Monday, July 29, 2013

A Good Chase

I have been working on my main work in progress and have come to a dilemma. I need to write a chase scene. I want it to be exciting and meaningful all at the same time. I have been doing some research and looking around the interwebs information and advice on writing a good chase scene.

Some of the tips that I ran into several times said in many different ways are:

Make each sentence simple and precise – Short sentences make the reading flow much faster keeping the action flowing. It would be hard to keep up the pulse pounding action while your character takes time to jimmy open a window. Just smash it instead.

Use active verbs – [thing doing action] + [verb] + [thing receiving action] Yeah I know it's not quite that simple, but what I am trying to say is don't find an amazing euphemism for an explosion. Just have the car explode.

Avoid all qualifiers – Nearly and almost only count in horseshoes and grenades. Something should either happen or not.

Stay on your character – Action scenes are sometimes so complex we are tempted to describe the whole setting. What people really care about most are your characters and what is happening to them.

I think these suggestions will help me write a pulse pounding chase scene. Do you have any tips I didn't cover? Do you use a completely different method? Please share, I would love to get all the help I can before I dive into my first chase scene.

photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc

photo credit: ˙Cаvin 〄 via photopin cc

Friday, July 26, 2013

Flash Me A Field Trip Part 2

Friday Flash is finally here! Well I thought if I got myself geared up and excited I would write more, but I don't know if that will happen. If you would like to join us in flashing on Fridays just follow this link. Here is the continuation of Flash Me A Field Trip.

That afternoon I flung myself off the bus and ran toward home. My walking buddy , Jill, must have thought I was out of my mind and frankly she might be right. Not being able to get this necklace off was driving me nuts. I fished the key from my pocket and jammed it into the door, unlocking it. Wrenching it open and slamming it shut behind me I ran for the tool kit. I kinda hated the tool kit because all the tools were patronizingly pink. It had been a gift from my uncle when my father left us. At this moment I was very grateful for them. I opened it up and took out the needle nose pliers, he had also insisted that I learn wheat they were all called. I pulled up the chain and went to snip it. I had a surge of fear that something bad would come to the necklace. That was a silly thought, of course something bad is going to happen to it, I am going to hack it off me. I took a deep breath and pressed down firmly on the pliers. There was a loud metal grinding on metal sound. Nothing good could come from that sound. I tugged the necklace to remove it, only to realize it didn't cut. I looked at the pliers and there was a dent in them exactly the size of the chain.

The door slammed shut. I didn't even hear it open. Who could it be at this time I thought looking at the
window and realizing it was dark. I'm going to be in...

“Sarah! How many times do I have to tell you to lock the door? It is not safe out there and with you home alone. I have to know you are doing all you can to stay safe,” Mom lectured me from the kitchen where I could hear her banging around pots and pans to start dinner.

I felt disorientated, but knew I should probably at least yell back before she panicked. “Yes, mom,” I said loud enough, but with a hollow tone. Maybe it was just my ears.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Midweek Check-in And My "Don't Mess With Me" Stare

My midweek check-in and things are not going as smoothly as last week.

Writing 500 words everyday – I have not met this goal, but it seems this one has been the hardest one. I thought it would be the easiest. Funny how things turn around on you. I was able to write four out of the last seven days so at least I got some writing in.

Posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday – Well I thought this would be the hardest and so I may have set myself up to miss some. I was not able to post last Friday.

Posting a flash fiction for Friday Flash – Which brings me to my last goal. I didn't get a story posted, not because I didn't have the story, but because I ran out of time during the day (and night). For the life of me I can't remember what I was doing, but I am sure it was important.

Model for "Don't Mess With Me" stare.
So what is my plan to help me reach my goals? I am implementing an hour of writing time and combining it with my “Don't Mess With Me” stare. After the kiddos are in bed and before I start to get ready for bed will be my writing window. This is my new plan anyway, but you know what they say “The best laid plans of Mice” and all that.

What plans do you have to help you reach your goals that you have been falling short on or have you been right on target?

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Trouble With My Main Character And Music

I am having a little trouble still with my main project. It seems the main character has gotten an attitude and doesn't want to talk to me. Which is hard because I need to know how she is feeling. Anyway, I was trying to figure out a way to make her talk and I thought music might help. I know a lot of writers have music always playing while they are writing, but I generally like the silence that my life so rarely affords. I wrote one scene based on these two songs by one of my favorite bands Empty Hats.

