Free Writing: The City

I’ve felt a little bit in the rut with inspiration for my Varken story. A little bit like I’ve been dragging my feet. So I’m taking a little break to do some free writing and other writing exercises to get the juice running again! And I think I’ll pull out one of my favorite writing books: Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine. She is one of my favorite authors and I love all of the simple exercises that she presents in the book. Here is my little snippet!

The buildings were stacked up on top of each other, climbing up into the atmosphere. Bridges were swung in between the terraces creating a maze of paths that only a local would be able to navigate. Lines of laundry were thrown between apartments and the drying garments swung in the musty breeze that wove throughout the city. Although haphazard in structure, each new level of apartments was built with excellent integrity and, although inconsistent in architecture, the crowded city maintained a chaotic elegance. People walked to and fro on the streets below, moving aside when a steamcar came rumbling over the cobblestone. Up above, the airtrams shifting between the buildings as they flew towards uptown.

The trams pulled into the station, twelve floors above the ground, and traded passengers with those waiting on the station platform. Business men in top hats and suits walked swiftly to their meetings and offices, were new ideas awaited them. Heiresses giggled and ran from one boutique to another, seeking out the latest fashions and easily impressed by the newest technologies. Soldiers patrolled the roads, keeping the orphans and mistresses at bay and away from the sunlight.

Down the alleyways, they huddled in small bunches. The children played games of hopscotch with stones and coal, waiting for someone to wander close enough to the shadows so they could beg for money and pickpocket anyone who wasn’t charitable. When nighttime came, they would each sneak away to whichever shanty they called home, and a few would find refuge in the spare beds of the humble church that was nestled between the bank and the new department store.

As the sun disappeared behind the rooftops and tucked itself in the horizon of the sea, the streets of uptown became lonely, lit by dimly burning street lamps. Every so often a gaggle of irresponsible socialites would wander out of a club and stumble their way home. But downtown, the moonlight struggled to reach the unlit roads below, hidden by the towering complexes and laundry lines. The only souls who found themselves out were those looking for trouble or to earn an immoral wage. While the city slept, one window in an unassuming apartment was bright with candlelight.

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