Terrytown's Library

Terrytown's Library
Raised in Terrytown, Louisiana

Friday, July 29, 2011


I recently read a book called You Can Write A Novel. I think this advice works great for short stories. The advice was to write two sketches, the opening and closing. I changed it to simply sketch incidents and scenes. What I like about writing sketches is that you're not waiting to write while you figure what the next scene is. You're doing simply sketches and then using them to tell you what the character is fighting, which gives you a better outline to write the first draft of your story.

The sidewalk was hot against my white bare feet. I should have used the last of my allowance to buy those water shoes, but then I'd have to wait another week to have some cash. Besides, mom said she was going to follow dad's advice and not give me any more money to spend. I had very little thanks to buying stuff for this trip.

I stood on the edge, hopping a little because of my burning feet. A sensible kid would have jumped in for the cool relief of the water. Something about the water scared me, though I swam nearly every night in the pool at the apartment complex where I lived with my family. My brother said, when I was younger, sometimes I loved the water and other times I was scared of it. I guessed this was one of those times that I was scared of it. But, why?

This is based on the prompt I just gave you. It's one sketch that I can possible use for a short story.


I've rewritten the poem I have on my poetry and fiction blog, the retail hostess. It's hardly recognizable as the same poem. I thought the poem needed a lack of focus, one aspect to write about. I wrote about working in customer service. I'll post it when I can. In the mean time I'm realizing that my characters need a goal to struggle to reach and I think that's why my stories fail. You can't have conflct without a goal for them to try to accomplish.

I'm looking forward to a weekend marathon of writing with work in between. These past few days I've been doing a lot of writing and I want to keep it up. I'm looking forward to getting some writing pieces ready to send to some small literary magazines. Maybe even find some local newspapers willing to publish my story or poem. My time is about writing and exposure and being creative.

Today's prompt: take a what-I-did-this-summer essay and write it as a fiction piece.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Terrytown and other places I've lived

I've rewritten and rewritten Peter's story called New Year Resolution until I've had to take break. But this guy is still with them. I think I need to discover his story's goal. What is this guy after. I know his problems, know what he's about, but what does he need or want and what problem is he trying desperately to solve. That's my main problem. My other problem is that this story won't fit in the collections I'd like to write. The one I'm currently working on will have stories set in either Terrytown or in Jeffereson Parish, where Terrytown is located, I'm just not sure yet. Another story collection I'm thinking of is stories based on my family, reltaives and ancestors.

I'm still rewriting Retail Hostess trying to figure out where I want to go with that and what exactly do I want to say about working retail. Perhaps I'm trying to say too much in one poem. I want to also write a collection of stories based on working in retail and maybe have a few voices from the shoppers view points as well as co-workers view points.

Here's another exercise to try, a sentence. I love first sentences:
The water was boiling on the stove. I'm not even sure what to do with it and I came up with it.

P.S. about the title. I want to write a collection set in places I've lived but I'm not sure how to connect all of these pieces into a story. Hopefully I'll come up with it.

Basically I'm trying hard to work on my new philosophy, which is just start writing words. Because, those words, if you trust them and let them, will turn into something you've either always wanted to write or have been trying to write. I have a writing prompt for you. It's this:

Your character is in an elevator when something happens. It can be a realization, a firm determination, a baby being born, someone dying, a vision happening, it can be anything you can imagine. And the story or scene does not have to stay in the elevator.

I still love my what-would-so-and-so write fiction exercise. Maybe try combining this exercise with the one I just gave you.

Happy writing