Wordbound · Writing

Wordbound Week 28

I’m a little late with this one, but I got it done.  This week’s Wordbound prompt is:   Write a scene where a character lets something go, figuratively or literally.

An Excerpt

“Where were you going?” Elliot asked, “When you found me?”

“I don’t know,” Jenna replied, “I hadn’t figured that out yet.  Where were you going?”

“To New York,” he said, “I heard there was a group there working on a vaccine.  To prevent people from turning if they’re bitten by a zombie.”

Jenna looked away and stared into the fire.  Elliot could tell that something was wrong.

“What is it?” he asked.

“There was a group in New York,” she said, “They were working on a vaccine.  But they were overrun.  There’s no one left.”

“How do you know?” he asked.

“I was there,” she said, “I saw it happen.  I’m sorry.  There’s nothing left there.”

Elliot leaned his head back against the couch and closed his eyes.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Elliot lifted his head and looked at Jenna.

“What were you doing there?” he asked, “Are you a doctor?  A scientist?  Maybe you could…”

“No,” Jenna interrupted, “I’m not a doctor.  I was just trying to help.  There’s nothing I can do.  There’s nothing you can do.”

“There has to be something,” he said, “We can’t just give up.”

“Elliot, there’s nothing we can do,” she said, “As soon as this thing started, the smartest minds in the country came together to try to fix it, but they couldn’t.  It’s too late.”

“There has to be something,” he said, “I’m sure there are others working on it.”

“Maybe,” Jenna said, “Or maybe not.  You can keep searching if you want.  Probably get yourself killed.  Or you can find a nice place to settle down and try to stay as far away from those monsters as you can.”

Elliot stared at her.  Ever since he’d lost his family, all he’d been trying to do is find some way to fix this.  To stop what had killed them from spreading.  To save people.  It was the same story in every city he’d made it to.  At some point, there had been people working on a vaccine, but they were all gone.  They hadn’t made it.  He’d spent months alone, trying to find some way to help.  New York was the last lead he had.  And this woman was telling him that there was nothing left there.  Maybe she was right.  Maybe there was nothing left for him to do.  Maybe he should stop searching for an answer that would probably never come and try to live whatever was left of his life as happily as possible right here.

Wordbound · Writing

Wordbound Week 27

This week’s Wordbound prompt is:   What do you write “instead of”?

Over the past year, I’ve found that writing can be a great distraction from the anxiety thought spirals brought on by the never-ending stream of terrible news about the state of the world.  I also tend to choose writing over doing things that need to be done, but aren’t that exciting, like cleaning.

Netflix is definitely my biggest distraction from writing.  Sometimes it’s a lot easier to just sit and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls you’ve already seen half a dozen times than to actually put in the energy to write.  In general, I have a problem with procrastination, but it’s not as bad with writing as it is with other tasks.

All year I had been making blog posts every Saturday, but this Saturday I kept putting it off until I forgot about it.  I still fully intend to post something every week, but I plan to just write it when I have time and actually feel like writing instead of posting on the same day every week.

Wordbound · Writing

Wordbound Week 26

This week’s Wordbound prompt is:   Someone has to repeat something three times before it sinks in.  I’ve been watching the first season of The Magicians this week and that definitely had an influence on my choice of what to write this week.  This short story is going to be about a battle between two groups at a magical boarding school.

An Excerpt

“He’s dead,” Violet whispered to herself, “He’s dead.”

“Violet,” Melissa said impatiently.

“He’s dead,” she whispered.

“Why do you even care?” Melissa asked.

“He was my friend,” Violet yelled as she crouched next to the body on the ground.

“No, he wasn’t,” Melissa said, “Not anymore.  He was angry and jealous and petty.  He spent years pining after you, not saying a word about how he felt, expecting you to someday realize you loved him and choose him.  But that didn’t happen.  Then you discovered just how powerful you really are and he treated you horribly and tried to make you feel like nothing.  You deserve better.  We all do.”

“You didn’t have to kill him,” Violet said, standing up.

“He got in our way,” Melissa said.

“So that’s your plan?” Violet said, “Just kill everyone that gets in our way?”

Melissa stepped over his body and stood close to Violet.

“I’m not going to let them win, Violet,” she said, “Whatever it takes.”

Violet looked away from Melissa, back to her former friend’s lifeless body lying before them.

“Now let’s get what we came for and get out of here,” Melissa said.

Writing Goal Updates

I didn’t do much writing this week.  It’s frustrating because I have so much I want to write and I know I could be writing a lot more than I am.  It’s just so hard to focus sometimes.  But I’m not giving up and I’m making plans that I think will make it easier for me to write more.

