The Fun of the Fair – Friday Fictioneers

Hello Everybody, It’s been a while 🙂

Here’s my contribution to Friday Fictioneers, I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you to Ted Strutz for the image today. And also thank you to the lovely Rochelle for running the challenge. If you’d like to have a go, pop onto her page and take a look at the prompt. Write your story in 100 words or less and post it up. Good Luck!

 

The Fun of the Fair

‘What if one of them throws up?’ Ray laughed and we both took a step back.

‘Do we have to go on that?’ I grimaced. The people above had now become a continuous blur of colour.

‘Come on, where’s your sense of adventure?’

‘It’s still on the waltzers with its head between its knees,’ I replied. ‘There’s some nice pedalo’s over there.’ I pointed to a lake in the centre of the park.

Ray turned to look just in time. Vomit cascaded down and hit the floor hard, splashing onto his shoes.

He looked up at me and grinned. ‘Pedalo?’

100 Words

 

Why perspectives are like shoes.

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes/trainers/clogs?

They are the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen (maybe not the clogs). You tried them on in the shop and gloried at how they looked.

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‘Wooden Shoes’ by Bill Longshaw, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

You get them home, get on your matching dress/jeans/lederhosen. Place them on your feet only to find that they are more uncomfortable than David Cameron reading E.L. James.

So, either you do as I do. Go without shoes and claim you gave them to a homeless person on the way – this can also win you brownie points for your selflessness.

Or you minimise the time you move and when you do, try not to look like a raptor wearing heels.

Writing persectives can be the same kind of thing thing. It seemed like a good idea at the beginning, but now you’re half way through the story, somethings happening and you’re feeling uncomfortable.

The above example is a little obvious. But what if you have many characters all in the same place? How do you know which perspective to write in?

Like the shoes, you’re only going to know when you’ve worn them around the house and crushed the backs in a bit. (Shoe lovers gasp in horror!).

So if you’re not sure, try them on.

Here’s an example of a story of my own. It has four characters. Three of which are in every scene. So I’ve wrote a version from each of those character’s point’s of view.

The eldest sister – Christine;

‘Is it dead?’ Meri stared up at me with teary eyes.

I nodded, poking its fat bloated body under the thorny bush that bordered the garden. She buried her face in my trousers.

I huffed, loud enough for her to hear. ‘God, don’t be such a baby, Meri.’

She clung to me tighter and I felt the pang of guilt settle in like an unwelcome guest. Bending down, I peeled her from my leg and brushed her hair from her face.

‘It didn’t feel any pain,’ I said.

‘How can you be sure?’ Her brow furrowed as she looked down at the wretched creature.

‘Because the exterminator said so, that’s why,’ I said.

The next one is from the Mother;

I watched from the kitchen as Christine poked at the thing with a stick. Meri looked up at her, lip trembling, as if her heart would break.

Christine had never been a compassionate or loving child. Even from an early age. She spent her time fishing carp out of the pond or catching mice to tease the cats. A perfect partner for her father to go hunting with.

Not like Meri.

Meri was, softer, innocent. She didn’t have that cast-iron shell her older sister had developed so well.

Christine shoved the creature under the hedge with a sharp jab. Then she bent down and took Meri’s face in her hands. She couldn’t hear what was said, but as the two headed towards the house, Meri was smiling again.

Obviously this is completely useless as a perspective, far too far away from the action and doesn’t take the story in the direction I want it to go.

Then finally, the perspective that I chose. The little sister, Meri’s, perspective;

‘Is it dead?’ I clung to my sister’s leg as she poked its fat bloated body.

‘Yes,’ she replied. The toad rolled over. She gave it another sharp prod pushing it underneath the thorny hedge that edged our garden.  I buried my face in her trousers.

‘Don’t be a baby Meri.’ Christine’s eyebrows knitted together and I turned away.  She gave a heavy sigh and bent down, her dark brown hair brushing the ground.

‘It didn’t feel any pain,’ she whispered.

‘How can you be sure?’ I frowned and looked back to the poor innocent creature, lying discarded like a broken toy.

‘Because the exterminator said so, that’s why.’ She brushed my fringe out of my eyes and tucked it behind my ear.

With this perspective I can be close to the action, but not to close, therefore still keeping the tension as the story unfolds.

This choice was pretty clear for me from the beginning, but not every story is the same.

If you’re having trouble with a story and you don’t know who to choose, take the story and write a beginning from the perspective of each character. When you do, the choice will become clear.

Good luck with your stories, and if anyone tries this, (or the clogs), I would love to hear your results.Maybe it opens up a perspective you didn’t think of before.

Until next time, happy writing!

