Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing Prompt #27

27) Describe sunlight without using definitions or descriptors for light.


Here’s Mine:

It hides, cat-like, here one moment and gone the next. There you spot it before the forest shifts and it darts away, leaving only coolness behind. You walk into the open and it pours forth. The liquid warmth tumbles down, hitting your skin with instant energy. You close your lids. Red backs them as you tilt your face up to receive the caress. The clouds roll. The sensation deflects, fades into ambiguity. Its presence touches everything but leaves no distinctness until the clouds roll again to reveal blades of intensity. Summer reigns.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Switching Gears

My critique partner is wrapping up her edits on her novel, and I think my part in the process is done. After my round of edits she made changes, then passed it on to her beta readers (non-critiquers) to get their reactions. That feedback is coming in and she’s onto her very last phase: proofing the ms for errors. After that she might have it out to the agent tomorrow, if all goes well!

For me, I am going to be getting back to writing!

The problem I am having (among other things) is the need to switch gears. After reading a grammar book, a high-level plotting technique book, a book on editing fiction for a late draft, and then going into edit mode on my crit partner’s late-draft ms, my mind is fully focused on trying to write super tight.

That, however, is not helpful for writing my first draft, which is where I am at on my current wip, hereafter known as EG. I spent hours on Monday staring at the scene I was trying to work on, eking out a word at a time, restricted by every “rule” about writing tight. It stopped me in my tracks.

Last night I had a talk with myself. Basically, it went like this:

“Dear Self,

I hereby formally give you permission to ignore every so-called-rule you know about writing tight. Writing tight is second draft work. Adjective, adverb, dialogue attribution, pov-distancer weeding can be done once you have words on the page, but you need to have words on the page first. What you need to focus on right now is the story. Just moving through it. Getting a draft down. Once that’s down, THEN you can cut words, reshape plots, fix characterization and all of the wonderful re-crafting that happens in a second draft.

For now—sprawl. Write with abandon. Indulge in voice. Just write.



Writing Prompt #26

26) Your character messed up . . . bad. They hurt the one they love and they realized it too late. They begged their love to give them another chance, but no. No more chances. How does your character react?

Write a scene or just describe it.


Here's mine:

Kayla stared out the forward viewport of the starcruiser, trying to lose herself in the pink-green wash of hyperspace. The Imperial homeworld fell away behind her; she felt the pull of it. Rather than diminish, the string on her heart tying her to the hated place drew tighter, stretching into pain as the distance opened up.

Even now, decision made, bags packed, her body ached to run back.

Not that it would make a damned bit of difference.

She couldn’t sit outside IDF headquarters every day hoping to ease her gaping loneliness by catching a glimpse of him, and he had made it clear he wouldn’t speak to her again.

Better to run now.

Vayne came up from crew quarters and stood silently behind her, trying to offer comfort. He reached out with his mind, tentatively brushing against her mental shields, hoping she would speak to him. Her only response was to draw the barriers tighter against him. The presence of her twin exacerbated the shame and self-loathing she felt.

“Kayla. . . .”

“Leave me alone.”

“Maybe, after a little time—”

“I said back off.”

He cleared the deck without another word and she stared straight ahead, ignoring the tightness in her throat and the fresh wash of tears that threatened.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Congratulations!

My critique partner is furiously working on her rewrites. While the agent is waiting to see Wishstone, he requested ANOTHER of her books! She is sending him sample chapters of Prosorinos, her first novel, this morning!

Wish her luck that he falls in love with both novels, and that she survives her rewriting bonanza.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Congrats are in Order!

Wonderful news, my crit partner got a request for her full manuscript from an agent!

Now she is furiously rewriting the ending and I am furiously trying to keep up with my edits. Worked a little too late on them last night, this is me this morning when my alarm went off:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Prompting Hiatus

Taking a break from writing prompts to focus full time on my crit partner's YA fantasy novel WISHTONE. She completed a full draft and I'm going through a round of intensive edits with her.

Going to be a fabulous manuscript when she's done!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Writing Prompt #25

25) Describe what it’s like to eat the following foods without using taste descriptors, or, choose your own foods to describe!

*Cotton Candy
*Ice Cream
*Peanut butter


Here’s mine:

*Lemons: It’s three in the afternoon on a hot, sunny day in summer. The humidity is barely there and the heat seems to suck the moisture from your skin as soon as your body can produce it. You’ve been mowing the lawn and, dusty and partially sunburnt, you come across a pool of icy water. Biting into a lemon is like dipping your foot in that pool of water: surprising, contrasting and somehow refreshing.

*Sushi: It’s like watching a group of fat, hairy men in barely-there floral sundresses talk to children at a carnival. There’s way too much of it and it can’t end fast enough.

*Cotton Candy: It’s like catching snowflakes on your mittens. It’s a unique occurrence that melts away too quickly.

*Ice Cream: Eating ice cream is like a sailing competition off the coast of Cape Cod. It’s a race against time to the finish, but the trip is better than reaching the end.

*Peanut butter: It’s like walking a mountain trail during peak foliage season when a recent rain has turned the dirt into a tacky mud. It’s a bit of a slog, but well worth the effort.