Image inspiration: This morning I continued my search for things that could be found on an abandoned property that make me say: What is that doing there? And what is it for?
How’s everyone’s writing going? I hope you’re enjoying your story and getting to know your characters no matter what your word count.
I made a lot of progress yesterday and had a lot of fun. I accidentally wandered into a bonus writing exercise: Have your MC wander through each room of a house s/he used to live in. Each room triggers a memory. What triggers it, a site, sound, or smell? Is the memory pleasant or unpleasant?
This is the perfect theme for my writing today. My MC has had a difficult first interview with the detective and now has agreed to walk the abandoned property with her. Neither character is sure if the other is an ally or enemy, but at the moment, they know they can’t trust each other and the stakes are high. So let’s see how the prompts work with this idea.
The last few days had felt like one endless march uphill in wet socks with blisters. He was exhausted. Everything ached. He was covered in cuts and scrapes and itched from nettles. He wanted to go home, but the worst was still ahead.
Today’s Simple Task
Something happens that is out of your MC’s control.
→ This is a given since everything is out of his control right now. He’s used to being in control. I’ll need to narrow this down to something very unexpected. And/or think of things he does to feel like he is in control.
Your MC is having a conversation, in person, with two people. One s/he considers an “ally” and one an “enemy”. Write the dialogue.
→ This is a tricky one. My MC doesn’t feel he has any allies where he is. He did mention that she seemed like two different people during his interrogation. Or the detective could bring someone with her and they’re doing a good cop/bad cop thing. Or there’s the stray dog on the property that he could see as an ally.
Word Of The Day
guisard: n. a person who wears a mask.
At first he believed a silent guisard stared at him from the corner, but it was a half-burnt mannequin. He recognized it now. Oren had brought it home from a going out of business sale and started dressing it up as the characters in his stories.
8 Action Verbs:
He said it aided him when imagining body language.
He chartered a sea plane, a lake plane really, to fly him over the lake. He had always wanted to see it from above.
She almost had him convinced he was guilty.
Someone had engineered an elaborate warning system, but what did it trigger and who did it alert?
The way the pages suddenly came to life made him think of the old movie The Illustrated Man.
She was always so measured. Did she have any life outside of her job?
He questioned her motivations. She did not appear to be listening anymore. Was she trying to find any other suspects, the real murderer?
He specialized in watching other people physically gather the clues and puzzle them together, so he could make the arrest and take the credit.
Awesome Sentence Challenge
Grab a book by an author you would be proud to be compared to; a book that you think has a similar tone to the writing you are working on. Open to a random page and start reading out loud. Write down your favorite words on the page. Does this author use a lot of sentence variety?
Emulate the sentence structures of one paragraph, using your own words.
For this exercise, instead of looking to the authors I already know well, I decided to check out three books off of my Thrillers to read list. I don’t know what happened to me, but I have not been reading novels like I usually do. I’ve been in pick-em-up and put-em-down mode for too long, but I’ll keep trying. I checked out:
- The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky
- Gone for Good by Harlan Coben (I didn’t get far last month)
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Today’s reading, following Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot: 33 Days To Finish Your Book by Arwen Lynch, is a little different. First, you pull three cards: one is the Test card, one is for allies, and one is for enemies. Then you place a card under each of those cards. The one under Test card is the most important thing your MC learns from the test throughout the story. The one under the Allies represents the most important ally in your MC’s world and the card under the enemies shows what motivates his enemies against him.
Test card: Ten of swords
MC learns from test: Three of coins
Allies: The Magician
Most important ally: The World
Enemies: Seven of cups
What motivates the enemies: Two of cups
My interpretation: My MC is facing ruin. That is not to say death and destruction exactly, but something that seems like a sudden event which has a history. It is the natural culmination of a series of events that will bring change. This ending clears the way for new possibilities. What he learns from this trial is how to let his talents show to the public.
His ally turns out to be The Magician. I had already associated the Magician with his brother, so this is an interesting turn. I’m thinking that his most important ally lies within his brother’s world and remembering the world they had together. His enemies are his choices and confusion. At the moment it’s not clear what is feasible and what is fantasy and everything is up in the air.
His enemies are his circumstances and insecurities. However, this enemies card can also show the beginning stages of a new project. I could also interpret this as the detective is his enemy because she doesn’t know what is feasible and what is fantasy.
The enemies’ motivation is harmony, peace, partnership and love, so that could be why the detective wants to solve the case, something to do with harmony and peace in her life or it could be my protagonist’s motivation to get over his internal enemies to find harmony and peace, perhaps to finally be able to create fulfilling relationships.
Since today’s Save The Cat beat is Fun & Games, I think I’ll do a Word Crawl. I found a really cute Bob Ross themed one on the NaNo site The Joy of Painting Crawl, so I’m going to get my words in while painting some imaginary puffy little clouds and happy little trees.
I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises.