The right word.
I might have posted this one before, but Mark Twain said a lot of very wise things, and it fits into the theme I’ve had this month in quotes involving editing, deleting, and the right word.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain
Since science fiction is all about the “what ifs,” this should be perfect for many people?
What is one invention that you can’t wait for? Have you written a story about it?
And yes, this is a total steal from the contest on Critters, but I won’t steal any of your ideas, though I honestly shouldn’t be telling you about it either, because then it’s more competition for me. :)
We always talk about how the cities will be wiped out in global warming. What about how the tall ships will pass under bridges?
Ship barely passes under a bridge because of weather conditions and swells.
The more I write, the more I learn that the process is about rewriting, not as much as writing. Yes, we need a plot, and good characters and all, but we can have that, be a terrible rewriting, and get no where.
That is partly why I find this post particularly helpful.
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov
Think about that for a moment. That gives you more than enough of an idea about how to go about rewriting.
To want to write.
Well, I did it.
In spite of three nursing classes, a 6:30 AM clinical and two, small jobs, I have officially finished a rough draft of my story. Yes, it’s just a short story. Yes, it is just a rough draft. But it is something that I have finally finished.
I honestly think it’s a pretty awesome story. I had to change a few things from when I first started. Like, I added a section onto the beginning to more set the scene. And as I wrote, the characters talked to me more, so I learned a lot about their government. (That is particularly of excitement, since the characters are so difficult in talking during the school year.) For example, the king’s children are elected to be the heir, so that way even though the main character, Avda, is the youngest, she may very well be the heir.
I also know I need to develop things a lot more, since I really want to build up Avda’s loyalty of government and all, and her desire to rule.
On a side note, I began to watch Firefly. That is such an awesome show, to be quite honest. But, the very interesting thing is that it made me start thinking about my pirate story again.
If you don’t know what Firefly is about, it’s basically about space pirates who are trying to survive in the world. Now does that make sense why I keep thinking about it? Let me give you an example as to why this helps. In the show, the people are very poor because they have a hard time getting a job. In my story, they’re actually rather rich, just because they aren’t picky. So the whole entire concept of my own story is being questioned by this show.
What makes that very strange is I didn’t want to watch Firefly when it first came out, because the conditions on the ship very closely resemble that of Shad. I figured that the ideas of Firefly would merge into Shad and I didn’t want that. Now… I’m not too sure.
I like that, because it makes my life actually easier. I might actually start writing it again soon.
On a more personal note, if you are reading this post, that means that I have broken 3,000 readers!
You guys also broke the record last month (September) for the most amount of visitors per month which is the second month in the row, and based on the current stats, we’re looking really good for this month too. So thanks ya’ll!
(And yes, I like the word ya’ll. It makes a plural second person, which we don’t have in English.)
What to write when there’s nothing to write.
I had this problem a lot and I’ve talked about it a lot. Nothing is coming out. And the fact is, no matter what I say on here, it’s still not coming. Nothing I do is coming.
So here’s my plan. I’m just going to write whenever I can. I’m not going to try to plot out anything. I’m not going to find anything complex. I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to write.
See, I think it’ll come out similar to Samuel Brackborn. With this story, I just started writing and I came out with what I came out.
My theory with this is that the more I write, and just keep writing, the more plots I’ll get and the more I’ll keep using that part of my brain that I need to use in order to continue writing.
I honestly don’t know if this’ll work, but that is my plan. I suppose as part of my plan, I also need to not watch as much TV. Even though I watch only an hour of TV a day, by the time I get home from studying, have dinner, do dishes and all, I don’t have much time left to myself. So we’ll see how this works out.
To be carried along downstream, or to fight against the rocks, branches, and everything else
I’ve been thinking a lot about reactive writing. See, I read that in general, a story can be made up of three basic crises, and each one with the possible exception of the first one caused by the character reacting to the previous crisis, and thus causing the next one.
Initially, I thought that was ridiculous. You don’t need a few good crises tossed in to make a story. You need complications.
But what is complication?
Allow a momentary side note on my part. I quoted someone who said that your life doesn’t make a good life story. This is true, and I’m going to explain the reason why this relates.
In writing, we can’t just let the problems and complications wash over the hero, and the hero does nothing. That’s why writing a story about my time n school doesn’t work. Yes–things happen. But I don’t react strongly enough to how they react. So I don’t have the money for tuition this semester, well, I’ll take out a loan. So now I get a chance at a special scholarship, well, I’ll submit the papers and see what happens. I don’t decide to cheat on the applications in hopes that no one else will notice, or sneak into the office and steal the other applications.
This is also why journeys don’t work well in writing. In general, a journey has things happen, but they don’t have things that the character can react to happening.
So my new name for this is reactive writing. A story can’t just be about how something happy happened. It has to be how something happened in which a character overreacted and caused even more of a problem.
Unfortunately, I’m not doing so well at this in something I’m writing now, but hopefully with much editing it will come out.
So, how reactive is your writing?
Walking past a thousand story ideas.
Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
–Orson Scott Card
This quote made me think that I’m missing something. And because of that, I’ve decided to start Prompts of the First. The basic idea is I’m just going to bounce out with a bunch of random ideas for writing. Anything that comes into my mind that oculd possible, with some delicate writing, be made into a story.
Understand I’m not asking you to write the story for me. I am merely recommending story ideas for you to write and make your own.
Why am I doing this?
Two reasons. First of all, when I started looking for writing prompts, they were all too specific. Examples:
- You have been captured by cannibals. How do you try to convince them not to eat you? If that fails how do you attempt to get away?
- In the middle of the night, you get an urgent call from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. Something terrible has happened. What is it and why is he/she calling you? (Okay, that one might be fun.)
- You’ve left town—ditching your old, miserable life—hoping to start a new life for yourself. You’ve given yourself a new name, fake background and style. Write about your first encounter in your new town.
- Storms have knocked out the power. You find the flashlight and make shadow bunnies on the wall, but you can tell the kids are not amused. So instead you decide to tell a scary story. Create a story that would scare even the toughest of teenagers.
I didn’t like that. I wanted something a little more vaguer, that doesn’t involve me.
The second reason why I’m wanting to do this is I want to notice more of the plots in every day life. I want to notice seven or eight of them a day. Right now, if I can come up with thirty prompts, I’ll be happy, but this’ll be an ongoing goal for me throughout the month.
At the first Monday of the month, I’ll share them with you. Feel free to post your own however. The more the merrier.
That being said, here we go.
- What can you hide in a tooth?
- A death ray that feels like a gust of hot air. Once someone crosses it, they’ll die, but no one can see it.
If you stop feeling a part of your body, it stops existing.One word– Shape shifters.
- By now, everyone has secrets–the kind of secrets that’ll cost a man his life.
So, there are my five ideas. Hopefully, I’ll get more next month. And maybe…. i’ll remember to write more down, because I know I had more.
The fancy becomes unfancy.
A nice marble lobby that is just waiting for terrorists or vandals. :D
Now, I’m not fully sure what you can do with this information, but I learned that if you pour an acid on marble, you will start to breakdown the marble. That’s how people test to see if a rock is marble or not; they put some HCl on it and if the rock fizzes, it’s marble.
One thought I had, not that I’d endorse this in real life, is that would be one way to get a message across. If you spray enough strong acids against a marble wall, that message is never coming out.