In Sweden, where I lived for a year at 13, they have a sweet tradition for the Christmas tree. They weave little heart-shaped paper baskets and put them on the tree. Tomten comes and fills the baskets in the days between Santa Lucia and Christmas. This little bag seemed like a good little twist on that tradition. It’s thematic and has a much larger candy capacity.
#vss very short story
Charlotte loved the little chocolates she found every morning hidden in her bag on the tree. They tasted extra sweet and creamy like Santa had put his love and joy into every little pressed shape. But those chocolates became bitter-sweet when she realized they were the chocolates that had been in her advent calendar. She thought she was hoarding them to eat all at once on Christmas day. Santa must have found her stash.
Word Of The Day
Today’s word over at thesaurus.com was brachylogy which, at first glance, I was sure had to do with the lungs, but it doesn’t. It has to do with language, so here it is.
brachylogy: noun, plural bachylogies
brevity of diction; concise or abridged form of expression
Today’s Poetry Prompt and Poem
Today’s theme is arrivals and departures. Write about one or the other, or both.
Arrivals And Departures
In every hour’s breathing
Around the mortal world there are
Multitudes of arrivals and departures
Many welcomed openly
Some faced with dread
Others not noticed at all
In the first fiction class I took, we wrote the opening scene then wrote the end. Only after we had written the ending did we turn to the middle of the story.
Last night, my online writing partner told me she was writing the end before finishing the steps leading to it. I told her I had done the same.
Planning the ending when you start, even if you end up changing it, helps guide your writing through out the story.
With that in mind, it makes sense to focus on the ending early in the editing process as well. I thought about this yesterday while reading Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell. His first line of his chapter on endings is,
A weak ending can ruin an otherwise wonderful book.
There are three basic types of endings:
- A positive ending- The Main Character gets her objective
- An ambiguous ending- We don’t know if the Lead will get his desire
- A negative ending- The Main Character loses his objective
For today’s editing challenge create new endings. Brainstorm at least ten one-line ideas for alternate endings to your story. Pick the three you find most interesting. Write three different endings than the one you’ve already written. You can use the three different types or you can stick with the type you already wrote, but write three very different endings. Do you like one of the new endings better? Perhaps you can incorporate the old ending into a twist.
Don’t stress one thing more than another
Since I woke up feeling irritable–stupid hormone fluctuations–I think I’ll work on a story about an avenging Christmas spirit. I’m not sure how the oblique strategy will come into play. Perhaps the smallest bad deed is the same as the largest to Christmas spirit, and the reverse as well: the smallest good deed is as great as the largest. Or, maybe it means, because it’s a flash story to not dive into one aspect of the story more than the next but to stress each aspect equally.
Don’t Forget To Read!
Don’t forget to read Non-Fiction:
Today I’m going to finish up some books I started last month:
Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell
Crafting Dynamic Dialogue: The Complete Guide to Speaking, Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction (Creative Writing Essentials) from the Editors at Writer’s Digest
Mary K. Greer’s 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Maria K. Greer
Each of these books, though I did not finish them last month, was helpful in its own way during NaNoWriMo and I recommend them for your continued learning in your writing journey.