Tag Archives: Rhythm

From Chapter 17, “Trust” of MINDWRITERS

Carl woke in the torn passenger seat of a shabby sedan, a stranger at the wheel. There was gum in the carpet, scratches in the dashboard, and a radio that looked right out of the ‘70s, lacking even a tape deck. The clock blinked ‘12:00’ in despondent rhythm, as if sorry for not knowing the time. The vehicle smelled of smoke, sweat, and worse. Surely several disappointed teenagers had lost virginity in the cramped back seat, the fairy tale of Mister Right crumbling to dust beneath the crude pawing of Mister Horny.

Scene preview: Would you have kept the baby?

Every Wednesday, I offer a free preview of a current project. The excerpt below is taken from Music of the Spheres.

Joan had never been troubled on her country strolls before today. She preferred walking to class because the time alone allowed her to think, though her friends thought it was dangerous. Though the trip would have taken five minutes by car, it was the solitude she liked, getting lost in her thoughts. Wind flowed over the grass like invisible surf, ghostly hands caressing the land, tugging gently at her hair. A humble road cut through the plains, lightly graveled. Joan liked the way the pebbles crunched beneath her feet, keeping rhythm as she trudged along.

She was both startled and disturbed to see a vagrant loitering ahead. He was a large man, unshaven, in what appeared to be the tattered remnants of some uniform. It was so dirty and faded that she couldn’t make out any patches or insignia. Against the pristine landscape, he was as out of place as a weapons rack in a library. And this was her special place. Seeing another person here almost felt like an invasion of privacy. Read More →

Halfway to draftsville

percent-761534By the initial wordcount goal, Woman’s Best Friend is 50% done. And at least half of what’s written so far is already in third revision, because each time I load a story, I can’t help rereading the preceding portions to get back into it’s rhythm, pace, and setting. And when I reread any draft, I can’t help making revisions, most often deleting words.

(Actually it can be quite depressing at first, because the wordcount may drop by a sizeable margin before I get to the bottom of the document to begin adding new content.)

I didn’t write that much last night due to a severe headache, but I’m also proud to say I didn’t play much either. I just didn’t do much of anything.

By the time I went to bed, the remaining scenes kept playing in my head and I couldn’t keep myself from composing the words to tell them.

It’s a fair bet this story will be completed by the weekend, probably by Friday or at the latest, Saturday morning. I’ve hit the groove, man, and the more I work on it, the easier it gets.

Look for a preview of the story soon.

writersmarketMegan brought the Writer’s Market 2009 home for me last night. A little late on my part; like cars for the following year, these actually come out several months before the year in question. Better late than never.

The “bad query” examples are hilarious. To my delight, my favorite from previous years was included in this year’s edition. This particular writer stated he’d spent his lifetime chained to his desk in the basement working on an epic story and, “it can be yours!” The editors, who usually give helpful asides (both for the good query examples and bad) simply wrote, “I’m at a loss for words” in the margin beside that paragraph.

That writer also claimed he was selling a “short story novel” and the editor wanted to know which was it: A short story, or a novel?

Sometimes it scares me that in “get published” guides, writers are advised to know as much about the publishing industry as about their craft. (I’m not a business analyst, I’m a writer, fo’shizzle?) But when I see glaring mistakes like that, it encourages me to think that simply being professional and precise are already big steps in the right direction.

Let us hope so. Looks like I’ll be sending another submission soon.