Saturday, March 12, 2011

So I have a small problem....

I love to write, but I'm not a very disciplined writer.  You see, when I get an idea it comes to me like a scene in a movie, maybe even two scenes, and its so vibrant and brilliant that I don't think it through or where I'm going with it.  I just sit down at the computer and start typing.  And that's all good and well until I get a page or two in and realize that I have really no idea where the story is going.  I think when I start I'm expecting the story to tell me where its going, problem being, since I am the one in control, I am the god of that universe that I am creating.  That leaves no one to tell me where the story is going and I find myself bereft of good ideas and back story and have no idea where to take the story.  

I've been considering sharing my latest little monstrosity with you guys for....a while now.  Several months (btw, I missed my 6 month blogversary - would have been the end of February I believe) to be sure.  However, I have come to love and trust the lot of you and I'm hopeful that you will take a look at it and give me some feedback.  Hopefully you won't think its a bunch of codswollop and if you do, you'll be gentle about telling me so.

Without further ado.....please find for your dancing reading pleasure what I have for some reason temporarily titled One Hell or Another....

Her hands shook as she tried to coax her unruly copper hair into a neat ponytail.  She was so nervous she thought her heart might beat out of her chest.  In the mirror she examined the base of her throat where she was sure she would be able to see her pulse.  But her throat betrayed no sign of her anxiety.  Being extremely pale with more than a sprinkling of freckles when she was anxious or excited, the color in her cheeks would rise in garish red splotches.  Sure enough the mirror reflected these splotches.  
“Jade, it’s time” said the plump elderly matron of the facility.  Her soft pleasant face and carefully modulated voice gave the impression of a kindly grandmother, but Jade knew by now that people didn’t have to look severe to be harsh and evil.  In fact, she was aware that it is often underneath a perfectly benign appearance where the worst kinds of secrets lived.  
Jade took one last steadying breath and stood up to allow herself to be escorted into the room where her future would be determined.  The hallways were chilly and sparsely decorated.  She suppressed a shudder as they walked past the window that showed a grey afternoon sky that had been spitting sleet for most of the day.  As they walked she could feel her toes pressing uncomfortably into the ends of her patent leather shoes.  
“Please, God, let this time be different.” She prayed quietly.  She didn’t know why she bothered praying to something she wasn’t sure she believed in.   They stopped in front of a large wooden door that Jade had walked through several dozen times before.  The lady beside her gripped Jade’s upper arm hard enough to hurt.  “Listen up, this may be your last chance so make it count.” she hissed into Jade’s ear.  Jade knew exactly what she meant.  At 10 years old, she was not exactly the prime age for adoption.  She no longer had that new baby smell, or huge eyes full of innocence.  She gave Jade’s arm one last vicious squeeze before carefully composing her features, releasing her grip and opening the door.  
Jade knew well enough what to expect.  On the other side of that door was a cozy room with a crackling fireplace and overstuffed furniture.  It was easily her favorite room of the   orphanage.  It made her feel, even for a few minutes, like she belonged somewhere.  It was the closest thing to a real home she ever experienced except in her dreams.  
Inside the room, was a couple who were sitting close to each other on the couch trying to catch their first glimpse of Jade in real life.  They had an air of excitement about them.  The lady was a redhead, like Jade with a sprinkling of light freckles, kind brown eyes and a warm smile.  Her husband was very striking with his blond hair, carefully coifed, blue eyes and dimples.  Jade thought he looked like a life-sized Ken doll and had to quickly stifle a giggle.  
Mrs. Madeline introduced Jade to the couple.  In her carefully silken voice she crooned, “Jade, this is Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter.  They’ve traveled a long way to meet you.”  Jade crossed the room with as much grace as her unfortunately clumsy feet would allow and extended her hand.  “Pleased to meet you.” she said as she smiled and shook their hands. 
Jade took a seat in the chair adjacent to the antique end table, facing the couple as Mrs. Madeline quietly exited the room.  Of course she knew that Mrs. Madeline never actually left.  She watched and listened to the whole exchange from an ornate two way mirror on the opposite wall from the fireplace.  
The woman spoke first.  “Hello, Jade.” she started almost apprehensively.  I’m Holly and this is my husband, Ken.”.  This time Jade did laugh a little but quickly shoved it back down.  “We’ve traveled all the way across the country to meet you.  We’ve seen your profile online and you seem to be everything that we are looking for in a little girl.”  Jade flushed with warmth and surprise.  “But I don’t understand, I’m not a baby, or even a small child.” she replied.  
This time it was the husband who spoke.  “None of that matters.  We picked you out because you are special.”  When they spoke it sounded like music to Jade.  She could feel a ridiculous grin spreading across her face and in spite of her determination not to allow it, hope rose inside of her.   

