Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Game Night!

Well, seems my thawing isn't quite complete when it comes to breaking out of my Winter Writing Freeze.

To be completely fair to myself, though, it was largely in part to an overwhelming amount of socializing this week. Last Tuesday was one of Hubby's work friends' birthdays. So, after our normal Tuesday-run-around, which included a Walmart run during laundry to save time instead of me writing during laundry like usual, we spent the late afternoon until close to midnight hanging out at his friend's house. Table-top game nights are such a great thing!

So great, in fact, that Hubby also hosted his own gaming night this Thursday. Another coworker of his, her boyfriend, along with Quarthix and his fiance, all came over to hang. Another really fun time, but also another night going until close to midnight. If that wasn't enough, Quarthix and his fiance had asked Ronoxym to officiate their wedding. Since their apartment is far from being kid-friendly, it was decided that Ron, Cyhyr, and their daughter would come to my place for a mini-meeting about the upcoming nuptials for the future Mr. and Mrs. Quarthix.

Since Ron and Cy live a little out of the way compared to everyone else, it always ends up a big thing when we know the two of them are coming to visit. So that meant that Shadow came off his mountain to also hang out.

Now, our house was clean for the Thursday game night - sorta - but we slacked on putting the games away, which snowballed into the rest of the house just being a wreck. On top of which, I needed to figure out how to baby-proof as much as possible. You never realize how many small things - and how short all your shelves are - until you try to baby-proof.

It was a full-weekend experience. If we weren't at work, we were cleaning the apartment. Really no down time for writing.

People left fairly early in the evening Sunday, about 7 or 8 at the latest, but I was so exhausted that Hubby and I just crashed on the couch, caught up on Facebook, and watched TV.

I wanted to get SOME writing done this week. Especially with writing group tonight. So, I figured I'd go back to Please, Let Me Explain. Everyone likes the story thus far. They like that I'm sticking with something, I'm even getting critiques on it. The change is probably the thought process of "why critique a one-off? Save that for something that is going to be a project."

All-in-all, it's really driving me to actually FINISH a longer writing project. Still a bit stuck since my co-writer Ron is finishing up his semester of college while working full time so Cy could stay home and raise their daughter. Doesn't exactly leave time to get writing done for either of them.

So I'm trying to do as much as I can while Ron is still on writing hiatus. I thought, Maybe I could write a prologue, or a flashback nightmare to let the audience know the details of Devon's leaving. That way it doesn't need to be explained via dialogue. I mean, sure, I'd like to think I did a good job at letting the reader know everything via dialogue without it seeming too heavy-handed. The problem, though, is that it's a bit long-winded instead. They just talk for PAAAAAAGEEEEEES. I need a way of tightening it up, and I can only do that if the readers know what the background story is.

I have two ways of doing that: prologue leading into Devon in his cell, or Devon having a flashback nightmare. The problem with the latter is that the audience might be a bit confused during his and Willow's argument, but that should be fine since it's all better explained about three pages later, right? The second problem is that it will all be from his POV, and most of the dialogue is Willow letting him know her POV.

So, maybe the flashback nightmare should be Willow's? Her driving force to see Devon in the holding cells? But the rest of the story - outside of Devon's head - is from his perspective, so starting the whole thing with Willow having the nightmare might be a bit jarring.

More jarring than neither POV for a prologue? Just a straight omniscient third-person narrative before giving the story over to Devon?

I was so stumped as to how to put in the backstory, and where, that I instead went back over the first two scenes that I already read at group and just tore it apart. This is just the first eight pages of a currently twenty-seven-page story. Anyway, I sent Ron the editing notes last night. Nearly every paragraph has something.

The problem is that the bulk of the story - pages nine through twenty-three - just go on forever; obviously, it's an argument that goes on for over fourteen pages! Granted, there's movement - from the hallway into Willow's room, back out into the hallway, back into Willow's room, things are thrown, people calm down - but it's still friggen FOURTEEN PAGES!

Any long-time readers of this blog know that I've been fighting with this section for about two years or so. I don't think I want to read it off to the group tonight. Just reading and discussing all the ways I should tighten it could take up the entire meeting. Yet, I also don't have any edits actually done on the first eight pages, and I don't have the prologue/nightmare written yet.

So, much to everyone's dismay, including my own, I guess I'm going back to reading off more of my practice writings. Reading them, along with typing them up to share with you guys each week, might get me back on the ball. I'm still back in January's prompts and it's nearly May!

Anyway, below is January 11th's prompt. A coworker of mine had recently told me an office anecdote, and I couldn't resist recreating it with some creative-licensing flair for this prompt. Thanks to that coworker, I was able to do an actual flash fiction this time. I think. I feel like it's a complete story and not just a scene....

"Yawn Immunity"

I DID IT, RON! I HAVE A STORY UNDER 1000 WORDS! That's what? My fifth successful attempt since last October? I'm so good at this.

On the super plus side of all the baby-proofing, the house is still fairly clean. It's a lot easier for me to keep up with everything now, as long as I don't slip. With a clean house, I'm also less stressed. I don't feel so guilty reading and writing instead of cleaning. This might be the key. I may actually have my head uncluttered with my house. If it still doesn't work, it's at least nice enough weather to start some official Spring Cleaning. I'll just keep cleaning to clear my home and my head.

Plus, it's starting to be beautiful and pleasantly warm outside. I sat on my front porch yesterday, enjoying the air and typing up my editing notes for Ron. I'm going to love being able to do that again, as well as maybe getting back into exercising. Between a finally clean living room and being able to walk around outside, perhaps I can refocus on being healthier once more. The exercising last summer/early fall really did help me become more energized and excited to write.

I'll keep trying things out until I find the key. I am determined to figure out what exactly I need to do to stay on top of my writing!

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