Sunday, October 14, 2012

Look at that!

Many thanks to the awesome Ellie Garratt for passing on another interesting tag: The "Look at that" challenge.

Here is what you have to do: Count up the 'LOOK's in your current WIP and choose your favorite three, then post the paragraphs around the word.

I decided to play with the opening scenes from Tiamat's Nest. The first few chapters are in one document, and I found a total of 32 'look's or variations in 7,700 words. A lot of them turned out to be very short paragraphs, which wouldn't make much sense to post, so I ended up choosing three with a bit more substance to them.


"Look, I know Tiamat can't really hurt us," Tin Man said. He tried not to stare at Pink Marie's impossibly generous bust filling her pink leotard, flouting the normal laws of physics. "It's all just photons in crystals in some cloud server in a basement somewhere."


The dragon, frozen mid-lunge, rotated slowly so they could all get a good look. A sinuous body rippled with power beneath iridescent scales. Individually, their color defied analysis, like a film of oil on amber, but overall the beast shone a lustrous reddish-gold. Translucent wings cupped virtual air, and razor-tipped talons stretched to snag invisible prey. So far, so dragonlike. But the eyes! As they swung into view, they appeared little more than flat black discs, vacant and lifeless. But as Tiamat faced Tin Man full on, for a moment, they seemed like portals to a limitless void, empty yet all-seeing. He felt them strip away the veneer of his avatar and pierce him in the darkness of his apartment. I know you! The sensation was overwhelming.


"And don't go whining. Screw your gamers' code. You screwed with mine when you broke in, so now it's my way, or nothing." He looked at each of them in turn. His Samurai mask, not bound by real world constraints, was subtly animated. Right now it wore a 'don't fuck with me' expression that brooked no argument.

Now, I should tag some more writers but I'm short of time today and I wanted to get this posted before it got missed, so if you want to play consider yourself tagged.


  1. Oh, excellent, Ian! Those three paragraphs were fun to read, especially the one with Tiamat. If I get the chance, perhaps I will take part in this challenge myself.

    I hope all is coming along well on your WIP's quest to get published. *crosses fingers*

  2. Great paragraphs. I particularly liked the description of the dragon!

    I took the challenge on a have a little award for you as well! Cheers!

  3. Awesome paragraphs. I particularly liked this, "It's all just photons in crystals in some cloud server in a basement somewhere." I'm officially intrigued!

  4. David, I'd love it if you were tempted to take part. I can't wait to see what kind of verbal awesomeness you'll serve up :)

    Danette, muchas gracias for the award, I'll hop over there right away!

    Ellie, I kinda liked that, too. Not toooo techie, I hope.

  5. So intriguing Ian, dragons and Samurai masks and translucent wings...I'm already a fan of your new book. I wish you good luck with it :).

  6. Your book sounds fascinating. Have you seen Neal Stephenson's new book Reamde? I haven't read it yet, but it might be some good inspiration for you. Diamond Age, too, but Reamde is specifically about a video game with consequences in real life.

  7. Petronela, I'm having to stretch my imagination with this one, believe me. There's even a brief appearance by a purple unicorn :)

    Shell, no, not read either of those. I'm kinda bad at keeping up with the latest things out there.

    1. Purple unicorn sounds lovely Ian :). I am such a fool for sword and sorcery :).

  8. This is a cool challenge! I'd do it except all I have in the current WIP is 23 pages, so not many "looks" to choose from. :)

  9. Jennifer, I thought I'd have to trawl a lot more of my WIP but in the end these all came from the first 30 pages or so. Feel free to play along when you have a bit more drafted :)

  10. I'm not sure how many looks I have, but I always have to do a thatectomy when I've finished a first draft.

  11. Johanna, I have no problem with "look" or "that". To me, they're workaday words that perform essential functions without drawing attention to themselves. You've got me wondering now, though... :)

  12. What a fun way to examine parts of your manuscript!

  13. Interesting paragraphs. Makes me want to see more.

  14. Lydia, I think "fun" is the important word. Certainly not a serious examination :)

    Cindy, thanks!


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