WIP Wednesday & Row80 Sep 4th

Labor Day weekend surely was helpful. Here’s the thing, when I go on “vacation” it’s typically not a vacation. I’m running myself ragged trying to cram in as much as I possibly can from the destination I’m visiting. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not physically restful. (And I’m not complaining, I’d take a vacation tomorrow if I could).

But there’s something wonderful about a long weekend where you’ve planned nothing and you do whatever you want all day long. I’d write, play old Tomb Raider games, watch movies, write again, go for a walk, play the guitarโ€”whatever. Those weekends are almost as good as vacations sometimes.

The Goals

1. Read at least 10 more Anton Chekhov short stories to add to my progress starting from 50 of 201. No new progress. 60 of 201. Read his stories here free!

2. Finish reading both The Fire in Fiction and On Writing. No new progress.

3. Submit Trick or Tree to another writing contest. Finish Dog Shy and write at least one other short story, all to be submitted to contests. No new progress.

4. Write a flash fiction story. 2 flash fiction stories written so far.

5. Do at least one thing every week that increases my fluency in Spanish and Japanese. I still listen to Spanish music on Pandora and this weekend I watched two movies in Japanese (though with subtitles, you still learn a lot). I’ve been thinking about enrolling in this Spanish-learning academy here locally. I need to call them and find out how muchย dinero they want. Not that I have time to take Spanish lessons necessarily, but *shrug* this is how I run my life. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I’m going to call that a check!

6. Finish feedback edits on SHADE and get it queried. Just finished last night! It’s been a lengthy process, but very worthwhile and I think I’ve gotten quite a few more steps to perfection. I intend to do a line edit of it so it’s as clean as possible, but this will be the month of querying. I’m also going to a little conference next week and meeting one on one with an agent. Hopefully September will prove to be a fruitful month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bonus Goals. I’m in the home stretch with what I have outlined with Clemmings although it seems like I’m going to have to brainstorm some ways to make it a little longer. As a novelette I’m not sure what to do with it. But I have some vague ideas, and at the very least plot points. It seems like if I have an idea of where I’m going the details come without too much stress.

WIPpet Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another excerpt. I have part of Chapter 4 ready, but I think I still want an excerpt from Chapter 3. So what’s today? 9-4-13? Let’s see, 9 pages in, 4 paragraphs and about 13 lines.

“Oh, I think you will. It’s about your dear friend Alice.” She gives me her million dollar smile, probably savoring this moment like I pretended to savor the crรจme brulee.

I fold my arms and scowl. Here it comes. “What did you do to her?”

“Me?” Mercedes widens her eyes in fake surprise, pointing to herself. “I’ve never touched the poor girl. I just thought since you’re her friend you might be concerned. She digs into her pink bag and pulls out a tablet. “I warn you,” she says, pressing the tablet against her chest. “It’s quite shocking.”

I only roll my eyes in response, but inside my heart is thumping. What did they do with Alice? She bumps her tablet against mine, transferring some photos. I prepare myself to be the appropriate amount of shock. I need Mercedes to be satisfied with my reaction. The first in the series appears on my screen. I stare down at the picture and my eyes widen all on their own. All I can do is stare.

Mercedes Everett is evil. Truly evil!

I’d expected a prank. Perhaps buzzing her hair off, an egging, an embarrassing fall, maybe some early awkward childhood photosโ€”but this….

What are your predictions of what Mercedes did to Aliceโ€”I mean, of course what she “didn’t” do to Alice? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mercedes is a lot of fun to write. I can’t wait to get to know her a little better perhaps in the “after my outline” part of the story. I love a good villainess. ๐Ÿ™‚

Who is your favorite villain, whether from books or movies or both? What do you like most about a villain or what makes them a good villain in your mind? Did you ever know someone like Mercedes in your life? And how’s your Row80 coming along?

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35 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday & Row80 Sep 4th

    • Fair warning, he can be a little dull at times because the stories are very old, but you will notice you’ve picked up short story structure if you read enough of them. And even if I was a little bored sometimes, it’s odd, because I still remember a lot of those stories. Must mean he creates brilliant visuals (which he does). But Chekhov is EXTREMELY worthwhile to read. And if you can read 201 for free, all the better!

  1. Your little excerpt is intriguing! I’m also starting to wonder if I need to make a list of the things I’ve accomplished. I tend to focus on what I haven’t gotten done, but that isn’t always psychologically helpful.

    • It’s been better for me to see what I am accomplishing, even if I don’t quite make it on everything. Seems like you can hinge a lot on “at least I’m doing this” and feel better about life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. A good antagonist, especially a colorful one, can be the most fun to write.
    My favorite character in my main WIP is a witch who is also the main character’s godmother. She is mostly trustworthy, but my charactres still have to be careful around her.

  3. Neat WipWeds and check-in for ROW80. I really liked how you tied the excerpt to your questions. First, you remind me I CAN do a WIPPet today! Second, I have big problems in figuring out those antagonists. I can write about obstacles. Those are easy, but confronting the bogeyman? Less able to go there. I don’t like evil. Nor violence. Hmmm. Something to work on. Thanks!

