- A pickle tree. No. Really. Looks like a good crop this year.
- A trip to the dentist that didn’t leave me with tension induced whiplash.
- A productive night writing. God I love deadlines. (I may actually finish my next rounds of edits and additions to Riveted before SiWC on Thursday.)
PS. I totally have a cavity. I gave up diet coke and got a cavity. The dentist swears there isn’t a causal relationship but me and my addicted brain think differently. I should definitely go back to drinking a liter and a half a day. Right? Anyone? Fine. Be that way.
PPS. How many times can I take a Mensa workout practice test before the practice makes it cheating if I pass? And, can you still gain entrance into Mensa if you can’t finish a Sudoku puzzle rated hard?
(This post should in no way be taken as an admission that I practice for the Mensa test nor inability to do hard Sudoku puzzles.)
I’ve been reading quite a few short stories lately. When I was in high school the short story was my preferred format. I remember them flowing from pen to page with little effort. What I didn’t realize at the time (because I was a teenager and incapable of comprehending certain realities) was that my product just wasn’t that good. Not that the ideas weren’t good. Nope the ideas were fine, and really the writing was fine (good even considering I won several contests). What wasn’t good was my effort. I never took the time to do a second draft or try to tighten my structure.
In the stories I’ve been enjoying lately I love how the authors manage to use every sentence to reveal something important. Nothing is wasted and I can really tell they’ve taken the time to choose their words.
Choose a story you’ve written recently (novel or short) and read the first sentence. What does that sentence tell you about the story or the main character? Think about the most important things about your story. Make a list of the elements and do a mind map for each. Using this brainstorming magic re-write that sentence to tell you reader three important things about your story or character right off the top.
Sharing: (I tried the above exercise for a novel I’ve been working on. The exercise gave me an idea for how to write a portion of the novel as a short story. I’m stoked.)
“You’re reporting what, Lieutenant?” Major Grant watched Miller’s back stiffen at the use of his title.”
Can you tell the three things I was trying to reveal?
1. They are in a military institution of some sort.
2. There is a clear power structure in place but formal military protocols are not used frequently.
3. Major Grant doubts what has just been reported. (I’m still working on making this part stronger.)