No Natural Facility


I’ve got the monitor turned on end. Can you tell?

Bickham describes writing structure in pairs. He begins with small cause and effect type pairings then accumulates layers till he begins talking about pairings hovering at the chapter level: scenes and sequels. Scenes have goals, conflict, more conflict, and outcomes. Sequels have emotions, thoughts, decisions, and actions. I’ve been trying to write the later these past few days.

I don’t seem to have any natural facility with sequels.

Not that I expected sequels would write easy. I just hadn’t realized how resistant I am to writing character thoughts and feelings on the page. I like to show evidence of those things in their guestures and minor actions. I feel like I’m good at that during scenes with conflict. When I need to write more in a character’s head, I find my flow staggers and stumbles. I’m looking for a way to get out of their head.

It feels too intimate, but I think I could get over that without much effort. The real trouble I see, is that I can’t form an argument with a charater’s emotions and thoughts that will lead to a decision with a pace that makes sense. In my barely credible amount of practice it’s been a struggle to write more than one sentence for each element of a sequel: Bob feels hatred. Bob thinks John is at fault. Bob decides to confront John. Bob grabs a gun and heads over to John’s place. I even have a hard time not using the key words in my writing.

This is the same conclusion I came to the first time I tried my hand at sequels a few months back—or a year ago. At that time I figured I needed to take a step further away from narrative writing and look into the classic techniques of argumentative essays. I didn’t do that then. I’m tempted to not do it now. Odd, huh?

Potentially foolish.

My thinking here is that I’ve only got a few days left on 1000 Days. My thinking here is that I’d like to keep my writing narrative. That I should save the argumentative essay thing for the next phase.

For those of your cringing. I’ll at least go google that to see what the general techniques are.

xxx words on day 991

Lifting Aluminum


Charming watched the lights of her river home recede while the flames spread through it. Another propane tank exploded lifting aluminum roof panels into the night sky. Flitting away from Song over the Benhá felt selfish. She would live when others would die, and that made her guilty. But Gane hadn’t given her any choice. He’d shaken her awake in her own bed and shoved clothes at her as told her she needed to come with him if she wanted to live.


She did want to live, but she hadn’t had time to understand the concussions Outward or the shuddering of the gangway beneath her feet as she ran to the Leaf. She hadn’t realized all of Song was under attack and not just her. Gane just pulled her behind him as they darted through empty passages lit by dim and sporadic fluorescent lamps. She could still feel his unwavering grip in her hand. She flexed her fingers and tried to rub out the memory of his certainty.

Charming decided no one would take choices from her again, then she turned away from the sight of her burning home and looked to the land. The cold river air disappeared as they crossed over the shore.

First photo courtesy of Carrie Kellenberger

Second photo courtesy of Xavi

xxx words on day 990

Simple Decisions

Been a while since I typed directly into my laptop. It never feels comfortable to my hands.

I’ve resigned myself to the seeming fact that this 1000 Day effort will be going out with more of a whimper than a roar. At least I keep getting back here, huh?

Rebecca pushed back from the flit pad railing. Tjon wouldn’t be coming back, and, except for the stars, the sky felt the same way she did: empty. She knew running wasn’t his choice, but the angry words they’d shared [at their last encounter] sapped her full confidence in that thought.

Uma was dead. Tjon was missing. And [the girl] had murdered [someone] and run deeper into the building. Rebecca checked the charge on her weapon; not much juice remaining. [The girl] needed to be stopped, so she holstered her [blaster, ugh] and pulled the barricade apart. She was going back in.

150 words on day 987