Monday, 28 April 2014

Your spelling is crap

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag 
writeworld in your block!
“Your spelling is crap,” she swore at Henry.
He rolled his eyes. “As if it matters; it’s magic.”
“Of course it matters. You cannot read a spell if it is written incorrectly!”
“Evelyn, I get so tired of your shit.”
“And I of yours, Henry. You need to know the difference between your shit and you’re shit.”
He didn’t understand. “What?”
“Weather and whether or wether. Do you want a storm, a problem or a ram with its balls cut off?”
“Are you speaking English?”
She just rolled her eyes. “Give me that damn spell.”
She lunged across the table to try and grab it, but he yanked it out of her grasp. And then when she went to chase him around the huge wooden table in the study room, he ran ahead of her.
He started to recite the badly spelt spell as he did it.
“No!” she shouted at him.
He kept going, laughing as he went.
She gave up chasing him as he triumphantly finished with the final invocation.
There was a pregnant silence and then a purple cloud coalesced with a whump noise.
For a second she was terrified that he had made weather, but then a confused looking ram appeared; right in the centre of the table. It bleated and they both looked at each other.
“Whoa. You were right.”
“I often am, you know.”
Maybe it was annoyed about having its balls removed but the ram saw Henry,  lowered it’s head and charged at him. “EEEK! Make it stop.”
Evelyn leapt up onto the table when the ram leapt off it and watched Henry do some more running around the room.
She laughed so hard her sides hurt.
They still ached when they both got hauled onto the carpet in front of the school principal.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

1.5 million words

Today I posted the final chapter in ‘Offerings’ my Jake/Bella fanfiction story. It has just passed five hundred reviews and most people seem to like it. It is not a huge epic, like some of my more recent stories, but pulls in just under thirty thousand words. For some people that would be two chapters, for me that is a story.
It is here at fanfiction, here at fictionpad and here at Ao3.
But one thing that shorter story does, is push me through another milestone.

I posted my first story at fanfiction in June 2010 and since then I have posted (as the pic says) 1,504,830 words.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Visual triggers - it's all in there somewhere!

I do a lot of my writing by hand. It sounds odd in an age of keyboards, laptops and vocal recognition software, but I find that dampening the speed of my thoughts down to the speed of my hand works for me. Especially if I am having trouble writing. It also allows me to be away from the Net.
But… I fill a lot of notebooks with scrawl. And I am thrifty or cheap… yep, cheap.
So I need a notebook with a solid cover and lots of lined pages. It cannot be too large or too small and it cannot be too expensive. I used to buy hardcover Chinese notebooks bound in red and black but I cannot find them in the right size any more.
On a trip to Officeworks (Staples in the US?) to get school supplies, I found some Composition books. 200 pages, 9 3/4x 7 1/2 inches. The cover is not hardbound but it is cardboard so I can write with it leaning on my knees. And as a bonus, they fit in my handbag.
They even come in different colours so that I can use a colour for each fic type.
I bought a dozen of them!

But… I got the oddest feeling from them. I tried to explain it to kid 1 one day - I said I got a serial killer vibe from the books and I didn’t know why.
Fast forward months later. I love movies and I insist that my kids watch what I consider to be classic movies. Kid 1 is old enough for R ratings now and he and I settled down to watch American Psycho and Se7en.
And there were my composition books! Black mottled covers and all. Each killer filled them with tightly written scrawl. In Se7en he had hundreds of them.
And there was my serial killer link.
I could not remember it, but my mind had clearly made a connection, tucked it away in the back of my head and I had forgotten about it. It was a visual trigger.
It’s the same thing in writing - sometimes people dislike a character for a reason that they can’t express. Maybe they always wear a blue hoodie and the guy that bullied them in school always wore a blue hoodie? Maybe a redhead broke their heart?
So each person has a different reaction to the same thing.
Se7en also explains the startled yelp noise that I make when I see one of those Christmas tree car deodorisers. Problem is, kid 3 does it now, and she doesn’t know why.