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:


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.  There 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.


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.


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 bruise 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.  “Kali – 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?”

Kali 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.

Update on Novel Writing Software

…Specifically yWriter and StorYBook.  I wrote an indepth review of each, but I wanted to give a quick commentary on some hands-on writing experience.  I’m using both just to see which I’ll prefer in the long run.  So far I like them both for different reasons, lol.  I love the ease and friendliness of StorYBook.  I love that I can have multiple strands organized in a storybook format.  What I’m not crazy about is the customer service  – I’ve written the developers twice and have had no response.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong or they’re on vacation or… I really hope it’s not that they just are not available and could care less.  There is a forum so I’ll try to ask my questions there…

In regards to yWriter, I love that the developer is totally on top of questions – he doesn’t have a lot of time, but he always manages to respond to requests for info.  Plus, everything in yWriter is very easy to find and use.  I can’t wait to write more just to see what it will do.

And that brings me to writing… I’m in research mode still and will be there for a while.  It’s tough when your fingers are itching to just WRITE and yet you know you CAN’T because there is too much info you still need.  Frustrating!  I do have some great chapter quotes that are accumulating though… Will try and post one or two tomorrow.


I haven’t written here in few days because I’m in research mode for a story based on the concept of parallel worlds / hyperspace.  Yeah.. just doing a little light reading trying to understand the physics behind the idea.  Michio Kaku’s books give some great insight, so if I’m not staying as up to date as I could, you know why!  Speaking of which… I’ve got to get back to it.  Hopefully I can post a chapter in the next month.  🙂

I wrote the story I wanted to read…

Well… not yet.  🙂 I just saw this sentence on a writer’s blog and it really struck me.  I’ve been struggling with the best idea (of the many ideas that pop into my head) for my first ever novel.  What ends up happening is that by the time I really sit and think about getting from A to Z, I’ve decided the idea sucks pickles.

(Note to self:  read the post on suckage below, yet AGAIN.)

But have I truly considered writing the story I myself would like to read?  Maybe I’ve dissed some great ideas simply because I immediately think, “Oh, nobody would be interested in that…”  Maybe I shouldn’t care so much about what others would think .

(Note to self:  look up at your blog tagline)

I will be musing this tidbit of advice over the next day.  I think there is something important bubbling beneath the surface…