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I once asked my wife, "Would you ever consider having an affair?"

My brain immediately ran through the possibilities.  I would track him down in my beat-up Chevy minivan, using my best grim expression as my eyes followed the clandestine couple walking down Third Street.  Hell, my brother Richard can sit in the back with his laptop, like those CIA operations do on TV.  I will get names, addresses, telephone numbers, and excitement will come in whirling doses of adrenaline.

She laughed at me, as sanguine as ever.  "Ronald, I'm a kindergarten teacher!"

This did ring true, I mean, do kindergarten teachers even know what adultery is?  It's hard to imagine, because how can a person, especially a lovely woman like my wife, entertain impure thoughts while singing 'the alphabet song'?  And hell, Marjorie was currently engrossed in arranging flowers in Chinese Ming dynasty vases, flitting around the house like an effervescent fairy.

And besides, Richard isn't free to stalk ignorant pretty boys with me, because he's in jail.  To my great disappointment, he's a rather boring prisoner.  During a visitor's session, I had whispered that I would help him to escape in any way I could, just give me the word.  Apparently my family know me well by now, so Richard was simply amused.  He had propped his head on one hand and said, "I'm here because of a misunderstanding.  I really would be the bad guy if I ran out of here.  Besides, the donuts aren't half-bad, better than that crap they sell across from your place.  Sorry, bro."  Yeah, Richard isn't even a lethal, ass-kicking criminal.  He had witnessed a girl being hit by her boyfriend, and he had jumped in to save her.  The girl turned on him and reported to the police that Richard had assaulted her.  So Richard said that was a bummer, and went quietly to serve his time.

My life is completely and utterly boring.

If only we were living in the 18th century. Some snarky aristocrat may have come along and insulted fair Marjorie, then I would have throwndown my gauntlet and challenged the arrogant bastard to a duel at dawn.  There would be pistols and horses and scandal and fainting and-

The 21st century I live in, however, is completely devoid of this kind of drama.

I sigh heavily and settle on the couch with a tub of Ben&Jerry's double chocolate chip.

The Snowflake Method


I want to write a story, I tell myself.

Days later, I'm still looking at a blank computer screen.

I have no idea where to start.

Characters: I'm so inhibited by this feeling that I'm making things up!  It's like I'm tentatively poking my artificial creation, "Hey.  You there... are you alive?"  I have little world experience, and that scares me.  It makes me unqualified to write about bank robbers or even the little old lady next door, because I have no idea what they are thinking.  The only brain I'm anywhere close to understanding is mine!  To create a real live human on paper is scary business.

Plot: The characters can come, possibly, if I knew what the hell the plot was.  I actually have no freaking clue.  I can't even come up with an example of a lame one.  All I know is that it definitely won't be a romance line, because I'm single on Valentine's Day :P  Besides, I'm not one of those people who have a dream guy either.  ("His hair is of spun gold and his features are to die for and he's exactly six foot and blahblah")  I doubt that I can write a thriller, because I just got started reading/watching that kind of stuff.  I guess what I've mainly known so far is family, comedic, and YA material.

I've actually written a short intro page to a premise I thought up, but plot is completely different from premise.  It's like, what are you going to make your characters do now?  And in fifty pages or so?

Maybe if I can come up with a simple dilemma.

Damn, "Meet the Parents" is one of those why didn't I think of that? things.


The snowflake method says to start with a 1 line sentence summarizing the story.  Stuck!!!

Short and Sweet

Ernest Hemingway:

For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never used.

a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

wah, that's so cool ;;____;;  i wish i could write great prose of any length!

Alright, there would be no point to this journal if I'm not actively writing, so here goes my attempt at a super-short story:
My story...Collapse )
It wasn't very fun -:[</div>

Mugging the Muse

I'm reading Holly Lisle's writing guide, Mugging the Muse, which you can download in pdf  [here].

On page 81, Exercise #1 in Dialogue is to envision a scenario of husband and wife running into each other.  One has something important to tell; the other has something important to hide.  She was supposed to be home all day; he wasn't supposed to be home at all.

This looks incredibly fun! :D  I never wrote my own dialogue before, and I'm scared to start.  But I sucked it up and opened WordPad.

The rules are to write for 10 minutes on nothing but what they say, but Exercise #2 is to go back and fill in all the details.  Here's my completed exercise:
Read my dialogue response...Collapse )

You can see Holly's own exercise results on page 84, but personally, I like my premise better ^^

Ok!  I've made the first step to writing!  Ikimasho!



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