Monthly Archives: June 2013

Using the concept of the Critical Path when writing fiction

Engineers and managers are all familiar with the concept of the Critical Path in a chart of the workflow on a project: it is the set of things which have to be done in a particular order and sequence to get to the end of the project, and for which there is no possible alternative.

For example, you can’t put up the walls of a house until the foundation and the floor over it is in (don’t get creative on me – the effort to build the walls first, and then create a foundation etc. – familiar to those tasked with moving an old house – is the exception which proves (TESTS) the rule). Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 4, Scene 6

This week’s post is the end of Chapter 4, Scene 6 (1.4.6).

I think I’m getting the navigation down automatically, but please let me know if you have trouble with it – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 4, Scene 5

Kary took her barely-touched plate to the kitchen. She rewound to the beginning of the clip, watched again. She savored details: Roland’s instant control over his horse. His lips repeating the friar’s Latin, ‘In nomine Patri, et Filii…’. Crossing himself correctly and devoutly, with just enough careless speed to show the familiarity of the gesture, enough impatience to mark the formulaic. His cocky confidence quelling his lady’s fears. A single wordless gesture to his squire fluidly initiating the purposeful chaos of the army’s departure.

Nameless longing filled her. The phone book was in the kitchen drawer. Past four. Too late for an afternoon showing. I don’t want to drive back alone in the dark.

The movie theater in Lebanon listed three films. The first was Roland.

 

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 4 – Death’s Day, Scene 6


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Given my limitations, do I want to write?

To get the most writing time out of a body that has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I have to beat the odds.

I have to find the time to write – and ensure that the brain is as ‘on’ as it gets during that time. My reality is that I get my most functional time if I alternate ‘awake’ periods with a half-hour nap every 2-3 hours. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 4, Scene 5

This week’s post is Chapter 4, Scene 5 (1.4.5).

I think I’m getting the navigation down automatically, but please let me know if you have trouble with it – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 4, Scene 4

“Don’t act so surprised. So am I. In Guadalajara, where I come from, we call the accidental angels santanazos, after Saint Ann—tradition says the Virgin Mary was a very late child.” Dr. Moreno stood and Kary followed suit.

“According to the Church, I’m still married.”

“Whatever gets you through the dark nights. But don’t forget it’s just an excuse.”

 

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 4 – Death’s Day, Scene 5


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Writing around the rosy: encircling writer’s blocks in a dance

My brain is sort of lucid tonight for the first time in a week.

I’ve had a long week: first a visit, then recovering from the visit. And getting the sugar out of my system after the visit. Sheesh!

And the time hasn’t been wasted – I’ve generated several thousand words ABOUT the scene I’m working on, without being able to actually write a new draft of it. Continue reading

The absolute pleasure of writing: memory trigger

This is a pleasure only writers get: to notice something in your filing system (in this case the Scrivener file in which I keep short story starts) that you can’t remember what it contains, and to read again your own words.

If things are not written down, they vanish in the mists of time. We constantly add to the database in our heads: what the world looks like outside the window, where the ‘super storm’ the weather people warned about was instead one single line of thunderstorms which left the grass and street wet. The way the guest bedroom in the house looks when a weekend guest has left – and how little, usually, it takes to restore it to order because you worked so hard to get it clean before she came. The pleasure of looking at a fresh repair in the bathroom of a tile problem that’s been there for several years. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 4, Scene 4

This week’s post is Chapter 4, Scene 4 (1.4.4).

Please let me know if you have trouble with the navigation – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 4, Scene 3

Kary escorted Joe to the door. “It’s supposed to snow again tonight,” he said. “Eighteen inches.”

“Good.” All traces of the day would disappear. She waved as he backed up, turned. She bent down, replaced the boulder in its socket.

None of this was its fault.

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 4 – Death’s Day, Scene 4


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

A quick way to get the story: let your character tell it

I found a new way (new for me, anyway) to get a quick take on a scene: I get in the character’s head, and then tell the story either to a trusted friend – as one might tell an anecdote – or to a highly paid psychiatrist.

Whoever it would take for me to just tell the story, one on one. Continue reading

Getting myself a dislocated finger – and fixing it

I did something really stupid last Saturday: I was having a picnic with a bunch of friends at the house, and, trying to do two things at one, wasn’t careful when I went inside to get something, tripped over the edge of slip-on sandals I was wearing for the first time this year, and took a dive onto my living room floor.

After a stunned second – I hate falling – I looked at the parts that had hit first, and was horrified to see that I had dislocated my right pinky finger in two places – at the hand, and the next joint up. I looked so WRONG, back and forth in a Z. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 4, Scene 3

This week’s post is Chapter 4, Scene 3 (1.4.3).

Please let me know if you have trouble with the navigation – thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

End of previous scene, followed by the link to the new scene:

End of Chapter 4, Scene 2

So she’d have to handle the media. What else is new? Stupid critics couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag. “I said forget it.”

“He’s got a pretty raunchy reputation.”

“Toe, just drop it, okay?” Why did I open my mouth? She dropped her pitch, exaggerated to make Toe laugh. “Anyway, I’m playing his daughter.” It didn’t matter.

Toe’ll come around when it’s all over and I have what I want.

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 4 – Death’s Day, Scene 3


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.