fantasy · General · Short Story · work in progress · Writing

Brainstorming A Short Story

On Friday I did a drabble that I fell in love with. I want to expand and I decided to brainstorm.

My brainstorming went something like this:

I considered three things: looks, plot, character.

1) Looks: I’d already given it hands, so it couldn’t be an animal. I thought maybe a being that has no set shape, but changes shapes as it chooses. Or a people-shaped creature made of mist. Or, my personal favorite, something like a Chinese dragon that lives in the clouds. Not really sure yet.

2) Plot: In the drabble, the dijnn (that’s what I’m calling the creature) escapes the wizard, so obviously, the wizard has to capture the dijnn first. Maybe a trap, maybe for a rescue. The wizard needs a reasons to try and capture the dijnn and I’ve some ideas on what that might be.  Nothing solid yet though.

3) Character: I wrote something down about this, but I don’t really have any idea what the character will be like. I don’t know if the character will actually have those traits. Maybe, maybe not. I figure it’s best if I let the character develop organically.

None of this even considers the dijnn’s society, how they live in the clouds, what they might fight about, and that’s what I’m really, really curious about. Maybe my dijnn has an enemy who helps the wizard. Who knows? Not me! Which is damn sad, because this is my story. But I want to find out.

So now I got to ask . . . how do you brainstorm? Do you think about these same things?

General · work in progress · Writing

Stupid POV Mistakes

So, yesterday I was reviewing what I had so far for the Write 1, Sub 1 challenge. The first paragraph started out in the third person and the by the fourth paragraph, I had somehow migrated to the first person.

I have no idea how it happened! My mind must have been wondering. What a stupid POV mistake!

Somehow in the middle of writing, I switched from “she” to “I”. My only excuse is that all of my recent stories have in the first person POV. Somehow, by habit, I switched here without realizing what I was doing.

Than, when I was rewriting, I realized some of what I wrote just would work in the third person. I know the third person limited POV is very similar to the first person POV, but they are not exactly the same and so I had to rewrite all of the second half.

Has anyone ever done that before? Changed from third person to first person POV by accident? I am still stunned I managed it.

fantasy · General · Short Story · word count · work in progress · Writing

Write 1, Sub 1 Challenge: first story

Today I am starting the first story for the Write 1, Sub 1 challenge. The photo prompt is by CupcakeKiller on deviantART. I wrote 165 words on it today and I think this first part is done.

I have some idea of where I am going with it, just need to consider the end in more detail. A romance would be too obvious, and I am not going there.

I really like the girl’s name: Laash. I found this Indian name that means dance, Laasya, and I realized if I replaced the y with an h, it looks almost like lash. Like how dance lashes her into action. I liked the idea of it.

Laash danced, sand flying beneath her feet. The ocean pounded the beach and she followed its beat. She twirled, spun and twisted.

Be as graceful as the sea wolves, her instructor said. Their grace and beauty is flawless.   

This dance needed to be perfect. She had the lead in tomorrow’s drama. She couldn’t practice in the dance hall; the other girls chattered too much. The prince would be there! Everyone would be there. If she was good enough, maybe the prince would give her an assignation. All her dreams would come true.

Laash stopped, bent over, panting. Small waves washed over her feet and cooled her over-heated body.

She laughed, tiny shrieks of joy that faded into the night. Laash gripped the turquoise pendant around her throat. She didn’t know what the starfire pattern meant, but she didn’t care. It was all she had left of her mother.

If the woman knew Laash could have the prince, would her mother regret abandoning her?

work in progress · Writing

Finding My Zone

Yesterday, I finished writing and went to bed. But instead of sleeping, I was writing in my head. It was like there was an imaginary computer in my head. It is after midnight, I am tired, I want to sleep, but my head keeps turning out prose.

I can’t remember the last time that happened. I think I must be hitting my zone. For various reasons, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t turn on the computer again and start writing again. Had to wait until this morning to type it all out.

The story is never far from my mind these days. I am getting closer and closer to the scene I really want to write. The characters are not fighting me and the story is moving in the direction I want.

It’s still slow though. If it keeps on like this, hopefully soon I’ll be able to catch to where I am supposed to be in my word count.

work in progress · Writing

Car Rides and In Between Scene Travel

This week, my MC exited a club and went someplace else in a van. I am not sure how important the van trip is (not very!) but I went right along with him. I mean, traveling from point A to point B isn’t usually that important. Point A and Point B are important. Not unless something happens between them and I didn’t think anything was going to happen.

In the last version, I skipped this scene. Not because it didn’t happen, but because by the time it did, he was home with his lover. Now the lover is not there anymore, so he may as well stay for everything.

I pictured a windowless van, a silent MC, a few tied up prisoners.  At first I wasn’t even sure what the point of writing that scene was. I wasn’t sure if I should skip it or bring the girl along or what. There isn’t a lot they can say during the trip (what does anyone say in front people they just took captive?)

