I WON! I WON! Wait. What have I done!? Sacre Bleu! The 10 pages challenge

I was commenting on Kristin Lamb’s blog, like you do, and after the careful slapdash application of humor and chutzpah, I said, “Oooh, ooh, did I win the internet? Where do I send my 20 pages? Aw, wait, that was a different month. Never mind. I’ll go back to my story spreadsheet.” That is, to send her 20 pages of my fine writing and she’d critique them, probably put lots of red marks all over it, and send it back to me. This is something she offers as an incentive to people commenting on her posts – one person a month wins that.  At least, that’s the idea I’m getting.  And she must be good; she’s got 15,000 followers, and that’s about 14,000 more than Jim Jones ever had.

And she responded, saying “You know what? Points for creativity. Send me ten to kristen @ wanaintl dot com. LOL. Thanks for the laugh!”  See, chutzpah for the win!  I will also point out that this makes me a paid writer: I wrote something humorous and received compensation in kind, which is critique of 10 pages, normally a service for which Kristin charges… mmmmph dollarsUS.

One little tiny problem. I don’t have 10 pages.

It’s about 200 words a page, and I’ve got 75 pages of non-conflicty fiction, 15,000 words.  Those aren’t representative of the new me, the one that knows stuff. Like three acts and scene/sequel. But the new me hasn’t written that much, because new me is trying the whole outline-your-book-so-you’re-not-rewriting-it-when-you’re done.  Sure, there’s a lot of dashes, but you gotta do it.

And you hate to send in 10 pages of crap.  She’d hate it, too.  Don’t make people regret their acts of kindness, Pontius.

This leads me to my dilemma (conflict, if you wish): How to produce 10 pages of high quality product that will lead to hearing excellent insights from an industry professional. If this was opera, I’d be the new tenor doing a master class (a short one) for Dmitri Hvorostovsky.  Gulp. With writing, I can fake it (sorta) since it is, after all, my native tongue.  But you can’t fake tension. And conflict. And scene/sequel. And a really fantastic outline.

So my mission is to write ten pages of scene sequel in… I give myself a week.  High quality. Fantastic top level stuff. This ain’t nanotanemo bay writer’s challenge, it’s 10 pages. One week. High quality.

First, I have to repress the urge to write boring scenes full of conversation and not much action. So… start with an explosion? That’s a helpful place to start. I so want to start with the discovery of the enemy fleet and ease into the hot tub from there, but I know that’s deadly dull and will kill it flatter than Kansas.  Get a running start and start it at the moment of: impact.

And Tuesday I’m flying to Reno and driving back. So it’s 6 days.


Go ahead, comment. It won’t kill you.  And, um, it’s not because I’m desperate. Because I’m not. I’m NOT! Just comment. If you comment, I’ll be your best friend!  C’mon. I’ll give you a cookie! Yeah, I love the “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” books, too.

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