Writing Prompt #103

It’s Earth Day!  In her honor I was trying to find an image that spoke of her beauty and variety, but as I scrolled through images, I was reminded that no matter what mark we hope to leave upon her, she’ll always take it back.

cottage

Happy Writing!

Quote of the Week

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that I had not placed in the top of the last contest I had entered.  I was excited to have advanced at all, let alone make it to the finals, but I was still disappointed – to get so close.  Ah well.  It’s time to move beyond this latest round and look forward.

Easier said than done.

It was a huge boost to my (writer’s) ego to get that bit of validation, but now here I am again, starting at square one.  I have that tune in my head, “second verse, same as the first”.  Creatives have a tough gig.  So I was trying to find a quote this week that speaks to those of us who continue to try, despite the odds, because passion dictates that we do.

I present the following:

Churchill-Success

Yes, this is a quote that most likely relates to a world war, but the message can be applied to anyone who continues to strive towards their goal.  It is my hope that we all do!

Best Wishes and Happy Writing!

Rambling Review: Logan

Logan3I haven’t done a review in ages!  And instead of being overly late to the party (like I usually am), as this movie is still in theaters, I thought I’d give this one a shout out.

I try my best to only watch a trailer or two of any film I’m interested in seeing.  I don’t read other reviews, I don’t seek out spoilery information, and I try to ignore social media posts (which is almost a permanent state at this point, as I’m always behind in everything), so I didn’t know too much about what to expect from this movie before viewing it.

I haven’t finished the Wolverine film series, or even the newer X-Men films, so I’m uncertain to any tie-ins, but this definitely felt like a stand alone film and didn’t require much explanation as to what had been happening up to this point.

Side note, I went to see this by myself.  I like going to the movies once in a while on my own, but clearly this was a shock to the two men seated near me.  “You’re here alone?” One of them asked.  “Yes.”  I responded.  “You came to see Logan by yourself?”  “Yep.”  I heard him sort of huff in surprise.  I didn’t pay enough attention to the accent to narrow down where they were from, but clearly this was a strange idea to them.  I’m not sure if it was because I was lone woman, or because I was a lone woman at a superhero movie.

At the conclusion, he asked if I liked it.  Yes.  Yes, I did.

*I like to write reviews as if I were talking with a friend, so I try my best to keep them spoiler free. 🙂

Logan2

As I said, I didn’t know much about the film before entering the theater.  The fantastic pairing of Johnny Cash on the trailer was enough to spark my interest, especially with Logan looking so weathered and forlorn.  He looked like a man whose age had finally caught up with him; a man who has seen a great deal and lost just as much.

The film is set in the not too distant future, and we’re introduced to a Logan who is clearly unwell, whose claws are getting a little rusty, has a limp, and is drinking himself into oblivion.  The strong warrior doesn’t appear to have much fight left in him, and becomes a reluctant protector of a young girl with similar powers.  And I do mean reluctant.

Mutants have gone the way of the dinosaur, and Logan is looking out for himself and the Professor, who is now in his 90s and unable to control his powers due to seizures.  Apparently there was an incident that killed a number of people and mutants in the recent past, and Logan is doing his best to keep him safe and protected.  He just wants to earn enough money to buy a boat and escape to a quiet life – enter the bad guys who think they’re good guys.

There’s been a secret project going on for years, because there’s always a secret project, and when the lab rats get loose, the big guns come out in force to clean up their mistake.  And do they ever come out in force.  There are loads of great fight sequences – Logan’s claws are still as sharp as ever, and we discover, so are the little girl’s, and she’s a dangerous little thing.

The movie is about both a literal and figurative “journey”.  Logan has lost everyone he’s ever cared about, save Charles, and he doesn’t want to care about anyone else, no matter how she might tug at the ol’ heart strings.  He’s not who he once was, and he’s not who everyone wants him to be, he’s just…tired, of it all.

