Day 19- Writing Self Critique and Camp Nanowrimo

So I’m reading through yesterday’s 30 minute story and….

Wow. It is stunningly bad…

Part of me wants to throw it in a black hole where it will never see the light of day or drastically change it so it doesn’t look that bad, but hey I didn’t use the delete key in the original writing of it, so the roughness of the story is understandable.

Still, I am definitely getting rid of that rule the next time I do another story challenge, since there are a lot of repeated words and sloppy mistakes that just look unprofessional.

In this critique -esque post, rather than going through and editing it word by word, I’m just going to list off some of the weird things that just don’t work in the story:

  • Too much description, not enough characterisation – Blue hair was a nice touch of weirdness but why should anyone care? It feels like I am just listing descriptive words for the sake of it, rather than any character or narrative driven reason. Show don’t tell and all that.
  • Where is the character located right now? – its funny that I didn’t notice this while writing it, but I never really say where or when she is. Theoretically, I could have written an excuse it (like she doesn’t want to record it for safety reasons or whatever) but by not mentioning how long ago it was since the kidnapping, there is like zero tension whatsoever
  • Lots of my own “isms” have snuck in – This tends to pop up in my acting (well, what little acting I’ve done at school), where I have little traits (messing with glasses, moving my hands around a lot) that pop up when I am trying to keep it together but failing. In my case, it’s the excessive use of ellipsis and commas, combined with run on sentences that just seem to never end. Oh and the use of “Yup.” since that certainly is something that has stuck around in this semi dystopian world the story takes place in… /s
  • The grammar…. – ‘Nuff said about that train wreck.
  • Where is the plot? – There is a lot of ideas present, but nothing even resembling a coherent narrative. I mean the diary thing at the end was slightly interesting, but there isn’t any reason to care about it. I seem to think throwing things out there without explaining is “mysterious” or something, when in actuality it feels like a game of madlibs with giant “Insert plot here” sections that were semi-filled without care

So basically, what I’ve learned from this trial in improv story telling is that it is pretty freaking hard to do it. Kudos to those who can by the way, though I suspect the reason the works of so many authors seems leaps and bounds ahead of mine, other than their inherent talent and loads of practice, is the editing behind it.

But since it was pretty fun while it lasted, I’ve decided to join Camp Nanowrimo for July.

Normal Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November (which I did try it in 2016, but stopped after a few thousand words due to exams), but they are both based off of the same principle. Quantity not quality, just write and put things down on paper.

Which is a bit like what I am doing now, if you think about it.

In the regular one, the goal is to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month, but since it is the Camp and I get to set my own goals, I’m going with a half Nano with 25,000 words in 30 days, toward a story idea I’ve had rattling around in my brain for a while.

So from this point forward, the post quality may go down slightly as I shift focus over, but hey, this blog was never a shining example of good writing, just a way for me to fill up the summer months doing something more productive than binge watching youtube 😛

That’s all from me now! Catch you later.

Rebecca

Day 18 – 30 Minute Story #1

Since I am hitting writers block right now,  I decided to do something a bit different.

I have a semi-randomly generated “First Line” writing prompt (from Pantomimepony HERE), a timer for 30 minutes and I will try my best to write a coherent story with it.

Also no back button or editing, just pure writing since I am once again running low on time.

Think of it as the “Yes, and then…” improv method from drama.

So let’s do this!


The day my Mother was kidnapped, we ran away.

That move , strangely enough, turned out to be pretty darn terrible for me for me.

You see, the thing they don’t warn you in school about being a internationally wanted fugitive is that unlike walking or blending in with a crowd, running catches the eye.

Running is alarming, it causes people to turn around, to curse you out, and most fatal of all… stare. Look. Remember the features of that coffee brown and electric blue haired, wisp of a girl who is wearing a black wool coat run, somewhat clumsily, through the crowded train stations.

Rule one of my guide to evading a government who is hell bent on catching and arresting you: Don’t run.

Well, that is, if I live long enough to write it down somewhere.

Of course then they would just use my handwriting, compare it with those writing samples the government collected of us in kindergarten, and track my every move through even the darkest alleys of the city.

Fingerprint tracking was a thing of past, what with the rise of surgery and removal of that once vital part of the forensic polices arsenal. My protests against  removal of mine when I had the chance 10 years ago, like much of the advice my Mother gave me but threw a fit about at the time, is advice I wish I had listened to, and something that need to apologise for in the future. If I see her again….

Again, I say “Mother” but in this town, nothing is that simple. It’s complicated….

So now I’m stuck, on the run, with no plan of actions, no allies to help me and a backpack with a water bottle, a sleeping bag, a small knife… oh yeah, and my Mother’s diary containing all her research.

Yup. I’m dead.


So yeah…. that is a really rough, not even first draft of a sorta short story?? Putting that no backspace requirement is a lot harder than I thought…

Also I did waste a lot of time just sitting and thinking what to write, so this wasn’t really 30 minutes of work, more like 20 ish with 10+ devoted to thinking… what the heck did I get myself into????

Still though, there are some good things in it, I’ll probably revisit it later with a more polished draft or carry on the story with more stuff.

Perhaps I should do more of these in the future, since it was quite fun (albeit stressful) to write. Maybe then I can compare my 30 minute speed creative writing skills over time or something

But that’s it for now!

Rebecca

P.s. For future me’s records, I visited my secondary school today with a close friend. Also 3.8 GPA for this sem!!! (though with a B- in Ecology because of a stupid fish essay. Sad bubbles)