Archive for the ‘Word count’ Tag

Doorknobs and Bodypaint 2012   Leave a comment

 

Red Shoes

Red Shoes (Photo credit: garlandcannon (on hiatus))

 

Doorknobs and Bodypaint 2012

 

Doorknobs and Bodypaint is a great online flash journal, where for each issue the editors set up certain parameters that submissions need to match for each section. For example, there might be a word count limit, a line or phrase that must be used, or a certain setting.

 

For their most recent issue the guidelines for the Tapas section required a story be 250 words or less, have a subtheme of weariness, and include the phrase, “they’ll burn you”. They not only accepted my story, The Red Shoes, but gave it top billing!

 

The Red Shoes is an ancient fairy tale where the desire for material gain leads to the protagonist’s demise. She is doomed to dance in her ill-gotten red shoes endlessly until she is worn away to nothing.

 

In my modern take, the protagonist is seeking an end to an illness, and the red shoes in this case are the medications and subsequent side effects that keep them from rest. It is an internal dialogue jumping, skipping, and dancing between the origins of clichés, exhaustion, and the false promises of doctors.

 

I was able to draw from my own recent bout with a serious illness in writing the story. Some of the medications I was on would make me restless, unable to concentrate. Writing it out in a flash was pretty much the only thing I could do to gather my thoughts enough to voice my frustrations.

 

To read my story and to check out the next challenge set for by DK&BP, click here:
http://www.iceflow.com/doorknobs/DOORBODY2.html

 

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Time Out For NaNoWriMo   Leave a comment

sculpture: a dead man's hand

Day two of timing with the timer, and it worked again. Passed the thousand word mark on the zombie story, still not sure where it’s going to stop, but it’s still a pleasure to write. Putting poetry and Cain on the back burner for now seems to have been the best idea.

Writing is therapy, more than anything. I write because it makes me feel good, like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m hoping that come December 1st, I can keep this momentum going. Writing 45 minutes a day, you never get burnt out. It never becomes a drag.

Of course, what do I know, this is only day two of timed writing?

Good things that came from today’s writing, besides the thousand plus words:

The two main characters now have names, Jane and Max

Max has a job

Zombies prefer to be called the bodily impaired

Whatever you’re writing, or putting off writing today, think about the occupations of your characters. Have you given them one yet? Perhaps it’s something about their jobs, their coworkers, how they got there, that will give you the angle to open your stories up further, get you excited about writing again.

A Sheepish, Triumphant Return to NaNoWriMo   Leave a comment

An old timer

Image by * hiro008 via Flickr

So, I’ve been bad the past week. No writing got done. Zip. Zero. Recovering from the GREs last weekend took longer than I thought, a brain dump of mass proportions. Reading good books helps, but then all my free time is caught up reading, no time left for doing my own writing. One night I was up until 2 am reading Emma Donoghue‘s newest novel, Room, (which, btw, was fantastic!). Read Sara Gruen‘s Ape House, then Water for Elephants. A little sheepish I hadn’t read Elephants back in ’06, when everyone was reading it.Mucking my way through Franzen’s Freedom.

Anyway, what I eventually had to do today to get writing is put myself in time out. I set the timer for 30 minutes, and then told myself I couldn’t do anything but write during those 30 minutes. Of course, about 15 minutes into it, my daughter woke up from her nap with a poop. So I had to get her cleaned up and back to sleep, then added another 15 minutes. I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but I did get another decent page or so for the zombie divorce story. I’m really liking these characters a lot, thinking they may stick around longer than a short story, which is exciting. I didn’t get a poem written, and I didn’t even open up the Cain files, but I’m also writing in a way that doesn’t feel forced, it’s almost a freewrite exercise, but with purpose behind it. It’s a good feeling.

It’s funny, I do NaPoWriMo every year in April, and every year, I don’t have any problem sitting down and writing a poem a day. Perhaps it’s the time of year, more face time with the sun. I think it may also be, with NaPo, there’s a focus and a freedom that’s missing in NaNo. You’re starting fresh each day, you aren’t going back and working on something you stalled on the day before. You’re also not trying to maybe divide yourself between projects.

Whatever the cause for success or failure, I’m going to put myself in timeout again tomorrow. At least thirty minutes, nothing but writing. If you’re having trouble starting, keeping to a schedule, try the timer. It worked for me, and I live with five kids.