I think I made an unstated goal to complete some writing and to submit it this year. If I didn’t I should have. Since there isn’t enough time left in the year for me to accomplish this now—I’m being realistic—I suppose I’ll adopt it as an official 2011 goal.
The lameness of submitting a single piece in an entire year strikes me as skimpy. I expect it strikes you this way as well, so let’s call it three submissions in 2011. Tentatively one every four months. I’ve not given thought to the scope of these three things, so, for now, I’ll commit to three somethings. Maybe a short story. Maybe a magazine article. Maybe an electronic short on Kindle or Nook—whatever their new publishing gimmick is.
135 words on day 611
Over the weekend—or Friday—I came up with a new exercise. An exercise intended to work writing muscles I hope I have but haven’t explored deeply. So far, these exercises have been sentence level. This is a good level for me to be sure, but I think I need to consider broader skills. Obviously I don’t have the time to write tens of novels to finally arrive at a publishable one. I don’t even seem to have the time to write short stories. What if I condensed the effort to just writing plot outlines? I could use the standard screenplay three (or four) act structure to hit plot points then be done with the day.
Frighteningly this exercise lit upon me in the form of an indelible phrase: 100 plots in 100 days. Also, I thought, that might be a great way to kick off the new year. The third phrase that came to mind,”What the fuck?”, dogged the first two across the daisy-covered hills of my brain. Possibly I could amend this to 100 plot points in 100 days?
188 words on day 590
Benhá loiters in my thoughts. That story paces back and forth in a single small antechamber of creation. I need to get the door to the next room open soon. For now I’ll leave it to wear out the carpet on it’s own. I’ve got something else in store for today—something new.
I came across and educational, training, and coaching technique in conversation over the weekend. Like the karate kid you repeat succinct actions. Once you’ve iterated those actions sufficiently you move on to other core skills—repeating those until exhausted as well. Or alternatley building on the initial actions. If you trained at piano you might start with two notes over and over then move on to another pair of notes or add a third to the first pair.
My version of this—if I can find a quick resource—will be to practice one of the appropriate uses of commas: seperating two independant clauses joined with a conjunction.
The car careered off the road, and Lonnie was thrown across the backseat into the armrest.
- Charming slipped the touris under a stack of shirts so they didn’t blow away, but Jun-kata didn’t pick them up.
- Brother Gane dropped his flit to the scant pad atop [the leaf] as he had less than twenty years before, but touching down didn’t make him feel better to be back.
- Independant clause, conjunction to another independant clause.
- I would usually write this as two sentences, but I could write this as one.
- The music played, but no one danced.
- She smoothed the raised words on her thigh with her thumb, but they wouldn’t receed.
- This wasn’t as many entires as I’d hoped I’d have today, but I can always write more tomorrow.
302 words on day 537