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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

A short story I wrote for English class back in January.  It’s also here.

Hope you like it.

______________
At the base of Mount Fuji, completely surrounded by forest and nature, is the Tempest Dojo, which can only be entered by select youth, distinguished by their great talent and ability.  About twenty are there at a time, and the aging Master Sai Satou teaches all the students.  One particular student there, Fuuki, was sent there for a reason unknown to her.  She knew close to nothing about fighting, but a lot about running, as she had lived on the streets since five years old.  Even though Fuuki had seen many fights, she had not fought much herself, and was ranked as the worst student in the dojo.
This is her story.
_________

“Oof!”  The blow knocked Fuuki to the mat.  The Master gave her a reassuring smile, but she stood up frustrated.  “Why am I in this dojo, Master?” she asked.  “I can’t defeat anyone!  And you were going easy on me, I’m sure.”
“Now Fuuki, don’t be put down so easily,” Master Sai said comfortingly.  He fought well for his age of seventy-six, and a trace of a beard was growing on his chin.  His gray hair was put in a topknot; he claimed that made him feel younger.
Putting a hand on Fuuki’s heart, he said, “Inside you, your true power is sleeping, but nothing has awakened it- yet.  Even I can’t arouse your true strength from its slumber.”  He laughed warmly and took his hand away.
“How can it be awakened, Master?” Fuuki asked eagerly.
He shook his head.  “No one and no-thing can force it out of you, Fuuki.  You must awaken it by yourself, and in your own time.”
“Very well, Master.”  She bowed and walked out of the room.  Hana was waiting for her in their bedroom.
“Did you win?”  Fuuki climbed to the top bunk and flopped down on her bed.  “I guess that’s a no, huh?”  Hana was her roommate and friend in the dojo.  Out of all the students, she was the top third.
“Why was I sent here?”  Fuuki thought aloud.  “You’re a very good fighter, Hana, but I knew next to nothing about fighting when I arrived, and I still don’t know much.  I mean, I was arrested for thievery, and they bailed me out of jail for me to come here.  But for what?”  She put her fist above her head.  “I still don’t understand this “Heisei Heika”, the “Calm Warfare”.”  She sighed and put her hands behind her head.
“I’m sure you’ll understand it eventually and find your Signature Move.”  During their training, every student, no matter how good or bad, would suddenly discover their Signature Move.  The Master said it would come from deep in your heart, and that everyone has one, but they have yet to discover it.  Hana’s Signature Move was the Rose Thorn Assault; the Master also told them the name of their Signature Move would come the moment they performed it.
“I’ll help you train if you want, Fuuki.” Hana offered.
“Thanks, Hana.  You’re a really good friend.”  At that moment, the gong for dinner rang, and both girls bolted out the door.
When they arrived, there were two plates left on the table.  Hana lunged through the door and snatched one, but when Fuuki reached for the other, someone took it.  She turned around to see Tenri standing behind her with a grin on his face, with one plate in each of his huge hands.
“That’s not fair, Tenri.  You can only take one.” she said angrily.  Tenri was the top student, and known as a bully.
“Yeah?  Better think twice ’bout that.”  In a few minutes, he cleared the plate that would have been Fuuki’s.  But he stopped when he reached the second one.  “Hey, I have an idea.  Fight me for this meal.”
“No way!” she said, even though her stomach was growling.  “I can’t win, and you know it.”
“Fine.”  He cleared her plate within minutes and walked away, smirking.
“Fuuki, why didn’t you accept his challenge?” Hana asked, starting to eat her meal and giving some to her friend.  “You could find your Signature Move, and-”
“No!”  Hana jumped at her friend’s voice.  “I’ll get defeated miserably, and be shamed.  The Master would probably kick me out of the school.  And if he does, it’s back on the streets for me.”  Fuuki turned away.  “You wouldn’t understand, Hana.  You’ve never lived like I have.”  She walked out of the dining hall and back to the bedroom.  Hana watched her go, sad for Fuuki.
_________

