Wednesday, August 17, 2022

WEP & Human Song

Humans were exhausting. Loud, obnoxious, destructive. The world would be a much better place without them but Liaka’s powers didn’t extend to genocide, even if the species deserved it. She fluttered over the trash scattered on the edge of her pond. Along their roads and everywhere they visited.

Did the species have a single redeeming quality? She hadn’t encountered one yet. Not that she’d encountered an actual human yet, either. The elders forbade it.

But Laika wanted to see them for herself. Wanted to see if the horrors she’d conjured in her imagination were close to their physical forms. Any being who created such destruction must be terrifying.

A shiver ruffled her body and her wings. She corrected her flight automatically and decided that even if these humans were terrifying, she needed a glance. The elders didn’t do anything to stop them. Once she saw them, maybe she could come up with a plan. A way to make them change.

If she could find proof they had no redeeming qualities, the elders could vanquish them. The shudder that shook her this time was more severe. Causing death was forbidden as it should be. While she wanted the humans gone, she didn’t want to be the force behind their destruction.

Could they change? Could they be redeemed? The elders were always trying to eliminate negative behaviours in the young like her. Maybe if she saw the humans, she could find a way to help them eliminate the bad behaviours.

Laika peeked over her shoulder but didn’t see any elders. Or anyone to tattle on her. The sun was high so she flew from the pond and to the edge of the forbidden territory.

The trees thinned and she spotted a human road through the trees. Her limbs trembled, but she flew on, darting from tree to tree and keeping to the shadows.

A sound reached her. A sound she’d never heard. Not a voice. Not an animal or a bird. Not one creature. A pleasant combination of sounds. Some reached high, others reached low. Fast then slow.

A series of sounds repeated and then repeated at a different level. Other sounds mixed in.

Laika settled on a tree branch and closed her eyes to listen. The sounds were beautiful. Like birdsong but different. Human song?

Did humans make song? How could a species make something so beautiful and be so destructive at the same time?

Laika’s wings fluttered with the song and tears slipped from her eyes from the beauty. The human song continued, building up and slowing down. Up and down like bird song. But different in a way she couldn’t explain.

When the human song ended, it took Laika a few moments to open her eyes. She wiped the tears from her cheeks and realized she wasn’t alone.

Jokila the elder sat on the tree branch beside her. Smiling.

“I’m sorry I broke the rules. I wanted to see the humans, to find out if they had any redeeming qualities, to find out if we could help them alter their behaviour to stop hurting our world.”

Jokila nodded, her own eyes shimmering with tears. “What do you think now?”

The sounds started again. Laika’s voice was hushed when she spoke. “Is that human song?”

Jokila nodded. “It is. They have many different human songs. This one is my favourite. They call it Moonlight Sonata.”

Moonlight Sonata. Even the name was beautiful. She didn’t know the word sonata but she would never forget it.

Laika nodded at Jokila. “Human song is beautiful. They are not all evil.”

Jokila nodded. “No, they’re not.”

“Can we help them? Do we have a plan?”

“Not yet. But with your help, maybe we will. It is getting late, we must return soon.”

Laika nodded. “After the Moonlight Sonata is finished?”

Jokila smiled and they listened to the human song while Laika worked on her plan.


Tagline: Does the species have any redeeming qualities?


I hope you'll click on the link to check out the other contributions to our challenge. Please join in - we love to have new people!

The above is my odd-ball contribution to the August WEP Challenge Moonlight Sonata.

Life has been a little wacky-busy here and this was not my original thought for the sonata, but it's what flew out of my fingers 😊

I do believe the ability to create music is one of species' most redeeming qualities. Imagination is vital to being human and I love the various ways that imagination can showcase itself.

How about you? Any other music fans out there? Any one else hoping we humans can start fixing the messes we make?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

IWSG & Audience Awareness

 The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

August 3 question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

I consider myself a baby author - I'm working on my 2nd series and I'm trying to incorporate more "audience awareness" into my planning.

I've read Zoe York's Romance Your Brand and loved it. In it, she talks about "planning" your series in advance to appeal to readers. This is (for me anyway) a broad strokes plan. I think of the setting, the MCs, and the tropes I want to include. Maybe a tagline or mini-blurb.

I'm NOT a plotter/outliner, but I do like thinking about several linked books at once. This is a great strategy for me because it just gives my bouncy brain more of a focus.

I did think of a lot of the series at once with Bloo Moose but I was very sketchy on details like tropes and how to connect each book/MC as I went along. My bouncy brain still makes tweaks/changes but the overall plan for Small Town Heroes is more focused - I hope!

I'd suggest Zoe's book to anyone who likes to write series in genre fiction (not just romance).

How about you? Are you including more or less audience awareness as you're progressing in your writing career/development? If you're a reader, do you prefer series or stand-alones? I love sinking into a series myself!

In order to try to fix the commenting issue, I've changed the comment style to pop up. It looks a mess with comments out of order, but I'm hoping it helps!