Prompt: Curious

I’ve been drumming my nails about something for a long time now… I have a ton of writing books that back me up on this. The question is:  Can I write a book?

I’ve been very curious about NaNoWriMo for a quite a while. Until now, I’ve always missed the deadline. Well, I can’t use that excuse anymore! For those who don’t know:

NaNo in a Nutshell

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Where: You write wherever you’d like. On your computer, on your iPad, on a typewriter—anywhere is fine, just as long as you’re writing!

 
Has anyone tried this? I have some wild ideas racing around regarding plot – Granted I have no idea how to pull it off. Maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point is to go balls to the wall and just put it out there.

It’s a little exciting. It’s a little scary. Damn. This sounds fun. 🙂

(Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for this writing prompt!)

The Hiatus is Over

I have explored the shadow, the inner realm of doubt and loss.  I have traversed into the Light, that sphere of loving free fall.  And in the end, I STILL need to write.  🙂

So, I’m back.  With lots of ideas and the desire to express them.  I’m going with simple writing prompts for now… A see bigger projects in the future, yet for now, I need to flex those typing fingers and just let it out.

More to come…

Your Erstwhile spiritual traveler and friend,

The Little Writer

Photo By Shayan (USA)

One Single Impression – Fog

by alice popkorn
photo by alice popkorn

You can speak now
I am ready; I will drink your scorpion tea.
Even this axe in my heart is
Beautiful in the mist.

Your knowing smile makes me wonder…
Have you come to offer me solace
Or to lead me astray
Again?

No matter:  I have found my center.
Alone, I see what I did not see before.
Strength steals through my soul
This fog has taught me a thing or two.

 

(OSI prompt, “Fog”) 

3 Word Wednesday

This was my first time visiting Three Word Wednesday.  I had a lot of fun with this.  For this week the words were:

Fracture
Noise
Vanish

by longhorndave
by longhorndave

I can’t write to you…

You understand, don’t you?

The silence is deafening, the tension so high.  I’m drinking tea, looking at each passing face from this salmon colored chair.  Yet all I see are images with no story.  Blurred faces vanishing into the next scene.

I would welcome the noise if I could hear it.  You told me how you needed me to say something.  You texted me your longing, yet all I can do is sit here, fractured, drumming my chipped nails against this perfect porcelain plate.

Perhaps you will leave now.  Annoyed.  Frustrated.

And I will remain, sipping this tea, inhaling its fragrance.

Welcoming a caress that you could never offer.

Basic Scene Elements

I thought it was a good time to review some essential writing basics.  This is good info for the fiction writer, but any writer could benefit,  especially from number 4,  Pulse.

 The following is from “The Scene Book:  A primer for the fiction writer” by Sandra Scofield.

Four Basic Scene Elements

1.  Every scene has event and emotion.

2.  Every scene has a function.

3.  Every scene has a structure.

4.  Every scene has a pulse.  (from April:   this is a crucial piece of scene writing I had never heard described before… and is too awesome to ignore…)

 

1.  In a scene, there is event and emotion.  In a scene, characters do things (act and react) that “add up” meaningfully; and they feel things (have emotional and intellectual responses to the action). 

2.  Every scene has a function in the narrative.  There is a reason the passage is rendered in detail rather than summarized.  Thre is a reason why it appears where it does in the sequence of events.  It accomplishes something for the story.  It changes something.  It makes now different from the past.

3.  Every scene has a structure:  a beginning, middle, and end.  An alternative way to think of the scene structure is this :  There is a situation at the beginning, a line of action, and then there is a new situation at the end.  Thus, the scene establishes each of these three parts.

4.  Every scene has a pulse.  Some vibrancy in the story makes the scene live on the page and makes it matter to the reader.  Look for it, dig for it, massage it, burn incense to it if you must.  Without it, your scene is a whimper. 

Let me make the subtle distinction between the pulse and tension.  Pulse is emotional, an attitude, a state of desire or need.  Tension is built from action; it arises from pulse, but it must be created through conflict, whereas pulse is a kind of “steady state,” awaiting the trigger to escalate it.

So for example, let’s say I want more than anything to be a writer. I neglect other aspects of my life, my relationships, to make time for my writing.  I eat fast food and never go to the movies.  That ambition is the pulse.  Finally there’s a big argument (a scene) with my lover, who says if I’m not going to be more available to him, he’s going to move out and find someone who is.  Now there’s tension.

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Perhaps in the next week or so I might post a scene for review… this is good stuff.

A Perfect Swap

To kick things off in a new direction, I’m posting a short work of fiction.  I’m going back to my roots, people!   Normally I would put this in my Writing Prompts page, but thought I’d buck convention and give you a sample of what might be there in the future.  This prompt had to do with some kind of exchange, a kind of tit for tat.  My goal was to use the prompt in an unexpected way.

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Daryl lay prone on a dirty twin mattress, arms splayed out to the side. Soured milk, half-eaten yogurt, and rancid deli meat lay forgotten on a worn table.  Like Pick Up Sticks scattered across the room, the other occupants registered euphoria to barely met desperation.

Angry welts could be seen lining both of Daryl’s pale arms through the weak afternoon sun. Sandy blond hair curled gently around his ear, caressing the latest mark on his neck. He had been tripping for about an hour when his body’s lack of oxygen forced him wide awake. Gasping, he grabbed for his throat, eyes dilating. Within in moments he started convulsing, his lips looking like a child who had eaten too many blueberries.

Turning away from some new customers, Bruce pocketed his money and walked toward the room’s only mattress. Looking down, he folded his arms across his chest and kicked Daryl in the gut. The guy was going down, he’d seen it a dozen times before. It wasn’t Daryl’s death that bothered him so much as losing a good customer; that as well as it happening in his place.

“Damn,” he said.  “Amber – we’re going to need to roll. Grab the dope and wipe the place down. I mean ALL of it. I don’t want a single print left anywhere, capiche?”

Amber looked over, nodded, and started packing the syringes first. Her pale fingers looked exotic in the gloom, like a new species of spider.  Just as she was about to leave, she noticed a shiny, gold Cross pen in Daryl’s shirt pocket. Grabbing it, she swapped the abused, bitten Bic she normally carried in its place. Patting his still warm chest, she hummed and turned out the light before she left.