An hour later, Hana hadn’t returned.  Where is she? Fuuki thought as she walked to the bathroom.  When she returned, there was a note on the door.
Go to the Outer Gardens if you want to see Hana again.  She growled in her throat and charged out of the bedroom, and didn’t stop running until she reached the Outer Gardens.  The plants were truly beautiful in the moonlight, but Fuuki had no time to think about that.
She reached the courtyard and saw Hana tied to a statue of Buddha.  Hana started talking franticly, but there was a gag over her mouth, making the words muffled.  “I’ll untie you, Hana!”  But she soon found out the knots were too tight.  “I need a knife to cut the rope,” she muttered, reaching for the gag.
“I have one.”  She turned around to see Tenri; he was cracking his knuckles and walking towards them.  “But you’ll have to beat me to get it.  You can’t turn down this challenge, Fuuki, unless you want Hana to die in Buddha’s arms.”  He laughed and motioned to the knife on his belt, the blade glinting evilly in the moonlight.
“I accept your challenge, you sick and unfair bully.”  Fuuki clenched her fists in anger.
“Alright, pathetic street girl.  I’ll beat you in no time flat.”  Tenri charged at her and threw a punch.  She dodged, and ducked at the kick aimed at her head.  “On defense already, are you?  Well, you can’t block this.”  He put his hands together, as if he was praying, pointed his hands at her, and charged.  “Tiger Soul Fist!”
Fuuki had no time to dodge, but she had an idea.  It was the move the Master had used to defeat her earlier.  She flexed her palms, as if stretching, and the palms of her hands blocked Tenri’s Signature Move.  “If I can’t dodge, I’ll parry!” she yelled.  Then she thrust her hands outward, turning the Tiger Soul Fist away from her.
Something started rumbling inside her, and not really knowing what she was doing, she clenched her fists and put them at her sides.  “Lighting Strike!”  Then, like she was possessed, she punched both fists at once, and they headed towards Tenri’s face.
The force of the blow snapped his chin back, and Fuuki used that distraction to land a series of blows to his chest.  When he landed on the ground, both fists were at her side, right where they had been when she started.  “Did I do that?” she muttered, looking at her hands.  Then she got the knife from Tenri’s belt and cut Hana’s ropes.
“That was amazing, Fuuki!  You’re finally found your Signature Move!” Hana said excitedly.  “Now you have to fight the Master, so he can tell you how much power it has!”
“I guess.”  Unsure, relieved, and surprised, Fuuki threw the knife on the ground.  “Thanks, Tenri.  This fight really helped me.  And Hana did help me train, like she offered to, even though I doubt this was what she had in mind.”  Then they walked away.  Finally, Fuuki was triumphant.
_________

The Lighting Strike turned out to be on the highest level of power a Signature Move could be.  Fuuki realized that it was from all the nights she had spent sitting in the rain, trying to stay dry with a newspaper, while listening to the devastating thunder and seeing the lighting.
After that day, Fuuki fought better than ever before, completely dedicating herself to the Heisei Heika instead of feeling sorry for herself.  She quickly became the top student, defeating even Hana and the devastating Rose Thorn Assault.  But her friend was happy for her, happy that Fuuki had finally found a purpose in life.
How do I know this?  I, to, was a student of the Tempest Dojo, learning the Heisei Heika, the Calm Warfare.  I was defeated by Fuuki and learned that I was not “all that”, as Americans would say, and that there was more to life than demanding something of others.
You are correct.  I am Tenri Goro, the one who bullied everyone.  Now, Fuuki, Hana, and I are good friends, and Fuuki was been an inspiration to me.  She overcame her past, but I had not overcome mine.
You want to know more, do you?  Come closer, and I will tell you how the Heisei Heika changed everyone who practiced the ancient martial art.  Including Master Sai Satou.

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Compare these sentence, each the same in words:

I have a question.

And:

I

have 

a question.

The second example?  That’s a little thing called poetry.

Poetry is a interesting way of expressing what you want to say, and there’s many ways to go about doing so.  One way is the one above, “splitting” a sentences into pieces.  So, while the exact same words are said, they are expressed in a different way, and we can “hear” how the speaker is saying his or her words.

All poetry writers (who can be just about anyone, if you have something to write it with) have something called their “poetic license”, which allows them to break the rules of grammar and split sentences, capitalize words wherever they see as necessary, etc.  (Warning- it is not a physical object, so don’t try getting one on E-bay.  I will not be responsible for any wasted cash)

When you’re writing an essay, you generally have to stick to the rules (MLA format, double spacing, things like that) but poetry is over-all a “free” way of writing.  You can split sentences or you can split words; you can indent and you can put punctuation on the next line.  Here’s an example:

No matter

where I turn,

I’m

                falling

                                into

                                                your      

                                                                arms

                                                                                .

