Monday, June 28, 2010

Work In Progress

After taking Anna Hackett's online Short Story, Big Impact class, I realize I have to start at the beginning: plotting. I have two characters I like and a situation but no real plot. So that's my writing for the moment. It doesn't produce any word count, but it still counts, right?
I'm new at tracking my writing. Most writer blogs I've looked at indicate they write hundreds, if not thousands, of words a day. I assume that's after they've developed their characters, plot, etc. Or do they just get an idea and start writing?
I don't know.
I put a meter on this blog today to keep track of how many words I've written versus how many are required. My 300 words look insignificant next to the ultimate 15,000, but it does give me incentive to write. It's hard to concentrate on plotting, though, when all I really want to do is write more words so the meter will increase.
It's like getting a gold star in grade school.
I want to shine!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Angel Slayer by Michele Hauf

They say you need to read in order to write well. I'm good with that. I normally read about five books at a time:
  1. A bathroom book
  2. A bedside book
  3. A purse book
  4. A car book
  5. An ebook on my Nook
My new bathroom book is Angel Slayer by Michele Hauf. It's part of a series called of Angels and Demons from Harlequin (Silhouette) in the Nocturne line. I'm not big on angels but I do love a good demon. (Is that an oxymoron? Can a demon be good?) To my delight the hero is the demon and a fallen angel is the villain. Her descriptions are so fresh I wish I had written them. The characters are multi-layered with just enough mystery to keep me curious but not dragged out so long I lose patience and page to the end to get it over with. I'm enjoying the intrigue. That's saying a lot for me; I'm very impatient. This is the first book I've read by Michele Hauf. I'll definitely look for more from her.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Six Words?

Writing a 200-word story was hard enough. The final (optional) assignment for the short story class I'm taking is to write a six-word story.

How about:

"Please don't shoot," she begged. BANG!


Blood dripped on the suicide note.

They don't sound like stories to me. Hemmingway used the ad format, maybe I can work with that:

YARD SALE: All his stuff FREE.

Now that the class is over, I'm starting on a short story targeted for Harlequin's Nocturne Bites.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Last Class, First Short Story

I'm up early this morning (5:30 am) to work on the final lesson for the short story class I'm taking: write a 200 word short. I was having trouble getting my novella down to 15,000 words, not sure I can do just 200. One thing for sure, it's a great exercise in writing tight and deleting the nonessential. I understand all the talk about killing your little darlings now. Most of my favorite lines don't really add anything to the story. Deleting them is difficult. In fact, I was actually procrastinating by writing this instead of writing my first short story, but I finished it!


     The first time he watched her die she’d been little more than an animal. Cro-Magnon, maybe. Homo sapien, barely. He had held her and watched the spark fade from her eyes, howling as his soul plunged back into the abyss. Not like this time. This time they’d had seventy years together. This time he was prepared to lose her, again.
     “Tell me,” she wheezed, placing her wrinkled hand, trembling, over his rough, strong one. “Tell me the Secret.”
     Sitting in their bed, he hugged her against his chest holding her up to ease her struggle to breathe. Still she gasped for air.
     It was time.
     He whispered to her then of the Beginning, of eons past when they were all One, the Dark and the Light, before the Separation; how they entered matter and forgot what they were; how one Dark soul refused to forget, refused to play the game of Life; how he waited for his Light, life after life, to remember him.
     She never did.
     “Remember me,” he begged, yearning for a flicker of recognition as her Light separated, but it was too late. She had slipped away.
     He cradled her body one more time and wept, again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Starting Over

I'm reinventing myself...again.

As I get closer to retirement it's become obvious I won't have enough money to sustain my trailer-trash life style. (I thought I was going to die before I turned 30 so I never saved money or invested in a nice house.) Since I already write, even if just in my head, I plan to write to supplement my income. Something I've never tried before. I hope keeping this journal of my progress will keep me on track.

The first step: start small.

I'm taking an online short story class given by Anna Hackett. She's written several ebooks for Nocturne Bites. Check out her website and her ebooks on the Harlequin website. Great teacher and I'm a fan of her writing.