Apr 25, 2012

Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish

Now, before you hit publish on that next blog post, ask yourself these five questions.

1) Is this post useful? Useful for the readers, of course.

2) Is this post timeless? Will it be relevant after two or five years.

3) Is this post readable? Avoid blocks of text. This is internet, not a newspaper. Be precise.

4) Is this post in flow? Read it to yourself once, if you hear gaps, edit.

5) Is this post vocal? Words talk, if they don't, they should. Making them talk is your job.

Just five questions, if one or all are green on your dashboard go ahead and hit publish!

More stories after I clear my head of other thoughts.


Apr 21, 2012

The Wrap Up of the last 21 posts

Hey all, a wrap which was due last Sunday, but it is here now, so fret not. It's time we talked. This is about the story arc that I wrote from mid-March to somewhere around mid-April. It was good fun, for me at least. Story of a DJ trapped in a tower, outside forces, magical and musical at work. Weird characters that got weirder as the story progressed. A dream space where things were not what they seemed and other stuff of the similar kind. 

Fun? Yeah, it was, in some ways, in other ways not so much. 

The story of X was very different from anything I've written before. When I normally start an arc, i know the schedule of my month. I know I won't have any traveling requirements or any big distractions that will pull me away from the computer. It is a shitty reason, I mean, writers do have to travel, but for some psychological reason, when I start an arc, i like to finish it in a single frame of mind. And travel, fucks up your mind as well as routine. I was not able to maintain a routine for this arc. But then again, I didn't want to. Why? Because this time I wanted to see if a loose and fluid structure works for writing as I wanted to. This approach had some negative points and some positive points, but it's unlikely that I'll repeat this experiment again. 

About the story.

There was something about pyramids. There was something about a low, heavy bass influenced music. There was something about violent and aggressive characters who kill without any real motivation or reason. And there was the theme of going back home. X went back to his home. Where was it? Who WAS the person called X? These are some questions and I bet there are many more that in the heads of some of most of you. And believe me, these questions are in my mind too, and I am the one who wrote that story. So, well, like any good storyteller, I am going to answer any questions that you might have in your mind.  

Let's brainstorm on this a little bit and then I'll tell you what I have in mind for this whole story.

Drop a line in the comments.


Thanks for reading!

P.S - Thanks to Twitter gang for the encouragement, patience, feedback, ideas and well, overall amazingness :)

Apr 14, 2012

He Smiled.

The last thought on Cin's mind was how cold the water would be once they'd hit it. But it was warm, almost hot. Stifling heat enveloped her body and she started to sweat immediately. She took a breath and all she smelled was the heat of desert. She knew she was near the pyramid. A hand grabbed her wrist. She looked up to see X picking her up. 

"Come on doctor, we need to make some noise." He grunted as he picked her up. He was weak. Getting weaker. She saw that his close cropped black hair was showing gray and his skin was a paling yellow. They supported each other and half stumbled towards the pyramid that stood proud in the distance. Cin saw her tent at the base of the pyramid and pointed X toward it. The flap of the tent was open and she called out to her guide inside it. The head of the guide rolled to her feet in an answer.

The butcher calmly walked out of the tent. His hands were dripping with blood and gore.

He smiled.

"Hi, kids. Ready to die?"

The butcher lunged at the couple. X pushed Cin away from the butcher's reach and got into the butcher's path himself. The big man lifted X right off his feet and slammed him into the ground. 

"Music!" X managed to scream before butcher closed his hands around X's neck and started to squeeze the air out of him.

"I'm going to rip your head off, pretty boy."

Cin stumbled inside the tent and looked for the console on her table. Fortunately, it was on. She selected a track at random and pumped the volume to 11.

The music started to build and outside the tent butcher started to scream. He got up off X and rushed inside the tent, but then X was on him. He kicked the legs from under the butcher and put a knee in the small of his back. The big man ate dust as the music continued to build, and build and build. X bent the butcher's arm behind him and kept pulling till the bones broke with a sickening crunch. The bloodlust was on him. He was singing words with the music but they made no sense. His fingers dug into butcher's face and his hands started to pull his head. 

