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Short Story Competitions!!! > Week 3 - Ninja

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message 1: by Taliah (last edited Oct 04, 2012 03:22PM) (new)

Taliah Lagons | 77 comments Mod
The topic for this week's competition is ninja.

Show us an epic battle between ninjas, your life as a ninja, a ninja school, a clumsy ninja... whatever you like! Have some fun with it!

Wordcount should be between 300 and 2000 words, although the length doesn't really matter so don't worry if you go over.

The deadline is Wednesday the 10th of October, so get writing!


message 2: by Kyra (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
Yeah Taliah!!!!!! Dude, I owe you big-time. Gotta get writing!!!


message 3: by Kyra (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
Um... should we expand the deadline??? I mean... is anyone planning to write anything?


message 4: by Leena (new)

Leena (leena23) I didn't cuz I thought I was too late >.<


message 5: by Kyra (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
Yeah... let's give it another week. If no one's posted by then, we'll hafta change the topic.


message 6: by Leena (new)

Leena (leena23) I'm working on one... ahhh too many possible scenes! I keep changing it!


message 7: by Leena (new)

Leena (leena23) Okay so I've never done anything like this before. (written a short story haha) Here goes. Oh and by the way it took a lot for me to just keep the story under 3,000 words. >.< How do you do it? I'm going to have to practice with that.

http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/3...


message 8: by Taliah (new)

Taliah Lagons | 77 comments Mod
I’m not exactly an expert on writing short stories, but I’m not bad at regurgitating random tips I’ve found!

First: start as close to the end as you possibly can. I’d get rid of the morning, even class bit, and start with Jade throwing her to the ground and fighting off the assassin, explaining as they run.

Put every person who speaks on a new line. This isn’t really a way of making things shorter, but still makes things clearer, easier to read.

Use exact words. Instead of “showing her thick slightly muscled arms” use “showing muscular arms”.

Anyways, I loved the plot! The anecdote about the blue hair and the whole male-ninja-in-a-girls-school thing (even though they could have been deleted) were really funny.

Any tips on writing longer stories?


message 9: by Leena (last edited Oct 05, 2012 04:48PM) (new)

Leena (leena23) Detail, detail, detail. Lol that's what I've always been told, probably why I have such a hard time writing the short one! Haha. Like if you have a sentence that goes, "Leena walked into a cafe and sat down." Instead say Leena grabbed the handle to the cafe and opened it, letting in the cool night air as she entered. She glanced around to find a secluded spot where she could be by herself without any interruptions. She see's a table and makes a beeline towards it. Sitting down she removes her messenger bag and waits for the waitress to take her order.

I dunno if this helps, but I tried XD


message 10: by Taliah (last edited Oct 05, 2012 06:05PM) (new)

Taliah Lagons | 77 comments Mod
Strength Initiative

Kick. Kick. Kick-kick. Great, now the bag is broken.

Blackdove 013 – or Josh, as he was known to his family and small number of friends – removed what was left of the punching bag from the hook and tossed it in the corner with the others. The institution didn’t mind them breaking equipment, it could be easily replaced. What bothered them was the ninja recruits breaking each other.

It was against the rules to spar without full body armour, but a good blow to the chest can crack ribs no matter how many protective vests you have on. Josh had broken bones twice in the past year alone, and each year he prayed (to which god, he wasn’t sure) that they would heal properly so he could still fight. ‘Cripples’, pitied as they were, were discarded. Blackdove 004 had been dumped in the streets of Perth, a mindless hobo thanks to the memory serum.

Cripples were regrettable. They meant a significant number of the ninja ranks were lost due to practice, more than triple the total losses in action. But ‘they’, the Flaxes, the highest ranking of the ninjas, had a plan. The strength initiative.

It was an experimental program. It had been tested on animals and regular humans, but it was unknown whether it would withstand the pressures of ninja life. Josh ‘volunteered’ for the initiative, along with the other Blackdoves.

The 17 of them line up outside the lab, at ninja attention. Ninja attention is different to soldier attention. Instead of standing straight-backed in the brightly lit centre of the room, they crouch in the shadows. Blackdove 012 breaks convention by leaving over to Josh.

“Cool marks, man,” he whispered, meaning the fake tattoo on his left hand.

“Yeah, thanks Alec. New design.”

To a regular person this idle chatter would indicate boredom. To ninjas, it was the only sign of the true fear the Blackdoves were feeling.

***

A heavy blanket was wrapped around Josh’s head. His muscles felt like they were filled with water. He had to wake up, had to beat the aesthetic… He wrenched his eyes open. He sat up and looked around. The rest of the Blackdoves were unconscious.

“Yes! I won! I am the best!”

“Actually,” came a voice from the corner, “three of your friends have been awake already. I had to re-sedate them. Funnily enough, they all said similar things to you.”

The nurse advances briskly and injected Josh with a large, totally-not-scary-looking needle.

“Good night, 013.”

