Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I Write 2: Concerning Item in Coworker's Desk

Becoming aware of our skills and limitations as writers-to-be will have a great impact on what we presently work on.

Writing prompts are great warm-ups for writing. I’ve posted a few on Writer’s Digest under my pseudonym, Chilo, but I consider them drafts… and I’m sure they need more work. Though, some do end up being great stories. Each of them is a door opening to the endless void of possibilities, pulling us closer to face that which we aspire to be.
I can look back on these prompts now and see where I lack structure, where I need more description, where I need to ‘show rather than tell,’ where I need to remove a scene and add another one. I can do this now because the more I practice the craft of writing, the better I get at what I do (which is my goal).

Here is one of the prompts I submitted: 

Concerning Item in Coworker’s Desk

I always knew Danny was strange, but this beats everything the guys at work have to say. I mean, look at what I found in Danny's bottom drawer? It's not the kind of thing one should have in an office- very unprofessional. If it wasn't for the company moving office buildings, I would have never found this in his drawer and there aren't many people I would like to share this bit of information after hours. Those who are here are too busy packing desks and clearing desks. I am just concerned for Danny. Okay, okay, I got it. I'll call Julian over for some advice of what to do about it.

"Hey, Julian....uh... nice night?

"If you say so."

"Could you come over for a minute?"

"What's up?"

"I found this.... this..." and I pulled it out of the black bag. It's a good thing I still had my latex gloves on.

"Whoa! Put that away, man! What kind of place do you think we're running here?"

"That's just it. This belongs to Danny."

"That whacko sure has some nerve."

"Well, what do you want me to do about it?"

"About it? Nothing...pretend you ever saw it. As a matter of fact, forget you ever showed it to me. That freak Danny sure is something." He picked up the box by the side of the desk and walked away, shaking his head all the way to the elevator.

I guess Julian's right. There's not much to do with this, but get rid of it. I wonder if Danny uses it during office hours?

The following link takes you to the Writer’s Digest website in case you’re curious to the feedback I received. The only thing is that you’d have to scroll down until you find my pseudonym, Chilo.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Writing Endeavors 2: Keep your Head Up and you'll Survive

On a previous post, I mentioned I was writing a novel about the relationship between father and son. Through this experience, I have found myself writing other stories. Some will be for novels (I have two so far); some will be short stories; and others from writing exercises or miscellaneous purposes.

Writing has taught me about perseverance. You have to be willing to put in the time for writing. It’s like everything else you do. If you don’t put the effort, the job will not get done to your or anyone else’s satisfaction.

In order to keep track of all the different writing I do, I make a note of what needs to be completed first and what needs to be done before a certain date (or before I sink in quicksand). Sometimes, giving myself a deadline works. At other times, saying I’m going to write a sentence or a paragraph helps.

If I find I can’t finish a chapter or my goal, I don’t beat myself up about it. I look at what I have accomplished and see it as a mile closer to my goal. The important thing is to enjoy writing. Enjoying it will help you keep writing.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Short Stories & Such: Dreams

This is a recurring dream I had a long time ago…
I was driving in the middle of the night, in the pouring rain, and the chill radiated up my arms. The lack of cars on the road struck me as odd, unless you counted the faded lights ahead of me to be from headlights- there wasn’t a soul in sight.

I was driving very fast, but I didn’t lose control. Both my hands held tight to the steering wheel. Every maneuver coincided with every curve. Yet, I ran smack into the barrier that prevented cars from falling over the cliff. I released my hold of the wheel and blocked my face.

I didn’t feel any impact. I took a peek and noticed the endless rocks. My car drove forward, swooping deeper and deeper into darkness without an end in sight.
  • This reminded me of how dreams deal with our life’s struggles. This particular one occurred during my college years (maybe too many finals, ha ha). Dreams are also a good writing prompt to begin a short story. If I were to start one, I would have the character run away from something. Maybe she discovered the CEO of the company had been assassinated for crossing the wrong people OR she may be running away from something she did such as killing her drunken abusive husband.
  • Try it. Use your dream to jumpstart a story.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Books I’m Reading 1

One of the books I’m reading is Trapped by Michael Northrop. It’s a Young Adult novel about some teenagers stuck in their High School due to a major snow storm. This book caught my interest because of the way the main character portrays his world. It is also a good example of how to include internal drama during a dialogue scene.

The second book I’m reading is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. The author of this non-fiction book describes many tragic scenes he witnessed during the Holocaust. However, he came to a conclusive decision about life that guides his ‘Logotherapy’ theory. This book starts you thinking about life and the future.
The third book I’m reading is The Essential Superman Encyclopedia by Robert Greenberger and Martin Pasko. This is one book that will take the longest to complete because of its size. It has all the villains, allies, and friends that appear in the comic books. It also includes information on Superman in different dimensions.

The fourth book I’m reading is The Wind through the Keyhole by Stephen King. King has returned to the Dark Tower character of Roland the Gunslinger and included stories from his past. It is an inspiring read for my current writing project.