"Stop!" Cin screamed over the sound of music, "you're killing him!"

But X was in his own world. He was riding the music, riding it above the pyramids and the sand dunes, and with the butcher's head in his hands.

And then, the bass dropped. 

And X ripped the butcher's head off his neck. He raised his grisly trophy above his head and roared in defiance. 

The blood from butcher's neck spritzed into the tent, coloring everything red and black. His heart, still pumping blood in defiance of the fact that it was not getting any signals from the brain. The droplets of blood touched the music console and started to sizzle. The music got even louder. The volume went higher and higher. Cin's ears started to bleed and she fell the floor, curled in a fetal position, cradling her head between her arms. X threw the butcher's bleeding head away and went up to the console. He slammed his hand on the console and a knob split the skin of his palm. He closed his fist and blood dripped on to the machine. The sound of music changed. From earlier hard and harsh sound, it took a deep, bassful and heavy sound. 

The pyramid reacted to the sound. The top of the pyramid started to glow. It burned with a fierce blue energy and split into a beam and shot into the sky. 

A similar beam of red appeared in the sky and met the blue beam halfway. X's message was received. His ride would be meeting him soon. 

Something pulled the hem of his jeans. He looked down. It was Cin. She had crawled into the tent, her bleeding ears had left a trail of blood behind her. 

"Why all this?" she asked.

X smiled.


I'll write an after-burner post tomorrow explaining all your questions. So, in case there are any, leave them in comments :)

Apr 13, 2012

Facing The Beast

The door opened before Cin's hand touched the surface to knock on it. She stood there stupidly with her hand in the air as a boy of 19-20 looked at her, holding open the door. He grabbed her hand and pulled her in. 

"Not a good time to be outside, a storm is coming."

His voice was of a man who is not used to talking. Cin noticed that he wore only black clothes and his hair was cropped close to his skull. She looked around the room. There was a sense of cleanliness inside there like the person living there didn't want to create too much fuss about how he lived. Almost like a monk. There was a DJ console on a table near a window and it had some advanced gadgetry that even Cin was unaware of. 

"We need to get out of this place," he said, and motioned Cin to the window. 

"We can go back the way I came up from."

"That way is gone. We can never go back where we come from."

Cin turned back to look at the door which she had come in from. All she saw was a plain wall with no indication of the door. 

"By the way," the boy said, "my name is X."

He took her hand and pulled her close to him. His breath smelled of mint and ash.

"There is a pyramid," Cin said, remembering the task from ages ago.

"I know." He showed her his palm where the tattoo of the pyramid glowed in all its glory.

"I need you to trust me for what's coming next." His gaze was deep and for a second it made Cin forget all her fear.

"I don't trust you," she said.

"You're a smart girl," he replied. "And I am sorry for doing this."

He enveloped her into his arms and jumped from the window, towards the boiling sea below.

As they fell, maybe they kissed.

This is penultimate chapter.

Chapter 20.

We finish this tomorrow.

Apr 10, 2012

Mothers And Daughters

Cin looked at her mother and burst out crying. The way up here had taken its toll on her. She could not hold it in any longer. Her mother smoothened the bottom of her dress and sat down by her side. She smelled of the sea and rot, just like everything in the bloody tower. 

"There, there," she said, "my baby. Don't cry. It's all fine now."

"It's not fine," Cin bawled, "I can't climb these stairs and the boy is up there somewhere!"

"There is no boy here, my darling. No boy. It's just an empty tower."

"But you're here!"

"I came here to warn you about the evil in this place." The ghost of her mother sighed. "You must go back now."

"I won't go back without taking the boy with me."

"Cin," her mother sighed again and a green moss covered water bubble broke out of her nose, "walk back, my love. That's the best for all of us."

Cin wiped tears from her eyes with the back of her hands. "No, mother. I am not going back."

