Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Writing progress and a drabble challenge

My brain seems to have regenerated enough to feel enthusiastic about writing my own stories again. Wheee!

I really would like to get a complete draft of A Necessary Evil written before I start the advanced creative writing course in October and I also want to have lots of scraps of ideas floating around because, apparently, the course I'm doing next is more about improving and adapting than about generating stories. So, I'll need lots of raw material to work with.

Last night I settled down with the scene cards and went through a couple more chapters of A Necessary Evil, jotting down a summary of one scene per card. Looking at the mess that I currently have, I can see that it could be much better written. However, one good outcome of the creative writing course seems to be that I no longer look at my badly written drafts and despair, I look at them and thing, "Oooh! I could make that so much better!" So that is good.

As to generating lots of scraps of raw story material, I've always found that my brain works well if given random stuff to make sense of. The short story I sold to Andromeda Spaceways was first written just as bit of fun as a challenge on the UK Babylon 5 Usenet group. The idea was to take all the titles of one series of B5 and include them in a story. I decided that the resulting SF story was worth working on and, by adding a frame story, I ended up with Binding Space and Time. The most clunky and contrived titles were removed, but there are still probably a few lurking in there. *g*

There are various random plot generators on the Web, but as part of the end of course silliness, one of the OU students wrote the Plottomator, which is an Excel spreadsheet with randomised columns of character, place and situation. I rather like it because it means that I can add and amend the data to suit the sort of stories I like to write. Anyway, my plan is to use these random prompts to write drabbles.

I'm not going to commit to writing one every day, but whenever I can I'm going to post the prompt and then put my own effort behind a cut. If you want to play along, you can write your own before reading my attempt, and if you want to share, then please post as a comment.

They can be serious or funny. The idea is just to have fun, play with ideas and practice writing very compactly.

Today's prompt: Under an ancient hotel a pigeon racer foils a coup.

Down in the basement, the heating pipes clanked and gurgled. Gasping for breath, Wilfred considered his options. The plotters were armed. A bullet had whined past his head as he fled for his life. There was no way out, not for him. With shaking hands, he lifted Gloria from the basket. Her heart throbbed beneath her breast feathers as he attached the note to her leg.

Light poured through the grating that opened onto the street, and he lifted her between the bars. "Fly, my pretty, fly!" he whispered, and she leapt into the air in a whirring of wings.

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