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The next 100 words

You might remember from last week that I’m participating in a month-long writing exercise building a short story [1], one-hundred words at a time.

Last week, we tackled the introduction: a hundred words to acquaint the reader with the characters, setting, and develop a story question or inciting incident. This week, we move on to what is often considered Act One in the Three Act Writing Structure [2] where we address the Rising Action [3]. Prompt words to weave in, to add to the challenge [4], are: common, infinite, captive, flaming, constant, movement

So, without further delay… the next 100 words! (Ahh… maybe I should include the first 100 words? They’ll be in italics.)

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Serial Novels

Before television… before radio… many people got their fiction fix via serial novels. [1]

This is especially true for Rose in the late 1920s and early 1930s. While radios were getting their start, it wasn’t until the mid-30s that nearly every household could afford one. And since books were expensive and libraries few and far between, newspapers filled the void by publishing serial stories that readers looked forward to each week. [2]

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Give me rhubarb…

I have a thing about rhubarb pie.

It’s deep-seeded, to be sure, since I haven’t had a bite of that particular pastry since I was a child. My paternal grandmother made them. She died when I was ten. [1]

So when the LitForum‘s Writer’s Exercise [2] for March was to “write a scene in which the emphasis is on the consumption of food. Make use of the senses of taste and smell. Complement those senses by also drawing on sight, feel and mood. The MC [3] in this scene has stopped whatever he/she has been doing before and is pausing for a moment,” I knew immediately mine would be about rhubarb pie. 

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Author Intrusion

As a writer, one always questions if a character is being true to their own nature or whether the author is projecting his or her own moral belief system or code of action upon them.

To be clear, you don’t want the latter. That’s called Author Intrusion. 1

Sometimes, however, it seems impossible to keep the author’s world from encroaching on their writing. And when it happens to me, I try to mitigate its effects by relegating it to the world of research.

This week’s topic of research has been healthcare.2

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Writers’ Games

Sometimes, when words are hard to find, my writing group plays a little game. We spin for prompts, which are just words or phrases that have been plucked from various sources and added to a numbered list, and then see what we can write that includes one or all of the prompts.

Occasionally, the resulting scene is actually relevant to the work-in-progress; other times it just serves to open the floodgates and remind you that you can still write.

Regardless of outcome, the games are always fun. And writing is supposed to be that, isn’t it!

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And then what happened?

Some writers are blessed with the innate knowledge of where their story is going. Others just write and let the story take them where it will.

In the writing world, there are two main camps of fiction writers. Plotters and Pantsters1. The former has the story mainly plotted out, either on paper or some lucky few have all that incredible knowledge in their heads. Pantsters, however, don’t bow to the conventions of linear time. They just write whatever story bit is in their head at the moment and sometime later, by invoking some weird kind of magic, move the scenes around to create a story, i.e. they write “by the seat of their pants.”

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