    • You can not like what your antagonists do, but still love that they’re good at being them. Honestly, you write antagonists a lot like you would good guys. It’s just a villain will say “ends justify the means” to accomplish their goals and will do evil to accomplish it. If you hate them too, you’re probably writing them well.

  4. I love good baddies. And they’re so fun to write because they allow me to explore my dark side. Sometimes, however, I end up liking them too much and when it comes time that they must meet their well-deserved deserts, I choke.

    I know what you mean about vacations. Even long weekends for me turn into workfests because I have nothing planned. *sigh* Hello. I’m Kathi. I’m a workaholic. But sometimes, the work is really fun!

  5. Oh no! What happened to Alice? Does Mercedes get her cumupins?

    I like go-go-go vacations as long as there’s a little chill time most evenings and I don’t have to get up early for anything. So… maybe go-go-go from about 11 until 9? I have to agree, though, those days when you have NOTHING planned are awesome. Provided they only happen once a week or so. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Well, thanks to you, I finished the 10th Chekhov short last night, Jae. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m enjoying them. He paints very vivid images with few words.

    As for the Mercedes… Hmm! How naughty do I have to think here? I mean, I have written BDSM fiction before, have known several people in the community…. and I could probably think of things you didn’t intend. Since this “sounds” like a school setting, I’m at least picturing something that would mock Alice’s weight and her messy eating habits, but likely goes far nastier than that.

    • You’re probably on the right track with what Mercedes did. And I’m glad you’re reading Chekhov and enjoying. He’s amazing! And soooo helpful if you ever want to write a short story or flash fiction. I think he’s helped tighten up my novel-length stories too.

      • Hmm, I’m not surprised actually… Something about the name Mercedes makes me think domination games. Unfair association to have, I’m sure, but…

        I’ve heard a lot of people who’ve found reading short stories to help their prose. Poetry is supposed to be good that way too. ๐Ÿ˜€

        • I think poetry tends to be more personal. As in “personal for the author”… That makes it harder for it to attract large audiences (except in song, I suspect, given our history of oral tradition). I can deal with poetry, almost always feel like I “should” do poetry… and almost never touch the stuff. How about you?

        • I’ve done it occasionally. Not often. I feel like if you want to be really good at something, you’ve got to spend a lot of time with it. I like poetry, but I prefer novel-writing, so all my time goes there. I’m sure you have the same problem of limited time, so every hobby I would like to try doesn’t always get the attention I’d like to get it. Priorities…

  7. Done in my best Brad Pitt in Seven voice… What’s on the tablet!?

    I really do want to know. I tend to lean to very bad stuff that it can’t be.

    Lots of good juju/wishes/thoughts/monkeys/your preference here on that querying!!!

  8. Thanks for the link to the stories – I will definitely check them out! You have been quite busy during your ‘relaxing’ long weekend. Good for you! 3 days seem so long at first, but they go by sooo quickly! I’m glad you were able to squeeze so much in.

  9. My favorite antagonists are broken people…it’s my theory that the unkind and manipulative things we do come from the unkind and manipulative things that have been done to us.

    Many people end up wounded, and wound others in their turn…

    I wonder what’s eating Mercedes….more than I wonder what’s on the tablet. For that,the intent is enough – so I feel that, whatever it is, the intent is to humiliate, and to grab at power she doesn’t feel she can get on her own merits…

    She doesn’t know, maybe, that there are other ways, else she doesn’t care, perhaps…

    My sister, as a high school senior, once wrote a humiliating description of the way I eat, and read it aloud in front of her Creative Writing class. I was a year behind her in a very small school.

    I’m 44 now, and I still remember the shame of it. I felt like everyone knew.

    I want to hug Alice and encourage Mercedes to consider interpersonal and intrapersonal skills counseling….

    Yup, she’s my kind of villian…..

    • These are good thoughts. I haven’t gone super deep with Mercedes as yet. I’m still in experimental story stage. But I should figure out what makes her tick. Some ideas come to mind as to why she’s so cruel, but I need to flesh them out better so she’s not a flat villain. No flat villains. Thanks for the thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Argh, clicked reply before I was done. Wanted to add, sorry about your sis’s creative writing project. Big sisters can be mean sometimes. I think we feel like the lil sis gets away with every and anything so we have to put them in their place. *sigh* But then we have big regrets about what we did too. Live and learn I suppose.

      • Jae,

        I have come to know that the writing was part of a larger pattern. It did inspire me to change some things for the better, and help me learn that there are people with intimate knowledge of me who would exploit that for their own benefit, which has sharpened my instincts in that regard.

        The lesson was well worth the price. =)

    • Why thank you! I tried to delay it as long as possible in the story for effect. It’s a delicate balance, figuring out how long of a delay is too long or too short. Ah, writing… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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