But than, I realized, they would probably be trying to frighten the prisoners. Joking and talking amongst themselves, teasing, scaring the bad people right out of their minds. 😉 As a side effect, I think it would also show how good friends they are.

So I found a couple of reasons to write the scene, and a way to make it interesting for me to write it, too. All scenes should be like this.

word count · work in progress · Writing

Thoughts On The Perfect Short Story

I feel good. I wrote a thousand words yesterday. 400 of that was for a short story, though, so I am not 1000 words ahead in the novel in progress. 😦

The short story is odd. It is really more in the nature of exploring an idea I have for a novel. I might write the novel, I might not. I don’t know right now. But if I do, it won’t be until the current novel in progress is done. I think the idea is simple enough to express in 5000 words. It’s probably not something that will ever make it into the novel version, I am pretty sure about that.

The trouble with the short story is putting in enough details to make the world real, but not so many the story is nothing but description (the world is interesting enough that I could easily write 5000 words of sheer description!). The description needs to mean something, needs to make clear just why the whole setting is odd and move the story forward at the same time.

I think that is more difficult in a short story. I’ve read short stories where the world is crystal clear, the plot moves quickly, the story is emotional enough to tug at my heart-strings and yet the ending is just perfect. That’s what I want. It’s very, very difficult to achieve.

word count · work in progress · Writing

Behind in my Writing

January is almost over and I am waaay behind in my writing. My word count is pathetic. Maybe I’ll be like the turtle in the story and finish ahead the hare? I can only hope.

Part of it is that I am having trouble just writing. I haven’t hit the magic place where the words pour out. I know what the scenes – I have an outline! – but I am having a hard time putting them on paper. I am tempted to say the outline is curtailing my creativity, but it doesn’t feel like that right now.

Another part is that though I am writing every day, it is in fits and starts and writing is easier if I do it at the same time everyday. It’s just so hard right now to do that.

I really, really need to step up my writing speed.  I need to just write, just really focus on the characters.

word count · work in progress · Writing

Progress Bar

I have added a new progress bar to the side. I figure it help me keep track of how I am doing, week to week, and maybe inspire me, too. Going to update once a week, so I know how much of weekly goals I’ve met. It took me a while to find something not NaNoWriMo related.

I am not sure I like it – every time I update the count, I am going to have to copy and paste it. I wish there was something I could edit in the widget itself. Wish I had something prettier, too. This bar is pretty plain.

work in progress · Writing

On Revising for a Blogfest

I have finished the first draft of my entry for Christine’s blogfest. I even sent it out to my group for comments, and it turns out I badly need to dramatize everything. I am doing too much telling and not showing. The ending sucks, too – it is too obvious.

The trouble is that it is supposed to be under a 1000 words, and my little first draft was already 1200. So I am thinking I need to change a lot more. When I dramatize everything that needs to be dramatized (almost the whole thing!), I will be a lot over the 1000 word limit.

The real challenge here is to see how much I can get rid of in this first draft, than dramatize everything, and still keep to the 1000 words limit. If I am still around 1000 words, it’ll be a miracle. If not, I will just post a stripped down version of the very draft (telling and all!) and post the real revised version of somewhere else. On a separate page, possibly. I might actually find a use for the fantasy/science fiction pages up there.

fantasy · Teaser Tuesdays · work in progress · Writing

Writerly Teaser Tuesday: fight

This is my truncated fight. It was supposed to be a complete fight scene, but when I got to it, I realized it wasn’t going to be. Instead I wrote this:

An outraged yell erupted from his throat and he ran forward. I called my magic to me, and when I did, the human-seeming glamour fell. The glamour that allowed me to pass for a normal mage stayed in place; it was too strong to break so easily. His eyes widened as he sensed my magic, than turned and tried to sprint to the back. Instead, he tripped on the woman he’d been leeching from and fell hard on his face.

I pushed my way past dazed leecher addicts. Mags tried to scramble away, but I grabbed his arms and shoved him back down. His head cracked on the floor. That must not have hurt enough, because green witch fire engulfed my boots. It was like a bonfire opened up under my booted feet. I kicked his ribs, hard, and he yelped. Cowardly leecher. The fire disappeared, but the smell of burned leather stayed in the air. Another spell slithered around his aura, scrolling bands of pale green, something bigger than witch fire to show up like that. I pinned his arms to the floor and forced them back. He screamed, high and shrill, the spell vanishing from his aura. Pain made it hard to focus enough to cast a spell.

Ropes of my own magic pooled in my hands and wrapped around my wrists; the normal-mage glamour made it look blue with the odd green splotch. I readied the binding spell in my head and –

Heat and sharp pieces of something hit my back. I dove sideways, hands covering my head, found myself on top of the woman Mags had been leeching from. She was curled in a fetal position, head pillowed in her arms and moaned softly. Her naked back was bloody and covered with splinters. Little hot balls of pain struck the back of my head. Small black beads littered the floor around me and spattered against the walls. Lines and circles of green whirled in the air, dark at first, lightening as the spell ran out of strength.