Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nature of Magic blogfest

Today is a fun blogfest because it has to do with magic and I'm a big fan.

This fun blogfest is from the wonderful minds of Tessa *waves hi to Tessa* and Laura (nice to meet you). The blogs are in the picture but I'll link Tessa's too cause that's where I signed up since I didn't know Laura and her blog. Check out the other entries: Tessa's blog.

About the Blogfest:

"Write or share something you've already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. It can be an excerpt from your WIP, something you've written especially, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about. Unless you're writing poetry, try to keep the entries somewhere between 250-1000 words."

While I have a number of magical people in my variety of novels, I haven't written much yet with how their magic works. I'm almost ready to write about the boy in my dystopian type YA who can use magic to fix the border that protects the village. Really close but not quite there. So, I went with the mutants. It is almost like magic and the electricity one (Noah) is fun. Hope it works cause umm, that's all I'm posting for this. hehehe

My Entry: 

Beads of sweat flushed out his system, drenching his clothes as Noah focused a ball of electricity between his fingers. He'd spent almost an hour on the one test and it took him more effort to fail than it would have taken to pass. The sweat itself, forced in an effort to show a true effort, took more energy than the electricity that coursed in his hand. He concentrated on the levels leaving his body. A few more minutes and the automatic system would give him the signal to quit and he'd be free for another month.

Flashes of red entered his peripheral vision. He made a final effort blasting an orb of electricity at the target, making sure to miss the mark by a decent enough margin. The red lights flashed again then shut down, the simulation finished with a groaning buzz.

He exited the chamber while faking to be out of breath, prepared to face his father.

"What the hell was that?"

"I did my best. I came so close that last time." He sucked in air, wiping a line of sweat from his brow. He avoided the unhappy gaze falling upon him from the furrowed face of his father. He knew how he would react, this was a repeat of the past few years.

A snapping sound broke the awkward silence that had followed his statement. Segments of a steel edged clip board clattered upon the cement in a pile of debris. It had been crushed by his father's large hands, the muscles in his arms still bulging as a vein started to appear along his neck.

Gripping the edge of a chair, Noah waited for the onslaught that would ensue.

"That was beyond pathetic." His father's voice seemed to shake with the words. "I don't get how you can be so worthless. You passed level nine almost ten years ago, but you can't even get past level ten. Your brother is up to level fifteen and he had not even half the promise you did."

"I don't know what to tell you. I am doing the best I can." Noah bit his lower lip, trying to sound sincere.  He awaited for the usual assignment, but it did not come. Looking up at his father, he saw something he'd never noticed before: disappointment.

Tossing the pen to the floor, he shrugged. "I give up. It's not worth the struggle anymore. I should just come to terms with the fact that you'll always let me down."

Noah watched his father walk away, stunned. The color dropped from his face as he continued to stare long after the door had slammed shut. He took a few real breathes in, moving his hands from the chair back to the simulation panel. Feeling like a weight had been pushed upon his shoulders, he struggled to bear with the events of the day. At last, he stood straight up with a decision made. Fiddling with a few levers and buttons, he changed the test level from ten to thirty-seven and turned off the record segment. It was the last level he had passed when using the machine on his own. After a slight pause, he changed his mind and decided to go even harder, pushing it up to level forty.


Natasha Hanova said...

Oooh, wonder what's gonna happen and why Noah doesn't want his father to know about his skill level. I really liked the line about how much more effort it took to fail the test than to pass it. Makes me curious about Noah and what he'd rather spend his time doing. And makes me wonder if he will ever let his father in on this major secret. Ah, the speculation opportunities this excerpt provides :-)

I want more. Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

Hmm- not wanting to pass, then being upset because he didn't get the result he wanted. I wonder why he doesn't want to leave the level his father thinks he's at.

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle Gregory said...

at first i felt sorry for him - letting his father down and all that - but then the twist at the end... very nice.

N. R. Williams said...

Poor Noah, a parents disappointment is hard to bear. But he didn't give up and is hiding something. I think his father's judgment is to blame.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh I love your ending. That made me want more for sure. I like that you have him straining to do the magic..makes it seem real.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Tessa Conte said...

Oopsies a friend was using my laptop and I commented in his name by mistake...hence the erased comment, sorry (dunno if it shows up for you anyway...if yes, sorry again)...


*waves back* So glad to see you at our Magic Fest!

I've read a bit about Noah before, so I know a little about him, but wow, this adds a whole new level of cool character buildup!!

Why doesn't he want to tell his father how good he really is? Why risk his disappointment instead? And just how powerful is Noah, anyway?

Thank you so much for sharing this bit of magic with us! Don't forget to check in on either Laura's or my blog on March 30th to see the list of finalists!


Sophia Richardson said...

I'm surprised after disappointing his father (why didn't he expect that if he's been consistently 'failing'?) he felt like a weight had been pushed *onto* his shoulders. I would have thought he'd be pleased to no longer need to fake failure, now it's just assumed without all the effort it seems to require. Maybe I need to know more about their history.
- Sophia.

Akoss said...

I have the feeling this young man is brewing trouble, but then again I could blame it on his father. Sometimes it takes more than an extra push to release the magic. I hope he didn't die though. :)

Thanks for sharing.

my entry

stu said...

