Friday Fictioneers – Sirens 3

This is rather late but I could not leave taking part this week. I would like to whole heartedly say thank you to Madison Woods for starting this group. I only started blogging in January, with the intention of developing my creative writing skills. Not only has this community helped me keep on track of writing something each week, but it has been wonderful sharing this with like-minded people who share a passion for flash fiction. This weekly exercise and subsequent feedback has been invaluable. So once again, thank you for making it happen. And thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for taking this on and keeping this weekly creative mission alive.

I have decided to make this part three of my Sirens stories, started here in the Friday Fictioneers community.

If you fancy reading the other two, here they are

Sirens 1

Sirens 2

Sirens

Sarah dunked the plain biscuit into her bitter coffee and allowed the bottom half go soggy. She had arrived at the bus depot before sun rise, hungry and thirsty. The only other person in the cafe was man wearing a faded tag spelling out ‘Malcolm’. He served her coffee and swept the floors.

For days Jenny had been wandering from one town to another, chasing the ghost of Jenny Blake and the truth she took to her grave.

“Jefferson. 1863.” Jenny said before the answer machine clicked off, running out of tape.

Tony ‘the bus guy’ had helped decode the message, eventually leading her to the Sheridan bus depot. Sarah didn’t know who would be getting off at that stop, but whoever it was; they had a message and would be looking for her.  Sarah could all but hope that this time, she wouldn’t have to run.

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Friday Fictioneers – Disorienteering

Here is my latest Friday Fictioneers installment thanks to Madison Woods and Jan Morrill for supplying the picture.

As usual I am not sure on what I’ve produced, but a little pressed on time roday and I know I won’t get to spend time perfecting it tomorrow. So here it is, in a raw state.

If you want to take part in Friday Fictioneers then head over here

Disorienteering

The man gave each of us a map and a deadline of two o’clock sharp.  It was now one fifteen. I had misplaced my team an hour before and was completely lost. The blue sky and heavy sun teased my useless sense of direction and cast shadows against the white city walls. I looked down at the map littered with lines, discovering little correlation between where I was standing and where I needed to be.

My mouth felt parched and my head throbbed. I popped the tiny foil circle on top the carton of cranberry juice and cursed as the red liquid shot out of the straw and on to my light yellow top. Using the map to blot away the stain, all hope of completing the mission was lost.  I screwed up the ruined piece of paper and shoved it into my bag. The work’s annual team building exercise, yet another resounding failure.

The Novella Blues

I need to vent my frustrations, I am suffering from the novella blues. I have been writing a novella for a little under a month, in the hope that it will be all finished and edited by the end of November or early December at the latest. However I am completely losing confidence in it at the moment.

The story started off as a piece of flash fiction, which then developed into a short story. From there on it grew and now I’m pushing around 6,000-7,000 words. Correct me if I’m wrong but for a novella I know it generally has to be 20,000 minimum and to meet my deadline I have to push on and get all the words down in the next couple of weeks.

As I have imposed a deadline on myself, unlike when I took part in JuNoWriMo, I need to make sure all the plot holes are covered and that the first draft is not completely shoddy. Each evening when I sit down the words don’t sit right. Everything seems tedious and I am unsure on the pace. At times I don’t think I am even scratching the surfaces of the character’s depth. The dialogue is extremely sparse, but then I sometimes wonder whether we try to conform our writing to what you think it should be, rather than what comes naturally when writing the story.

It feels like a completely new challenge and very daunting. I am feeling very tested at the moment in regards to my faith in my story and my stamina to keep on going. Each time I read back on certain parts, it feels like I’m wading through sticky mud. My biggest problem at the moment is making the transition from sub plot to plot. The story takes place over a long time period which is probably where I went wrong. It is looking back on the protagonist’s life over the past seven years and how she came to wanting to run out on her fiancé on their wedding day.  I have got the structure for the story, the key events, when things should unfold. But changing it from a 3,000 word story to a 20,000 word novella is in fact very hard.

I am going to set myself a timetable, and write at least 500 words each night between now and end of October, I should hit my word count target. In all honesty, 500 words a day doesn’t seem too bad. I’m starting to feel better already.

Have you ever written a novella and are the challenges you face completely different to those you face whilst writing a novel? How do you beat the writing blues?

I have never re-blogged before, but this story just really hit a nerve. It was written as part of Friday Fictioneers and just goes to show how a picture can evoke so many thoughts and memories. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

ironwoodwind

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

100 words for Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers inspired by Sandra Crook’s fine photo. Aloha, D.

..

We pass between the lacquered columns of the spirit gate and I ask Grandfather what the verdigris symbols mean.

“The pen of the tongue should be dipped in the ink of the heart.”

The answer changes with the seasons, even after I learn to read. When I enter college he tells me:

“A person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

And on my wedding day:

There is no economy in going to bed early to save candles when the result is twins.

 

I light joss sticks on Grandfather’s grave and wipe away my tears as I hear him say:

All of life is a waking dream, all of death is a going home.

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