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January 2012
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March 2012

The Unlikeable Protagonist

Another flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds. This week's goal is to write a protagonist that is a balance, unlikeable yet nice enough to keep us reading about them. Move beyond the standard black hats and white hats of the Western. 1000 words or less, due Friday noon via a link

I was doing a Valentine's story, with my heroine a sweet young thing taken advantage of - I like her better as a little unlikeable. Here's my story - 676 words.


A Valentine's Gift

She shivered as he settled his cloak over her bare shoulders for the quick dash from the limousine . Shivered not from the evening chill, not from the silk lining of the cloak, but from anticipation.

Kathleen had known Victor for several years, their paths crossing at various clubs and charity galas, but as no more than nodding acquaintances. He drove a luxury car, dressed in expensive clothes, dated a succession of beautiful women, and was her latest target. She was from a rich family, an only child, and had quickly learned to use her beauty, wit, and charm to get whatever she wanted from men. Now she wanted Victor, but on her terms. Kathleen had seen women quickly succumb to his smoldering gaze, but when he'd tried that with her at a charity ball he'd seemed surprised at her resistance, her continuing coolness towards him. He'd recovered quickly, praising her beautiful green eyes - never guessing they were contacts, tinted to complement her red hair, with a bit of UV filter added in.

He'd persisted in his attempts to charm her though, and finally, after she made his seduction a New Year's resolution, she started to thaw. She'd begun to smile and flirt back, laugh and touch his arm as they shared an afternoon coffee at a sidewalk cafe, or a carriage ride in the park, then would draw back for several days and ignore his calls. He would then send her more flowers and jewelry, with beautiful letters begging her to see him again, she would relent, and it would repeat.

Continue reading "The Unlikeable Protagonist" »

ROW80 - my second checkin

I just started this with last Wednesday's check in, I'm still trying to nail down a good schedule.

My objectives - and progress - are:

  • edit two draft novels 90 minutes a day -- trying to do early every day, has been an hour for some, two hours other days. But do finally feel I am getting somewhere with the first one, my 2010 NaNoWriMo
  • one short story challenge a week - did that, for last Friday -- link is here. Next one is a Valentines one I think, sort of an erotic horror 
  • read blog list of writers/editors 30 mins a day -- did more to catch up, but now ok-- get maybe 10-12 different ones a day to look at. If relevant to my current writing, I'll make a not of it in the appropriate story. If it really clicks, I save it the post.

I considered adding some non-writing goals, like more exercise and less local pubs. Nothing definite yet. After my morning editing I head over with my iPad to a nearby Bridgehead coffee shop. It's a brisk 20 minute walk there, and a comfy place to catch up on blogs, work on a short story, and people watch. Another 20 minute walk back, which unfortunately passes right by my favorite pub, so I think I need to change my route sometimes to reduce temptation.


One Small Story in Seven Acts

Another flash fiction challenge from Terrible Minds. Chuck had discussed various plans and structures to build a plot around, one was a seven point structure. Below is the structure, as well as my short story using it.

Behold, a rough seven-act structure - and how I used it:

  • Intro (duh) –> alarms and crisis in space
  • Problem or Attack (duh) –> AI has lost most memory access
  • Initial Struggle (character first tussles with source of conflict) –> use alternate memory to manage problem
  • Complications (conflict worsens, deepens, changes) –> more systems failing
  • Failed Attempts (oops, that didn’t work) –> tried master reset, even worse
  • Major Crisis (holy sh*tbomb, everything’s gone pear-shaped) –> self destruct on, can't escape
  • Climax and Resolution (duh) -> use vintage iPhones to compute, escape

And the story (note, went in and removed section headings below, to let story flow better.)

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ROW80 - the writing challenge that knows you have a life

First day.

This challenge is called "A Round of Words in 80 Days", and is a challenge that lets you set the balance that works for you. You choose the goal(s), and some SMART objectives to help you get there, publish it all on your blog, and do an update in there of your progress twice a week. You link the original goals and progress updates to the ROW80 site, to show off your progress, and so that others can track you too. No big prizes, and the only pressure is peer pressure, but I've decided to give it a try. I do realize my whole life would probably benefit from an overall set of goals and objectives and structure, but I'll start on this little corner of it for now. The challenge repeats four times each year, and the current one started this January but you can pick it up at any checkin too. So I will, on Wednesday.

Continue reading "ROW80 - the writing challenge that knows you have a life" »