Update: LRWG #9

I managed to get a few more words written on this assignment. It’s up to 695 which leaves only 2,305 to go. This might have something to do with the door slamming neighbors having moved out. Add in that the cold weather has kept the kids indoors. So, it’s been fairly peaceful around me.

What I don’t understand is why this story is taking so long to write. Even with the chaos that’s been around me, it’s been over a year since I finished lesson 8. The most frustrating part with the story is that it comes in bits and pieces- a few words here, a few there. Unlike other stories, the imagination ( the vision ) is there but lethargic. I’ve tried to find inspiration, borrowing characters from my YA series and such but it’s still a slug.

I haven’t contacted the school because I know what they’ll do- reset my deadline for 30 days from the day I call. This wouldn’t do any good considering the sluggish nature of the progress.

Maybe it’s me, maybe I need to get out more, there’s a lot of things on this list of maybes.

Anyway, I’ve reached another transition point in the story. I’ve stopped at the point where Jen offered a deal to her reluctant friend trying to entice her.

The next moment is on campus. I see them discovering their friends at the seminar- much to Debbie’s surprise. She asks her boyfriend. “I thought you were going to State, what happened?”

“I’m thinking about taking the core classes here then transferring.”

“You can do that?” Debbie asked.

“Oh yeah, and it’s half the cost.”

I’m playing Debbie off not as someone who’s not informed. It’ll be a learning process for her.

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New Thoughts on Lesson 9

It’s become apparent to me that I’m at a point that may or may not be crucial but it has stumped me.
In short, I’m stuck.

As usual part of the blame goes to the external noises with my apartment. One of the neighbors across the hall consistently slams the fire hall doors. I have placed a note on my door explaining that I’m a writing who works from home- as writer’s do- and that I appreciate it if my neighbors would not slam the fire hall doors. While this has been dramatically reduced- only the 1 person across the hall and the children on the ground floor persist.

On to the issues of the lesson. I have achieved 337 words of the 3,000 word count limit. I paused at a point that would direct the story. Either a character will leave and the adult character would step up or this teenager would offer to speak with character # 3- her best friend. The focus is supposed to be on this character but I’m having doubts.

The reason is that I am ‘borrowing’ characters from my YA trilogy for this piece. It’s set a few years after the trilogy so there isn’t an affect on those stories. In the YA stories, I focus on the character who is # 2 in this short piece. This is causing a problem for me because I am accustomed to focusing on her story.

I’m finding that I am not as familiar with #1 and she’s not coming out as I envision her. A beta reader commented that #1 appears to be selfish in her want for a high-priced college vs. a community one. That’s when I paused writing the piece.

I’m questioning how to bring it out that she’s not selfish at all- she has simply bought in to (or drunk the juice) the belief that Community and Junior colleges are for losers.

Granted I’m jumping ahead of myself. I still have yet to address #1’s feelings on the use. We have only seen what she believes- not the why. And that’s where I’m at- who is going to speak with her about it? Should it be the father or the best friend? I’m leaning towards the best friend.

No, it’s not her place- I believe it’s the father’s, however, wouldn’t a best friend intercede anyway? I don’t know. In my teens I didn’t have a best friend to pal around / get in to trouble with etc. My best friend was a pen-pal who lived in Jamaica.

So, I’m putting this out there- to my lady followers who had a pal-around best friend as teenagers. Am I right in assuming that the best friend, character # 2, would jump in and knock some sense into character #1? I would love to hear thoughts on this one.

– Side note- if you choose to share a story, reminiscing about your best gal-pal I make no promises that it won’t inspire a moment in my writings. 🙂

I Love My Team Beta!

Thanks to the review response from one of Team Beta- She believes that an important piece is missing from my script for the LRWG Lesson #08. I agree, it was inadvertently left out of the scenario- I was going to add it but this would put me beyond the 3,000 word limit. So, I decided to send the script as is to my instructor and add the scenario for the “novel version”.

After reviewing and contemplating the previous draft of the piece, I opted to drop this portion. I did this primarily because it conflicts with the character’s previous action of shuffling away (leaving the scene). After removing his retreat, I polished the piece to adjust for the change and it flows much better.

Thanks Karla- your response was a big help.

Text Books for Long Ridge

I’m currently working my way through several books as part of the course material from Long Ridge Writers Group. Link to Site

On Writing Well- 6th Edition by William Zinsser

This book is geared towards nonfiction writing, however, as a fiction writer I have found it to be useful. There are many things inside that writers of both will learn from.

In Part 1, Zinsser discusses the topics of simplicity, clutter, style, audience, words, and usage.

I’m through Chapter 1 ‘The Transaction’ in my 2nd read. This chapter sums up the intentions of this book. Along with a comparative anecdote, this chapter discusses what it’s like being a writer, what writers are like, and what’s at the heart of good nonfiction. The chapter is short and to the point.

Link to Book on Amazon

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King
sub-title: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

This book is geared towards fiction writing.

Let me start by saying that I love this book. There are times when I just can’t put this book down. I am currently on Chapter 6 “Interior Monologue”.

While it is instructive it does not read this way. It’s far from preachy. The writers come across as natural. It’s as if you’re sitting with them having a casual conversation on the subject at hand. They inject humor, common sense, and an intelligence that anyone can understand.

The writers discuss the issues of: show vs. tell, characterization and exposition, point of view, dialogue, interior monologue, voice, and a few other things.

In my opinion if you are a fiction writer this book belongs on your shelf. Not one of us should be without a copy. Not one of us should go or proceed without reading it.

Link to Book on Amazon

Freelance Writing for Magazines and Newspapers by Marcia Yudkin

This book is geared towards nonfiction writing; specifically articles for print in magazines and newspapers. Marcia Yudkin goes in to details on the various aspects of the writing process. She includes personal stories making it easy to relate to, between her and her reader.

I’ve only read chapter 1. So, while I know what the book is about I can’t go any further. What I can tell is that Marcia Yudkin has a voice that is easy to read.

Link to Book on Amazon