Please note: Lederhosen are not traditionally worn with clogs. It’s just that clogs sounded funnier than Bavarian footwear 🙂

I don’t like Coffee!!!

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Well, actually I don’t mind it every now and then. But a good cup of tea is the way to go, for me.

You have to make it right though, ‘as it comes’ is definitely not an option!

I like mine milky, but not anaemic, dark enough to tell its tea but if you’ve hit the colour of David Dickinson’s tan, you’ve gone too far.

It’s been a while since I wrote an update…mostly because I spent the summer working on the same sentence. (Don’t worry, it will be a kick arse sentence when its done!).

The kids are back at school. I now only have ‘the wakey one’ home in the day, whom I’ve decided to rename ‘the bitey one’ after a number of incidents leaving me resembling Jasper from the Twilight books.

So I’m ready and raring to go.

I’ve begun clearing out old notes for my novel. It’s taken on so many changes over the years, I’ve literally got pages and pages of stuff that’s no longer relevant. I’ve also just changed from Writeway Pro to Scrivener so I want to get everything organised before I begin transferring.

I’m in the process of converting a sci-fi short story into a radio play. I think the format will serve the idea well and will get it across better.

I’m doing the ‘Writing 101’ course with Blogging University. They give you prompts each day to get you writing. I’m two weeks in, incredibly behind, but enjoying every minute of it.

Whenever I do anything like this I’m always taken aback by the sheer amount of talent on here. So many great writers, phenomenal sites and wonderful posts that either lift you up or make you think…or make me hungry and dream of cake.

And finally, I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. I’m both excited and scared about this. As many of you know, I’m not the best when it comes to focus. So I thought I’d change it up this year and try something different…lets be honest, it can’t get any worse, I’ve already been working on my book for the past six/seven years.

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to.

So, how are you?

Buried Treasure

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Image courtesy of Pong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Find yourself in a creative slump? Stuck for ideas?

I’m reluctant to use the term ‘writers block’. But every writer gets stumped from time to time. The white of the paper gleams, taunting you. That inner voice sneers. ‘You’ll never think of a good idea again’.

This time, skip the crying and eating all the biscuits in the house. Try something inspired by The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fuelling their creativity. Full of helpful assignments and exercises. One of which is very helpful when it comes to ‘writer’s block’.

You write stream-of-consciousness for about fifteen minutes every morning. It can be absolutely anything. If nothing comes to mind, just write ‘I can’t think of anything to say,’ over and over until something comes to you. Eventually it will.

I recently stumbled on one of my notebooks from 2011 and decided to have a read.

Apart from being quite cathartic, looking back at all my worries and stresses of the time, coming from a position now where I know everything worked out was a lovely feeling in itself. But I was also reading ideas that I’d totally forgotten about. This inspired me to write something now.

Keeping any kind of journal is, in my opinion, essential for any writer. There is a wealth of material desperate to make it onto the page. You just have to be present.

So, if you do happen to find yourself experiencing any kind of block, write stream-of-consciousness for a week, even better, for a month. Resist the urge to go back and read them at this stage. You want a pure outpouring of ideas, worries, strains, anything and everything.

Leave them for at least a week – the longer the better. Then start looking back over your work. Is there anything that jumps out at you or inspires you? You’ll be surprised what hidden treasures are hiding in your own words.

How do you do it?

With pen and paper?

Straight to screen?

With a sparkler…or perhaps an Enigma machine for the extremely paranoid?

Each writer has their own preferred method of working.

Stephen King writes longhand onto yellow legal pads. J K Rowling writes longhand then transfers it to screen – editing as she goes. George R. R. Martin writes straight to computer using an old DOS machine.

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When you first start out, the writing process can be a little daunting. So I thought I’d talk about how I do it and hopefully some of you will weigh in on the comments later about your favourite ways too 🙂

I write with a good ol’ pen and paper. A biro suits me best, although I’m partial to the Parker fountain pen when I want to pretend I’m a really real writer.

I used to work straight onto the computer, but my children have been fitted with an alarm system that only they can hear. So if I go near a computer, open a book, or try to stuff a chocolate bar in my mouth before they make it to the kitchen, THEY KNOW.

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I also feel I’m a little less creative using a computer. It’s great for editing. I can sit there, nose pressed up to the screen with a slightly desperate expression, and most people know to keep a safe distance.

But when I’m in the first stages of a story or script I prefer the pen and paper. It feels more natural to me and I’m likely to think more about what I’m writing as it takes me longer to write than it does to type.

I write in fifteen minute bursts. It roughly adds up to about an hour and a half per day. I set the timer on my phone and I get as much down as I can. When the time is up. I put down my pen and do something else.