Calling On Song   

Happy Man good performance  

I was trying to think of music that would represent my MC or that she might like. She lives in a world of magic and mystery so all kinds are possible. What song would you say that she, or anyone, should definitely hear?  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Midweek Check-in and a case of the blahs

Today is midweek check in for the ROW80 participants. ROW80 is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. We are all different and we all have different demands on our time.  Why should we all have the same goal?  The simple answer is that we shouldn't.  If you want to be a writer, then you have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to your changing circumstances.  If that means changing your goals when your life blows up, so be it.  ROW80 is the challenge that champions the marriage of writing and real life.

My goals for this round are:

1. To post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 
2. To write 500 words on any project.
3. To write a flash fiction piece for Friday Flash.

I have been faithfully posting. A random writing topic on Monday. So far I covered a great outlining method I stumbled across and what to do with social media. I have only been checking in for ROW80 on Wednesdays because I can't handle another day of posting and especially on the weekends. Both Fridays I managed to post a story for Friday Flash. One was a little steamy and the other is a series that started on a field trip.

I am doing well at meeting the goals so far, but I am feeling uninspired at present. What do you all do when you are not really feeling it?

photo credit: Jiuck via photopin cc

Monday, July 15, 2013

Social Media Darling...

Riding in the car on a long journey I realized that I could grab a few moments to work on my writing. Though in reality the incessant humming of my five year old in the back seat will probably keep me from getting much done, but I am going to try. (Since I got this done in the car I decided to give you a bonus photo of him.)

Today I would like to talk about presence in social media. Mostly because I don't have one. I think my focus probably needs to be on Facebook with the huge number of users. I have an author page, but I usually forget to post to it after I finish my blog. Another important site is Twitter and thanks to Triberr I think I am getting a lot out of my twitter profile. Of course I could always do more, but I am not sure what exactly to do.

I have done a lot of reading on the subject, on the long car ride, and most of the suggestions seemed like great ideas. For instance one site said to have an interactive conversation with your followers instead of delivering a sermon from upon high. This seemed reasonable and helpful. I know you need to respond to comments to let the readers know that you are paying attention to them. Another site said not to post on Facebook more than two times a day. I was just wondering who posts that much and where do they find their content? Still another site suggests you have a video on your site because it will bump you up in searches and add varied content for your readers. Something else that I thought was fun was a suggestion that you get gaming. Play games and run contests for your readers. Now to try and implement some of these ideas.

What do you think is your most important social media platform and what is the best way to take advantage of it? What do you do to keep your readers engaged?

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Flash Me A Field Trip

Friday Flash is when I take the opportunity to share some of my flash fiction with you guys. Please feel free to join us and flash your audience as well.

I feel like a freaking animal being hoarded Sarah thought as she moved in the middle of the pack of high school students getting off the bus in front of the history museum. I am not really into history, but the traveling Greek Gods exhibit was much better than spending the day in class. Most of the exhibits were not very interesting, but when I got up to the glass of Hera's case I felt my eyes widen in wonder. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A golden peacock decked out in colorful stones sitting on a thick golden necklace. The tour guide was saying something about it having been found in a collapsed temple to Hera and that the peacock was sacred to her. After that all I could hear was blah, blah, blah. I felt drawn to this beautiful bird. As I was staring at it the head moved and the tail feathers fluttered. I let out a squeak which drew the attention of most of the class.

Mrs. Nelson hurried over, “What's the matter child?” 

“Uh,” I thought telling the class that I had just seen this beautiful necklace move would probably be a bad idea. “I bumped my nose on the glass.”

She already thought I was a weirdo anyway so looked at me with disproving eyes and said, “Be more careful please.” She went to stand near the tour guide leaving me and the peacock in peace.

I looked back at the necklace and was terrified to see that it was gone. I hadn't moved my head more than a few inches from the glass. No one could have possibly gotten it out without me noticing even with being distracted by Mrs. Nelson. I looked around, no one else seemed to have noticed it was missing and no alarms were going off. Of course they would probably be silent now wouldn't they. I moved away looking around to see if anything else was out of place or anyone was acting odd. Just then I realized I was acting odd.

