These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.
Okay…totally see the flaw in starting three paragraphs with action…redundant? Need to mix up?
Went through looking at commas you removed and I see why. I am beginning to think I do this because it is the way I talk in person. Very animated and I take a breath for emphasis (smile) but realize I didn’t change subject….correct?
The changed words are much cleaner (simpler) ….right?
On passed versus past…I looked up on google and I used passed as a verb when sped was my verb? And therefore, since it wasn’t my verb, should have used past? I am trying to say this in a way I’ll remember. Kind of like versus vs verses which I misspelled recently.
And yes…saw that I used increased his speed twice. Trying to teach myself to s l o w down when I proof read.
btw Gerald....Loooooved your gun toting Granny!
And Dana...also loved the need to get to BINGO! Made me lol...I love Bingo too!
Dana, your two characters were fun to eavesdrop on, and the Bingo and metal detector details were a nice touch. Their dialog sounded authentic.
Just a note: All-dialog pieces can be wearying for the reader. You did a good job of helping us keep track of who's who by having them address each other by name a few times; nevertheless, if you're going to write anything much longer than this, I recommend a few bits of narrative here and there, or some dialog tags.
But as far as 'fresh and creative' goes--absolutely!
AnneRene--you found them--all those -ing words beginning sentences. You want to vary your sentence structures more than that.
And you're also correct about 'passed' and 'past'--the first one is a verb, the second an adverb.
Saw it-thanks. So, you are saying that it is better to not use sounds for phone ringing?
HW1: Today--like yesterday--she wore her everyday dress. Tomorrow--like every day--she will wear her everyday dress again.
HW2: I try to follow advice I read online: I dump my first choice, and try to get to a third choice. When brewing writing ideas, my first choice is usually a cliche, and will be a first choice for many other writers. As my thoughts continue to cook, I come up with a second choice, which will be better, and more interesting. My third choice will be the winner: creative, unique, and fresh.
Barb--it's totally my opinion, but...yes.
WriterFearNot--excellent! I said something very similar in an earlier lesson--brainstorm everything you can think of about a topic--then throw that list away. Your creative idea will be on the second or third list.
Thanks, Jan….Can tell this took a lot of preparation.
Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
I hate to slip out of my everyday shoes and cram my feet into pumps for the wedding.
I glanced at my dashboard, 5:40 on the digital clock. Hope I don’t get stuck in traffic. Doors were opening at six for the 50% off sale at Sears. This chance came only once a year. Store-wide savings would allow me to set up housekeeping in a new apartment, and still stay within my budget. The rumbling of my stomach reminded me I should have made a quick run to the drive-thru for a sausage biscuit.
The orange glow of the sunrise made it difficult to look straight ahead. I squinted and lowered my visor. Something caught my eye. Just ahead, off to my right I got a glimpse of a large object catching the reflection of the sun. What was that? Looked like gold! My attention returned to the winding road ahead. Should I turn around? I looked in my rear view mirror. It was the golden arches!
(Do I hear moaning?)
With God All things are Possible!
I sure wasn't expecting Micky D's--but now you've gone and made me hungry.
Something to consider--a trip to Sears with a side trip to McDonalds may not be everyone's idea of a fascinating story. I know we're supposed to "write what we know...", but this might be just a tad mundane.
I know if you'd been given some more words, we'd have seen the narrator do or say or encounter something REALLY fascinating, so I'll take the blame for this one.
The sausage biscuit and the squinting were really fine sensory details.
"Creative and fresh" is an area I need to work on. I'm submitting homework for #3 - but with a slant. I actually have a story in general submissions and free reprints where your story starter is the plot.
I edited a scene from "A Million Little Reasons" from 199 to 146 words, and changed a line to show that the couple was expected somewhere. Is it "creative and fresh?"
Daphne bolted upright. “STOP!”
“What? You sick?” Zach checked the rearview before braking.
“Stop the car! I saw…” Suddenly she didn’t trust what she thought she saw. A green car, its side peeking out of a patch of weeds.
Plus, if they were late for Sunday dinner, Mother Sawyer wouldn’t let her forget it.
“What? What did you see, babe?” Concern crept into Zach’s voice.
Mayhem, bloodied bodies, death. “I think someone might be in the ditch back there.”
As Zach reversed up the narrow shoulder, Daphne craned her head around, desperate, yet terrified, to see if she was right. Children in the backseat, probably not buckled in; bones jutting from soft, pink skin.
She began to tremble, and her breaths became wheezes. Tears formed in her eyes, and she felt Zach’s hand fall gently on her thigh.
He whispered, “Take it easy, hon. Deep breaths.”
(To find out what was in the ditch (and read the unedited, more amateurish, version) click on my profile in my siggy )
The internet has been down here for quite a while, so I imagine I've got some catching up to do. For now, though, I'll do a couple of this week's homework.
#1. Everyday/Every day
Every day Samuel begged his mum and dad for permission to watch "Veggietales: The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown."
Rather quickly it became an everyday thing to hear Samuel tunelessly singing "Everybody's got a Water Buffalo", "Barbara Manatee", "You are his Cheeseburger", and many other annoying little songs.
#2. Shiny Stuff
William sped his way along the hated mountain path. Every conference he attended he drove along this path, but his dislike for it never changed. He hated the rocky giants. They stubbornly remained shrouded in mist, whatever the season, and always emanated a hostile attitude. They were like something out of a storybook, and many local legends spelled out certain doom for careless travellers. William couldn't stop. A beam of the poor sunlight flashed off a strange shiny object at the side of the road, but he ignored it. Another one. And there, yet another. William's stomach clenched up. Another one! That did it. Curiosity and fear overcoming common sense, he screeched to a stop and clambered out. Peering into the mist, he searched for the source of the flashes. Then he gasped and staggered back. Emerging from the swirling whiteness were twenty short, stocky, bearded men, surrounding him with their polished axes held menacingly.
I trust that was unusual and creative enough! It's good to be back.
Cat, that was excellent! So different from the others submitted so far, and with a hint of a back story, even in those 150 words. Why would Daphne assume the worst like that? I wonder if I know...
Lots of great little details and salsa words--thanks for letting us read this!
I'd love to hear from you--how do you go about making your entries fresh and creative?
This one was absolutely my favorite of yours. I did NOT see that coming, and I love your word choices and the way you built suspense with the deliberate sentence fragments, the varied sentence lengths and structures, and the personification of the rocks in the beginning. Top nutch stuff, Daniel.
Rusty slammed the porch door, kicked dust from his boots and climbed inside the pickup.
If John doesn’t give me an extension…
The men were next door neighbors as boys. John grew up and became bank president. The other lost his shirt in last year’s drought.
Hate to beg. If I lose the truck, can’t even get to work.
The short drive to the bank gave Rusty time to unwind, always felt most at home in his truck.
What’s that sparkling in the ditch? Might as well stop. If it’s a hub-cap I’ll pawn it for cash.
His hunch was right. It bore a logo: Dallas Cowboys.
A Cadillac pulled up behind him. “Find my hub-cap?”
“Yes, you must be a Cowboy’s fan!”
“I own the team; the hub-cap came from the guys. Here, take this cash reward.”
Rusty met with John, and paid his truck note right on time.
With God All things are Possible!
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