Wordbound · Writing

Wordbound Week 25

This week’s Wordbound prompt is:   What’s something you’ve always considered writing but haven’t yet?

I’ve always wanted to write historical fiction, but I’ve never written any.  I feel like there would be a lot of pressure to make it historically accurate and it would involve so much research to get it right.  Any writing is going to involve at least a little research, but writing something based on history would involve a lot more research than I’ve done for other things I’ve written.  I usually prefer to create my own world where I can make up the rules.  But I think I would like to write something historical, especially about people who haven’t gotten as much attention as they should have.  It’s still technically fiction, but I would want it to be as accurate to the time period as possible.

I think I’ll start with reading more historical fiction and biographies, and maybe someday I’ll actually pick something to write about and put in the effort to do the research and write the story.

Writing Goal Updates

I didn’t do much writing this week, but I started to work on some short stories that I’ve been neglecting and I’m planning on working on my big second draft after I finish this.  My goal is to finish it by NaNoWriMo so I can start off November with a new story.

Wordbound · Writing

Revised 2017 Writing Goals

At the beginning of the year I made five writing goals.  They were:

  1. Stay focused on my three main projects instead of constantly bouncing between ideas and never finishing anything.
  2. Finish a detailed outline of the fantasy series that I’ve been working on and write at least one chapter a week.  It’s going to take a long time to finish this one, so the sooner I get focused, the better.
  3. Draw more so I can improve my skills and draw characters, etc. to go along with my stories.
  4. Write at least two chapters of something a week.
  5. Actually share my writing with others in some way.

Goal Number One

I took this one even further and I’m now focusing on one project (and occasionally some short stories).  I tried working on all three, but it just wasn’t working.  I think I want so badly to finish everything I want to write that I’ve tried to work on as many things as possible at one time so they would be done faster.  But I’ve realized that doesn’t work.  I’ll start writing something one way, then move on to something else for a bit, then by the time I go back to the first thing I’ve had so many ideas for things to change that I decide to just start over and then I never finish anything.

I abandoned one project because it just wasn’t working and I didn’t want to work on it anymore.  The other two are still really important to me, but I needed to choose one, so I chose the one that I most wanted to work on at the time.  I finished an extremely rough first draft and now I’m about 10,000 words into a second draft.

Goal Number Two

I partially met this goal.  I did finish an outline, but this isn’t the story I chose to focus on, so I haven’t written anything for it in months.  I’m definitely going to come back to it.  It’ll probably be the next thing I work on when I’m done with what I’m working on now.  I still think about it from time to time and I’ve written down some ideas.  I don’t know if I’ll start over or keep going with what I have done now because there are definitely some big changes I want to make and it’s been awhile, but I’ve also restarted this story from the beginning so many times already because of changing ideas.  If I did restart it would be the last time.  I want to write it the whole way through and actually finish it before going back to the beginning.

Goal Number Three

I completely failed on this goal.  I haven’t drawn anything.  It’s still something I want to do, I just need to commit and make the time to do it.  I want to be able to draw my characters and settings and anything else I can think of as I work on writing something.

Goal Number Four

I definitely haven’t written two chapters every week because there have been weeks where I haven’t written anything at all, but I think if you took all the chapters I have written it would average out to at least two chapters a week.

Goal Number Five

I did this, but I feel like I should have done more.  I shared bits of my writing every week here as part of wordbound, but that’s all I’ve done.  I haven’t shared any of my writing with anyone I know, so unless they follow me on Twitter and happened to see the links to this blog and read the posts, they haven’t read anything I’ve written.

But I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to share everything I’ve written.  Considering how anxious I was about sharing my writing at all, I would say I’ve definitely made progress just sharing the little bit I’ve posted here.  I’m feeling more and more comfortable putting my writing out there.  There may not be a lot of people reading, but it’s out there, and that’s a big step forward for me.

Revised 2017 Writing Goals

  1. Finish the second draft of the story I’m working on.
  2. Revise the outline of the fantasy series so I can start working on it as soon as I’m ready.
  3. Finish one drawing every week.
  4. Write at least two chapters a week.
  5. Keep sharing my writing here.
Wordbound · Writing

Wordbound Week 24

This week’s Wordbound prompt is:   What if you knew everything except the answer you’re looking for in a single moment?  I started another short story.

An Excerpt

“Anna, what do we do?” Chloe asked.

She could barely hear her.  She didn’t know what to say.  All Anna could do was stare at the body sprawled on the ground three stories below the balcony.  She watched as the blood pooled around him.  Anna knew that Chloe didn’t mean to kill him.  She was only defending herself and everyone else at the party.  But she also knew that there was no way the police would believe their story because, Jeff, the man who just tumbled off her friend’s balcony, was one of their own.

