Thank God for writing prompts

In the final throes of my two weeks off, I’ve gotten doodley done on Old Dogs, or anything else. Well, I take that back. I have managed to rewrite/tweak/enhance/fuck with a scene I had already written. It’s something, eh? Granted I was out of town for four days and enjoying my time in North Carolina, so what am I bitching about? Inertia, or the lack thereof. I’m not precisely stuck anymore, but I’m not moving ahead either. As usual, ideas for stories other than the one I’ve committed myself to concentrating on are assaulting me, teasing me with possibilities. Ahh… the possibilities.

So, on the LOL Lit Forum, Larn (bless her!) has posted a prompt. Maybe this will do the trick. Now, to stop rattling here and go rattle some words into The Story. It should be easy enough to find a scene with some tension, right? Or maybe I’ll let Rayne come out to play for a bit. She’s feeling lonely and neglected. 😉

North Carolina was gorgeous and inspirational. Valerie and Daniel have informed me that part of their honeymoon will be spent in a cabin on a mountain just like the one I stayed in. Valerie’s fear of heights will come into play, just as my own did, on those steep and winding roads. At heart, I’m truly a flatlander, no shame in admitting it, right?

And I’ve got to stop having these cool adventure dreams. The premise of my dream a couple of nights ago wasn’t anything spectacular.  Two women that are friends, two men that are friends, neither pair knows the other to begin with. But one of the women is abducted/disappears for whatever reason, and her friend enlists the help of/runs into these two guys/involves them somehow in her search for her friend. Turns out the friend was kidnapped, but as bait, to draw the second woman out so *she* can be taken, by some sort of dark cult/coven of baddies/insert name of your nefarious-type group here. So far, the men are serving mostly as transportation/moral support (there’s more slashes in this post than a Highlander erotic fanfic!). In the dream, I was in the role of the second woman and I remember being truly afraid for my friend. I found a couple of the women that were responsible for her abduction and got really angry, supremely pissed oof, as a matter of fact, and I/she punched one of them. The expression on the face of the ringleader was truly frightening and I remember thinking “Uh oh, I’m in trouble now.” Trouble is, I woke up before ever figuring out what to do. I was aware enough of my dreaming to know I was dreaming, therefore I wasn’t really scared, but still, it was very intense. Wish I could recall more details about the men; I guess that means whenever I get around to using this as book-fodder, I can make them whatever I want!

So, plenty of things to think about, still no progress being made. Tell me now, you’re tired of hearing me bitch about the same things over and over, aren’t you? It’s okay, you can tell me. I know I am.

Stuck…

baby-warthog-stuck-in-mud-10-12-08In answer to Larn‘s challenge on the LOL Literary Forum awhile back, I decided to concentrate on Old Dogs, hoping to finish a first draft-type thingy. My goal was 100,000 words by the end of September. Now, I know it’s still the beginning of September, but I seem to be hovering around 81,000 words. The more I write and read and edit, the more I keep culling little bits and pieces here and there, thereby reducing my word count. I keep getting ideas for Valerie and Daniel, but for the story that will follow Old Dogs, not the current one.

Why the hang-up on the word count? It’s something to obsess over, I suppose, and They (the writing resource websites I tend to haunt) say 85,000-100,000 words is a decent first novel length. Less than that might make a potential reader shy away, thinking they’re not getting enough bang for their buck, while longer makes publishers shy away, afraid that it won’t sell because it’s too long and won’t hold a reader’s attention.  Who knows if trying to adhere to that will help or hurt my ultimate chances of getting published.

In other concerns, NaNoWriMo is coing up and I have two ideas to choose from. One is an idea that has simmered for years, about a woman named Molly who runs a bar near a Florida military base. I have some material already simmering in my brain for this one. Alternately, there is the dream-inspired story that leapt into my head a few weeks ago. A young woman is driven by her dreams, literally, to figure out which world she belongs in, the waking world that has not been overly kind to her or the dream world, where a silver-tongued man named Will beckons to her. The latter has those shades of the supernatural that I’m always drawn to, but I’ve been enjoying writing Old Dogs, which has nothing more fantastical in it than two people falling in love.  It may come down to the flipping of a coin which one I concentrate on.

Tomorrow will bring the rewriting of the dreaded opening scene, which I am told (and rightly so) that it reads like a promotional brochure to Small Town Florida. I shall endeavour to correct that and make it a much more appealing first look into Valerie’s life.

I hope…