A to Z Challenge 2013

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blog Chain - What The Heck Am I Doing?

As you can tell from the lack of posts this week, school is demanding the greatest portion of my time right now.  With that in mind, I'll be mostly unplugged this month as I try to catch up.  Sorry, but working my way through this current class has me feeling really thick-headed and slow, and I don't have much mental energy for anything else.  I'll be back in Sept though, starting with a guest appearance on the 1st by the talented Cassandra Jade (and I'll be posting on her blog that same day).

Today's blog chain query however, comes from the funny, the inspirational, the awesome writer Cole.  She asks:

Are you querying? Gearing up to go on submission? Writing? Revising? I'd love to hear what's new with you. And if you'd like to share a snippet of your WIP, even better!

I'm nowhere near ready to query or submit anything, and I've stopped writing new things due to time constraints.  So that leaves only revising (which you can tell how much I love it from previous posts).  It's a fairly slow process for me, both because of how little time I have to spend these days on writing as well as how hard it is for me to revise.  I see all the things I need to fix when I'm looking at a piece, but figuring out what fixes it is always a long process.  Still, I do enjoy when I have trimmed off excess or changed wording and the sentence comes out better.  The end result is worth the headache.

Below is my snippet, and for anyone who wants to give feedback here, my goal during these revisions is characterization, characterization, characterization.  One of the resounding themes during the critiques was the lack of description and characterization in my writing, so I'm attempting to combat that as best I can.  Enjoy, and don't feel like you have to say fuzzy bunny comments if you don't like it;  I got the flame suit on ;)

“This can’t be it”, Jeremy said as he looked around. The street was empty, other than a rusted orange Volkswagen on blocks. Hairs on the back of his neck stood out as he felt someone watching. Jeremy examined the building’s covered windows, sheets of plywood and scraps nailed up haphazardly across them. The front door was grimy, the dirt-brown paint peeling, but it was accessible. Shrugging off his uneasy feelings, Jeremy knocked on the door. It opened a moment later without a sound.

He looked in, feeling very uncertain. Beyond the entryway was a front desk of sorts, reminiscent of an old hotel. The ceiling and stained walls were engulfed in cobwebs and a thick layer of dust lay over everything.


“Come in and have a seat.” The dulcet tones contrasted against the dingy interior before him.

Jeremy couldn’t see who spoke, but the voice compelled obedience. He took a step in, grimacing at the dust swirling around his badly-shined shoes. Jeremy didn’t want to make a bad first impression, but there was no way he was going to sit down here.

“Ahh, there you are.”

A woman entering the room captured his attention immediately, and he couldn’t help but stare. She had long dark tresses that fell past her waist, caressing an hourglass figure. Her sky-blue eyes mirrored the iridescent dress she wore, and the hue of her skin was like a barely ripened peach. The neckline plunged dangerously low, threatening to spill its contents at any moment. Jeremy tried unsuccessfully to keep the flush from his face, hoping the woman wasn’t a mind reader.

“Uh…yeah…I...I’m here to apply for the…a…the job”, Jeremy said. “I mean, the IT position.”

“Of course you are. Follow me please.” Spinning on high heels, she turned and led Jeremy through a door. A cheap folding table dominated the center, with three chairs positioned behind it. Jeremy stumbled as he noticed all three women. They must all be related, he thought; the resemblance between them was unmistakable. The woman in the middle identically mirrored the first blue-eyed beauty, but one generation older. And the matronly woman on the end continued the trend. He nearly fell into the chair.

“Anything wrong, Mr. Franklin?” The coarse voice reminded him of an elementary school lunch lady.  How appropriate, he thought.

So that's a glimmer of what I'm working on.  If you didn't get the chance to read Sandra's post, head on over there.   Tomorrow we'll all get to see what Michelle H. is up to.


K.M. Weiland said...

Don't you hate it when time constraints start squeezing out your writing? Ah, Life, can't write with you and can't write without you... Here's hoping you find some writing time soon!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I have a hunch who the women are, but since I can't remember if you've told us already, I won't say anything. ;)

The description in this excerpt worked well for me. I think I'd need to see more to comment on characterization, however.

Good luck with the revisions!

Eric said...

K.M. - Thanks. I'm hoping after this class I'll find some time. The next one makes more sense to me, so maybe it'll be easier LOL.

Sandra - Yeah, I think I've mentioned this one a few times so those of you who are regulars might remember. I was trying to pick a section that would be short enough and yet show something good, but maybe this wasn't the right section LOL. Thanks for the comments anyway.

Angie said...

Good luck with school. Your snippet is intriguing. I'd definitely want to keep reading. I think it gives a good feel for Jeremy's personality. I would leave out the bit about hairs on the back of his neck because it's cliched, and there didn't seem to be anyone actually watching him, but it's just an excerpt, so I don't know. Maybe there is. Nice job, though.

Amanda said...

Sorry time has slipped away. Real life has a way of messing up one's writing time. ;) I like your excerpt! So mysterious. You left me wanting more!

Cole Gibsen said...

Oooh, I remember you talking about this story! So mysterious ;) Can't wait for more!!!

Sarah Bromley said...

I also get a mysterious vibe from the writing and the descriptions felt natural. I also really liked the three women. Good job!

Boy, do I ever know how frustrating it is when the days slip away. I do hope things relax for you soon.

Michelle McLean said...

yeah, school definitely has a way of sucking your time down the drain LOL Excellent snippet! I get a very clear sense of the setting and I really want to know more about what his job is going to be :)

Anonymous said...

I hope you find writing time. Great excerpt, by the way.

Kat Harris said...

OK, you say elementary school lunch lady, and the only thing that pops into my head is the movie Billy Madison: "Sloppy Joes...I made 'em nice 'n sloppy for ya. Ha! Ha!"

This is great Eric. Hang in there.

nomadshan said...

Good luck with revisions! I know what you mean about the satisfaction from trimming excess -- I get that, too.

B.J. Anderson said...

I thought this sounded very cool. I'm very curious about this job he's applying for! I hope you are able to find some writing time soon. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with school!

Great snippet--very mysterious! :D

Glynis said...

Have a great blogging break and thanks for sharing your snippet. It was a great read.

Margie Gelbwasser said...

So hard when life gets in the way of writing! Hang in there! I really got a sense of place in this snippet. You have a very good command of place description. Nice work!

Shaun Hutchinson said...

I'd definitely read more! I'm interested in these people, which is great. Keep up the good work and good luck on revising!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I actually thought the characterization in this excerpt was quite good - so great job on those revisions. It's great to be able to revise and have such a specific goal of what you want to change in mind.