Chapter One: Can I get fries with that?
The Police tape outside Emily Snoogin’s home held back the hoard of media. Flashing cameras blinded Detective Arthur Martian as he ducked under the plastic yellow barrier. Apparently some sicko decided to terrorize little Miss Emily. The CNN news ticker would later read:
‘Elderly woman tortured to the point of heart failure in her own home.’
Danny Machal April 26th, 2009
Well well well, Rusty Steel pulled through and won the competition. That gives me two victories in it now, the Samurai Gardener being the other. That means I got to pick the topic for this week and I selected the phrase, “falling bricks hurt.” The audio bit here has some announcements as well so take a listen.[audio:Falling Bricks Hurt.mp3]
Falling Bricks Hurt
Justin wandered about in the shadows watching the fascinating people. He smelled the breads and listened to the pop of corks for hours before finally settling on the perfect sunny patch of grass to feast. Justin the turtle munched on the greenery of the city he loved, Paris.
1,063 feet into the sky, Gaston Space Pierre ran back and forth on the observation platform of the Eiffel Tower, his parents not at all effective. A stray brick from a display for Gustave Eiffel found his palm. He tossed it over the rails.
Justin looked up just in time to catch the impromptu solar eclipse to the head.
Danny Machal April 24th, 2009
Read On –
“Billy lets go, he isn’t worth it.”
“The hell he ain’t Hank. A kid can’t walk home from school without being scared, that’s not right. I’m gunna teach him a lesson.”
“You should listen to your brother Billy, no sense in me kicking your ass again.”
“Jeremy that was three years ago, I’ve gotten a lot bigger since then. Besides, what you’re doin’ ain’t right. It ain’t right at all. So square up you pussy, lets go.”
Danny Machal April 11th, 2009
When it comes down to story structure there are two schools of thought: planning out the major plot points and filling in the blanks or, starting with a blank paper/screen and winging it. As a new writer I’m still trying to discover the only consistent advice (if you can call it that) I ever hear, “find what works for you.” I don’t think that finding what works for you is something that can be done blindly, life is just too complicated and time is too scarce. I have tried both methods, and right now I’m leaning toward the “just go for it” way of things. Mainly because I still haven’t truly discovered a subject matter that I can write about on a regular basis and not get bored with. On some bigger projects I have stuck with (novel) outlining has saved me from sitting in the windless sea of writer’s block.
There was an assignment in my writing class (now over) that involved outlining. I took advantage of it and outlined my novel. Just by sitting down and figuring out what happens next worked wonders. I didn’t have to write chapters only to scrap them later, just a couple sentences about each sequence of events. You can experiment with your stories very quickly this way, and in large projects that is what I will need to do. When I become a successful writer and have to work with a deadline, outlines are going to save me much wasted time in throwing out chunks of precious word count. I take a different approach to short fiction, you need to explore ideas to their fullest before they are tossed.
Just the other day I opened up my word processor and I waited, just staring at the screen. I imagine my brain like a scrolling marquee of ideas. After watching the ticker for a bit I just picked one and wrote it. I was able to expand off of this and got about a 1000 words during a lunch break. I like the story and I plan on keeping it fairly short (2000 words max I think). This method of “winging it” has worked but also failed. The Las Vegas story I scrapped last weekend was a wing it session. I explored some ideas to maturation and they just didn’t work.
So do you outline or do you wing it? That is your question to answer. I can only speak for myself. What works for me is outlining the big ones and winging the short ones. If you are not even pondering this sort of thing try what I am trying. If it doesn’t work then try something else. The simple fact that you trying anything at all sets you apart from all the other people out there who stop at the “want to” portion of their writing career.
Danny Machal April 10th, 2009
Danny Machal April 6th, 2009