Saturday, August 23, 2008

Struggling, and Friday Snippet, August 22, 2008

Hmmm. Hit a road block on How to Think Sideways. I'm having trouble with my protagonist--figuring out what she wants, how she works--and I'm having this sinking feeling this may be my problem area. Or maybe it's a good thing that I've pinpointed the problem--thing is, I'm not sure how to fix it yet.

Brief Friday snippet. First draft only--please don't quote or repost elsewhere.

In the days when the world was new and djinn still called the deserts their homes, there arose a warrior so pure, so true that even the Emperor, whose life the warrior would have given his own to protect, grew jealous.

"Gaji will become Emperor in my place," the Emperor said in his heart. "I will destroy him."

So the Emperor confiscated Gaji's lands and worldly goods, and sent him to a far land to subdue the infidels with only what he could carry.

Gaji, pure and true and lacking any deceit in his heart, thanked the Emperor for his attention, promised to always honor the Empire in word and deed, and made the far land his new home.

Soon, so well had Gaji performed his duty to the Empire, that stories of his bravery and exploits reached the Emperor's ear.

Friday, August 15, 2008

To Cluster, Or Not to Cluster...Friday Snippet, August 15, 2008

One of the things we're doing in Holly's How to Think Sideways class is clustering. I've never been a big clustering fan---but since the whole class hinges on it, I started thinking about it.

In a way, clustering is like free writing. You don't censor what you put down, you just put it down. I've done sets of free writing before and have no difficulty, so really, what the heck is my problem with clustering? Is it the graphical nature of it? Does it seem more rather than less restrictive to me? Maybe. In any case, I've set aside my discontent with it, and did the exercise on the six questions. More later on how it worked to generate story ideas.

A tiny snippet of what I'm working on lately: First draft, please do not quote or post elsewhere

The first thing Mia remembered her father telling her was that her mother abandoned her.

This meant nothing to Mia. Never knowing a mother, she did not miss having one. When the village children pitied and shunned her, she became aware of a lack of maternal presence in her life, and wondered about her mother—who she was, why she’d abandoned her daughter.

At her seventh birthday, with no cake and no presents, Mia asked her father about her mother.

Her father flew into a rage, stomping around the room and throwing things.

“Don’t ask me about her! Don’t ask me about her!” he shouted, and shoved his face close to hers, hair standing on end where he’d clutched it. “A fickle creature, heart as insubstantial as a feather!” he raged. “But I was more clever than she! I never told her my name.”

“What do you mean, Father?” Mia asked.

But her father shut his mouth tight and left the house in a hurry. When he returned, he wouldn’t respond to any of her questions. Mia eventually stopped asking.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Deep Into It -- Friday, August 8, 2008

Look at all those eights up there! Would have been more, but I kept to my date format. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Emerson *sigh*

I'm deep into Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways class. As such, I've been writing material for the class. I have to say I'm liking it so far. The course is just as much about philosophy as it is about writing.

And, since it's Friday, here's a really brief snippet for you:

Anita Chavez knew the gunslinger rode to town long before he arrived. The peculiar smell of death assailed her nostrils, as it always did when she encountered those who lived by violence. And yet, a tangy odor she couldn’t identify mingled with the scent of death. Most reeked of carrion and old blood, but the gunslinger presented a different mix.