Archive for February, 2012

cauterized word count (blog post)

Maybe writing isn’t for me, I almost titled this “catheterized word count.” That is an image that I wasn’t intending to give you.
I am still working on my novel, and I thought it was going fairly well. Although, I am having issues with the main character, she seems to be lacking a true personality. My biggest problem though? The word count.
I have been writing the story long hand. Yes, weird in this age of technology, but for me it helps the ideas flow. Possibly because it moves slower, therefore I am able to create the scenes and characters as I move across the page, instead of getting to the end of typing a sentence and have no idea what’s to happen next. Obviously I am not an outliner.

image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu

I felt that I was far along in my so-called novel, so I began typing it out. Boy was I shocked when I came to 18,000 words when I thought I was at least 3/4 of the way to the end. The novel I am working on needs to contain 90,000 words. Yes, 90,000 words!!! Yikes!
I really am in a sort of freak-out stage. I only have a few more scenes and I feel that my WIP (work in progress) will have run its course. I am sorely disappointed. saddened. Grieving. Angry. Wishing it were different. I WANT to write a novel. I thought I could do it. Now I am left wondering, contemplating this piece as a whole, ruminating over what holes I haven’t filled.
Is there hope? How do I do it? I am constantly reading about the craft of writing. Probably a ratio of 10:1 (reading about it: actual time spent writing). Sure, I have seen mentions of outlines, character profiles, ideas to get the creativity flowing. But what about creating a sheer behemoth of a book? So many writers accomplish the task. But how? I thought my idea was big, but now I’m finding it’s infinitesimally small.
In addition, how can a woman not accomplish the feat of coming up with 90,000 words when she uses thousands of them each day?
If you wrote, or are writing a novel, was it easy for you to come up with the 90,000+ words it takes to create your work?

February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm 4 comments

Guests of Waverly (flash fiction)

This piece was inspired by Write on Edge.

The prompt was as follows:

Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation. (They then had a corresponding list.)
Take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.
Link up your response, which must contain the four story elements you chose, and come in at or under 500 words.
———-
Here is what I ended up with:
Character – a waitress
Time – during a thunderstorm
Setting – on a beach
Situation – someone has lost/found something
———-

photo courtesy of wikimedia.com

Guests of Waverly

Rain fell in sheets, blurring the beach that lay just yards away, and drenching the guests who remained despite the thunderous warnings the impending storm had brought.
Her yellow dress was visible through the deluge. She moved the sand, her hands sliding methodically back and forth.
Someone pushed me from behind, “Alice. Go help her.”
“But it’s…” I said, pointing to what had moments before been a dry, warm, inviting beach.
Mr. Stark implored me with his eyes, “What are you here for?”
“To serve the guests of Waverly with speed and sincerity.” I gave him my best attempt at a smile, and stepped out from under the sheltering portico.

The woman was drenched, water flowed off her long dark hair.
“Ma’am, can I help you with something?” My voice barely rose above the raging wind and rain.
The woman in the yellow dress looked up at me and glared. “Who are you?”
“Alice. I’m a waitress at Waverly.” I waved my hand in the direction of the restaurant.
The woman’s face contorted into a look of panic and sadness. “I’ve lost my ring.”
Although I wasn’t able to differentiate any tears from drops of rain running down the woman’s cheeks, her eyes were turning red. She swiped at her nose and sniffed. That’s when I noticed the man, who was also on his knees, frantically looking for something. He was wearing a tux, which seemed odd.
The woman sniffled and wailed, “He gave it to me only a few days ago. An engagement ring.” She cried, “Right honey? He could barely afford it. Saved… for months.”
The man looked to the woman, raised his thick eyebrows, and glancing at me, nodded. He immediately turned back to his search.
The woman in the yellow dress covered her face and continued with her breakdown.
Despite wearing crisp white capris, I fell onto the ground and began moving handfuls of the heavy white sand, looking for the ring. Most likely it was small, being that her fiancé had to save for so long to purchase it.
The woman had given up all efforts at searching, and was now sitting on a lounge chair under an expansive umbrella. Her fits of sorrow now abated, she was ringing the water from her hair.
I felt something sharp brush against my shin. Looking down, I was shocked by the excessively large diamond set on a band of smaller diamonds that lay in the sand.
Squealing with delight, the woman ran to me, her drenched yellow dress clinging to her thighs.
“Oh, thank God you found it.” She snatched it from my fingers, as if she were afraid I would slide it in my pocket.
“Henry! We must go. You were to drive me to meet my husband twenty minutes ago.” The woman in the yellow dress took off ahead of the man at a rapid pace.
“Yes Ma’am.”

————————

Okay, my husband thought the man in the story was her lover. Who do you think he is?

February 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm 2 comments

existence is futile without a goal

Wow, it’s been a long time. Like an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while. When you finally see each other things start off slow and then, hopefully, you are back to where you were before you parted ways.
At some point after starting my blog, I devised a plan to write three blog posts every week. After all, this is what the experts advise. Ahhh, the experts. Sometimes the experts advice isn’t the advice that’s right for you, or I. We all live very diverse lives, and what works for one may not work for the other. I found that as a writer, it was taking too much of my time to come up with blog ideas, write them, edit them, and also have adequate time for my family and other writing pursuits.
So, the logical step? I dropped my blog. I didn’t worry about it any longer. I suppose that’s obvious. In the beginning, part of the reason for creating a blog was to gain readership, so that in the future I could share my love of the written word. I realized that if I don’t have any words (big projects) to share, there is no point in having a readership.
I began to think more about what I wanted to do as a writer. I want to write, and if something is taking away the joy of doing so, is it worth it? Thankfully I didn’t have a large following that got dumped on their heads when I took a long hiatus. If that were so, I would have greatly damaged my name, and possibly my future career.
For today, I am back, and I have no idea how often I will post. It’s nice to be here, to write something short that shares a glimpse into my writing life. Because in the end, that’s what this is. A place to share what it’s like to be a writer, and an author, hopefully with some regular life thrown in.
‘Till we read together again…

February 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment


Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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