February 29, 2024 Post

Going all the way back to last week, you may remember that I relayed a nightmare I had about discovering that one of my 101-word stories had been mysteriously scrambled to the point where the story was unrecognizable. The incident caused me to wonder about other occupational nightmares, so I asked you to tell me about yours. You didn’t. Well… one person did but that was it. I’m not sure what to make of that. Either I’m the outlier (no news flash there), and it turns out that my theory about certain professions having occupational hazards is wrong, or maybe people just don’t want to talk about their work nightmares (or maybe they don’t remember them). In any event, let’s move on to the Story of the Week, shall we? Prompt supplied by Helga Meyer, Jr.

       It Wasn’t What He Said…

I walked in and spotted Johnny at the bar—alone.

“What’d you do this time?” I asked.

“How’d you know?”

“You’re by yourself. Tell me how you pissed Stacy off.”

“She crashed her skateboard and took eight stitches to the tongue.”

“That still doesn’t explain why you’re here flying solo.”

“She’s in a bad mood for some reason. I just asked why she’s pithed off at me and if she wanth a Thlurpee from Theven Eleven. I even let her ride my thcooter.”

“You sound like the perfect boyfriend.”

“I know, right? So why’s she treating me like I’m the ath-hole?”

Prompt: Pithy

Novel update: Last week’s adventure consisted of outlining my first draft of Questionable Characters. Just to be clear, what I did was write an outline that summarizes the beats of my completed first draft. I know—it sounds weird, right? Who writes an outline after they’ve written the book? Apparently I do, but there is absolutely a method to the madness. I’m using a great rewrite book called “Refuse to be done,” by Matt Bell. In it, he suggests making an outline of your first draft (after you’ve completed the draft) which you will use to help you plan the next draft. It wasn’t hard to convince me to do this since I had come up with the same idea before reading the book. With almost four hundred pages in Draft One (and a 23-page outline of it) I knew I’d need a way to quickly locate scenes, and the outline will definitely help. The next step will be to create another outline based on improvements I plan to make in the next version. Once I have it looking like I want, I’ll hit the page again and start writing v2. The adventure continues!

As always, thanks for listening.

Scotty out

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