The film took some unexpected turns, but honestly, they felt right.  It wasn’t a traditional spandex-clad superhero film, and I think that’s what I liked best.  It was a more “reality” based look at an old hero and what they, or any of us, are willing to fight for.

There was one aspect of the storyline that I felt was a little forced in, and a cliche of sorts – the whole white hats vs black hats kind of thing, facing yourself, and your past, but as parallels go, it wasn’t too bad.  *This one is hard to go into too much explanation without being spoilery. 

This is my second favorite X-Men film, after the first one back in 2000, and probably number 6 on my top 10 of superhero movies.  It wasn’t what I was expecting, and that was a good thing.  All the X-Men movies of late have not inspired me to care about any of these characters I once liked.  Remember the X-Men cartoon?  The writers, directors, etc. really should have taken a note from their predecessors.

You don’t have to be a superhero fan to enjoy this film.  It’s a tale we’re all familiar with, it just happens to be “enhanced”. 😉

4.5 stars.jpg

If you’ve seen Logan, what did you think?

Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #22

Yes, the slacker has returned. 😉 And she finally took up the challenge.  If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, take a look at Chapter 4 of the Dragon Age fanfic under “Scribbles”.  This goes back to my last post about writers and their OCDs.  It’s a problem (and there’s still more to come).

These were written late last night in an effort to write, well, anything else.  I call them flash fiction – no prep, quick, with little editing – stream of consciousness style.  
Something Dumb

Bad Idea

Help, I did something dumb.”

We all stared at her – various parts of her body were bandaged in a makeshift manner, there was a faint smell of burnt hair, and the lights from the room behind her flickered to an indiscriminate beat.

“All you had to do was keep watch.” The captain was flabbergasted.

“I was forced to get creative.”

Water quickly pooled at our feet, and continued to rise. There was a groan of metal and we all looked at one another worried.

“I said it was dumb.”

We lurched sideways.

“Will it at least work?” The captain asked gravely.

“I suppose we’ll soon find out.”

That was not reassuring.

GoldDustRitual

She hadn’t set foot in the temple in a hundred years. It was both strange and familiar. Little had changed over the millennia, although it was beginning to show signs of age. She twirled the gray streak in her hair fondly with one hand as she gingerly let her other hand rest on one of the columns.

They had endured.

She began to hum a haunting melody; the sound filled the empty space. As the song swelled, her body moved in fluid rhythm until she positioned herself under the great rotunda and twinkling golden light shone down upon her. She had come to pay her respects, as she had done countless times before, and they in turn offered her their blessing.

Despite how she had witnessed the outside world change, this ritual allowed her to remember how it all began.

auroraThe Hereafter

I knew I was dreaming. I always dreamt of him – the faceless man my heart knew.

I wore the same gown, we walked the same path…it was always the same.

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.

I found happiness in this place, but always felt a cold bitterness at its loss.

And I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem…

We always chased the fading sunlight, but today it seemed to grow brighter.

I shielded my eyes and saw a haloed figure.

That look in your eyes is so familiar…

I suddenly felt a warm breeze upon my face, a warm hand in my own.

A faceless man was helping me up.

You’ll love me at once…

“The way you did once.” He started.

“Upon a dream.” I finished.

~*~

It’s never too late to join in the Writing Prompt fun!  If you’ve been inspired, please share!  Happy Writing!

Writer’s OCD

TypewriterFontWriterIf you Google the above, you’ll get a slew of articles and posts about how writers suffer from various forms of obsessive compulsive disorder.  I know I have my own tendencies, I can thank my years in fine dining for that – put this exactly here, move that slightly to the left, straighten it, remove the clutter, organize!  This doesn’t disrupt my daily life, so I suppose it just means I like things a certain way.

And then there’s the writer side – reorganize your desk, yet again, remove the clutter around said desk (which is really just procrastination) oh, and of course, get that story out of your head!  Whenever and wherever.

