I Did It

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Well, I Did It

23I did another first in my life.  I actually finished a novel.  Well, it was really just a first draft.  It took me 101 days, and is nearly 170,000 words.  If you want to read about it, you can read about, if you wish.

Following the advice of people I trust, I put it away.  I will take it out, probably after the first of the year, and see what I think of it.

In the mean time, I will go off and do fun stuff for a while.  For one, I’m picking back up with studying James Scott Bell’s book, Plot and Structure.

Go to my stories.

See my favorites.

Read about me.

Contact me.

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Plotting To Be Scene – Part Six

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Plotting To Be Scene – Part Six

I am studying how to plot, and the relationship of plots to scenes.  I recently completed my first draft of Scepter’s Sacrifice, and know that, once I start revising and editing my story, I will have much work to do.  I am using James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure to help me learn to write more professionally.   In Bell’s fifth chapter, Endings, he includes four exercises.

You can see my answers to Part Five.
01 considering1 – Reread the last couple of chapters from five novels you love. Analyze each of them. Is it closed-ended? Does it have a twist? Why does it work for you? This will help you understand your own writing preferences.

I read three or four chapters of Board Stiff by Elaine Viets, Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, Far Gone by Lauara Griffin, The Double Game by Dan Fesperman, The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowlings.

Board Stiff closed in positive fashion. It had no twist, and it’s epilog was clumsy. Closure relied on tricking two uncooperative junior villains into betraying their boss. In both cases, our MC resorted to bluffs and bullying to gain junior villain confessions. Our MC took physical risks to get closure. She resolves her personal issues and gets her guy back. I thought the ending was average.

Sweet Tooth’s story ending was positive, but our MC’s personal life remained unresolved. Our author achieved tension when he created situations where our MC betraying her lover. She then waits, with dread, until her role in suborning her lover comes out. Two twists came at the end. Our MC thinks she has suborned her lover. But, he knows what she has done and intends to punish her. Only, when his chance comes to exact revenge, having fallen back in love with her. The ah ha moment might have worked, but it went on far too long. I didn’t like this ending. Continue reading

Butterflies and Tingling Skin – Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

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Butterflies and Tingling Skin

I intend to become a better writer, using strong verbs, making a little game out of it.  Today’s strong word are assume, consider, deepen, demand, diminish, develop, control, comprise, complicate, and demolish.

Click here to read about Tammy’s mixed feelings.

tammy3a5Tammy paused, and assumed her conscientious and polite employee demeanor.  She took deep breaths to calm her thoughts. But they were still roiled by yesterday’s events.  Rebecca had been no help.  She tried to consider only today’s duties.  Herds of butterflies swirled in her tummy, deepening her anxiety.

Stepping inside his Chateau, she wondered if she would see the Count.  In days past, she had seldom seen him.  But, with his clear interest in her, she had become hyper aware of his presence.  Now, she expected to see him at every turn.  Where, once, she had given him little thought, now it seemed as if he demanded her attention.

Quelling her turmoil, she began her duties.  As tourists assembled, her uneasiness diminished.  Soon, her well-practiced habits, developed over countless tours, took hold. She led straggling tourists down familiar halls, pointing out tapestries and explaining painting. At first, she fielded many questions. But, as always, they became more quiet.

Yet, something was different.  On other tours, she had mingled with them, gaining their trust and affection.  Now, men eyed her.  And their wives and girlfriends watched her with hate in their eyes, or tried to show her up.  Using all her tricks, she struggled to entertain and control her charges.

Continue reading

Fairies Don’t Sweat, They Glow

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Please accept my submission for Friday Fictioneers.  It took me a while to find this one, and I am surprised at where it took me.

Fairies Don’t Sweat, They Glow

fairiesLeekah pushed. Stinging sweat dripped into her eyes.  If she closed them, she would fall asleep.  Time would start.

Other fairies had fun, like changing teeth to coins.  Instead Weenok sent her night after night to the old woman, forbidden to turn rocks to gold.

Every stone weighed more than her.  She couldn’t even fly them into place.  Once, she even walked right into glue still setting, and lost her moccasin.

