Archive for June 2nd, 2015

June 2, 2015

The power of cutting words

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Last week a fellow author showed us a writing exercise he recently participated in. As preparation for an upcoming workshop, he condensed the entire opening chapter of his work-in-progress to 150 words.

The chapter was already powerful. The 150-word version was dynamite.

I’m going to try it. Here on the blog. Because I can, and because I love the idea of practicing where I can get good feedback.

While I finish the rewrite of my own current work-in-progress, I’m creating space under my ‘bits of my writing’ page for these exercises.  The exercises will show up as posts first and then as links on that page.

Just for fun, they’ll be moments in the life of Lily, the heroine from my first two books. I don’t know if the exercises will make much sense, or if they’ll ever grow into anything more than exercises. To be honest, I don’t expect them to.

I do, however, plan on having a lot of fun. 🙂

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June 2, 2015

MISSING: A 150-word exercise with Lily and Orval

Orval’s grandmother isn’t here.

Sunset looms. Red reflects in a long dagger, pinning a note to her empty clothes—pinning her clothes to the bed—pinning our hopes to emptiness.

Silence.

The crimson sky deepens, flushing across the abandoned city.

Orval breathes with white-knuckled fists, teeth grinding, every muscle tightened.

“Did you do this?” he asks.

Dismay rocks me. I stumble, reaching for his hand. He jerks away.

My heart weeps blood for the loss of Orval’s trust. “My love—”

He yanks the dagger out of the bed. The red-tinted note flutters into my fingers.

Orval’s voice pounds me like an avalanche. He waves the blade under my nose. “Read it.”

I am a trembling leaf, dead already, waiting for snowfall to bury me in the cold ground. My quivering voice rushes.

“Come north. They have returned.”

My sweetheart blinks and sways.  “North,” he whispers, “Where death lives.”

 

 

 

 

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