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January 2013
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March 2013

Little Bones

 This weeks challenge from Flash Fiction Friday was to write about bones. Here's the prompt -

Recently, I found six turkey wishbones in my basement … all dated. Now, these are artifacts left behind by the former owners of the house, I assume they were collected by the husband, Speedy, who was a sentimental handyman of the highest order. The only thing I could think of was why keep these? Why not wish on them instead? What makes these keepsakes? And ew.

So now I’m going to ask you.

Prompt: Write a story about someone finding bones in a mundane place and their investigation of why they were there
Word Limit: 1,200
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Sci-Fi
Deadline: Wednesday, February 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET

I decided to constrain this further by using characters from a recent story about a portal. I want to see how that one – and the characters – might go further. This is short – less than 700 words.

Continue reading "Little Bones" »

ROW80-1 check in - 02/24 - Making a scene

I've been editing away at my first novel, and progressing quite well lately - now at page 262 of 316. First of what will be several passes I'm sure. I'd printed it out, took up a pen, and made notes as I read. Some scenes got moved around, some edited, some added or deleted. Dialogue was tweaked, long passages broken up. Now I'm putting this all online, but as I work through I realize there may be some basic problems.

I've read and learned since I did this in 2010, so now, structurally, I want to use a three act plan, with turning points, and a storyboard approach, with a "W" flow of falling and rising action. This novel sort of follows that, but needs a bit of re-arranging forst. Luckily, Scrivener now lest you print out your Index Card outline on - index cards. Avery forms are on order.

A bigger problem is the scenes. Most are not nearly as exciting or interesting as the Flash Fiction I write. I've been reminded to keep my outline handy as I edit, to remind me of things like theme, plot, sub-plot, main goals and obstacles. Each scene needs to contribute to those elements, and has to do it in an interesting way, structured internally with a kickoff, an issue, resolution or complication, and an ending that makes you want to keep reading. Easy talk - will be a challenge to implement it without too much change/damage.

So - the past few days?

Continue reading "ROW80-1 check in - 02/24 - Making a scene " »

ROW80-1 check in - 02/20 - sidetracked

I had been doing well all week, was ready to do the Wednesday post this morning (Thursday - only a few hours late) when I got a call from my son. Sick stomach, sprawled on the couch with a 3 yr old tearing the house apart. He's a stay at home dad. So - Plan B, over to babysit for the day, and meet the 5 yr old's school bus. Had fun - me and the grandkids I mean, not my son - but now catching up on check in.

And on my editing for the day. I've been doing surprisingly well this week, not just suffering through an hour every day but actually keeping at it and enjoying it. My secret? I asked a publisher friend, his advice was:

"My key to motivation is always to return to a detailed outline to remind me what I am trying to achieve. Other than that, become a hermit for a while and start writing early in the morning"

In other words, just do it. 

Continue reading "ROW80-1 check in - 02/20 - sidetracked" »

The Portal

Here's this week's challenge from Flash Fiction Friday.

There are passageways everywhere, quietly waiting to let us pass. Some just lead to other rooms right next door. Others stand guard between us and treasure or danger. What’s behind that door? Is it the bathroom or a path to a different world? Let us in…

 Prompt: Write a story where a door figures prominently in the plot

Word Limit: 1,000 words
Genre: Open
Deadline: Wednesday, February 20 at 9:00 pm ET


This is mine, at 700 words or so. I had the idea within a few minutes, but of course had to wait to write it until the last minute. 

Continue reading "The Portal" »