Josh was thankful as his eyelids fell once more. His bones had begun to ache, then to burn. It was nice to know he wouldn’t have to feel if the pain got worse or not.

After about a week of lying in bed feeling sorry for himself, Josh took a walk across the room. The initiative may have reinforced his bones with Kevlar (in theory, he was now bullet proof), but it also gave his joints hell. He hoped that particular side effect would fade. Side effect number two: his skin was tinged green. He didn’t care so much whether that one faded, it was kind of cool.

Three days after his first steps, he hit the dojo. Really hit it. He was now a super ninja, and the equipment (and the walls) was going to take a beating.

Three years later, and Josh’s bones remain unbroken. Yay! No one else had been treated with the strength initiative though. Apparently equipment is more expensive than new ninjas after all.


message 11: by Kyra (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
LOL, I liked it a lot!!! Very good setting and character development. The ending was a little sudden, but I can't really criticize on that, since my short stories always end abruptly as well. Overall, excellent job, Taliah!!!


message 12: by Kyra (last edited Oct 27, 2012 06:56PM) (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
Here's my entry. Sorry it took so long... I've been loaded with schoolwork. Hopefully its not too late.

Stereotypical version of a ninja:
A) They have an all-black karate suit that looks like it came straight out of a 18th century history textbook, albeit a considerably less dusty one at that.
B) They are never, ever seen. Whisper-silent, and deadly. Unless they’re in a Hollywood production. Then they have no problem exposing themselves in the middle of an assassination, apparently.
C) They are masters of ancient Japanese weaponry, and of karate. The bo staff, the shruikans, the bamboo tranquilizer darts... they love ‘em, and could knock you senseless with all, or even none of them.
D) They do not like technology. Ninjas and Apple computers are not compatible.

This is all pretty much baloney. Except for B, possibly, and the “karate” part of C, but that’s just part of the job description. The hard fact is, this is just not the 19th century anymore. Ninja’s jobs have come a long way since then.

I should know. I myself am a ninja.

I know. That sounds VERY threatening. Sammy the Ninja. My enemies must tremble with fear when they hear my name. Seriously, though. I haven’t failed a mission in all of my sixteen years of service to The ANIA. Or, if you prefer, the American Ninja’s Intelligence Agency. Apparently we are not only blessed with the gift of stealth, but also with the gift of incredible name ideas.

My training started at age eight, the first time I set foot in my old tae kwon do dojo, way back in- take three guesses- Ohio. Who would’ve thought it? But it was a good dojo, and after a while, I became interested in further martial arts experience. When I was thirteen, I used my college funds to buy my way into the most famous martial arts academy in America, Goi’s Academy For The Young Warrior. It was in New York, which I suppose made sense. It took a while to adjust, but I eventually graduated and made a living as a sensei in the academy after earning my sixth-degree black belt, which was a cozy job. 10,000 dollars a semester. I was living the dream.

Of course, then, because luck and I never have really gotten along, I went and got myself recruited for the ninja biz.


The whole thing started a year after I was first approved as sensei to the Academy...

<><><><>

“Jasmine, keep your foot lower,” I called over the balcony. Sensei Giyu glared up at me, clearly not respecting my initiative to advise his class, despite the fact he appeared to be having a coffee break.

“Sorry, Sensei Sammy. It’s just so darn tempting,” Jasmine replied, not taking her gaze from the boy in front of her.

I smiled to myself as her foot lowered significantly on her next hit. So low, in fact, she managed to hit John between the legs. “Jasmine!” Sensei Giyu scolded, only just noticing she was tearing up her opponent. “What was that?”

“Sorry, Sensei Giyu. Sensei Sammy suggested I lower my foot. I dropped it a whole two feet and still hit him, though. That’s a pretty good adjustment.”

“That’s cheating,” Giyu snapped, gripping the bamboo staff next to his seat and rising to approach Jasmine’s mat. “Not martial arts at all!”

“With respect, Sensei Giyu,” I shouted down to him over the railing. “That’s what one would do in real-life fight. I believe Jasmine was simply preparing for the real-world experience.”

Giyu raised his head to meet my stare, still glaring. “Stay out of this, Sammy! Go instruct your own class.”

I disguised my smirk with a quick cough into my fist. “Yessir. On my way now.” Turning from the events under me, I made my way along the corridor further into the fourth floor, towards my own class.

A woman, who looked about twenty-five or so, passed me in the hall. She was garbed in the traditional red kimono of the various female assistants in the Academy, and had long golden locks that were not quite blonde, but not quite brown either. I couldn’t put a name to the face, which disturbed me deeply. “Excuse me,” I finally asked her, as we brushed past each other.

The woman froze, and turned slowly to face me. She didn’t give the impression of a guilty person, but her posture also suggested that she might not supposed to be in this particular corridor. “Excuse me,” she murmured, curtsying. “You must be Sensei Sammy.”

I winced silently. My name was unfortunate for one of my class. “Yes. I don’t recognize you. A new recruit?”

