I went through a stage where I was very excited about making hard-covers for my paperback books. I must have made this one around this time of year because it definitely isn’t reflective of the book it covered, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The covers fell off of the books and I got rid of most of them. This one, however, has stayed with me in my box of craft supplies because I love the cover image, so I put some ribbon on the spine and hung it on the tree.
#vss very short story
Heidi ran downstairs in her nightdress. Her nose wrinkled reflexively, irritated by a smokey-rotten-cherry smell. She followed the smell out into the snow. She was shocked to see Santa with a ski pole, trudging to the next house. She tugged on the sleeve of his robe.
“Ho.Ho. You caught me,” said Santa. “Do you like your present, Heidi?”
“Santa,” she said, “you shouldn’t smoke. It’s rude to stink up people’s houses with your pipe tobacco.”
Today’s Poetry Prompt and Poem
I think the prompt from Day 21 of last month’s Poem of the Day Chapbook Challenge is appropriate for today:
It’s time for our third Two-for-Tuesday prompt. If you’re new to these challenges, you can pick either one prompt or the other. Or decide to do both. Your choice.
For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:
- Write a construction poem. Construction paper, construction hats, and so on.
- Write a deconstruction poem. Opposite of construction poem.
Remember, the deadline for submitting your Chapbook manuscript in January
15th. There’s still time.
Give It The Axe
snacks relax slacks
sax backs ax
stacks packs climax
earwax syntax cracks
wax max galax parallax
Word Of The Day
I hadn’t planned to continue the word of the day this month, but I love words and I just read the word lambent. I had to look it up and it’s wonderful, so:
- running or moving lightly over a surface: lambent tongues of flame.
- dealing lightly and gracefully with a subject; brilliantly playful: lambent wit.
- softly bright or radiant: a lambent light.
So we’ve read through our draft and what do we do first? Grab an axe and kill our darlings. I wish I had done this with my first novel; it would have saved me a lot of time.
The first step in our editing process, after reading the draft, is removing everything that isn’t essential to the story. Make a new file for saving everything you’re about to cut and let’s get to work.
The first question to ask is, does the story start in the right place?
Many authors find that their story really gets going in the second chapter. Can you delete the first chapter? Perhaps put the most important part of Chapter One in as a flashback, memory or dialogue?
Next, is there a subplot, or secondary/tertiary character that doesn’t add to the main plot?
In one of my novels, I have a secondary character who a friend of mine likes so much, he wants to include him in his novel, like a cross-over. However, if I don’t tie him into the main plot better, he’ll be getting the axe.
Where did the story lag?
Where were the parts of your story that, if you weren’t the author, you would have put the book down? Get rid of them. Off they go to the chopped folder.
After you’ve found chapters to chop, take that axe, or sledge hammer or excavator if you prefer, to any scenes, dialogue or other large chunks of text that are not essential. Enjoy your demolition! Soon comes the remodel.
I own copies of Elf and Gremlins, so for today’s flash fiction challenge, I’m going to take the first line and a line or event from the middle of each film to come up with my story idea. I’ll most likely add an axe to stay with today’s theme. This should be fun!
Don’t Forget To Read!
Poetry! Poetry is important reading for all writers. Are you reading from a poetry site, or do you have some poetry books you’re reading right now? Who is your favorite poet and why?
In The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne, he mentioned Chilean author Roberto Bolaño as an example of a literary author a publisher would be searching for. I haven’t read any of his work. I’m looking forward to diving into The Unknown University, one of his books of poetry.
I also look forward to reading his novel The Savage Detectives: A Novel when I have finished the stack next to the bed.