It’s a fun exercise to find motifs that appear often in a writer’s work, and I recently noticed that I have an attachment to the describing nighttime scenes in my stories. I’ve compiled a bunch of short excerpts from these WIPs to compare the different worlds in which they take place. Feel free to peruse the tags and categories if any of these catch your attention!
A million twinkling stars hang in the dark sky. A galaxy of fireflies spots the clearing with dancing lights. The stone path continues before them, lined by late-seasoned wildflowers that grow as high as her waist. Garlands holding golden lanterns are spaced evenly along the way and draw the attention of diaphanous gossamer moths.
(later) They emerge into a glittering courtyard, paved with mother-of-pearl and reflecting the light of the waltzing stars. Garlands drape over the fluted stone pillars and drip with gemstones. Fountains spring from the center of the square, throwing fractal rainbows and silvery iridescent gleams to play off the walls. Hannah’s breath catches in her throat as she gazes at the spectacular sight, mesmerized by the moonlight.
The light of Illara filtered silver and violet through the Aral rings, illuminating the city with a soft hue. Clear skies let the starlight form spirals as it entered Laoche’s atmosphere, and Acheran spotted the constellation Chorer through the buildings. The “Crown of Heaven” and his sister’s namesake. Acheran made an armoe to it before soaring off. A cool wind carried him around the canyon effortlessly, and soon he reached sight of the Laine’s new home. A moment later, magic shocked through his wings, and he recognized a small figure huddled on the ledge next to the door.
From a Laoche Drabble:
The silhouette already sitting on the outlook nearly gave her a heart attack. The magic in Madelyn’s hand flared from a dim glow to a phosphorescent flash and she snapped into a fighting stance. “Who goes there?!”
The person whirled around, hands in the air. “Ighst, Madelyn! It’s just me!” Seth exclaimed. He put a finger to his lips. “Put that away before you wake up Radien. He’ll grouch at us for being up an about.
Madelyn relaxed and let the magic fall away before joining him where he sat, legs dangling over the edge. “What are you doing up?”
Madelyn hadn’t even noticed the sky. She looked up now, and her breath caught as she beheld the sight of the inky black coat of night speckled with hundreds of thousands of stars. The moon was gone tonight, leaving the sky scattered with the shining specks, like glitter spilled across a tablecloth. She’d read some astronomy books at school.
“…It’s amazing,” she whispered eventually.
“I’ve only seen a sky like this a few times before,” Seth said quietly. “Stephan took me on a sailing trip when we were younger. We couldn’t stray too far from the ports so people could keep an eye on us, but we snuck out one night on a small fishing boat and…”
His voice trailed off. He shook his head to forget the bittersweet memory, pointed into the air, and traced a constellation shaped like a group of pointy triangles. “That one is Kaaran, the mountain maker.”
Madelyn searched the heavens, trying to find the picture he pointed out, with not much luck. “Did he teach you to sail and navigate?”
Seth nodded slightly but said nothing for fear of his voice cracking. Madelyn dropped her eyes and twisted the fabric of her skirts in her hands.
“I miss him,” she said softly. “He was a good friend.”
“The worst part is not knowing what happened to him.”
“We’ll find him,” Madelyn said, with a sudden intensity he’d never seen before. “I swear it on the stars.”
Seth gave her a soft smile and that was enough.
The Traveller’s grin drops, and for the first time, they look up, and see the spiraling endless universe in all of its warping, mirroring, orbiting. Their breath catches in their throat and the Keeper glows with a smug sense of satisfaction as they experience the wonder. The bottom of a black hole enjoys a beautiful view. Now silence hangs awkwardly between them, as the music of the orbits becomes audible again in the absence of the screams
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To Light and To Guard
Marcia squinted into the fog and cursed the night. Roiling storm clouds obscured the clear light of the full moon, casting shimmering beams and warping shadows over the bog. Wind whipped her short, straight hair across her face. It stuck in the corners of her mouth whenever she took a panting breath and flicked into her stinging eyes. For the dozenth time in half as many minutes, she swiped it behind her ears, frustratingly aware that it was a futile effort. The sky hadn’t opened into a downpour yet, but the freezing mist clung to her clothes, her clammy hands, her eyelashes. Any other night, she could hear frogs croaking, birds crying, and the water rippling as turtles breached, but now, only the howling gale filled her ears. She gritted her teeth and stomped forward aimlessly.
Sea of Savage Stars
“The god placed the cycle in the sky as a warning and a memorial. To this day, the people of Sainha look at their constellations and describe it as a sea of savage stars.”
With that, Boreas extinguished the fire. Notos looked to the sky, letting their eyes adjust to the lack of light from the campfire. The dilation happened almost instantly, as if on command from their dragon’s physiology. Their rider felt their attention drawn by their dragon’s sense of direction and both looked into the depths of space. Delicate white lines formed in their vision, connecting distant solar systems into constellations, and outlining the skeletons of the doomed creatures.
“We must be careful flying through their battle tomorrow. It still rages in its new form,” Boreas said solemnly. “Now get some rest. You’ll need it.”
Thanks for reading! What time of day is your favorite? I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip or buying stickers on my Kofi. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!