I woke up to a beautiful site. When I ran out with my camera, the neighbor’s cat ran in, but as I took pictures I heard him coming to join me. I love that he follows me around outside. Photography can be about planning and technique, but it can also be all about lucky timing. I had trouble sleeping, so I got up instead of trying to get more sleep. When I got up, I saw the beautiful colors and reflections on the water.
So today as my MC crosses the threshold and pushes himself to do the thing he absolutely does not want to do, I want to think about his timing. What will he accidentally stumble upon that is beautiful? What serendipity will occur? What does he barely avoid? What does he run smack into?
Day 8 (2017) Crossing The Threshold
When I first saw today’s theme I thought, but I wrote that yesterday, he got to town and checked into his hotel room, but then I thought, actually he was still avoiding really crossing the threshold. For my MC crossing the threshold means stepping on the property. He needs to see the place he ran from. He needs to see what happened to his childhood home over the last twelve years. So today’s work is about him actually driving to the property, getting out of the car and facing what he finds there.
His knees wobbled and almost gave under the crush of unabashed reality. The flagrant passage of time assaulted his senses. The shameless violation of nature’s reclamation had exceeded his own ability to erase this place.
Today’s Simple Task
Have your MC observe something from a different perspective physically (from above, from below, through a filter) and/or emotionally.
I really like this exercise. I forget to put these from above or from below perspectives in my writing. I might be climbing things and crawling about for my exercise today. Ooh, I just had an idea. Kirk starts filming and uses different filters to change what he’s seeing and thus avoid his feelings.
Set your timer for 10 minutes. Write in first person from your MC’s perspective in your MC’s voice. Your character has been grossly betrayed by a close friend or family member.
This is a great exercise for today’s scenes because my MC is going back to his family home for the first time in twelve years. This exercise was influenced by the perspective exercise and my MC remembered his childhood tree fort that he played in with his younger bother, their secret place where they could get away from their parents.
Another Useful Exercise
While I was journaling and working through today’s exercises, my MC made a discovery about the timeline of the abandoned property and I realized I’m going to need to chart my timeline. I’ve done this with previous drafts and it really helps. I like to make a big poster for the wall in my office that I can put post it notes on as things come up.
What you’ll need:
- I use a big piece of butcher paper because I have it. Other big paper or a dry-erase board will also work.
- post-it notes
- push-pins or wall sticky stuff
- Decide how many lines you need : There are a few ways to do this. If you have more than one POV character, you may want to draw a line for each. Or if you have a story that takes place in the past and the present, you might want a timeline for each. For my current story, I’m just going to use a thick pen and draw a straight line the length of the center of my paper.
- Decide how much time your story encompasses from beginning to end: For this story my timeline represents twelve and a half years.
- Decide how you want to segment your timeline: One might think my timeline would easily be segmented into years, but the majority of my story takes place over a few weeks in the present, so my timeline will be broken into significant events.
- Keep your timeline flexible: because we are drafting, other than the line itself, I am not going to write anything else on the butcher paper except maybe the Title, list of characters, a color key, or other things that aren’t going to change, everything else goes on post-its that I can stick to the timeline and move around as the draft grows.
- Have fun with it!!
Word Of The Day
sanguine: adj. cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident 2. reddish; ruddy (complexion)
Kirk applied one color filter after another until everything had a sanguine glow. It helped for a moment, but then looked sickly and jaundiced. He turned the camera off.
8 Action Verbs:
Kirk adjusted the radio until he found a local news station.
What caused them to leave the place abandoned?
A murder of crows convened on the roof of the mobile home as if debating whether or not to tell him the secret.
His visit to the family home effected the transition he had feared. He didn’t feel like himself anymore. He worried he would lash out at the next person he encountered and now he needed to go talk to the detective.
Nothing helped: not deep breaths; not jumping up and down; not finding the rainbow around him. He was screwed.
His body betrayed him. He managed to look even more nervous and guilty than he felt.
He had always protected him. How had he turned his back so easily when he needed him the most?
She simplified everything into yes or no answers. It wasn’t like that. He couldn’t do that.
Awesome Sentence Challenge
Free Play with Phrases:
In separate lists, collect some noun phrases,some adjective phrases, some verb phrases and some adverb phrases. From each list, pick a phrase and put them together to make a sentence.
I had a ton of fun with this exercise in 2017. I still have the printed out sheet of the phrases I collected. I thought this would be a great way to get me into one of the many ebooks I have on my kindle. I figured I would skim over the first chapters of books finding these phrases and one would get me interested. That didn’t work. I’m going to leave this exercise for another time and get to writing.
Crossing the Threshold Card card: Nine of swords
What MC risks losing by crossing the threshold: Nine of coins
Most compelling reason to cross the threshold: The Magician
My interpretation: When I saw the nine of swords I said, “Uh Oh” out loud. But then I thought that really does represent how my MC feels about this moment. He risks losing the secure, enduring and satisfying lifestyle he has created for himself as far away from there as possible. However, he feels that he finally has all the tools and skills he needs to finally face his past. In my mind The Magician may also symbolize Oren. Maybe, deep down he hopes he’ll find his brother and be able to help him.
I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises. Have a great weekend writing!!
These posts are a lot and I still have the planner pages and Gator McBumpypants to get to, so I may not post again until Monday. See you then.