Thoughts On My Writing Process

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my writing process lately. If asked I normally would say that I’m a dedicated pantser, but that’s not accurate. I’ve actually been fighting against my natural rhythms, which is how I end up with a trillion unfinished projects. Okay, maybe not quite that many, but it feels like it!

I’m a natural plotter. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll be able to tell you how much I plot and plan. Hint: it’s a whole lot! But when it comes to my writing, fiction in particular, I tend to just jump in without any sort of real idea how I’m going to get from word one to word fifty-eighty thousand. This ends usually in massive amounts of frustration. At first I thought that I was doing myself a disservice by shooting for such a high word count in the first place, locking myself into a form without thought to the actual story I’m telling. There is some truth there, especially with a rough draft.

The thoughts ended up going deeper than that; however, it’s not just the form holding me back. Thinking back towards how I handled papers in school, I realized a very key thing for me. While I can pants a rough draft, they tend to be very short. I joked that my science major was getting in the way of my English major…in high school. I would write the paper, and usually end up falling way short of the needed word count or pages. Concise writing isn’t highly regarded in high school apparently. I would have a fully developed paper on my hands that hit everything the teacher wanted, and then I would have to fluff it up to the desired page or word count, usually with random information that I sought out from other sources that even slightly linked to the current topic. While concise writing is great for articles and technical writing, it’s not so great for fiction work, especially if you want to write a novel.

So I’m not going to fight against that anymore. My rough drafts will be just that, rough. They may only be five hundred to ten thousand words or more, but it’s enough to get all the ideas out of my head and into some sort of structure. There is some plotting going on before my rough drafts are even started now, but my first draft is going to be where all the real plotting happens. That’s when the real fun part will start, especially with the much clearer idea I have from actually writing a rough draft. All in all I think this will make me a much more productive writer, as well as bring back a lot of the fun!

Photo Credit: sxc.hu user nh313066

Behind The Scenes Flash Fiction Contest Entry

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The Dark Fairy has done it again! Another flash contest, and like a sucker I got sucked in. So here be my entry! Only a little under the wire. 😉

Maura couldn’t believe it, she was getting sold again. First her own mother had sold her to the gypsies when she was just a child, now she was being sold to the circus. Her mother she couldn’t entirely blame, her step-father was actually at fault. He couldn’t bear to raise another man’s child, and as he was a powerful earl, he would have more than likely killed her. Her mother hadn’t wanted to lose her, but better Maura live than be cruelly murdered, never to be seen again. The Earl was a cruel, cold man.

The gypsies had raised her as one of their own until she reached maturity. Then, instead of becoming the spouse of a male as was tradition, she was turned into their little whore, their pleasure slave. And it wasn’t just the gypsy men who used her so, but they would sell her body without her consent to whoever had the most money. They considered it payback for the years that they fed and clothed her, plus it took the heat off the rest of the gypsy women. Unless the gypsy women found a man desirable, they no longer had to take bedmates when Maura was available. Not all of Maura’s bedmates were kind, but she learned to please them all eventually. It was please or die.

Now she was being sold to the circus. The ringleader had seen her in the encampment dancing with the other women and wanted her. Not for the usual transaction, but for his circus as a performer. He was going to train her in trapeze as well as other feats of daring. He bought her for a small mountain of gold, the gypsies were not going to let her out easily. Maura almost wished they hadn’t, for the ringleader extracted every sliver out of her flesh in some of the most perverse ways. He called the shots, and she was the whipping post.



Visual Dare 25 – Forgotten

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The privates lined up on the deserted field, each waiting their turn for explosives training. The field was perfect for many military training sessions, as it was littered with broken down houses, cars and other items that made for a tricky battlefield. The tall grass gave cover when needed, although the squad had to check themselves for ticks at the end of the day. The military had bought up this land from the surrounding farmers, as well as old equipment, all in the name of better training. The farmers were happy with the extra income, and the military, the land.