Spotlight on Writing

I have a confession to make. I’m trying to write a book all on my lonesome. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean Ashley and I are stopping collaborating, definitely not! But I need something to keep me occupied since I have finished my last nursing course and have a bit (a lot) of spare time on my hands.

I’m the kind of bull-headed, stubborn eejit that butts her head up constantly against brick walls, and when I see a challenge, I like to go for it. Collaborating is fun, doing it on your own is so much harder (I applaud all of you solitary writers out there, it’s not for the faint-hearted!). Because it’s a challenge, I figure it’s a good way to keep developing my skills, and hopefully I’ll have more to offer on our collaborative projects once I’m done.

Anyhow, so I’ve set myself a goal of 1,500 words per day, and am trying the ‘story grid’ way of writing (see my last post for more on this). So far it’s going pretty good. Though I recognize quality is more important than quantity, I’m proud of having managed to get down a good 30,000 words or so.

I have discovered the hardest part is starting a new scene in an interesting way. I hate, hate, hate starting with ‘the’ or ‘I’ (though I will accept it so long as it’s not every chapter). And so I started looking at other books and discovered there’s several different types of scene starts, if you’re looking for inspiration.

  1. The time/number-based beginnings:

“When Daniel next entered the shop…”
“Twenty past nine…”
“Two days later…”

  1. Character beginnings:

“Rosie looked like she could kill him…”
“I came to my senses, strung upside down…”

  1. Place or object (usually begins with ‘the’):

“The Tube was packed with Monday morning travelers…”
“The coffee was black and bitter…”

  1. Descriptive beginnings:

“Lush green fields stretched out in every direction…”
“Cold and bleak, the misty rain swirled around Tom as he…”

  1. The ‘idea’ beginnings:

“Experience told Anna that bowling in, guns blazing, was a bad idea…”
“It occurred to me that…”

  1. Finally, the dialogue beginnings:

“What do you think you’re up to?” Mrs. Dane asked me as I rifled through the papers on the counter…

I’ve probably missed a few, I’m sure. But it’s been helpful, analyzing interesting beginnings. Note that all the above sentences I just randomly thought up. If you think it makes a great writing prompt, go ahead. You’re welcome!

Story-time with Sarah
Beginnings are my favorite. They are often as pretty as this flower, unfurling its golden petals as it embraces life

Yesterday, my phone nearly died.

Seriously, I have no idea what happened to it. The first notion I had that anything was wrong, was when I caught it in the midst of a spontaneous restart—never a good sign. Still, I enter my code, and go to turn the screen off using the side button. This fails to work. In fact, now the side-button seems to be under the impression it’s a volume button. After further investigation, I find that everything works as a volume button. Swiping left, swiping right, trying to turn the damn thing off. So I do what any technology noob does, and press all the buttons, all at once. It turns off. Phew. At least its doing something other than maxing out the volume.

Alas, when I turn it back on, the problem is not fixed. I get into an argument with my phone. I turn the volume down, and a couple seconds later, it sneakily turns itself back up. Again, and again. It’s like trying to tell a teenager to keep it down, won’t you! Of course, it blatantly ignores me.

The apps start spookily moving, like, shaking. And then it zaps out. Goodbye, I’m done. When I try to turn it back on, it protests by telling me it’s out of battery, which is a flat out lie, because a second ago it had about 40% charge. So, I plug it in. While I wait for it to revive, I surf the net on my computer, thinking that it is probably time for a new phone. I was hoping it would hold out to December, but even I have to admit that it’s not looking good. I’ve basically chosen my next phone, when I decide I will go all out and try one more drastic life-saving action: RESET.

Aaaaand tah dah! It’s alive, and seems to be working better than ever. Phew, that was a close one! Must have been some weird update issue. Note to self: It’s probably a good idea to listen to my husband and not update immediately, in case the update is a screwy one. Even though I struck that off as paranoia, apparently, it’s true. Thanks for nothing, iOS 13.