Clare Davidson

Writing without compromise

Friday Snippet: Just For Fun

Sometimes, when I'm having a bad day but still want to write, I ignore any projects I have, or should be working on and just write for fun. It doesn't really matter what I write, generally just whatever pops into my head. It's a bit more controlled than free writing, because I allow myself to self edit. Most of my 'for fun' writing ends up unfinished. Sometimes, I end up with something I love; 'Trinity' was the end result of a 'just for fun' project.

Anyway, here's the start of something that I may or may not carry on with for this week's Friday Snippet. Please bare in mind that it's first draft, so the prose will be clunky and there may well be errors in there as well. That said, I hope you enjoy it:


Clutching the marker-pen in stiff fingers, Hal added another tally to the dull grey wall. It was the first thing he did every morning. He pushed himself to the edge of the bed and, ignoring the dull ache in his muscles, swung his legs over. His toes touched the floor. He stood, trying to push his heels to the floor. The dull ache became more intense; his tendons refused to stretch. "Damn it," he muttered under his breath.

It was enough sound to summon Rei. She materialised in front of Hal, beaming at him. "Good morning, Hal." Her bright voice lifted his spirits a little. She swept her hand from side to centre. A cake with thirteen lit candles appeared on the palm of her hand. "Happy birthday!"

Hal sat back down hard, his brow crumpled into a frown. "It's not my birthday, Rei." He turned his attention to a screen that displayed the date and time. Scowling, he realised it was two months wrong. Again. "There must have been another power surge over night." He raised his aching arm, using his fingertip to trace the mirror image of an 'L' in the air. A keyboard, formed from light, appeared. With quick movements he made the necessary corrections.

Rei vanished, only to reappear a second later without the cake. "Good morning, Hal."

"Morning." He never tired of seeing her smiling face, even if she wasn't real.

Rei looked real. Or rather, she looked solid. If she had been given a more natural design, she would have fooled most people. Instead, her stylised features had been taken from a battered Manga comic that Hal's father had found in the ruins of the city. Hal glanced at the tallies.

"He'll come home soon, Hal," Rei assured him.

"Yeah." Practically on tiptoes, Hal walked awkwardly to the opposite wall. He leant against it, bent one knee and stretched the other leg back. Gritting his teeth, he tried to stretch his calf out; tried to get enough flex to feel the floor beneath his heel. It didn't happen. He blew a puff of air out between his teeth and switched legs, trying again. There was a fraction more give in his right leg.

"You're doing well today," Rei said.

"Remind me to change your programming so you aren't so chirpy," Hal mumbled. Relaxing, he rested his head against the wall. "I'm getting worse."

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On 10/08/2012 Clare Davidson said: Thanks for the comment! I'm playing with extending the scene at the moment.

On 10/08/2012 G.R. Bliss said: Fun! I love writing snippets of ideas just for fun. Keeps my fingers tapping and my imagination fluid. I love the contrast in this one - the marker/wall vs the keyboard "formed from light" and a holographic companion. Looking forward to any attention you give this one in the future!

On 10/08/2012 Clare Davidson said: Thank you :) I really am seriously considering continuing with this 'bit of fun', so much so that I extended the scene to nearly 2k words today!

On 10/08/2012 Clare Davidson said: Thanks for commenting! I agree writing 'for fun' is really important. It can too easily end up feeling like work, which in a way, it is. Funnily enough, my two most recent (and best) projects both started as 'fun' projects while I was slaving away on other WIPs.

On 10/08/2012 Ruth Ellen Parlour said: Really enjoyed this snippet. I like the pieces of tech you slip into the plot, I'd like to know more about the culture and what's wrong with Hal!

On 10/08/2012 DasteRoad said: Gorgeous snippet! I'd love to know more about Hal and his world - and how and why he got damaged. By the way, writing "for fun" is about the most underrated part of writing. Yes, writing is not easy, and yes, the occasional frustration is part of the jig - but if one stops having fun altogether, I think there's definitely something wrong :) That said, it's certainly liberating to just improvise and roll with what feels fun now and then, without the constraints of a previously established project!

On 10/08/2012 Monica La Porta said: Clare! I must confess right away that I have a thing for dystopian/futuristic settings. This snippet is the perfect example of what I like to read. Loved every single image you drew. I'd definitely read this novel. Regarding what you said about writing just for fun, I agree 100%. Sometimes, words should be let free.

On 11/08/2012 Clare Davidson said: Thank you so much!

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