Their Fair was tomorrow.  So much needed to be done.  Panting, she sat down.  She would close her eyes for—

Shuffling feet awoke her.  She could see her shadow!

That Special Time of Year – Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

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That Special Time of Year

Bench Pressing Strong Verbs

I intend to become a better writer, using strong verbs, making a little game out of it:  Today’s strong word are refute, advance, comprise, recreate, abrogate, intervene, compute, react, delineate, differentiate.

Read about Janet’s adventure with Aunt Hilda.

witch 3a

Janet, arms folded, tried not to fidget.  After all, the Ministry’s order to cease all things magical was old, and, surely they had forgotten.  When officious little Ministry bureaucrats came today, all she need do was refute  those accusations that she had…forgotten.

Her spidery senses, oh and her watch spiders, told her someone advanced up her walk.  She realized more than one person approached, a group to question her.  She wondered who comprised her would-be interrogators.

Looking in her hall mirror, she straightened her hair, checked her lips, and assumed her most tranquil visage.  Before they could ring her bell, she stepped out.  “Greetings,” she said.  No less than five people stood on her step.  Two witches, two warlocks, and a goblin.  “You honor me.  How may I help you?” Continue reading

Plotting To Be Scene – Part Five

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Plotting To Be Scene – Part Five

I am studying how to plot, and the relationship of plots to scenes.  I recently completed my first draft of Scepter’s Sacrifice, and know that, once I start revising and editing my story, I will have much work to do.  I am using James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure to help me learn to write more professionally.   In Bell’s fifth chapter, Middles, he includes five exercises.

You can see my answers to Part Four.
01 consideringEXERCISE ONE:  Define how your Lead will die, either physically or psychologically if she does not achieve her objective.  Ask yourself if the objective is truly crucial to the Lead’s well-being.  Find a way to make it so important readers will understand why the objective must be achieved.

Deheya’s goal is to save her people. She has invested herself by marrying the leader of the nation determined to exterminate her people. Their child will succeed him, and rule both Peoples. When someone assassinates her husband, she fears her son will also be killed before he can reach his majority.

If she cannot make her son the Duke, everything she has risked will have been for nothing. She will be guilt ridden that she could not save her people, and cut off from eternity with the death of her son.

So, what does this mean for my WIP?

I need to go clearly state that her goal is to help her people survive.  And, with each scene, I need to find a way to show that unfolding events bring her people closer to extinction.  And, until sometime in Part Four, her people need to be in ever greater danger.

EXERCISE TWO:  Deepen your opposition character. Find an answer to the question, “Who do I love this character?” Have you given him justifications for what he does? Is he strong, or stronger than the Lead?

Deheya’s opposition is Christor.  Christor is Duke Ren Gar’s brother.  They have competed since childhood.  And it goes on.  Christor’s father had assumed that, when Ren Gar became Duke, Christor would become his strong right arm.  But, as is often the case, the “extra” prince isn’t content with his lot. Continue reading

Silent’s October’s Oh My

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Silent’s October’s Oh My.

reportMidnight oil.

Deep contemplation.

Agony of the soul.

In other words, I completed my first draft of Scepter’s Sacrifice.

It consumed me, nibble by nibble.  I started out living my life pretty much as I always did.  Gradually, I stopped writing about much else.  As time went on, I thought more and more about my story and my characters.  By the end, I took two sick days off to finish my story.

Continue reading

Fruits Of The Fathers

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Please accept my submission for Friday Fictioneers.  I’ve been away, working on my WIP.  It’s safely in a drawer now, and I will see what I think about it after the first of the year.  In the mean time, I can get back to fun stuff again.

Fruits Of The Fathers

gifts of the fathersRachael protested.  She needed a piano for composing. Rob decided on a keyboard.  She wanted paper, not megabytes.  Laptops were better than paper.

Now, she stood in some hallway.  Rob and Ted talked about fantasy football.  They invited her to go look.

She found no switch.  Instead, sunlight created dazzling islands of light and oceans of blackness.  Dust ruled.  Someone had arranged keyboards on racks.  Stacks of vinyl records sat on the floor.

She left dusty footprints.  Everything was older, but unused.  Someone had opened a small box.  She found a program.

“In Loving Memory of Theodore Hamlish, Musician.”