I try run

ing, but you’re

everywhere I

go.

Neat, huh?

As a coincidence, we just started the poetry unit in my English class, and our first notes were given today.  Our English teacher, Mrs.  Chen gave this as a definition of poetry: the art and craft of putting feelings into special combinations of words.

That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?  Poetry isn’t just writing some words on a paper, it’s an art.  Poetry isn’t just looking up some words in the dictionary, it’s a craft.  Poetry’s not just plopping down what we think on paper, it’s feelings put into special words.

You probably encounter poetry every day.  Listen to some songs on your I-Pod?  Hear those lyrics?  That’s poetry, put to music.  Sometimes that type or poetry (which we call songs) makes a stronger impression that it could than by just being read aloud.  For an example, Google Letters From War by Mark Schultz.  I’m sure you’ll agree that listening to that makes a much better impression that printing the lyrics and reading them.

As you probably know, poems don’t have a rhyme.  Sure, most of them do, but it’s not a set rule that all poems have to rhyme.  Some of the best poets (Emily Dickinson, for one) had poems that did not rhyme, but still left impact on the reader.

Poetry is a good way to express yourself, or to put an experience into a more interesting perspective.  So, if you want to write poetry, grab your poetic license, get a paper and pen, and start doing the art and craft of putting feelings into special combinations of words.

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long!  I can’t say I was busy, maybe I was lazy (whoops!  Did I say that out loud?).

Well, here’s a little something that was on my mind.  Hope you like it.  Warning: it’s about writing. 😉

__________

Characters

Writers have power beneath their fingertips.  They can be angels of the earth or the devils of speech.  Every word is filled with passion, power, emotion.  Every word defines a writer’s ability- and defines the writer themselves.

With the scribble of a pen we create a person.  With the tap-tap-taps of a keyboard we define them, give them life.  We can make them not just words on a page, but actual human beings, only to exist in the realms of our minds.

We define their emotions, put words in their mouth; we fill them with envy or give them inner peace.  We can kill them with the mark or our ink, having them gasp quietly for breath as their true love stares in horror, or having everyone watching turn away, smiling, as they die.  We can kill out characters quickly, or give them a slow death; we can give them time to regret their wrongs or give them no time at all.

Or, for our own reasons, we can resurrect them later; sure, they died already, but anything is possible within the pages of our story!  Sometimes the resurrection of a character works very well, and other times it doesn’t (my best example being the rebirth or Jason Todd in the Batman series- that was a well done resurrection, with well-placed reactions from the other characters upon hearing his return)

But, perhaps our character was destined to die, but somehow changed their fate?  The death and restoration of a character can link directly to our story.  Perhaps they were endowed with an ancient curse, or poisoned at birth.  And all the while, we can plant seeds of suspicion in our story, and when we reach the point when the seeds connect, the tree called a true novel comes out of the dirt.

However, our characters are much more than what meets the eye.  They aren’t just Jane or Clyde or Mr. Iza.  They’re our obnoxious brother, our humble mother, and our charming sister- sometimes all in one.  The characters aren’t just characters- they’re also our thoughts, the people we interact with every day, and most important of all: they’re you.

Maybe there’s a part of you you’ve never shown to anybody; for example you might have a hardened exterior that keeps people away, but a soft heart that can’t help but love animals (Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh comes to mind).  Perhaps the old woman your character meets in the forest is that hidden person, and her son is the brave individual you always dreamed of being.  Maybe the main character is the unseen part of your heart; the light that you kept hidden inside.  Or perhaps the antagonist is the devil you kept from coming out; now you can unleash it with your words.

The character is the most important part of any story, but not just because they keep the reader interested.  They unleash your hidden fears, your most important thoughts, and everything you’ve dreamed and loathed of becoming or seeing.  And not all characters are even human; some tend to be animals or machines.  Perhaps you have a constant infestation of roaches in your home, and that’s why the evil villain is an insect.  Or maybe you’ve always loved the idea of a robotic friend coming to your house, so you give one to the main character.  There can be all sorts of reasons the characters are what they are.  But, in the end, all the characters, no matter how great, small, evil, or good, are a part of you.  You are always the main character.


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