Her mother looked at her and mindlessly scratched an itch on her cheek. Her fingers brushed and tore through the paper thin, wet skin and dove deeper inside. The face fell apart in pieces and Cin found herself looking at the face of the old man. He put a hand on Cin's cheek, the touch was warm and it made her skin sting. His hand traveled to her hair, and frozen with fear, Cin couldn't stop the old man from getting up and lifting her off the ground with him. 

"Now, little girl, if you don't go, I'll have to send you back."

He lifted Cin higher by her hair and just when he was about to throw her plunging to her death down the stairs, something slammed into him. A big vibrating hulk of meat and beats, moving with the speed of sound, a blur through the air and the old man crashed into a wall of the tower. The bass beast bore into his torso, breaking him, twisting and turning him into thin wisps of steam. The old man's wheezing screams filled the stale air in the tower. Cin did't stop to see the horror, she tore through the stairs, up and up till her breath raked through her lungs like hot charcoal and her veins were full of acid. 

At last she reached the door. There was a large X carved into the outside of the door. 

She raised her hand to knock...


Chapter 19. 


Apr 7, 2012

Closer Now

The waves embraced Cin like a lost lover. 

The dog thing jumped into the water after her, the surfboard long forgotten in the waves. It swam for Cin, grabbed her arm in its mouth and started to pull her deeper. The waves whirled and swirled around them, frothing and bubbling with chaos and noise. There was nothing that Cin could do anymore to know the up from down or make any sense of anything around her. It was sheer chaos and the water was pressuring its way inside her mouth. She felt herself blackout from the lack of oxygen in her lungs. The dog  thing kept pulling her in some direction only known to itself. Just as she was about to swallow her first desperate mouthful of water, the dog thing pulled her out of the water's surface. Instead of water, she sucked in lungful of tepid oxygen. She fell on the cold surface and coughed till she could not cough anymore. 

Finally, when she got hold of her senses, she got up and saw where she was. It was a small, dark room with a door at one end. The only smell in the room was of the sea and she saw that she had been dragged into the room through a hole in the ground where the water still frothed. She was glad that she didn't pass out and exit this place. She could feel that she was near her objective of finding the boy and once she found him who knew how she'd get out of here. She went up to the door and pushed it open. It opened to a staircase that wound up inside the tower. Cin climbed and climbed. Weary as she was from the ordeal in the village and the swim through the water, she was soon tired and wound up. The stairs just didn't seem to end. Finally, when she gave up hope and sat down on a stair, waiting for some kind of divine intervention to show her the path. She heard footsteps coming towards her from the stairs above her. She craned her neck to get a look at whoever was coming down to meet her. A rank smell of rot assailed her nostrils even before she saw the person. A twinge of horror shot up her spine as multiple thoughts of who it could be fluttered through her mind. She was afraid that it'd be the butcher with his flattened face and mad eyes but it was something worse than her imagination. 

It was her mother. In a wedding dress. 

"Hello, daughter dearest," she said and sat down besides Cin.

Chapter 18. By the time you reach this stage in a story, it seems just like any other story in the world. 

To the new and old readers, thanks for sticking around. I do this for me first, and then you ;)

Apr 5, 2012

Follow The Beast

The Bass Beast thrummed with latent energy in its veins. It had killed the bad man who wanted to hurt the nice girl in the cottage. The bad man had just evaporated. Now the girl was staring at it with fear in her eyes. The beast knew fear, but there was nothing to be afraid of now that the bad man was gone. It moved towards the girl and gently placed a paw on her foot. Cin felt a gentle vibration at the skin of her foot. It was a paw that slowly materialized from thin air. The thing's vibrations were stopping and it's shape slowly made itself visible. It was a strange hybrid, half lion, half dog, fully scary. But the face of the animal did not look menacing now. Its tongue hung to one side and it had eyes blue as the deepest ocean. It gently took Cin's hand in its mouth and started to pull her. She got its intent and started to follow. 

