Fiction, WIPpets

WIPpet Wednesday: A bit “off”

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Today’s work-in-progress (WIP) comes to you from my third short story attempt.

I am sure my late grandmother will grace many pages in the days to come. She was a very complicated person.

This snippet happens in the midst of the main character’s existential crisis. She has started to lose her mind but this goes largely unnoticed by her family who has always seen her as a bit “off.”

WIP = “work in progress.” This group of bloggers publishes a snippet of work each week that somehow relates to the date. Today is 11/16/2016, and 1+1+1+6 = 9. Here are 9 lines of the current WIP.

Today began the same as any other day. She looked around her fine home and wondered at the meaning of it all. An existential crisis had taken root in her mind, and she couldn’t shake the thought that there was something more she was supposed to be doing with her life.

Books had piled up on the table by her couch. The brain was her latest interest, and the Theory of Everything. Quantum physicists prized this idea the most of all. What is the underlying theory that accounted for everything in the entire known universe and its laws?

Jane was not a scientist and she had never gone to college, but she had begun to fancy herself as sort of the expert on these matters.

See you next week.

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Editing, Feedback, Fiction, Self-Medicating, WIPpets

“It won’t feel good, but it’ll make you grow.”

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My good friend ReGi McClain graciously took the time to read my first story, a take on “Frog Prince,” and responded with the following email, complete with a “shredded” draft that I have almost gotten drunk enough to read (LOL, kidding…). Still. YIKES! Here’s what she wrote:

Hi!

So what I did was what my beta buddies and I refer to as shredding. It won’t feel good, but it’ll make you grow.

This story has tons of potential and the chance to convey an empowering message in a fun way, and therein lies the greatest strength.

What’s not working so well is the amount of information you’re trying to put into the space you have. In a short story, tangents are not allowed. Every sentence has to move the action forward or explain why it’s moving the direction it is. About a quarter of this draft is background we don’t need, but we’re missing pieces we do.

So here’s what you do. Read my feedback, give yourself a week or so to hate my guts, get over it, then come back, read it again, and see what you can do about incorporating the advice you think is worthwhile and ignore the rest. Way the by, you could make it twice as long, if you wanted to.

Whatever you do, don’t give up or let yourself be discouraged for more than a day or two. Every time you write, you’ll get a little better. 😊

Love you! For reals! Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. 😉
~ReGi

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Fiction, WIPpets

WIPpet Wednesday (one day late): Frog Prince

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WIP = “work in progress.” This group of bloggers publishes a snippet of work each week that somehow relates to the date. Your feedback is welcome so that I can become a better storyteller. I first heard about this concept through my dear friend ReGi McClain, so hopefully this shameless mention of her will successfully pressure her into participating next week. 😀

Yesterday was 11/9/2016 and 11+9=20, so I’m going to share 20 lines from my take on the “Frog Prince.” I hope you enjoy it.

Isadore occupied a unique position in the galaxy. As far as was known, theirs remained the only planet which hosted a life form known as kyrie, an unassuming, iridescent water organism which produced a secretion lethal to the deadly reptilian species. The kyrie were carefully cultivated in protected lakes, filtered not only to optimize the organisms’ happiness but to collect this precious byproduct which assured the Isadorians’ unexpected level of power in the galaxy. Their benefits had been found out rather unexpectedly when the banks of their rivers and lakes had become scattered with the corpses of dead reptilian warriors after their first albeit very successful invasion and slaughter.

Lily had only a vague memory of her sister being born to her mother almost immediately after their father’s death. That was the last birth of an Isadorian that was known in these parts. It was a very crude and almost totally deprogrammed experience. Her mother’s body had little interference with the task. She had no attendants other than Lily, who quietly observed, and the midwife whose face squinted like a prune.

She remembered her mother being very stoic in that undertaking. Her belly stretched taut and smooth like a ripe pear, her breasts pendulously resting atop, dark nipples readying to enter into an ancient rite wherein youngsters fed at the bodies of the females but without harming them. Lily occasionally pondered her own form, with its gentle initially budding curves that had since become more defined and more prominent, smooth apples that turned her body into the shape of a snake that she secretly found lovely.

On this particular day, the waters pulsated diligently along the river’s bank, whirling around boulders and capturing with it the falling leaves that floated at a slant through the air…

The election and my toddlers’ poor adjustment to Daylight Savings Time have made for some very tired days and not enough energy to wake up early to write, but this morning, I’m back to it and enjoying the idea that presented itself.

Have a good week,

Mindy

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Creativity, Fiction, Writing

52 short stories in 52 weeks

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Fiction has never come naturally for me; I think I’m afraid of it.

Baring my interior bones and guts has always seemed easier as an essay or poem, clearly or not so clearly structured, with details which start in a specific place and end not too far off in the distance.

My imagination is underdeveloped and underutilized. My thinking seldom wanders and tends toward black and white. It assesses, plans, implements.

Thus, when I see this quote by Ray Bradbury, I immediately view it as a challenge.

A friend recently suggested that Mr. Bradbury did not intend this statement as a challenge, and that’s true.

But the possibilities of this type of active, ongoing practice of writing can’t help but excite and motivate me.

What if one were to commit to this type of writing, a story each week, this frequent and consistent practice of the craft of short fiction?

Regardless of the outcome, I can’t help but appreciate the inevitable growth as a writer and person that might/must result. I hope my writing will improve. I hope my imagination will flourish more than it has. I hope all 52 stories aren’t crap. Mr. Bradbury reassures me there will be at least one good one.

Let’s find it.

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