I’m trying to be a screenwriter.  I mean, I am a screenwriter, but I’m trying to make a profession out of it, so you can imagine the annoyance at having a completely unrelated story taking over your life.  I can’t seem to focus on any other story beyond the one I’m working on now, and it’s bloody fan fiction.  ((exasperated groan))

I’m wondering how many of my fellow writers out in the ‘verse have this problem?

I don’t know how it happened.  I posted a writing prompt of concept art from the video game series Dragon Age a long time ago, and after writing a small chapter, 6,500 words, it slowly began to consume me.  I was struggling with my own work at the time, I remember, and I just wanted to write something.  It became a refuge from my unsatisfying server job, but then I found that I enjoyed thinking up scenes that were unseen in the game or expanding on conversations, etc.

When I write a screenplay, I agonize over every detail, every word, and I found with the fanfic that I could just write – whatever I wanted, without worry, without much forethought or editing.  It was so freeing.*  What I’ve posted so far sits at about 68,000 words.  Are you kidding me?!  I think this is where the writer’s OCD comes in.  After so much time and energy invested, I have to finish it.

The problem is two-fold.  1) This has taken away from the writing I want to do for my livelihood, but then again, any writing is good, right?!  2) Writing this story has opened up more possibilities, and now I want to explore those story lines.  When will it end?!

I feel like I should be asking for help, and yet, I am loving every moment.  I keep thinking if I write one more chapter, or finish a particular story line the OCD will subside, but it just seems to be getting worse.  I think another part of the problem is that at my old job I was alone a lot, without much to do, so I could escape, now there are too many people around.  The routine I had set has been disrupted and needs a new avenue to find its way.

So I guess I’m looking for advice or validation. 😉

If you suffer from a similar predicament, let’s commiserate!

*Just type Dragon Age or fanfic into my search bar to see what I’m talking about.

 

Writing Prompts 101 & 102

In case you missed last week’s post with the word “smorgasbord” in the title (yeah, it contained a bit of everything), you may not have seen Writing Prompt #101.  So here it is again, because I think it’s great!

Something Dumb

Now, in order to get back on track, because it’s Wednesday and I’ve been terrible lately at being timely, here’s #102.

GoldDust

Are you inspired?  Don’t forget to link back to my page so I can read your lovely words!

Happy Writing!

*All images have been found via Pinterest.  I do not own any of the writing prompt images I share, and I do my best to give credit to their creators.  If you ever recognize a piece, please let me know so that I may credit it accordingly.

Quote of the Week

CelebrateEmojiGood afternoon, my friends!

I am riding on a new kind of high – the one in which you learn that your original TV pilot has advanced to the finals of one of the contests you entered.  What an amazing feeling!

I struggled for some time (I still do), and I think as creatives, we all have a tendency, at times, to doubt our abilities.  Sometimes it takes years to obtain any outside validation, and I think that’s something we need a little bit of in order to keep moving forward.  One can only stay positive, on their own, for so long.

That’s why this week, I’ve decided to share the following quote:

NeverLettheOdds

I’ve known people who gave up on their dreams, and they’ll never know how close they were to getting what they wanted.  We need to remember why we started, and all those other quotes on positivity that keep us motivated!

Wherever your passion lies, fan the flames, and keep the dream alive!

It’s a Smorgasbord

Hi-SmileyEmoticonA lot has happened in a short time, and much of my free time has been taken up with, albeit good things, but time consuming nonetheless.  I have had very little time to do the things I enjoy, like writing here.

Hi!  I hope you’re all well.  Today I’ve decided to share a little bit of everything, I’m so very behind. 😉  There’s some good news, a quote, and a writing prompt.

So the good news.  I got a new job and start this week.  Yay!  This has made it necessary to buy a “new to me” car, which is where all my free time has gone – research mode.