She smiled at me quickly. Despite the fact she had to be at least six years older than me, she had the same shy, dismissive manner that all the assistants carried around the students and masters. Age meant nothing at the Academy- skill defined you. “Yes, sir. Just started last week.”

“Hm,” I droned, squinting at her. “I was not informed of any new assistants.”

She flashed me another shy grin. “I must speak with you in private, Sensei Sammy. This way, please.”

My guard instantly went up, snapping into place with a near-audible click! At the Academy, the first thing each initiate learned was that there were, in fact, assassins and the like who were payed hefty checks to kill any potential threats trained here. Death was a small occupational hazard as either a graduate or initiate. But I still followed the woman down the hall, slowly shifting my weight with each step so I could always snap out at any sudden attackers.

There were none, and we reached a small, sealed off concrete room two halls down from my class’s dojo. If needed, I could easily escape and request backup from the other sensei chaperoning my students. I followed her inside, but was careful not to allow the woman to block the door.

“Thank you for allowing me your time,” she quipped, moving to a metal desk in the center of the room. There was a laptop humming on the top, and papers were strayed across the table. She collected the papers and straightened the stack, looking me in the eyes this time. Her personality swayed at a confusing rate, from the humble servant to a confident assassin. Or at least, at this point I was assuming she was an assassin.

“So,” I began, backing towards the door slowly. If there was a surprise attack, no was I going to get stuck in this cement coset. “Are you here to kill me?”

She laughed, but her throat seemed a little restricted. She was keeping herself in check. “No, no. I’m here to recruit you.”

“Sure you are,” I muttered. “Recruit me, then kill me.”

Her eyes narrowed slightly. “Sammy, listen. I work for an agency.”

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. “Lemme guess. CIA, right? And there’s a German invasion, or the Russians have a nuclear attack planned, or something to that effect.”

“This isn’t Hollywood, Sammy,” she snapped, swiveling the laptop lid. It was a layout of the Academy, down to every last one of the secret corridors I’d discovered in my student years, plus some. “We’ve been recruiting students from the Academy for years. Its original purpose was to be a training center for ANIA, but unfortunately, very few students have been making the marks.”

“How’d you get that?” I demanded, stepping in far enough to grab the laptop, momentarily forgetting safety precautions. “We have a secure website.”

“You’re dense, aren’t you?” the woman sighed. “I didn’t get that from your website- it’s too advanced. But I could get anything else I wanted off your network.”

I slammed the lid shut, upset. “So, what happens if I agree to join the... the...”

“American Ninja Intelligence Agency.”

I stared at her. “Are you serious? That’s your name? That’s the most original thing you could think of.”

She frowned. Her patience was wavering, just like my old Sensei Yui when he was trying to get me to follow his exact instructions in combat. “Names aren’t important. Are you joining or not?”

“Couple of questions.”

“Shoot.”

I nodded towards a soda can on the desk. “Can I get some of that?”

“No. Next?”

“What’s your wage?”

She thought it over briefly, mentally flicking through the numbers. “Twenty thousand dollars a year, plus an average payment of fifteen grand per mission you pull.”

I raised an eyebrow. It was an impressive figure. “I bet half the CIA agents aren’t pulling that money yearly.”

“We have a few more sponsors.”

“Well, obviously.” I leaned over and grabbed the soda can, half expecting her to deck me then and there. But all she did was purse her lips and try not to appear half as irritated as she must’ve been. “And, third. What’s in the job description?”

She ran another mental check for a second before replying, “You’re a covert agent. You sneak around, spy a little, maybe steal the occasional blueprint or top secret file. That’s it.”

I bit my lip skeptically. “And if I say no?”

“I drug you to make the memories of our meeting a little hazy, and your life goes on as normal. You never hear from or see any of us again. It’s a one-time offer.”

I rubbed my temples, trying to get the blood circulation going. This was a lot of information to process, even for me. After a few silent moments of thought, I grinned and extended my hand. “It’s a deal.”

The woman smiled and gripped my hand firmly. “Welcome to the ANIA, Sammy.”


message 13: by Taliah (new)

Taliah Lagons | 77 comments Mod
I loved the part where the woman first appeared. My first thought was "she's an assasin" and it was cool how Sammy jumped to the same conclusion.

Are you going to add to it? I would totally read more :)


message 14: by Kyra (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
Aw, thanks, Taliah! No, I don't think I'm going to add any more, but I appreciate the enthusiasm.


message 15: by Taliah (last edited Nov 14, 2012 05:17PM) (new)

Taliah Lagons | 77 comments Mod
I've just realised that since I posted the contest it was probably my resposiblity to make a poll. Also that this competion is more than a month old, do you still want one made? Or should we just continue with the next competition... maybe have the entrants for both included in the poll for that one?


message 16: by Kyra (new)

Kyra (Nikara) | 364 comments Mod
I'll make a poll and set up the topic. Thanks for all your help, Taliah, you amazing mod!!!


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