Showing posts with label NaNoWriMo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NaNoWriMo. Show all posts

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flash Fic Party, Day 13: Me!

Bika's Flash Fic Party is winding to a close. Tomorrow's post by Verdus will be the last in this challenge, and I was so happy to host it for you all. I love seeing how you all wrestle your ideas onto paper (actually, it's probably more like cramming into a word processor, screaming--though it's possible it can be a gentle process? I've just never seen it happen that way).

Today's fic is another one of mine. I wrote about some of my NaNo characters; spoiler, Caleb dies even before the novel begins.

Author: Bika
Word count: 579
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I didn’t want to be the one missing out, but some things can’t be helped. All the neighbor kids were older than me. They spent most of the summer nights out in Caleb’s tent with the glow-lamps Papa loaned them, shining them in each other’s faces or at their own. They looked like ghouls in the dark, my brother told me, and I wanted to see for myself.

But Papa wouldn’t hear of the wee one going out to fill her head with tales an’ nonsense, so instead I’d sit on my bed in the dark all through the warm seasons and listen to their giggles and shouts, the silences when Caleb or one of the others would tell a ghost story, the gleeful screams when the horrors came. They loved to be scared.

It was hard being the little one at night. The days, though, Caleb saved them just for me; when there weren’t chores to be done he would call me outside and I’d come runnin’, burst through the tent flap and flop down on the sleeping rolls left from the night before. We lay on our backs and looked up at the moving patterns of leaf shadows on the canvas, and it was too warm but we stayed in anyway, sweating while he talked about the other side, things he wouldn’t tell the others.

He told me the things Nana said to him out behind the field where the old barn burned down. “Be good, mind your Da', watch your sister,” he’d say in a gravelly old pipe-smoker’s voice. I could hear her in my head clear as day whenever he talked about her, though she died long before either of us were born. He said it was the real thing. I’d got the gift, he said, just as he did and Nana before us.

Later on I’d have my doubts, but back in those days nothing he did or said was ever wrong to my worshipful eyes. Caleb was my sun and moon and I would’ve given him the very last breath in my body if only he’d never leave me, never leave me.

When I was in my seventh year he packed his things and went to apprentice at the Llewellyn Museum Fellowship, leaving me alone with Papa and the cows. “Wisht I could take ya with me, Bobby,” he said in his deep, gruff tryin’-to-sound-grownup sort of way, and then he was gone. I cried, but not till he was well on his way and I’d gone out to Nana’s place, a place marked with a stake in the ground, to to be alone and drop my tears where it was safe. I dirtied my face with snot and cried into a hollow in the earth that held the charred stubs of her old butter churn, the relics of a generation lost he’d dug up himself when I was in still in clouts.

I cried because I loved him; I cried because I missed him even before he left; I cried because there’d be no more stories and no more Bobby, c’meres. Without Caleb, I was just Roberta, and even at seven I knew it all too well.

Out at Caleb's secret spot I begged Nana to comfort me, to protect my brother and promise me he’d be back. She never answered, and though Caleb wrote, he never came home again.

I guess there’s only so much the spirits can do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

[NaNo] Day 3

Now that the fun's started and I'm writing every day on this tiny hatchling of an idea, I think I'm qualified to say OMFG what hell Bika why didn't you start earlier on your plot WHY? My book's run though so many phases by now that I'm tempted just to throw up my hands and label it paranormal post-apocalyptic action-adventure dystopian zombieland mystery thriller fiction and consider all my bases covered.

I'm at just under 4000 words at this moment (why yes, I'm writing a blog post instead of working on my novel, why do you ask?) and while it's going to be hard to hit the 50k mark by the end of the month, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do it as long as I keep pushing myself to write something every day. The best thing to come out of this so far is the absolute certainty that I can and will write books, even after NaNo is done. Maybe they won't be pretty, but they'll be mine.

I hope y'all are having fun with the flash fics. I enjoy seeing other people's work and all the supportive comments that go along with them! Once they run out, Hammy and I have a story arc about Libby and Fenniel that's just full of wtf-ery, and after that, perhaps there will be excerpts of NaNo writings (mine, certainly, and from others who want to share).

Now I'm going to go write what I'm supposed to write. 1000 words before bed, GO!

Monday, October 25, 2010

[CW] Preparing for NaNo: Loglines

I may create a meta black hole by doing this, but I've never been one to back down in the face of potentially world-breaking devastation: I am about to blog about a blog blogging about a blog.

Twitter nets me some interesting tidbits now and again. Today it coughed up a neat little post--two posts, actually--by one Tami Moore about cheat sheets and loglines that were immensely useful for planning my NaNo project.

Even more props to Miz Moore: the posts were concise, which is ideal given my tendency to get distracted by shiny things, small invisible objects, and drafts of both the first type, and the air type.

"Loglines are teasers. They tantalize. Hint at something incredible. Take root in their target’s brains and make them ITCH to read the book they’re talking about."

I love making people's brains itch. Do go on.

"They’re also ridiculously daunting for the writer who is trying to distill their 100,000 word novel into a travel-sized package."

Daunting? Wait a minute, hold the phone. You mean this will be work?

I wasn't deterred for long (only about 2.17 seconds, if I recall correctly). My desire to see whether I had enough information about my plot to make a successful logline far outweighed my desire to continue sitting around, creating a miniature intellectual void.

The original logline formula for this exercise came from Miss Snark's First Victim.

"When [MAIN CHARACTER] [INCITING INCIDENT], he [CONFLICT]. And if he doesn't [GOAL], he will [CONSEQUENCES]."

I set to work and here's what I got out of it:

"Abandoned by the rest of her search party in the middle of the Bironian steppes, amateur psychic archaeologist Roberta Skellis must continue to hunt for her older brother and his missing excavation team alone. Just when her explorations yield what could be the most important discovery of the age, a competing archaeologist and his crew threaten to scoop her victory right out from under her feet. Roberta must choose between her brother, an unexpected admirer who is not what he seems, and the discovery of a lifetime in a grueling race to the finish."

Now you all know the basic plot and I'll look like an ass if I chicken out; I think that's how these things are supposed to work?

Tomorrow I'll be working on my cheat sheets. Roberta needs a bit of fleshing-out and my antagonist needs a name (among other things). Tami's blog is definitely going to be on my reference list for the next month or so!

What's your logline?