loose and open. Settling back on her left leg and dropped into her stance. “Oh, yes,” she laughed. “I wouldn’t want to shame my teacher!”