Thursday 5 May 2016

The Workshop Exercises - Success...

For many years I've been a member of the Talkback forum over on the writers-online website, and the monthly one word writing challenge is not only fun, but also good for honing structure and effective word choice. You only have 200 words for the story.

It was while I was putting together my previous blog post, about the workshop, that I realised that the senses scene would work well for the April challenge, as the word was jeopardy. 

My new character, Elizabeth, was most certainly in jeopardy. So I rewrote the piece, paying particular attention to her surroundings and added another 100 words to finally come in at 198.

It was posted with a day to spare before the month end. But the wait for the competition to close, and the prose judge's decision and comments were worth it.

Here's what the April judge said- I know they won't mind me sharing their comments on my entry:

The Darkness Beckons
A great build-up of atmosphere and tension in this story. I was imagining a Dickens era setting, but I think it works equally as well in a modern day setting. I am curious to know why Elizabeth could no longer rely on “the niceties of society”, what had brought her to the warehouse, what choices she had previously been denied…. I think you should write on!

What awaits at the
other end?

And even better, I was co-runner up 'for the great sense of atmosphere'. 

(Imagine grimy windows, neglect, abandonment, vermin and a very dark corridor.)

Needless to say, Elizabeth has gone into the development corner of my brain, marked up as #6. She may move up the order, but it really does depend on how long the story will be; it could be short, or longer, which is partly why I'm not revealing that scene... 

At the moment she seems content to have made her presence known and isn't going to pester- unlike a few of my waiting characters. It will be serious when she gets a file box for her story.

Meanwhile I'm getting the hang of the second draft process with Hugh and Sarah's story, so it's all positive at the moment.

image courtesy of Tuomas Lehitinen &


Teresa Ashby said...

Congratulations, Carol. The writing challenge sounds like a good idea and the comment you got was great. It's funny how some characters are happy to wait in the wings while others keep pestering isn't it :-) xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Well done on that, Carol - great comments! Hope you can take the character further as there's so many questions.

Keith Havers said...

Well done, Carol. Good luck with the development. See you on Wednesday.

Carolb said...

Thanks. I was really pleased that what I learnt at the workshop has helped- description has always been a difficult aspect for me.

Usually it's my heroes that get impatient and pester, Teresa.:D

Carolb said...

Thanks, Rosemary. I was very pleased with the comments.:-)

I suspect the character, Elizabeth, has a rocky path to travel.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Keith.:-)

Will see you tomorrow at NWC.