So I’m reading Stephen King’s writing manual On Writing, which is actually pretty good. One thing he says is to monitor your adverbs, especially in dialogue. So instead of all the “he said meekly” and “she said menacingly”, or even worse (and I quote) ‘ “Never stop kissing me!” Shayna gasped.’, you’re supposed to let the atmosphere and the actions of the characters speak for themselves. It’s the show, don’t tell rule. Sounds like pretty sensible advice, but it’s harder to do that it sounds. All those adverbs tend to make writing easier…I hit backspace a lot, but it’s good for me to think about this stuff a little.
Further on in his book, he talks about what-ifs, that can jumpstart a story or book. He gives the reader an exercise: in a nutshell, there’s a couple, Dick and Jane. Jane’s been abused by Dick for a long time, and finally presses charges and divorces him. She and her child, Nell, are living on their own now. Then Jane hears a report that three prisoners have escaped, and somehow she knows Dick is one them. The worst thing is that she realized Dick is in the house, because she smelled his hair lotion out in the hallway.
That’s where King ends, and tells us, as readers, to write a narrative on that, only we have to change the sexes of the antagonist and protagonist. So Jane becomes the stalker and Dick the one stalked.
I was intrigued, it sounded right up my alley. So I did the exercise, and I posted it on my Fictionpress: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/2393722/1/ . Don’t mind the state of the rest of my FictionPress, I’m in the process of renovating.
It’s still a rough draft though, I haven’t really edited yet. I don’t even have a title. But I wanted to share it anyway. It’s kind of dark, don’t be shocked by the content or anything (I had to rate it M, because it contains “explicit adult themes”). I kind of got into a Stephen King mood…reviews are welcome, as always!
Not really much else to mention right now, writing has kept me pretty busy today, along with reading. I sat in the park today with the new Harry Potter to reread the ending, see if I understood everything. The sun was shining, it was quiet, and I had a sack of cherries on the bench next to me. It was an agreeable way to spend the afternoon.
Oh, and I managed to finish one of my essays this morning. I overslept, so I couldn’t make it to church in time, and I wanted to do something productive with my day. So I finished the one, and decided on a topic for the other. All in all, I’ve had a very good day.