Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Writing on Wednesday - Projects Update

Well it is Wednesday again and for once I don't have a deep and meaningful 'wellness' type of topic to discuss with you. Instead I want to share with you this week the other writing exercises that I have been working on:

Nano-Wrimo - National Novel Writing Month

Every year in November millions of writers around the world set a goal to pen 50,000 words in a month. At the very least it is a novella-sized complete work or a good foundation for a future novel. Every year I think it will be great to join in but something always happens in my life to preclude me from doing so. If you have been following my blog then you would know by now that nothing is getting in my way of anything this year. I am positive, fired up and can do anything I set my mind to.

So, on the weekend I did make a start towards my 50,000 words but, true to form, I am already running behind. I worked out that I need to write 1600 words/day to complete this task but I don't care if I only get to 30,000 words. The fact is that I have jumped in and made a start towards a project that has been sitting in the recesses of my mind for years. I have overcome my fear of becoming obsessively attached and involved with my characters and have a reasonable start to my first chapter. If you are interested I will share a little of it next week.

My story is about Carmen, a desperate young woman who decides to escape from her abusive and impoverished family by entering into a surrogacy contract with an unknown couple, whom she meets through an ad in the paper. Complications arise when Carmen's pregnancy tests reveal that the child has a disability and the couple insist on termination. Carmen wants to keep the child but legally it is not hers...or is it? The idea came from a true story I read about last year.

Anyway, so many avenues to explore with this plot line and I am not really sure where it will end up yet but it's fun to be writing creatively again.

Gympie Writers Group - Character Writing Activity

This is the task Karen Foxlee has set for us for next week's writing group - our homework. I found it to be a fun exercise so thought I would share it with you.

Choose a first name
Lillian, Luther, Axel, Abraham, Aaron, Kyle, Maxwell, Violet, Peter, Omar, Simon, Noah, Harry, Harriet, Lucy, Maria, Ruby, Joan, Debbie, Catherine, Donald, Freda, Gemma, Ignatius, Jack, Quentin, Raphael, Tess, Arnold, Josephine.

Choose a Surname
Fox, Ford, Arthurs, Bambridge, Fears, Feeny, Quick, Quigley, Van Otten, Valentine, Little, Loveless, Lumpkin, Rodriguez, Smith, Kelly, Hunter, Sharp, Samsom, Cotton, Dray, Earhart, Goldsworth, Nightingale, Talon, Tate, Weaver, Hart, Yarnold, Petrova.

Make up a character with this name. Describe him or her in about three paragraphs or 500 words.

I chose the name Ruby Cotton and have started a small piece in the first person which is the point of view I prefer to write in. I think it offers the biggest challenge in describing the character because people don't always describe themselves. Stories rely on others to do so. Here is the beginning of a very rough draft I wrote this morning before work

That rude man across the room is staring again and I quickly lower my eyes to my lap. Damn it, I think he saw me looking. I wriggle on the hard chair, tucking my long legs beneath it as I straighten my back and proceed to study my hands...again. Long skinny fingers, great for playing piano my Nan used to say. Too bad we never had one. I distract myself by cleaning the traces of dirt under my nails. One fingernail under the other, always starting with my thumb on the left. I wish I had painted them to cover the gardening stains.

I glance up again, quickly looking at the front of the packed auditorium, not concentrating on a word the English lecturer is saying. From the corner of my eye I can see the man is still standing there, his face turned my way. But I don't turn to look at him. I curse my fair skin as my face turns red and I fight the urge to climb over the rows of attentive students to run out of here. What is he staring at anyway? Certainly not my op-shop yellow sundress, nor my untidy mass of black hair straining underneath the weight of bobby pins and rubber bands. I touch my bun, just to be sure it's held in place. 

Oh no, he will think I'm vain. What do I care anyway? If he doesn't stop staring I swear I will scream. It wouldn't be the first time. They all think I'm crazy anyway so why not add fuel to the fire. That would certainly scare the stranger off.

"Ruby Cotton," says a deep male voice so very close behind me. I jump but do not turn. Dammit, it must be him. I didn't see him move. How does he know my name? He is so close that I inhale the scent of a musky cologne and feel the warmth of his breath on my neck. "You need to come with me."

"What the..." I turn to face him and meet eyes as green as mine are blue. Deep sea green, initially surprised but narrowing as he grabs my arm, which I try to pull away "Who the hell are you?"

Knowing me I will muck around with this for a while before I get it right but it says a fair bit about our character in just over 300 words.

E-Book Workshop

My third writing project this week is to prepare for the E-Book publishing workshop next weekend. We need to have something prepared to turn into an e-book. My novel isn't ready so I thought I would collate a few short stories I have written, just so that I have something to publish.

Anyway, enough rambling from me this morning. Do you have any writing projects on the go? Do you like to write stories and make up characters?

Melting Moments

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