We went through the rest of the tour and I barely heard a thing just counting the minutes until someone questioned us about the missing artifact. There was nothing we loaded back on the bus and just like nothing had ever happened. Maybe I imagined it I thought with relief. I heaved a sigh of relief and put my hand to my chest, where it met something cold. I started frantically feeling my neck and found it was wearing a thin chain with a pendant. I pulled it out to examine the pendant. It was a tiny gold peacock on a gold chain. Not as spectacular, but somehow it made me feel just like the one in the museum. Full of wonder. After a moment I snapped to and reached back to undo the clasp, only to find there wasn't one. I jerked on the chain a few times frantic to get it off, but the delicate looking chain held fast. Just then I realized the girl across the isle was watching me and I stopped. I would cut it off with pliers when I got home.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Distracted By Monsters

Today is a check in day with ROW80. It's the writing challenge that knows you have a life!

OK so I have been doing pretty good on my goals. I met the one I thought would be the hardest and got the three posts out. Which pushed me considerably toward my write 500 words on anything goal. I have an outline for a story and feel confident that I will be able to get out a flash fiction for Friday Flash.

However, I was not able to write 500 words everyday. See there was Monsters University and had a great time hanging out before and after. Out of eleven pieces of my goal I was able to meet ten so I am feeling pretty good about that.
this day called Saturday. I am sure you have all met him. He just likes to play and is very convincing. On Saturday the kids and I went to the movies with my Mom. We went to see

What are the fun things that distract you from your writing?

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Stumbled Into A Story Arc

OK so I accidentally ran across this wonderful way to plan out your novel back at NaNoWriMo time. It made so much since to me and I just loved it. However, not having the foresight to realize that at some point I wouldn't be able to find the link in the forums I did not copy down the name of the system or where I found it. I did happen to write down the basic instructions so can still use it, but there was a lot more detail and I would love to find it. I have had several friends searching, all at once at a table at Denny's, and still we didn't find it.

Today, I was searching around and stumbled across Nigel Watts “Eight Point Story Arc” Which is good and close. So I thought I would share it. His book is: Writing A Novel and has a lot more than just the story arc in it.

Stasis – This is your characters everyday life. Before the story really starts.

Trigger – This is something that is beyond the control of your character. It can be big or small.

The Quest – The quest is stimulated by the trigger. The quest can be to return back to the Stasis or to gain some new and pleasant state.

Surprise – This part takes up most of the book. It is comprised of the obstacle and twists that keep the characters moving forward. They shouldn't be too predictable, but if they are way out in left field they won't be believable.

Critical Choice – This is when the characters medal is tested and they must make a choice to proceed. They could also choose not to proceed. This is often a choice between right and wrong or more epically good and evil.

Climax – Is the culmination of all the surprises and choices in the quest and is the height of action.

Reversal – Is the natural consequences of the climax. The characters, especially the main character should be changed by the reversal.

Resolution – Is where you wrap everything up and establish a new Stasis.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Flash Me A Chance

Friday Flash happens every Friday and the participants write a flash fiction story up to about 1000 words. My entry is very short this week only 200 words, but I am proud of them. 

They were sitting next to each other trying to decide where to go from here."If I don't do this I will regret it forever," she said as she slid off the bed and to her knees "Take a chance. Please."

"W-what w-would it ah-accomplish?" he asked stuttering with conflict in his eyes and leaning away from her.

"I want to know what you feel like."

"Th-that is a va-valid qu-query." he said not able to make eye contact. Then it seemed like something inside him snapped he had come to a decision. He jumped off the bed moved away from her quickly. Her heart began to sink until he closed and locked the door to the spare bedroom.

He took her hand and helped her off the floor. Taking her in his arms he kissed her, softly at first then his mouth became hungry and his tongue greedy. He felt her breasts as he continued kissing. He fumbled with her bra for a moment. Then her milky breasts plummeted from their wire cage. He took the nipples between his fingers and began to manipulate them.

She could not believe that he was finally touching her. This was her fantasy coming true before her eyes and in his hands.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oh No You Didn't...July!

And so it starts! I am already behind. I want to play in this ROW80, but while I was busy dusting the cobwebs off around here the month of July had the gall to start on a Monday. My goals are going to be easy so I can stick with them.

1. Write 500 words EVERYDAY! Sounds simple enough. I am not even putting caveats that it must be on a specific project.

2. Write a submission for FridayFlash every week. This will be easy because I love flash fiction. Randomly jumping into the best part of a story is much easier than trying to make it all mesh cohesively.

3. Update this blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This one is a little tougher, but I really miss posting and it is nice to have somewhere to keep track of what I am doing. I also miss all you wonderful supportive people who help me when I am off track.

Do you have any tips or tricks to help you achieve your goals?