Writing

Community Story update

It’s Monday, so you know what that means: Community Story time.

But before I get into that, an update from me. This morning I finally started my polish of my novel. I meant to start on Saturday, but procrastinated until I ran out of time. Then I planned to start on Sunday, but couldn’t get focused so instead formated the entire 200+ pages from the novel writing software I had been using back into Word.

Why didn’t I just get down to the writing on either of those days? Well, to be honest, I felt initimidated. Here’s the problem with writing breaks again: they get you out of the writing mode and — here’s the worst part — allow those doubts to sneak in. All writers have these same thoughts, a little voice that says, “no, that’s not a good idea,” and “your story sucks, no one will be interested in it.” (I’m reading Bird By Bird at the moment, and even author Anne Lamont remembers all the times she has endured this lovely phenomenon. But I’ll write more about that in another post.)

So, my few weeks off opened the door to all these thoughts of how terrible my novel is, even though my critique group says it’s pretty good and when I’m in my right mind, it also says the novel isn’t THAT bad. But the thoughts come anyway. The trick is to not listen to them, to push them aside. Because if you pay them any attention, it’s very difficult to let yourself get swept into what you should be concentrating on — your writing.

This morning, I had no more things to procrastinate with — things that were related to the novel, at least — plus I have a critique group meeting tonight. So, I pushed away the thoughts and got down to it, wrapping up a nice three chapters of polish in a few hours. It felt good. Now to just repeat it tomorrow.

How’s your writing/revising coming?

Ok, and now for this week’s Community Story installment. The story is still short so I’m including everything so far. The second to last line was contributed by Jamie in the comments last week (thanks, Jamie — he even gave us a location!), and the last paragraph is my continuation. Contribute your own next line by posting in the comments.

Enjoy!

Bonnie’s eyes flickered open as she laid on her back looking up at the sky. She caught a brief glimpse of a person moving away from a ledge 30 feet above her. Slightly dazed, she was not sure if she had fallen or been pushed, but what she did know was that her back was hurt and her head was throbbing from her fall. She lifted her right hand to her head. Wet. She was bleeding, and it didn’t feel like a cut that could be patched up with a Band Aid. It would have to wait, though. She could hear footsteps, and they were getting closer and more urgent.

Wincing against the pain that now radiated from her back as well as her head, Bonnie eased herself up to a sitting position and surveyed her surroundings. She had landed on a patch of soft grass nestled between two rock faces, and to her right was what looked like a drop off. She tried to stand, careful not to make any noise. But as her elbow buckled in pain, her hand knocked a small rock over the edge. She froze, waiting for the sound of the crash to alert the other people. But when no noise came, she looked over the edge and her head began to spin. The drop off was at least a hundred feet, ending in white caps of a rushing river.

Something hit the back of Bonnie’s head and she looked up. A rope had been thrown down from the ledge above her and a head was peering over the side. Panic rushed into Bonnie’s mind. “Climb up!” The head from above was shouting at her. But Bonnie didn’t know what to do. Was the head friend or foe? And really, what other choices did she have?

She grabbed the twisted rope and as she did, a FLASH popped into her mind. Wind rushed into her ears as she flew from the green Cadillac. Two quick glimpses of sky and earth and her face crunched against the rocky Tennessee soil.

That’s right. She had been in a car crash. No, not a crash, she remembered. She had jumped out of the car while it was still moving. But why would she do that? Or was she pushed? “Climb up!” the voice above her insisted again. Bonnie wished she could remember more.

What do you think the next sentence or paragraph should be? Post it in the comments.

Write On!

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