Getting That First Draft Done…Like, Now

painting of author stuck

As I continue revising, editing, and polishing my novel, Passage of Promise, as it runs through my online critique group, in my spare time, I drop into my novella, Mourning Dove,  switching it from first to third person as I did with my novel because I prefer that. I’ve also revised sections and added scenes. Actually, I still have a few more scenes I need to add that were prompted through beta reader and hubby feedback.

But in the past couple of days, I’ve reached to the back burner where my WIP (work in progress), What She Didn’t Know, has been sitting the last two months, waiting to have me add scenes and chapters.

So, I wrote up a scene and chapter yesterday, and it felt good. I wasn’t sure I could get back into the story, but what always helps me is reading previous chapters to prime the creative pump and get myself back into the lives of the three sisters in the case of this story.

Yesterday, I shared with my husband the many plot points and my characters in my WIP. After explaining all the different relationship conflicts with each of the three sisters, my husband said, “What is this? A soap opera?” Haha!

I told him these types of storylines often go through my head. I asked his opinion on one of my ideas for one of the minor characters (one that could be fatal or not fatal). He chose the second and said, “I think there’s already enough drama.”

Oh, but we writers thrive on drama with our characters. It’s called conflict in the world of writers. 😀

I started What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. A freaking year ago! I can’t believe I haven’t finished it yet!

Three months. I’m giving myself three months to at least write as many of the chapters I’ve got notes on as I can, hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close.

writing's hard gif

First drafts can be very difficult. I’ve read plenty of articles of fellow writers struggling to finish their novels. I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces.

It’s never taken me this long to write a story of any type. It’s time to hunker down.

All fellow writers struggling through their first drafts, let’s unite in getting them done before summer!

And DON’T GIVE UP! You know your story is good and worth the effort! Your characters are calling your name, telling you they’re waiting for their next encounters, next conflicts, next DRAMA. 😉

Happy writing!

 

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A Flash of Fiction

woman running on street

I wrote this little piece a month or so ago.  It was written from stream of consciousness and just for a practice writing activity.  Hope you enjoy the short read.

 

Running Out of Time

 

Her chest ached, and her throat was dry as dust. She’d run two and a half miles and kept sprinting down the sidewalk parallel to the city’s park, as the sun hovered over the horizon. Its pink and orange rays fell softly on the street. The road and town were deserted.

The pounding of shoes on the pavement behind her made her quicken her pace, as her calves bunched in protest. Her breaths came out uneven and ragged. The running footsteps at her rear grew louder, and she willed her body to move faster, even as she heard his grunting and heavy breathing creeping over her shoulder.

“Oh, God,” she said through a bedraggled exhale.

Seeing the sidewalk’s end and an intersection, she turned the corner sharply to her left, rapidly moving her sneakers and extending her legs, cutting the distance ahead of her. A shop’s neon green sign blinked at her from further down the street. She kept her eyes focused on the store’s window just as a hand gripped her bouncing shoulder. She screamed, tearing away from him and continuing to run. The light breeze in the air carried the scent of garbage from a set of dumpsters as she flew by them, grimacing.

The silence of the empty town was shattered by the man’s gravelly voice. “You can’t run forever.”

She didn’t waste her breath answering, but tilt her head down, stared at the cement before her, and pushed herself as much as her body could bear, her legs burning in response.

Just fifty more feet, she told herself, as she closed in on the shop’s window displaying various antique clocks. Slowing long enough to grapple the door’s handle, she sucked in her breath as the man’s callused hand landed atop hers, his body slamming against hers.

He wrapped his bulky arm around her chest and held her so tight that she thought her ribs would crack.

“Let me go!” she cried.

“Not a chance,” the man said, putting the hand he’d had over hers against the door to prevent her from opening it.

She struggled, her eyes wide with fear.

“Time’s up,” another voice announced.

“Ah,” was all she could say.

She slowed her pace on the gym’s treadmill and stepped off, as her personal trainer jotted down on his clipboard the recorded mileage.

“You’ve improved, Gena, by two minutes. Wow! You were really going for it the last thirty seconds.” He smiled in appreciation.

Gena wiped her glistening neck with a towel. “I had motivation.”

 

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The Most Excellent and Insightful Advice for Writers in Creating a Story

A few weeks back, I happened upon this wonderful TEDx talk that blew me away.  The author gave step by step descriptions and instructions on how to write a story.  He brought us viewers into the imagined world of his characters.  We writers believe we know how to do this already, but we never stop learning, and I learned a great deal from this presentation.  In fact, it was the most superb, insightful, and profoundly helpful talk I’ve ever heard or seen on creating a story.  I am sharing it in the hopes that all my fellow writers will find much use in it and gain further knowledge in the art of writing.

(courtesy of and credited to TEDx Talks shared on youtube)

His tips on setting helped me tremendously in writing my latest story I began December 7.  I was thrilled to be able to apply it gently into the beginning scene of this newest work of mine, for which I am not sure whether it will be a short story, novella, or novel.  It will be fun to see where my characters and storyline lead me.

Incidentally, a book I’ll be reading for my fiction writing workshop class that starts early next month is written by Mr. Dufresne.  It’s called Lie That Tells a Truth:  A Guide to Writing Fiction.  How awesome is that?

Please share your comments below on what you thought and took away from this presentation!

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(Since I was only able to find this on youtube, I was not able to embed it directly from TED.com.)