Rusty Fork VIII: Nearing the End and Looking Forward

Rusty Fork VIII: Nearing the End and Looking Forward

I have around 20,000 words left to write on my current draft of WCAG. In the grand scheme of things and looking at how far I’ve come, that is not a lot of words, but they are some of the hardest. All the pinning and pissing and lallygagging have led to these words.

I’ve been calling my current draft the second draft when really it’s more like draft 1.5. In January, I was stir crazy and decided to print off everything I had written. I felt like I was walking around a dark cave, bumping into rocks and swiping at unseen bats. I needed to shine a light on my progress. What I found was horrifying:

Boring chapters that led nowhere. Two useless characters eating up scenes. Plot that needed refining and motivations that needed a kick in the head.

I started over with the plot. Dissecting and rearranging scene by scene, trimming the fat, and sewing it back together. I noted the holes and the sore spots. I immediately cut two characters and about 20% of the writing without a second look.

Then I began the current draft. It’s a better draft. Not perfect. It’s still its own monster that will need to torn apart again, but it’s more cohesive and more to the point I’ve been trying to make all along.

For the first time, I feel like I’m coming to the end of something. I’ve started and stopped projects before, but nothing as ever been complete–only glimpses into imperfect daydreams.

I need a plan of attack…

Here are some of the writing goals for the coming months:

  • Finish my “second” draft around 100,000 words

Duh, this one is a given. I have a set a deadline of May 1st, but deadlines are always meant to be broken. I want to finish this draft as soon as possible, though, because I’m starting to grow restless. I have other stories I’d like to plot, but I don’t want to spend too much time on new projects when this is still unfinished.

  • Find a critique partner

This might be the hardest thing on the list, and I still have no idea how to find one. Any suggestions?

  • Take a break!

Read. Relax. Don’t think about WCAG. Stop it! Stop thinking about it! Let it simmer.

  • Take a mini writing retreat to review my second draft and make a game plan for the third

I want to take a solo writing retreat in Hickory, NC. In previous Rusty Fork posts, I’ve mentioned that the town in my story is based heavily on Hickory, NC. I’ve done research on a bed and breakfast in the area, and I would love to take that time for myself when I read through my second draft. I don’t want any distractions. Being at the location of my inspiration would also spark some much needed mood.

  • Vlog more of my writing experience 

I’ve already started this one! This will not become a weekly thing, but I would like to vlog my experiences whenever I’m feeling motivated because I have found others’ vlogs motivational to my own work. I would like to help entertain and inspire others. It would also be neat to have for the future reflections, as well.

So there is a simple list of some short-term goals.

It’s important to remember that the end of the second draft is not the end the story.

It’s all an endless pursuit of artistic endeavors. I can strive for something, though. I can polish the story until it shines, until the surface is clear enough for some reader to see something of themselves on the pages.

I have to make a human story out of a monster.

How hard could that be?

Link to Previous Rusty Fork Posts

Thursday Thoughts: The Currency of Friendship

Thursday Thoughts: The Currency of Friendship

I had a fitting for a bridesmaid dress today. I am in two weddings in 2018. TWO. (I am also attending 3 as a guest. I already want to die.)

Both are for college roommates. I was picked because it is courteous and customary. I am an outlier friend. I never answer group texts. I never remember birthdays. I screwed up our secret santa group last year because I accidentally sent a gift to the wrong girl. I am not proud of this. I don’t think I am cool or quirky.

I am a terrible friend because I feel better when I am alone. I am a terrible friend because I am mad when I am not a part of everything. I want to keep my cake and eat it too.

Kinga Rajzak and Mijo Mihaljcic in AnOther Magazine F/W 2014 by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships in regards to my current WIP. I’ve never said much about the plot, but it does involve a homecoming and facing friends you have abandoned–facing the fact that your friends did not sit stagnant in your absence. How much do we owe to another person?  Is it terrible to think you owe or are owed something in a relationship? Maybe.

Friendship is beautiful, but it is also hard work. I wish it was as easy as a photo on Instagram.

Maybe we should bring back Myspace top friends–at least I would know where I stand.

This post is starting to sound like a sub-AIM-away-message (before subtweet was a thing). It’s not. It’s really not. I have lovely friends who have put up with a lot of my bullshit. I have friends that I have known since 4th grade who understand me and can go months without seeing, but I always feel comfortable around.

But I see my faults when I try to be a friend. It’s uncomfortable, but it is necessary. They make me want to be a better person.

Maybe one day I’ll be a friend worth talking about.

Image result for aim away messages

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

There’s something buzzing in my head.

Image result for bee gif

I decided one of my minor characters will be a beekeeper. Big mistake. I have spent hours learning about bees because a beekeeper should sound bee-lievable. I don’t even know how big of a role this character will play, or if they’ll even make the final cut. I think beekeeping has become a new form of procrastination.

When does research hinder instead of help a project?

I’m not sure, but bees are so hawt right now.

Bees drinking the water from the Bird Bath.

Bees drinking water with a hummingbird. So cute. omg

Did you know that a queen bee will mate only once? She stores enough sperm to lay eggs for the rest of her life. Oh, and the males lucky enough to mate with her? Their genitals are pulled out while mating, and they die. Talk about a healthy relationship!

Bees are clean freaks. Disease is a very real threat to a colony, so workers will clean off bees who look dirty. When a bee dies, the hive will slowly push the body out one by one like macabre crowd surfing.

Beekeeping is very intense, and my anxiety is not built for a hobby like that. I’d probably quit after the first bee died. Imagine a whole hive!

