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Fariha K.


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Writer In Motion 2: Draft 1

I did a post last week about my first impressions of the prompt. When I actually began writing, it was so much harder than WiM Round 1. The story of the previous round came to me in an instant and I typed away. For this one however, I mulled over the photo for hours with nothing creative coming to mind.

The prompt is too simple, and I can’t write contemporary. I needed to make it into fantasy. So I thought. When in doubt – write about Dragons!

Other elements started adding up from there from inspirations around me: Olympics is next year, I was catching up with the anime – Attack on Titan, and Netflix recommended me The Hunger Games.

I also never write in first-person, but the beginning came to me as such, so here’s my first draft after a lot of brain squeezing.


Genre: Fantasy

Words Count: 603

The sky was red and so was the ground.

The first Xiomara Trials eight decades ago were brutal. The sky was choked with red smoke and the blood of the fallen painted the clobber stones. Burnt remains of buildings still stand where the revolt took place. They call it the revolt, for us it was the Dark Night. It was our tribute to Xiomara, the first Sentina to ever challenge the Dragons of the Floating Isles.

There was an age-old pact between the upper class, Regina, and the Dragons. They would pick the most brilliant minds every year to take with them and train them in magik, sciences, and other knowledge of the universe. However, for us, we never had that option no matter how smart we were. That was until Xiomara called them out right. She was our visionary. She believed the Sentina could compete with Regina.

This came as great offence to the Dragons and Regina, alike. They didn’t care to be fair; their aim was to set an example to whoever challenged them. They tried to quench the belief Xiomara had spread among her people. They succeeded in destroying her.

That’s when the revolt took place. Their anger and the destruction the Dark Night caused came as a shock for us. Most of it was burnt to the ground by the Dragons flame. What was left of us was destroyed by Regina. Nonetheless, we held our ground, we fought for the spark Xiomara had lighted, we fought for her sake as well. Afterall, we were the dregs – we had nothing to lose.

After the Dark Night, a series of strikes took place impacting the world Regina lived in. They were forced to reach an agreement with the Dragons, but with a caveat. Sentina were only allowed to compete based on physical abilities, not mental ones.

Now, the world Xavi knew had changed a lot since that time. The lines between Regina and Sentina had blurred, but still the two groups rarely mingled in public.  Xiomara Trials, now known as the Dragons Tournament, were now held every two years and for the sole purpose of entertainment.

Only a handful of people knew the history of it and the meaning behind the original name. Xavi’s clan, however, made sure they knew about every inch of the what had occurred in the past and what their great ancestor, Xiomara had done to achieve it.

Some traditions still held strong for the Dragons Tournament. The first runner up of the last season would light the flare initiating the beginning of the new season. Xavi wasn’t nervous. She was determined. She had participated in the last season and gotten second place. She wanted to win. She would win; not for herself, definitely not for the dragons, but only for Xiomara.

The flare was handed to her. Her breath hitched. She searched the vast sea of people watching her climb up the lighthouse to where the sky and the sea met. She could make out her people in the public, they all wore black. Anyone identifying as a Sentina did – to honor the Dark Night.

She reached the top of the port and lit the flare, pointing it upwards. She reached out further in the vast openness holding herself by a pole. It was getting cloudy. She didn’t care if the Dragons saw the flare. She tried to reach to Xiomara. A prayer escaped her lips. She held it until the flare ran out. The breeze carried the red smoke steadily over the sea.

The public was cheering in the distance. The Dragon Tournament had officially begun.

Stay tuned for next week for the self-edited draft!


Writer In Motion is Back

What started as a summer project for Jeni and Kat, has now expanded to much more and I couldn’t be happier. Now, #WriterInMotion has gotten its own shiny blog and forum! Click here to check it out, and here for its own Twitter Page.

For those of you who followed my blog series in the summer, know what this all about. (Curious on how my WiM-Round 1 was? just click here).

