Writer’s Wall: Vignettes

Life happens, as the saying goes, and when it does inspiration can sometimes seem to leave us.

This week I’ve learned a very important lesson though:

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This can happen to all of us. Maybe we can’t continue writing our novel that day, but there is something else we can do.

We can write a vignette.

What is a vignette, you may ask?

The definition according to Merriam-Webster’s “Vignette”.

  •  a running ornament (as of vine leaves, tendrils, and grapes) put on or just before a title page or at the beginning or end of a chapter; also :  a small decorative design or picture so placed
    •   a picture (as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper
    • the pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame and lettering
  • a short descriptive literary sketch
  • a brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)

On a day where my chronological writer’s brain has not been functioning, I have written little one-shots from the POV of one of my characters. Sometimes my mind can’t think at all and I’m stuck in reality so I will write vignettes of my life that day.

This week has been a week where reality has struck me cruelly. So in the face of reality, I wrote.

(Photo credit to: me, K.A. Werts)

As follows, “The Waiting Room” (written on Thu 2/25 at 9:41pm):

 
“The floors clash and stripes of varying earth tones fail to hide the grime and scratches upon their surfaces.
Limbs stretch and muscles roll as we try to stay awake in the humid air.
The bitter smell of a tube of hell floats in through the open hallway saturating the room and turning our stomachs.
I swallow the bile that threatens to rise in my throat…
I will not be sick…
I have to stay strong for him.
The fact that this hospital has always held my fears in its bleached white walls cannot overwhelm me now. 
I have conquered this horrid beast before and I shall do it once more!
For love! 
After all, for love anything is possible. 
Great foes shrivel in the face of true love.” 
When the famed Writer’s Wall hits you what tactics have you used to conquer it? Has life ever caught up with you, too? 
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Write Experience: "The Mountain"

There is a challenge I face every day, and I believe there are other creatives who suffer from it as well. The tendency to isolate ourselves. As writers we get so lost in the worlds inside our minds.

I know for myself, after working a full time job, I crave to just curl up in bed with a good story and show. But by doing so I end up starving myself of something that is vital for any creative.

Experience.

Every experience we have fuels the realism behind our characters, our worlds, and our plots. The more we learn about the world, the better we can describe it. Our voices grow along with our experience, and our stories ripen.

So I’ve decided to introduce another series for the blog, called: “Write Experience”. Each post will include a poem or vignette that will be based on an adventure of my own. I hope that this series will prove to be something that helps others and encourages them to go out and explore.

(Photo credit to: Jonathan R. Werts, my husband)

Without further ado, here’s “The Mountain”:

“They call it the Serpentine Trail, perhaps because of the sprinkling of emerald stones that weave up the path of the mountain. 
There is so much green, it looks like the grass is laughing and the thistles are chortling with glee.
The wind caresses them, tickling their sides.
If I close my eyes I can feel the joy too.
Goosebumps grace my arms and the rock that has bestowed me a seat slightly digs into me…
and yet I find myself succumbing to the quiet serenity, the peace of these hills where I walked as a child.
Suddenly I remember all the times I ran up these hills, my breaths coming out in gasps, as I tried to reach the highest destination before my family did. 
I remember seeing sly coyotes’ ears disappear in the brush. 
I remember how this place always took my breath away,
How it always made my heart soar. 
My dreams would later be inspired by this place.
Worlds would be created in its honor.”
 
The next time you have a chance to go on an adventure, take it. You never know what you may get in return. 

The Triple 7 Snippet Challenge

Hello all! Today we are are going to do something a little bit different.

Today I am going to do the “7/7/7 Snippet Challenge” introduced to me by Sara General.

The challenge goes as follows:

  • Go to the 7th page of your WIP.
  • Scroll down 7 lines.
  • Share the next 7 lines.
  • Then challenge 7 other writers.
I thought it would be a fun little challenge to do. I also thought it would be nice to share a little bit of my writing worlds.

I will be doing the challenge for both “A Victorian Tale” (my WIP in editing) and my current WIP “The Land of Fear”. They are two vastly different novels and thus I think it would be interesting to share both.

(Photo credit to: Emmanuel Huybrechts, on Flickr)

 

So, first up is “A Victorian Tale”. The best summary I’ve written for it was in a #SFFpit:

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This snippet occurs during an encounter that changes my protagonist, Calliope’s whole perspective and ultimately her whole life.
“Do you injure yourself often?”
 
“Not as badly as this time, but often enough that it’s good to have medical supplies on hand. I suppose it’s one of the curses of being an inventor.”
 
Calliope nodded at his comment, her father’s hobby of carpentry had similar affects. Her mother would always end up scolding him for the garish bruises and cuts that happened as he constructed another “masterpiece.”
 
“Done.” When she turned back to the inventor he had put his damp shirt back on. “Now your turn.”
 

 

(Photo credit to: HORIZON, on Flickr)

My other WIP, “The Land of Fear”, is set on a planet where all the major emotions and attributes are represented by various kingdoms. It has several POVs all who are vital to the plot. The snippet is from one of the protagonists’, Diedre; she had to face a tragic event that spurred her into action. 

 
It was to be their decision. I had offered them a second chance.
It wasn’t just a second chance for them.

I needed it.
I need them.
Without them I could lose my home.
Without them I could lose my life.
So I hope you enjoyed the little peeks into the worlds I have created.
Next I tag:
  1. Lina Forrester
  2. Kelli Crockett
  3. Kate Halena
  4. Mattias Ahlvin
  5. Sarah Wright
  6. Klara Kim
  7. Brianna de Silva

 

If you do this challenge as well, feel free to send me the link to your post, I’d love to read it.
 
 
 

The Write Kind of Perfection

I learned this week that I am imperfect.

(Photo Credit to Joanna Penn, on Flickr)

 Yes, I know, this might seem obvious. But it seems as though I don’t really realize this on a day-to-day basis. Instead I’ve had the tendency in the past to beat myself up for every little itsy-bitsy mistake I’ve made. So in turn I haven’t really been living to my fullest.

Similarly, when writing something that we deem “not good enough” we might scrap it immediately, because it’s not up to par to what the ideal of writing should be. 

In that way life and writing are similar. 

If we are too hard on ourselves, we can lose our motivation. Something we love doing can almost become like a chore that we put off till the last possible minute. 

How can we stop ourselves from stomping out our creativity?


A first draft is that a FIRST DRAFT. 

Google’s definition of a draft:

Draft
draft/
noun
noun: draft; plural noun: drafts; noun: the draft; noun: draught; plural noun: draughts

1.
a preliminary version of a piece of writing.
“the first draft of the party’s manifesto”

Just like back in school, we would write a first draft and then we refine it from there. 

Do you remember all the red marks, the comments and suggestions of your teachers?

All those points are to help us write the next draft, until we have a finished novel. This comes eventually, but there is much joy that can come from refinement and editing. 

Have you ever dealt with this in life or writing? What are some things that have helped you overcome the bad habit of over-criticism?