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I think writing this way keeps it fresh. I come up with all sorts of ideas I would never have thought of if I was doing one long stint. Plus if I can’t think of anything, I’m only staring at the page for fifteen minutes…This drastically reduces the time I sit crying, leaving more time to console myself with cake.

So that’s how I do it. How do you? Would love to know your thoughts, especially if you do it with a sparkler.

In the meantime, Happy Writing 🙂

SHE – Friday Fictioneers

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. If you fancy having a go, check out the prompt and write a story approximately 100 words long and post.

If you want to see more of the stories for this weeks pic, follow the blue frog. Good luck 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

SHE

Clawing at the darkness, branches reached upward like outstretched fingers, grasping, wanting.

She watched.

Rustling disturbed a nearby bush. A flash of red fur disappeared into the undergrowth, desperate not to be seen.

She waited.

A warm breeze rippled her nightdress, passing shadows across the silk. The scent of coconut oil from her skin drifted on the night air.

She remembered.

The heat from his breath. The pressure as his hands closed around her throat. She tried to pull him away.

She struggled.

Her voice faltered as she tried to call out. No-one would hear her out here.

She drifted.

100 words. 

The Shelf – Friday Fictioneers

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, and this week we have a great photo prompt from Rochelle.

If you fancy having a go, take a look at the prompt, come up with a story approx 100 words in length and post it up.

I hope you enjoy mine, thanks for reading 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan.

The Shelf

‘You understand the conditions?’ He handed her the bottle. His knuckles jutting out like knots on a tree.

Julie nodded ‘He’ll get his in return?’

‘I’m a man of my word,’ he hissed.

Julie took a deep breath and recited the incantation.

‘Take my dreams, what lies ahead,

take my hopes for his instead.’

Gold mist filled the bottle and a heavy weight settled in the pit of her stomach.

The man placed it on a shelf alongside hundreds of others – all glowing with their own ethereal substance.

He handed her a green one and smiled. ‘I hope he’s worth it.’

101 words

Out of the Shadows – Friday Fictioneers

It’s that time again folks! Friday Fictioneers is here, hosted by the lovely Rochelle. All you need is the photo prompt and 100 words of your very own 🙂

This weeks was a great one, thanks to Sandra Crook.

I hope you enjoy my contribution 🙂

Out of the Shadows

Heat rose from the sun-baked cobbles. It was nearly noon and I retreated under the arches.

An old man panted past me. His bicycle wheezed as the wheel squeaked, every fifth of the way round. Sweat covered his skin as if he’d been dipped in oil.

I didn’t want him. Too old – too gamey.

Then I saw them.

Lovers, on their way to the Museum of Arts, I expect. I stepped out from my hiding place exposing my white hot incisors.

They gasped.

‘You didn’t believe we only came out at night did you?’  I smiled. ‘Silly children.’

98 words 


 

Selkie – Friday Fictioneers

It’s that time again, and here is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers. If you’d like to take part please see Rochelle’s page and she’ll show you what to do 🙂

Thanks for today’s photo prompt from Douglas M. MacIlroy I love this picture!

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Selkie

The animal rose upward. Pointed teeth glistened in the late afternoon sun.

Tilly gasped and reached out.

‘Careful,’ said the old woman. ‘If you touch one, you’ll never be the same.’

Tilly frowned. ‘It’s only a statue.’

The woman smiled. ‘Legend says they’re the guardians of the water.’ She pointed to Loch Lomond, shining sapphire in the distance. ‘They swim during the night, returning to human form during the day.’

‘It’s just a story,’ said Tilly. She touched its metal head.  

The woman got back to her feet and patted Tilly on the shoulder.

‘Yes it is,’ she said.

100 Words

Friday Fictioneers – Liberty

Howdy!

Apologies for the long absence. I’ve been battling through various family illnesses, bedroom clear-outs and general inertia (wipes drool from face).

But I’m back and hopefully will be for some time. (Although cannot rule out potential alien abduction, but don’t worry I have my tin foil hat on).

So here is my latest contribution to Friday Fictioneers photo prompt, provided by the lovely Rochelle (please see page here if you want to have a go). I hope you like it 🙂

Thank you to Santoshwriter for the pic.

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LIBERTY

The plant was so innocent looking with its slender green leaves and deep purple flowers. Who could’ve guessed it was so potent, so deadly?

Sinnai’s pale hands, stained from the juice, lifted the bowl up to her lips.

She drank.

Sweet liquid flowed down her throat and she shivered. Soon they would know. Soon they’d be sorry. But by then it would be too late.

Pain ripped through her body. She fell to the ground, the scent of damp moss and violets fading.

When she woke, a pair of tiny wings lay on the earth behind her.

She was free.

100 wrds