For the new peeps out there, Writer-In-Motion shows a journey of a writer from an ugly first draft through its refining process to a polished final draft, over a course of 4 weeks.

The Prompt and First Impressions

It’s always exciting to have a new prompt to ponder over and let your creative juices flow. For this WiM, I was equally excited… until I saw the prompt. (Sorry, Jeni!)

The photo was way too simple for any hyped up plot. For the next couple of days, I kept going back to it and staring at it for minutes before closing it angrily.

The Prompt Photo for WiM Round 2

That was until today. Today, I looked at it from a perspective I knew best: fantasy. I could see a keyhole vision of the beginnings of a new world and the ‘fictional’ elements that I could add to it.

Why is she holding a flare? Is it a flare? Why is she wearing black? It looks like it may rain. Where is this place? Why is it a ‘she’? Is she protesting, rebelling, or something? What’s her expression like?

For the the fictional elements, they slowly came to me while was listening to my regular youtube mix of “Epic Battle Music” – to specify it was Ivan Torrent – Facing Fears. I’m thinking in what ways can this seemingly normal photo become extraordinary. Is she calling to someone or something using the flare? The photo seems to emit positive vibes, yet she wears black and doesn’t look that happy. The more I’m thinking about it, more plot ideas are born, while I run out of time to write. The timeline for WiM Round 2 is as follows:

The Timeline

All the best to all #writerinmotion (twitter hashtag) participants and can’t wait to read the first drafts coming out this weekend!


Photo Credit: Visual Hunt .com

The Wicked King: Review

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At the end of Book 1 we see Jude and Cardan get into a magical bargain for 1 year and 1 day. At the start of the Wicked King, the time has fast forwarded to almost half that time. Jude’s and Cardan’s relationship has also evolved to a temporary truce of some sorts and Jude is becoming more and more trapped within Emberfall and the sources surrounding it, threatening the throne. This book had more betrayals and politics involved, which I enjoyed.

This book was a major drag! I was about to DNF it at the 30% mark but stuck with it because all the hype I heard about the ending. The plot-twist at the end was, in fact, unpredictable. However, this book still didn’t emotionally attach me to any of the characters, maybe except to Cardan, if only a little.

Overall 3.5 over 5 stars.

The Cruel Prince: Review

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I first picked this book thinking it’s similar to ACOTAR. This was slightly similar but a whole lot of different, so I can’t actually compare the two.

The book revolves around Jude, youngest of three sisters and identical twin of the second. She is determined and feisty. Her goals are well-established from the beginning of the story and she works towards them even in her unconventional situation – human girl who grew up in the Emberfall.

Cardan is the youngest of the crown princes to the throne of Emberfall. He is snobbish, arrogant and well – cruel.

The writing was okay-ish, I felt it had parts where is was dragging and didn’t complement the plot that much. Even as the story unfold to the ‘big’ revel, I didn’t feel I’m emotionally connected with any of the characters. The world building was better than expected, but I can’t say it’s my favorite version of faerieland.

Overall 3.5 over 5 stars. I’ll be continuing the series.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely: Review


I’m always ready to read a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and this one did not disappoint. It’s very much based on the main source but the new elements and the modern twist blend in seamlessly.

The characters are well developed and have distinct personalities which both clash and compliment each other to take the story forward. Harper is strong-willed, smart and simple. The best part is that she doesn’t let her disability control her. Rhen, in contrast, is a complicated character. We never see him fully for what he is and what he is thinking or planning. While this keep him in a mysterious vibe, it slightly takes away from connecting with him too much. Grey, on the other hand, was more open and as a character, we came to know more about him.

The writing is smooth, well-paced with the right amount of descriptions. The romance is gradual and quite slow burning! World building is simple, compared to other retellings I’ve read. That plot twist towards the end didn’t catch me entirely by surprise but now I’ll have to wait for book 2 to come out.

Overall 4 out of 5 stars.