Anna knew a lot.  It was a gift she’d had since she was a child, although some would call it a curse.  She retained every bit of information she heard, from the names of her cousin’s friend’s girlfriend she met once at a wedding to the average temperature on Pluto.  She often tried to hide it because a lot of people found it irritating that she knew so much.  Surely, with all that knowledge, Anna would know what to do in this situation.  But standing on that balcony, she had no idea.

Anna and Jeff had a disastrous history as a couple.  She’d broken up with him two years ago, but he wouldn’t leave her alone.  And, of course, every time she tried to file a complaint with the police, he was right there with his version of what had happened that made her seem like a crazy, obsessive nightmare.  She was almost free.  She and her soon-to-be husband were looking for jobs out of state and planning to move as soon as possible after the wedding.  Apparently it wasn’t soon enough.

This wasn’t Chloe’s fault.  Jeff had crashed the party.  Jeff had refused to leave.  And Jeff had grabbed Chloe, causing the struggle that lead to him falling off the balcony.  If they called the police, they would never believe that it was an accident.  They would probably think that Anna killed him and Chloe was just covering for her.  Even with the dozen women who witnessed it on their side, Anna wasn’t sure they should risk it.

“Anna?  What do we do?” Chloe repeated, “Should we call the police?”

“No,” Anna said, taking Chloe’s hand, “Follow me.”

Using all the knowledge she possessed, it shouldn’t be that hard to cover up one accidental death.

Writing Goal Updates

June is officially over and we’re halfway through the year.  I’ve written over 50,000 words, which is probably the most I’ve ever written in that amount of time, outside of NaNoWriMo.  It all needs a lot of work, but I finally sat down and actually wrote it out, which feels amazing.

It wasn’t the most productive month of the year, but I finally started working on the next draft of my story. I’ve finished a couple short chapters, although they’re mostly backstory that will probably end up as flashbacks, but I wanted to write them first before I moved deeper into the actual plot of the story.

I also think I know what I want to work on during NaNoWriMo.  It’s months away, so it’s entirely possible I’ll change my mind by then, but I’m pretty sure about it.  It’s a very personal project, and I think the time crunch will help me not to overthink while writing it.

 

Wordbound · Writing

Wordbound Week 23

This week’s Wordbound prompt is:   Include a mirror as an integral part of your scene.  I started a short story inspired by an episode of Charmed and the thoughts I have every day wondering what would be going on right now if Hillary Clinton was president.

An Excerpt

Melinda arrived home and sat her bags on the kitchen counter.  She hung up her keys, slipped off her shoes, and unpacked her groceries.  And that’s when she heard the voice coming from the other room.

“Hello?” the voice said.  Melinda froze.  Then she heard it again.  She picked up a knife and held it out in front of her before walking into her bedroom.  She didn’t see anyone.  Then she heard the voice again, from behind her.  She spun around and saw what, at first, she thought was her reflection in the mirror hanging on the wall.  Until she realized that the woman staring back at her was wearing different clothes and didn’t move at the same time she did.

“You don’t need the knife,” the woman in the mirror said, “I can’t come over there.  I tried.”

“That’s not creepy at all,” Melinda said.  But she lowered the knife.

They stared at each other.

“What is this?” Melinda asked, “What’s happening?”

“I don’t know,” the woman in the mirror said, “I walked into my bedroom earlier and I realized that I couldn’t see my reflection.  I looked closer and I noticed that what I was seeing wasn’t an exact reflection of my bedroom.  It was my room, but there were things that were a little bit off.  I kept watching, but nothing happened.  Then I heard you.”

Melinda walked over to the mirror and held up her hand.  She touched the mirror, half-expecting her hand to slip through it, but it was just normal glass.  The woman in the mirror stood back, watching her.

“Why is this happening?” Melinda whispered to herself, “Am I going crazy?”

“I’ve felt like I’ve been going crazy since November,” the woman in the mirror said, “Maybe I’ve finally snapped.”

“November?” Melinda said.

“Since the election,” she answered.

“The election?” Melinda said, shaking her head in confusion, “Why would…”

She stopped what she was saying and stared at the other woman.

“He won?” Melinda said, horrified.

The woman in the mirror stared back at her.

“He did,” she said, “and it’s been exhausting.”

Writing Goal Updates

I didn’t do much writing yet this week, but I planned on making today a writing day.  There are a couple chapters at the beginning of my story that should be pretty short, so I should be able to get at least one chapter done today.  I haven’t written much this month in general, but I’m planning on working a lot this week.