The Power of ‘Again’

I’ve been busy, so I don’t have time to write a long article…though I do plan to write about compound bows sometime. But today I’m going to write about one little word that I’ve found can add a lot of humor to a story. It’s the word ‘again’.
Take the movie, Monsters University, for example. During one scene, a group of characters are running away from security and one character yells, “I can’t go to prison again.” The implications of that sentence caused a good laugh, especially considering the speaker.
Or take a character running from some soldiers after playing some sort of prank (I’m looking at you, Jagger). Saying “at least they didn’t catch me again,” adds much more humor that a simple “I’m glad I escaped.” And the quick phrase “not again!” while in an unlikely situation can cause some interesting conversations (humorous or otherwise) later on.
Of course this has to be used in small doses, or else it gets old and loses its freshness. But if you are looking to lighten up a scene, keep this word in mind.

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King’s Armor Prologue

I’m correcting and deepening King’s Armor again. Though I have a feeling it won’t be done by the end of the year like I’d originally hoped, every draft is getting a little better. Here is a prologue I wrote to help deepen the backstory of my most recent correction.
Prologue: Seventeen Years Ago
“This is a waste of time,” Draygan growled as he rose. The dim fire reflected dully on his hulking figure, rough gray skin, and long black hair. “One name, Tharib. One word.” He limped about the fire

and glowered down at prisoner two of his Maligents half held, half supported.

The man glared back, panting through clenched teeth, sweat and blood streaking his face in the uncertain moonlight.
Draygan hefted his barbed flail from one hand to the other as he leaned close. “Where. Are. Lysander. And. His. Family. Lodging.”
The Auloran didn’t reply.
With a snarl, Draygan swung his flail, raking the man’s chest. Tharib gasped as he buckled forward, only keeping his feet because of the tight grasp of his captors.
Draygan grunted and tilted his head slightly. The man raised his head, his lips tight but his eyes defiant. Draygan nodded to himself. “Very well. So you think you can bear the pain. But could your son, I wonder?”
Tharib clenched his jaw.
A footstep whispered from the shadows beyond the small hollow and another Maligent appeared. Draygan glanced toward him, and the Maligent nodded.
“Shall we fetch him?” Draygan questioned, turning back to his prisoner. “Your Havrain is what…ten? Eleven? He’s sleeping not far from here I believe, but it would be a pity to wake him for no reason.”
The man gritted his teeth. “You lie. You don’t know where he is.”
“Are you willing to take that chance?” Draygan beckoned to his scout and the Maligent tossed him a pendant. Draygan dangled the medallion from the chain before Tharib’s face. “Because I assure you, if we are forced to take the trouble of bringing him here, your Havrain will face the lash whether you speak or not.”
Even in the darkness, the man’s face paled and he grunted, jerking against his captors.
Draygan chuckled mirthlessly, then bent down, his eyes steely. “Where is the Captain camping this evening?”
Tharib closed his eyes and bowed his head, breathing heavily through clenched teeth.
“The Captain!” Draygan demanded, forcing the prisoner’s head up. “Or shall we fetch your son?”
“No…” the man’s voice broke and he let out a low groan.
Draygan crossed his arms. “Lie to me, and we’ll kill your son before your eyes.”
“By the Gihon.” Tharib’s voice was barely a whisper. “Where the Blackwood and the river meet. They will rest there tomorrow night.”
Draygan’s eyes glittered and he sheathed his flail. “Thank you, Tharib.” He considered the man thoughtfully then nodded to himself. “Bind him and leave him for the beasts,” he ordered, turning away. “Then meet me with the others. We have a Captain to kill.”
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Allen Shran

Allen Shran is another major character in my trilogy. He’s fairly new to the Rebel cause, but assembled a group of Freedom Fighters and quickly became one of the Reasoner’s most wanted fugitives. The second most wanted man in America, to be exact, right behind the elusive pastor who’s code named Gideon. (This is a chagrining topic for Allen because, for the life of him, he can’t understand why the Reasoners value a pastor, of all people, above himself).
Allen was born the only child of a privileged family. His father was involved in politics, his mother in science. Allen spent his younger years in the best schools his parents could afford, but when he was eighteen, his mother died in an explosion at the lab where she worked. Though he hadn’t known her well, the death was still a blow and Allen and his father grew closer after that. The next year Allen went to collage with plans to join the Reasoner party and rise up the political ladder like his Father. He’d almost finished his studies when the dictator died and nearly a year of political turmoil, including hundreds of imprisonments and dozens of assassinations, followed.
While in collage, Allen had gotten chances to discover old works and histories he’d never dreamed of. Books on the founding of America and strange ideas that government should be by the people and for the people. When his own father was murdered part way through the struggle for power, Allen lost all faith in the Reasoner cause and abandoned it completely. He went into hiding, joined with with a small group of rebels, and quickly rose to be their leader, learning as he went. Now, at age twenty five, he has recently met Titus, who’s coupled to Gideon’s Sword, and is hoping to work with the Christians in one overwhelming revolt against the Reasoners.
While not a Christian himself, Allen has a grudging respect for the ‘religious ones’, if for no other reason than because they’ve managed to survive the Reasoners for over fifty year. He has few friends and doesn’t trust others easily. And, though he puts on a careless face, Allen is serious and conflicted underneath. He’s drifting, with nothing but his hatred of the Reasoners holding him together.
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