March 7, 2024 Post

After a weeklong road trip that kept me away from my writing, I was like the classic dope fiend clamoring for my next fix. The solution: grabbing my beach chair and laptop and heading down the road a few miles to my favorite beach where I dove back into the storytelling. It was like the best of both worlds—a great trip visiting an awesome dad who continues to be a shining example of how to enjoy life to the fullest, capped off by returning home, my happy place for writing and following in the old man’s footsteps. It doesn’t get much better.

That said, let’s get into the story of the week. Tammy P. generously provided the prompt.

        Let He Who is Without Gin…

Dan entered the corner tavern as the convention next door ended and several ministers stepped inside for soft drinks.

He got the bartender’s attention and said, “WWJD.”

When Dan saw the visitor’s convention badges, he winked at the group. “As you guys know, He did turn water into wine, right?”

“Well,” one said. “Possibly.”

“And I’m not religious but didn’t he say, ‘Whoever believes in me shall never thirst,’” Dan asked.

“If you’re not religious, why, for heaven’s sake, would you say ‘WWJD’? Spiritually, you’re clearly lacking.”

Dan hoisted his cocktail. “WWJD—Water with Jack Daniels. What’d ya think I meant?”

Prompt: WWJD

Progress on the Questionable Characters front… Before I launch back into writing the second draft of my novel, as previously mentioned, I will craft a new outline. I haven’t actually started building that yet. Instead, I’ve taken an admittedly somewhat scattered approach as I move forward. I’ve started my search for a development editor who will look at my story globally and let me know what is and what isn’t working so far. I feel like getting high-level professional advice at this early stage might save me a lot of time later. If I have major structural issues, I want to know about them now—not after I spend a lot of time making the next draft look pretty even though it might be a train wreck. You know—the old putting lipstick on a pig thing.

I’m also addressing notes I made along the way. So far I’ve been mostly going after the low-hanging fruit—stuff like obvious blunders where a Toyota in chapter one becomes a Camaro in chapter 27 or a last name changes mid-stream. I’ve solved a couple of bigger problems as well in terms of story logic problems, and I’ve done some serious brainstorming that has resulted in solving puzzles that will get addressed in draft two. It’s all good stuff, but I really do need to get serious about the outline… or maybe I don’t. Maybe I just need to make all the obvious fixes I can and then get it to the editor. Hmmm, perhaps I do need to rethink this part. Stay tuned.

OK, I better sign off now. I really thought I knew exactly what I was going to do next, but while riding my exercise bike and writing this out for you, I may have come up with a new game plan. I know I always sign off with “thanks for listening,” but this time, I really mean it. I think you just gave me an aha moment.

Scotty out

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