I got to this point and found myself asking - "What makes Jade so special?" "What type of facility (I think a group home or orphanage)?" "What is Mrs. Madeline's angle?" and "What on Earth do the Carpenters want with her?"  

If anyone is willing to provide feedback and maybe a few prompts should this ever come up I'll give proper credit to all involved in the creative process.  Thanks in advance.  I love you all so much!  


  1. jade is the image of holly from her youth. they are looking to get a child they don't need to potty train. they have a daughter that recently died. they are unable to adopt a baby cuz they are in high demand...

    they have been trying for a long time to have a kid but cannot, and do not want to be ancient when the kid is 18.

    they want to live to see the kid get married as mr and mrs are in their 40's already.

    they want a girl to play the part of danny bonaduce in thier odd little partridge family musical group...


    im stumped...

    Bruce and Tucker
    Bruce Johnson JADIP
    Evil Twin
    stupid stuff I see and hear
    The Dreamodeling Guy
    The Guy Book
    The Guy Book

  2. You aren't stumped. Those are all interesting. gives me something to ruminate on. I just needed somewhere to pick it back up. Again, undisciplined writer checking in.

    Tks bruce.

  3. I don't have any ideas to give you.
    But, I like what you have so far. It is really good.

  4. Hmm....lots to do with this depending on what genre. Horror? Mystery? Maybe Jade is a "replacement" for the Carpenter's child, which they lost when she was at the same age. Maybe Jade isn't really an orphan and her biological parents show up. Maybe Mrs. Madeline's outfit kidnaps children and "sells" them online. Maybe Jade witnessed a murder or something when she was very young and doesn't recall it until later. Maybe Jade seems sweet but down the road develops some deep psychological problems and behaviors; do the Carpenters "return her for a refund"? Maybe the Carpenters are in the "slave" trade, a modern-day Cinderella type of story...

    Just keep turning it over in your head. (I do a lot of my thinking in the shower). It will come to you eventually.

  5. Oh, and if you really need a fresh start, you can always touch this opening up a bit and then "jump" to a few years down the road and pick up the narrative, then backfill as you go (does that make sense? It's early AM here) :)

  6. Seconds to the "jump" forward and "backfill" li (earlier post) mentions - that works for me.

    If you are questioning which way to take a character you might want to work on other components of your story and see how the "problem" character develops when you've filled in more of the story's direction.

    Just some out loud thinking - good luck!
    (And the cat on the keyboard is too cute!)

  7. the comments very pretty good...

    i am not a fiction story writer, cuz i prefer my favorite subject, me...

    however, when i have to write a fiction story, i spend a ton of time developing the characters.

    so much so that i usually go back to writing about me...

  8. I think that I will jump forward and backfill. It occurred to me to call that the end of chapter one and jump to something else last night.

    Li - Thank you for your suggestions....I think I'm looking for horror or suspense, psychological thriller. That's what I like to read so probably what I will like to write.

    Jenny, I think you guys are def onto something with the time travel (jumping forward and backfilling). who says that a story has to be written it the proper order? I can write the bits and bobs and put them together chronologically later.

    You know Bruce you are one of my favorite characters too. if I were you I would def. spend all my time writing about me. *grin*

  9. I once was involved in a Q&A session with Dean Koontz. The way he writes is he crafts the characters first, then the plot. He makes small 'bio' pages for each main character, and draws up scenarios on how they will interact with each other.

    From there, he actually starts building. I dabbled in a little creative writing in college, and his method always seemed to keep me on track. The writing becomes the easy part, once the main pieces are in place.

    With what you have, it's pretty good so far. Once you pick back up, I can't wait to see how things progress.

  10. Lost - Dean Koontz is one of my favorite writers. He's even surpassed Stephen King for me of late because sometimes King is just out there, tangental, and hard for me to follow.

    That's amazing that you got to Q&A with Koontz! I would love that opportunity. I think that I'll do that. Create bios for my people. See if once I put my cast together it shows me how the story will progress.