Silent’s April Adventures

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Silent’s April Adventures

reportSadness.

Reflection.

I moved on with my life.  My grief faded, but I still miss my cat.  When I go in the bedroom, I expect to see him curled up on the bed; In the living room, looking out his window on the sofa;  I have his ashes and will mix them in with a tree I intend to plant outside his window.  He always wanted to go outside, now he will be able to, yet still be.

April brought a new stage of learning with it.  I recognized that WordPress is not a place to develop or perfect writing, so much as it is a place to gather my writing.  I turned to scribophile as my laboratory.  Talented writers haunt that site, intent on exploring their craft.  I’ve been exposed to much wonderful writing, gotten much-needed feedback, and watched more than a few food fights.

What did I fill my empty little head with?

I bought a number of books, but have not yet opened them.  Instead, I pulled two books off the shelf, and immersed myself in them.  I consulted Renni Browne and Dave King’s Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, working through all the exercises, which I posted, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.  I applied the lessons to a Work In Progress (WIP).  I also brought back Les Edgerton’s Hooked.  I still have Leigh Michaels’s On Writing Romance and Orson Scott Card’s How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, lingering, and I will get back to them.

What did I work on?

When I ended March, I was still digesting how to transform Tavern Girl from a 6,000 word story to the Silks trilogy.  I wrote about that experience in As It Turned OutI still have much thinking to do on that project.  I do not, yet, have the tools to do it justice.

Looking to getting back to writing, I took one of my original stories, Delivered Up, and posted it, unmodified, to scribophile, and received a lot of positive feedback.  The critters (ones who critique) helped me understand my short comings in the story, which I fixed, and reposted.  I think the revised version is stronger than the original

Confident I could actually write something interesting to other people, I took an original 1,000 word post, called Murder, Mutiny and Mother’s Love, retitled, it as Scepter’s Sacrifice, and applied the lessons learned from the self-editing book mentioned above.  Then, wanting feedback, I posted it on scribophile.  I wrote it, using Blake Snyder’s fifteen beats from Save The Cat.  Since this was a 1,000 word story, I risked exposing more of a target.  And…people hated it.  I had plenty of events, and tension, but no character arcs.  I’m a girl.  I should have been strong on character changes and weak on action.  But, I wasn’t.

I spent much of the month developing the two main characters, Deheya, who just happens to be Native American, and Ad Gar, a European aristocrat, with the setting in some undefined place that is probably North America.  I’ve gotten to know the two of them quite well.  Deheya continues to look a lot like she does in the updated story, but Ad Gar is now much deeper, far more complex, and, I hope, more sympathetic.

I am contemplating  Scepter’s Sacrifice  as a full-blown novel.  I’ve discovered so much back story and so many off-stage activity that I wonder if I can spin it out into the 100,000 range.  I am exploring that possibility with the scribophile community.

I started using Scrivner as my primary writing tool.  And I discovered Scapple, a wonderful tool for brainstorming.

I continued to produce other Flash Fiction, a form I enjoy.  In part, I can see the entire story in a single glance.  While the plots are no less intricate and powerful than a longer story, I can hold everything in my head at the same time.  I wrote Bare Remembrance for Friday Flash Fiction; I entered a fifty word story, I Will Go, in the Word Press Weekly writing contest they didn’t bother to even acknowledge; and Flash Fiction Three – Six Words.

I have so far to go as a serious writer.

I will only become one if I am willing to risk my feelings, and expose my emotions, and my soul.

I write, not for fame and glory, but because I must.

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