Writing Prompt Contest Winner: Maria L. Berg

One of my flash stories won a contest! Head over to wakingwriter.com to see everything else on Bernadeta’s great site. And like my story there as well 🙂

Waking Writer

Premise: A family moves into an old Victorian house in a sleepy town where everybody knows everybody. The house has been vacant for the last five years, and nobody knows why the previous family left so suddenly. 
Prompt: Write a 500-word story, but write it from the perspective of the house, not the family.

She drips coffee on the counter and the floor not noticing the stains to be as she floats, almost dances, on a sunbeam to the boxes gathered in the living room. The children quarrel upstairs, but she hums as she lifts belonging after belonging, contemplating its perfect abode, then finding its home.

The neighbor arrives with a gift basket and peeks inside saying, “You’ve done a great job with the space.” She doesn’t mean it. She doesn’t mention her friends, The Wilsons, who had lived in the house until that day, five years…

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Revision: The Plan and then What Really Happened

Heron in the reflection of Mt. Rainier

Reflection

Today’s revision was inspired by two things. One, last weekend at writers meet-up we were each challenged to come up with a goal to accomplish during the two weeks before our next meet-up. I announced to the group that I would have a re-write of my first chapter done. This felt like a reasonable goal as I had already presented the first page to my critique group. Two, I read a chapter in The Road to Somewhere (second edition) on reflection that inspired me to read through my first chapter and write a reflection piece.

The plan–To read through the first chapter of my novel and journal on some of these prompts:

Why did I want to write this piece in the first place? Where did it come from?

Has the original idea Changed? In what ways?

What problems have occurred in writing it? How have I resolved them? What problems remain?

What really happened–I forced myself to read through the whole chapter which was only nine pages but took a while because I couldn’t stop myself from making changes as I went. I became overwhelmed by the issues I had with it, but after some deep breathing went back and cut large chunks that didn’t move the story along and weren’t insight into the character’s motivations. I made sure to paste these chunks into a file of removed sections in case I want them later. Then I went back and rewrote page two and three of the chapter.

While rewriting, I wanted to revisit the idea of starting with chapter two, so I jumped ahead. I decided my original starting point is the correct place to start the story, but started editing the second chapter until my brain hurt. So, as with most of my writing, reflection and revision are non-linear processes. A goal of rewriting the first chapter before next meet-up may be more difficult than expected, but a good goal none the less.