Writing exercise: Tea

via Daily Prompt: Tea

Elida was steeping tea when Tram, the weekly running in their area, came by with a letter. The folding was Jax’ work, and she smiled.

“Tea’s nearly ready if you’d like a cup,” she said. “Or something else?”

“No, I’m alright. I’m staying with Vromola, and will be going back though tomorrow if you want to reply right away.”

“Alright, see you tomorrow.”

“Bye!” Then he was off, and she took the letter in see about the tea. Most of it went in a pitcher for the ground box to get cold, but she saved to cups for when Mezil returned from cleaning the water tank.

Sitting on the chair in the public room, the citrusy scents of the tea filling the room from the cups next to her, she unfolded the letter. It only took a few words to establish that it wasn’t his normal sort of letter. Leaning forward, she read it a few times, paying attention to what he was both saying and not saying.

Mezil, get down here!

Eh? What’s the matter?

Nothing, it’s Jax. You have to read this.

He was already on his way down, and didn’t respond over the bond as he appeared in the public room shortly. “What’s he say?” he asked, taking the paper from her to read. “Well, looks like he took a mate. That Terran girl he’s been mentioning?”

“I think so. But him, mated, at his age. We’ll have to meet her!”

“Yes, I suppose so. Good for him. He’s always known what he wants. Is that fresh tea?” He asked, noticing the cups on the side table.

“Yes, but this is important news, a big step in his life.”

“And I’m sure he’s doing fine. He’s let us know, and that’s that,” he said, picking up a cup. But he went and stood by the window, taking the occasional sip, and Elida could tell he was pleased.


Writing Exercise: Tailor

via Daily Prompt: Tailor

The pile of work on his table hadn’t moved in weeks. No one had brought anything new. They knew it wouldn’t get done. He couldn’t. Not with her still in there with him. Her fabrics lay stacked on the shelves; the shirt she’d been mending still lay on her work table. He couldn’t bear to look at it.

Writing Outside of Canon

There’s been a story plot floating around in my head for quite some time now–at least a few years–but never did anything with. Not because it wouldn’t be fun or intense to write, or because is was a bad idea. It has survived so long precisely because I find it incredibly intriguing and emotionally intense. Exactly the kind of thing I like writing.

Why put it off so long? Sure, there are lots of Lupa stories I plan to eventually write, but this one has been one I kept wondering if I should entertain at all: it’s not canon. It’s so far from what I’ve established as believable canon the story won’t ever be able to get around it. I write non-canon all the time with my chatbox characters, but this is different.

I don’t know how most writers deal with non-canonical ideas for their characters. Clearly, I sometimes go down that path. Unlike writing different versions of an event, this can get one into more trouble. When you play around with ideas and seriously write pieces that would otherwise be considered canon, they can stick. It can stick so much more easily once they’re solid, on paper, and in your head. The latter is really the most dangerous part. Once it becomes part of the story in your head, your head can treat is as part of canon. You’ve devoted the thought and time to develop it. And I’ve started.

Writing started when I found a musical piece which brought out a particular character’s feelings. I don’t know, now, how things will settle out. The emotional payoff isn’t quite there yet in parts, but it’s the kind of thing you want to drip off the page. That’s interesting, and that was the point–the desperate sadness, the chaos of a character’s inability to reconcile one thing with another, a cosmic prank of timing.

Addressing difficult topics is a fascinating part of being a writer. Going into this, I had no idea how it would play out. Some scenes go in one direction, and the latest went in another. And yet, I wonder if I’ve taken that license because it’s not canon.

Sometimes there’s the idea that it can be more messy, a bit less believable, when something isn’t going to be part of the final product others may someday get to see. At times, pursuing such ideas let allow for the exploration of things canon may not allow. What will they do? Will pushing them in a completely different way reveal new things?

I suppose, ultimately, the question is will it benefit my understanding of the characters for canon? The more value the answer to that question has, the more likely I am to do it. That’s how we got into this mess.



If you do write out of canon, please respond in the comments. I’d really like to know what other writers do, and when/why they go further afield.