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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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The Dirty Work of Illumination

We take lighting for granted.

The sun goes down; we flip a switch. Instant illumination. Sure, sometimes the power goes off and we have to “rough it.” Candles or hurricane lamps for a few hours, a couple of days, sometimes longer if you live on the Gulf Coast and it’s hurricane season (there’s a reason they’re called hurricane lamps).

And while urban America was almost completely electrified (eek! that sounds painful) by 1929, it would be well into the mid-30s, and even the early 40s, before electric power found its way to the farms.

So poor Rose

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A is for…

One of the tools in a writer’s arsenal to develop a fictional character is the Character A-Z exercise, where, beginning with the letter A and working your way through to Z, you write from the character’s POV (point of view) about whatever topic comes to mind for the letter at hand. Because, there comes a time when research has to stop and you just have to get into the character’s head to see what makes them tick.

Rose and I are embarking on just such a journey. Care to come along? Continue reading