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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #13 — Texture

Welcome to Week 13 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Texture

Last week I changed the challenge rules, thinking it would make it a bit more fun. Yeah, thanks Susan of the past. Wow, was it tough.

The tough part wasn’t so much coming up with something for the word, it was the trying to keep it under 250 words.

But, I did manage to get it there. Maybe I had to cut a hundred words here and there to make it fit. Maybe I tore my hair out just a little bit. But I did get there.

So, here’s my response to the challenge (basic editing):

Abby crouched on the dusty floor of the crude subterranean chamber and delicately brushed away the debris on the slab before her. It was magnificent. The history, the artistry, the beauty.

Sir Laurence-Bett’s cane clicked as he paced behind her, his impatience echoing around the chamber. “You’ll authenticate it?”

She traced her fingers along the edge of the ancient stone tablet. “I need to inspect it, then there’s carbon dating…” There was something off with it, the texture was all wrong. Coarse where it should be smooth, crisp carvings where they should be worn. The stone was ancient, but the working of it wasn’t.

Alarm bells sounded in her head. The tablet was a fake—a damn good one—and she’d been too eager to see it before anyone else. So eager, she hadn’t bothered to tell Jason about it.

“You’ll authenticate it now,” he said from behind her, causing her to jump. It wasn’t a question.

Abby forced her breathing back under control. Panicking wasn’t going to help her. She needed to get out of there. Think, think, think. If she could just get past him, she had a chance to lose him in the maze of tunnels leading to the surface. She surreptitiously scooped up some dust from the floor and stood. “I’ll sign whatever you want.”

The man smiled at her. “Good girl.”

Abby steeled herself then threw the dust into his eyes. She sprinted down the nearest tunnel.

“Bitch!” The word echoed behind her.

Thanks for reading! And feel free to join in. Have a great weekend.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #12 — Luck

I totally forgot to post that last week’s challenge was on a break. It was my birthday week and my wonderful husband, Jez (check out his Arbroath posts for some awesome pics), took me away on holiday to sunny Arbroath—thanks, Sweetie!

The time away gave me a little time to think about the best way to run this challenge. 

I’ve decided to go with: 

  • one sprint
  • maximum sprint time: 25 minutes
  • maximum word count: 250 words

In the beginning, doing both sprints worked for me: the first got me primed and the second tended to be the better sprint. But, now I’m finding that I’m primed in the first sprint, and the second sprint feels wasted (if I do it.) I changed the time constraints as they were a little limiting. And finally, I think a word count limit makes it easier for readers.

I’ve changed the How it Works section (below) and the challenge information page to reflect the change.

Now, back to the challenge.

Here’s my sprint (basic editing):

Kit stepped out from the shadows into the hallway. Her heart raced as she held the keycard she’d swiped from Drew’s pocket to the reader. C’mon, c’mon. After what seemed like an eternity, the lock disengaged.

She inched open the door to Drew’s office and slipped inside. The blackout curtains cloaked the room in comforting darkness. For a moment, she just stood there, letting her eyes adjust to the lack of light, allowing the velvety darkness to embrace her. The sensation reminding her of Drew’s arms around her. 

No, damn it. This was not the time for getting all sentimental. She had a job to do—no matter what it cost her. 

The safe was in this room, Drew had all but told her it was behind the grotesque oil painting of crows. Kit removed the artwork from the wall and stalled. Everything she’d gone through: all the planning, all the lying, and all the heartache wasted. The safe wasn’t a ComTech. Drew had changed it sometime in the last week to a damned Romstadt. She wasn’t getting into the safe without a shaped charge and a fuck-ton of luck. And she was fresh out of both.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably a genre you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #11 — Prescription

Welcome to Week 11 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Prescription

Before I started the five-minute sprint, I had no idea of where I was going to go with the word prescription. There are the old cliches relating to broken hearts, but I wanted to do something different. Though, I had no clue what that different was. So, I had to trust that my inner chimp would come up with something. (If you haven’t read The Chimp Paradox, give it a try, it could change your life)

Here’s the (unedited) sprint:

Kirk held himself as still as possible. He couldn’t help Lori. Blowing his cover now would get them both killed.
Anton tilted his head, observing the woman. “Tell me, what do I do to thieves?” He didn’t wait for her answer before turning to Kirk. “Get me the bag.”
Kirk forced his limbs to move. The last thing he wanted to do was get that bag; it contained Anton’s prescription for dealing with those who wronged him. He grabbed the bag from the other side of the warehouse and handed it to Anton.
Lori lifted her chin, her eyes shining and defiant in her tear-streaked face. “Fuck. You. Anton.”
Shit.

I’ve got to give it to my inner chimp. I like the above sprint a lot. It’s definitely going to be a jumping-off point for a story for me. I’m not going to do another sprint from this text for two reasons: (1) I really do like it and (2) forcing another sprint when I’m happy with what I have takes the fun out of the challenge.

With that, I’ll wish you a fantastic weekend. Until next week. Thanks for reading.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the noun; just write about it for five minutes.
  2. Once the five minutes are up, walk away for about five/ten minutes.
  3. Now, come back to the text and re-read it,
  4. Pick out something that piques your interest and write about that for five minutes.
  5. Be courageous and post your results to your blog. (Both sets of writing sessions or just the one, it’s up to you.)

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

On Wednesday, I completed my intentional outline (stage two of three) for Deniable Unit 1.

To give the outline a wee bit of breathing space, I’m now working on the intentional outline for Deniable Unit 2—work started yesterday.

I’m working the same way I did for DU1: fixing plot, protagonists, genre, tone, and theme in turn.

With today’s work complete, I’ve made a total of 7% progress on this outlining stage!

Progress Update

Less than a month ago I put up a little progress bar on my WIPs page for DU1. The bar was empty and looked like it was going to take forever to get to full. But, I promised myself that I’d keep chipping away at the job of pre-editing my outline, that even progress of one percent would get me there.

Well, today, I just filled that little progress bar all the way up!

I’m 100% done with my intentional outline for DU1. The story has transformed from a pretty good one to one that I’m proud of. There’s still another stage of outlining/pre-editing to do before I get to write a pretty clean draft. But, I know that working this way is going to save me a tremendous amount of time and effort in the long run.

For now, I’m going to celebrate hitting this milestone with my wonderful husband who kept me fed and watered while I got lost in my own little world! Thank you, Jez! Woohoo!

Progress Update

Still chugging along on my intentional outline for Deniable Unit 1. I just hit 80%!!! Not long now 😜

Progress Update

Happy to report that I’m now at 72% on my intentional outline for Deniable Unit 1. 🥳 Onward!