At the end of the beach, where sand met the sea a surfboard was floating. The dog thing climbed on the surfboard and then it barked deeply at Cin. Reluctant, Cin got on the surfboard. She had never surfed before, the only surfing she saw on TV and anyway, she knew that the sea was calm and there was no way the surfboard was going to move forward. But the surfboard moved. The dog thing sat at the point of the surfboard and paddled like hell. The sea, calm a moment before started to churn before the surfboard. Cin grabbed the sides of the board to keep herself from falling off. 

Ahead in the distance, something appeared out of the sea. 

A black tower. So high that it brought tears to Cin's eyes to just look at it.

The surfboard rocked harder in the choppy waters but the dog thing kept paddling for the tower. A constant roar filled the air. The sea was screaming. Cin looked behind her and saw a wave, tall as a building, coming for her. She took a deep breath, ready to go under in the black water. 


Phew, chapter 17? i think so. It's all getting blurry now.

Apr 4, 2012

Bringing The Noise

There are games for players and then there are players for games. This was the game of noise and the player of this game was born to bring the noise. X sat in his tower, played  his music and sent a monster to the island to face the butcher. A Bass Beast made of soundwaves and bass beats crawled up from the sea, it sniffed the air, felt the sound around it, and focused itself on the fast beating heart of the girl called Cin. Steam rose from its nostrils and its paws made heavy imprints in the wet beach sand. It locked on to the sounds on the island, only the butcher's heart beat in the sync that it didn't like at all. It had a target. And the target was going to be eliminated.

The butcher had his hand wrapped around Cin's arm when he felt the noise. It reverberated through his ribcage and made his heart skip a beat. His teeth rattled in his skull and for an instant he was overcome with the shitty feeling of chewing foil. He left Cin in the hut and walked out into the sun. The animal made from bass stood before him, and it was a strange hybrid of shapes and animal species. The Bass Beast vibrated with such heavy beats that it was difficult to make out its shape in any kind. The only thing clear was its intent. Death. It was a predator. And it had its sight fixed on the prey. The butcher looked at the quickly shifting image of the beast in front of his watering eyes. It circled the butcher, keeping its mouth pointed at the man all the time. Then the Bass Beast began to growl. The low growl sounded like the running of a mad machine that has escaped the control of gears and is now on its own. A mad sound of hate, anger, and bloodlust.

The Bass Beast growled at the butcher and the butcher screamed back at it. He had killed enough to get to where he was, and he was not going to be stopped by something that only growled and made noises. The man and animal lunged at each other and the resulting noise from the collision flattened the huts around them to the ground. Cin crawled out of rubble of one hut and looked at what was making all the noise. The butcher was bloodied and tired from the fighting and he was cut in many places. His left arm was hanging at an awkward angle that arms are not supposed to hang at. He limped around something fast and blurry, his face snarled in pain and anger. 

Cin saw a shadow move fast and pin the butcher under its invisible mass. She could barely make out the shape of animal, but it changed so quickly that she was not sure what she saw. All she heard was a low thrum that shook the ground under her feet and made her feel sick in her head. She saw the butcher's head slowly bulging under pressure from something invisible. One of his eyes popped out of skull and a small geyser of blood erupted from his skull. Then, with a sickening crunch, the butcher's skull was crushed flat to the ground. Cin bent over and puked her guts out.

Back in the real world, the butcher woke up with a scream that all the drugs in his system couldn't stifle. The old man was sitting by his side and he had a cup of tea in his hand. 

"The boy," the butcher said, "the boy cheated!"

The old man poured another cup of tea for him. 

"He will be punished for his stupidity. I'll go inside and punish him myself."


Yeah, was away from the internet for about two-three days. So here it is.

A very special thanks to @tweettabulous @IndianIdle and @himanshumadhu who kept asking me about the story and where I was taking it next. 

We're gonna wrap this one up soon. Some 6-7 more chapters, next ones might be slightly bigger ;)