I like the emphasis on focus and effort, on magic not being easy. The idea of defined skill levels is an interesting one if it points to a society where magic is either prevalent or regulated.

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks everyone.

Natasha - Glad you like that line. Sometimes I can come up with decent ones even in first drafts.

Mary - That's the right thing to wonder.

Michelle - Hi there. Glad you like the end, well the end of the scene. Definitely encouraging.

N.R. Williams - Indeed, and the disappointment is only going to get worse since this is near the beginning.

Raquel - Thanks. I appreciate your kind words. I had hoped the strain would help show and it's more dramatic than other scenes like him lighting up a light bulb.

Tessa! - Hi. hehehe... I've done that before only on my other account instead of someone else's. I'm very happy to be a part of this fun blogfest. Thanks for co-hosting it. And I'm happy that you liked this entry because I have posted Noah before but not very often, so it's kind of you to even remember.

Sophia - I'm sure knowing what came before might help but I understand where you're coming from. If he didn't want to pass, he should kind of want his father to give up. Makes sense.

Akoss - Don't worry, he doesn't die at this point. It's only chapter 3 and he's the main character. ;-)

Stu - Thanks. I appreciate your comments. It is a world where the "abilities" (since I don't call it magic in the book) are controlled with only a few still regulated exceptions.

Donna Weaver said...

Love it! I want to read more!

Donna Hole said...

I liked the opening; the effort to fail being harder than passing. That insight made me quite curious to know what this kid was up to.

I also liked that his father's disappointment, and willingness to give up, surprised Noah.

The use of the machine to gauge skill level was intriguing also. The segment had world and character building both. I'm anxious to see why Noah is purposely failing. What an interesting plot you're building here.

Well done.


Erin Kane Spock said...

I have tried to include some arcane in my historical, but have a hard time making it sound real. You create a very believable world and, in just a short segment, have my buy in.
You missed out on my Purple blogfest, but I'm glad I got to read this one from you. :)

pat said...

Really interesting! I wasn't sure why it took more effort to fail than to succeed, though. Was it because he was so adept at the test that he did it automatically?

Also, I was surprised that *he* was surprised that his father was disappointed. It made me wonder what his image of his father was. Is this the pivotal moment when a child recognizes that the parent has feelings?

Scheherazade said...

This piece definitely hooks you and makes you want to understand more about the relationship between father and son and the main character's motivation for concealing his skill level.

Dawn Embers said...

Donna W - Thanks. :-D

Donna H - I should probably work so he doesn't sound as much like a kid, though the father part probably affects that. I'm glad you liked it though. I really hope this novel gets published some day.

Erin Kane - I wish I'd known about your blogfest because I would have entered for sure. I don't do much purple prose but I'd sure try. Thanks for the comment on this one.

pat - Thanks for the comment. Noah isn't actually a child, though it might look at it in this scene. Indeed, he is way above the level but doesn't want his father to know, as for why, well.. that's in the novel. ;-)

Scheherazade - thanks for the comment. I appreciate it and glad it hooked you.

Trisha said...

Okay, wow! First off the father's a bit of a jerk, but I'm fascinated that he is actually a much higher level and is hiding it.

I thought of him as more of a teen. is that what he is?

Dawn Embers said...

Trisha - Thanks for the comment. Noah is actually in his 20's. I may have to work on that part in rewrite but this is a first draft, so some technical issues are bound to happen.

Theresa Milstein said...

Awful father. I can't believe he'd be that frank. I felt for the protagonist, especially because he shares the same name as my son!

Very interesting. I'd like to know more about this world.

alanarose said...

I liked this! I especially like the opening with the ball of electricity, completely drew me in. Happy blogging! Rachel Firasek

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Oooo, what's brewing here? Why is he sandbagging and not letting his daddy know how good he is?

I want to know more. Love the idea of techno-magic! :)

Good to see you, it's been a while since I've been around.

~ that rebel, Olivia

Dawn Embers said...

Theresa - And this is one of his nicer, restrained moments (the father). I like the name, though don't know anyone with it personally. It's always interesting when someone has a name like that of a family member.

alanarose - Thanks. Electricity is one of the fun abilities in the series so far. Though the combined fire/ice felt cool when I had it in the dream.

Olivia - *waves hi* Good to see you too. Thanks for the comment.

Justin W. Parente said...

I'm not sure what to make of this, which science and magic mixed. It's been done before, of course, but it's not too clear in the excerpt. Hopefully more behind Noah's story shows it.

Good luck with the dystopian. I always wanted to write one.


L'Aussie said...

Fathers and sons can definitely be complicated. I was intrigued from the start with Noah holding electricity in his hands. Wowsers.


Dawn Embers said...

Justin - thanks for the comment. I hope that it comes through well in the novel. The dystopian is going well, thanks for mentioning it.

Denise - *waves hi* Thanks. :-D

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I felt bad for this character! Nice job! Thanks for participating and nice to meet you! :D

Amalia T. said...

I'm really interested to know why he's pretending to suck so hard, and why his father's disappointment bothers him so much when he's doing it on purpose! Very intriguing dynamics in this!

Anonymous said...

I love that it takes so much energy for Noah to fail the test when he could easily pass and go well beyond his father's expectations. And he's willing to suffer his father's wrath and disappointment to do it. Great character development!


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