APIARIST Beekeeping Suit - Fencing Veil - Total Protection for Professional & Beginner Beekeepers

Hawt. Can I get one with pockets?

APIARIST Beekeeping Suit - Fencing Veil - Total Protection for Professional & Beginner Beekeepers

Where did she go?!???

But I see why people do it. It’s not all about the honey, money. From what I’ve read, a lot of people do it because it is a chance to be part of nature. Bees are an integral part of our lives. 80% of food is pollinated by flying insects, and most of that is by the honey bee. A beekeeper is the guardian to thousands and millions of little workers. It’s almost like playing god. Playing god to little bomb ass bitches who would sting you to death if they had the chance. Now that is the dream.


buzz buzz, bitches

Rusty Fork III: The Tools

Rusty Fork III: The Tools

This will be the most visually stimulating post that I make in this series. I have mad respect for bookstagrammers who can actually take decent photos. Enjoy the harsh sunlight. I didn’t think about editing or adding filters to the photos until I wrote this sentence, and I am too lazy to go back now.
A) Neo 2 Alphasmart – deserves an explanation. Maybe one day I’ll do a post on it.
B) Laptop – self-explanatory
C) My Bible – this is where I plot and draft many of the scenes. The pages are scattered with quotes and descriptions that have not been used yet. I had a nightmare that someone broke into my car and stole it from me.
D) Sticky Notes
E) Pens and Highlighters
F) Progress Calendar – I stole this idea from VE Schwab. It’s an easy way to see what progress you’ve made and can be utilized in many different ways. Each stars represents something I have completed for the day: read for an hour, write/plan for an hour, and work out.
G) Plot Sticky Notes (different from regular sticky notes) – I’m a very tactile person and Scrivener wasn’t cutting it. I had a flash of genius a few weeks ago, and stuck up the basic plot points for the three main characters on my bedroom wall. It has helped tremendously.
H) Progress Stars – everybody loves a reward, even a sticker reward.
I) Plot Calendar – this plot calendar is much more detailed than the original plot hanging on my wall. The story takes place over three weeks, so this makes it easy to break down each character’s story day by day.
J) Candle – because it’s calming as shit.
K) Note cards
L) Books on writing – okay, sometimes books on writing can be cheesy as hell and very limiting, but you can always find a glimmer of inspiration from them. I have enjoyed the Write Great Fiction series shown above.
M) Kindle
N) Book with prompts – this book has become part of my nighttime routine. I pick one prompt and write a short paragraph from the perspective of a main character. It has helped A LOT at finding the voices.
O) Desk

Rusty Fork I: The Why

Rusty Fork II: Strength




Rusty Fork II: Strength

Rusty Fork II: Strength

Rusty Fork I

I’m roughly 5,500 words into a very rough draft. This is an idea that has been floating around for about a month. I’ve never had a story idea come so vividly and easily before, so I feel like this is a good sign. I’ve had ideas in the past. Many ideas. Usually my ideas start with a cinematic scene, more often than not it is a climatic scene. That one scene will play over and over in my head with different takes and actors and backgrounds, and I will start to formulate a story from there. Right out of college, I had one such idea. I will spare you the gory details, but it wasn’t good. I had another idea last year for a fantasy that I worked on extensively for about 6 months, but I hit a wall and was not able to recover. I still like it, but I have set it aside for now. I may pick it back up in a few more years when it has aged a bit because I loved the characters. The characters were the strength, not the setting. I need to find them a home that they are worthy of. Read more

Rusty Fork I: The Why

Rusty Fork I: The Why

I’m not going to regale you with a nauseating story about how I have always wanted to write. Okay, I will.

Storytelling has been my window to the world. It has taught me how to put emotions into words and pictures. I could lie and say reading was my first love, but really, movie theaters were my first love.

I have a complicated relationship with my father. There was a lot resentment and anger growing up, but there was, and has always been, love. My father is a man of few words, but his few words are booming and exact. I am a woman of few words, but mine are quiet and exact. This caused a lot of miscommunication and distance, physical and emotional, especially when I was a teenager. Our language and middle ground has always been movies. Instead of talking, you watch and listen,you collectively observe. The room is dark. The music swells. The plot takes you out of your own plot. Some people will find this form of escapism unhealthy, dodging the real issues, but in our own strange way, stories helped us to connect. I’ve seen my father cry more times in a movie theater than I’ve seen him cry outside of one. I’ve probably seen him cry more times than most children have seen their own fathers cry. When my father told me that he was divorcing my mother, it was on the way to see a movie. I like to think that connection we had with theaters gave him the strength to tell me the worst thing he has ever had to tell me. You would think that safe space would become sullied with such a horrible memory, but it became a thread that helped mend.

A story is vulnerable, and allowing yourself to connect with that vulnerability takes strength. Yes, most of the movies we see together have more guns than dialogue or have a 30 or lower percentage rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but they are our movies. And the our is the most important part.

Liz, why not be a scriptwriter? I think in another life I would have done this. I really do think there is another version of myself in an alternate universe who lives in LA and works on a CW show or something, but Hollywood scares me. There is so much room for failure and not a lot of people to help you up. Movies are almost religious to me, and I would be worried about my mental state when I became disillusioned (the me in this reality, not the other version of myself). Also, there are books.

I’ve spent a lot of time in this first post about writing a book talking about movies, but I thought it was important for you to see where I am coming from and where that could lead.

The scariest thing in the world is to tell someone, “I am writing” because there are a lot of implications and expectations attached. So here it goes,

I am writing.