And then the best news of all, my pilot advanced to the semi-finals of the Fresh Voices contest.  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  (Happy dancing ensues!)  Positive feedback is hard to come by in this, my chosen field, so you can imagine the boost to my psyche upon learning such wonderful news, which I had to read four times to see if my eyes were deceiving me, in part because I was having this weird side effect of water drippage. 😉

Now, the quote.  This is about staying positive, which is sometimes hard to do:

Life

 

And then there’s this Writing Prompt, number 101, for those of you up to the challenge:

Something Dumb

I hope to be back to the old routine soon.  Wishing you all the very best in your endeavors!  Happy Writing!

Where Does the Time Go?

I was scattered all last week.  It was my birthday, again, can you believe it?!  I asked for the day off because in the environment I work in, working on your birthday is grounds for  inflicted harm…on others.  I don’t care that you want a side of ranch with your fries, in fact, I hope you choke on those fries. Kidding.  Sort of.

In order to get my birthday off, I had to pick up another day in exchange.  This is the third rhairday off I’ve asked for in over a year and a half by the way.  So I had one day on, one day off – all week, hence, I got very little accomplished.  Although, I did manage to squeeze in this –>

The hair grows like a weed, and for a couple of reasons, I let it grow and grow until all the kids were calling me Rapunzel or Elsa.  With the birthday looming on the horizon, it was time to mix things up a bit.  Now I have to do my hair everyday.  Sigh.  😉

This week, I just haven’t been able to get to the computer.  I’m planning to cosplay this year, one of my 2017 resolutions, and I’ve been out hunting for supplies, tools, etc.  I thought I would share the process and the progress.  As a newbie, it will be interesting to see when I finally break down and cry.  More on that later.

And then there’s the writing.  Not much of that happened last week.  Actually, nothing happened last week.  This week I’ve turned my attention to finishing the first draft of a new screenplay.  I was about 45 pages in when I abandoned the project, and because of it’s theme, it’s rather timely, I should probably get back to that.  I’m giving myself a deadline…it is submission season after all.

How the time flies whether you’re having fun or not. 😉

How was your week?  I hope you’re doing better at reaching your goals than I did this past week.  Happy Writing!

Screenwriting Tips for Submission Season

HelpfulTipsLast week I shared a list of the 10 prominent screenwriting contests and their approaching deadlines to give you a heads up of what to expect the next few months.  Hopefully, you’re not like me, in the middle of a major rewrite instead of just a polish.

Ah, the sweet agony of a deadline.

This week I thought I would share a few tips on how to be best prepared to submit.  I’m not sure where I originally found this checklist – my apologies to whoever created it.  It’s a list of 10 things to look over/be aware of before you hit send.

  1. Opening image
  2. Opening line
  3. First scene’s setting
  4. Genre/Tone
  5. Character roles
  6. Character motivations
  7. Structure
  8. Scene focus
  9. Spelling/Grammar
  10. Concept/Logline

*If you’re interested, I can expand on each of these in more detail.  Just let me know in the comments below.

One of my favorite pieces of advice came from Good in a Room‘s Stephanie Palmer who suggests –

Choose a contest and a deadline. Then, submit at least one script to one of the top screenwriting contests I recommend.

If the script gets recognized in any way (i.e., it doesn’t win but it makes the second round, or top 10%, etc), revise it and submit to three different contests.

If the script doesn’t get recognized, then keep it in your library of projects, pick something new from your development slate, and write something else.

Instead of submitting multiple projects to several contests (which can get expensive), you only make multiple submissions when you have objective evidence that your work is good enough to have a chance to win, and you spend more of your valuable time writing new material.

That’s plenty of work, I know.

And it doesn’t take into account the other aspects of how to be a professional writer that have nothing to do with writing…

But over time, if you write and submit at least one script every year to one of the best contests, you will get better and your material will get better. If you submit multiple scripts only when they have received positive feedback, your chances of being successful go up.

I hope you find this helpful, and I wish you all the best this submission season!