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#FirstDraft120 Day 119: TWO MORE DAYS! (counting today) | #amwriting

Monday, January 30, 2017

fd120-time-to-writeAre we there yet? Today and tomorrow are the last days of the FirstDraft120 challenge. I’m warming up, getting ready to sing. 😉

What will you have accomplished by the time February 1 dawns that you might not otherwise have done in the last four months?

While I’d set out with a goal to complete a rough draft of a full manuscript for this challenge, I realized I was pushing myself too hard and needed to take much smaller steps. So I changed my goal to “relearn that writing can be fun” and allowed myself to “play” with a whole bunch of story/character ideas instead of trying to force myself to do what it was that burned me out on writing in the first place. And you know what? I’m starting to remember that creating fiction can be fun. I’m not 100% of the way there yet—and I didn’t do a good job of keeping up with my at-least-one-hour-a-day commitment to “fiction work” this weekend (I need to catch up with writing some story ideas today and tomorrow). But I no longer dread the idea of sitting at the computer (or with a notebook and pen) and doing writing-work. And most days, I actually look forward to it.

Monday Momentum Motivation
This video came through this morning from one of the YouTube channels I subscribe to, which is great timing. While he’s focused on cliched scenes in movies, I’ve seen many (if not all) of these in novels before.

Don’t believe me? Picture this scenario: Our Hero meets a woman to whom he’s immediately attracted. But (needle scratch on the record) she’s already in a relationship with someone else. Heroine has been dating the Other Guy for a while now. And while it’s not a perfect relationship, (for some reason) she’s determined to make it work. Come to find out, though, Other Guy is sleeping around/doing something illegal/kicks puppies in his spare time (whatever dastardly thing it is) which gives the Heroine the perfect excuse to dump him for the (much more perfect) Hero.

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the premise of far too many rom-com movies and romance novels out there. (Princess Bride, You’ve Got Mail, and so on.)

So, check out this video and see if there are any other cliched scenes you might be using without realizing it:

Are you guilty of any of these cliches? What kinds of scenes do you think are overused in fiction? How’s your writing going?

  1. Monday, January 30, 2017 6:10 pm

    Okay, so here’s the just-before-the-book-opens background information on the story idea I started on Thursday and want to try to finish tonight:

    (no working title yet)

    Michael Edward Witherington grew up in Philadelphia as the heir apparent to Declan Importing. As his father’s eldest (of 4 sons) and because his uncle (_______ Declan) had no children (only daughters/never married?), Michael has been groomed to take over the offices of Declan Importing/the extensive family business empire in England. Michael cannot imagine spending the rest of his life in one place and, thankfully, with his cousin Edward’s agreeing to take over the combined businesses’ (Witherington Sugar and Declan Importing) operations in Portsmouth, Michael strikes a deal with his parents to be allowed to take one of the ships to “scour the Old World” for the antiquities, arts, and collectibles that have made the business, and the extended Declan-Witherington family, quite successful/wealthy. He will travel though Europe and contract with merchant ships to send the goods back to England and Philadelphia for the company to sell.

    After three unremarkable Seasons—at least as far as she is concerned, she wouldn’t remark upon any of the several proposals she received from men more interested in her dowry and her father’s title—The Lady Marianne Elizabeth Yates convinced her mother to allow her to leave London early to spend the fall, winter, and spring on a Grand Tour of Europe. After all, she elicited a promise from her parents at a very young age (before her father inherited his brother’s title/estates) that she, like they, would be allowed to marry for love. And since love hasn’t found her in England, maybe it will find her abroad. With their fair skin and ginger hair, Marianne and her mother make quite the splash (outside of the English enclaves where they stay) on their visits in the South of France, Greece, and Italy. And Marianne racks up several more declined proposals before they arrive in Florence in the spring. They haven’t been in town two days before they hear through the British grapevine of the handsome and wealthy American treasure hunter who has also just arrived and taken the English-speaking enclave by storm. However, no one has yet been able to manage an introduction—all invitations, cards, and calls have, so far, gone unanswered. As soon as Susan Yates, Countess Childers, learns his name, though, she sends a card and an invitation to tea.

    Michael immediately recognizes the name on the card and knows this is the opportunity he has been waiting for to make his introduction to the Brits living/visiting in Florence. So he accepts the Countess of Childers’ invitation to tea—something he knows will cause a stir and generate even more interest in the items he’s been collecting in the as-yet-unopened (temporary) gallery. Especially if he can convince Lady Childers to become his patron and host a showing for all of the upper-class English speaking society in the city.

    When Marianne hears her mother has a young, wealthy, handsome man coming to tea, she does what she used to do back home—she borrows a dress from her maid, dons a dark wig, and escapes the house before her mother can force her into the sitting room for an introduction. But she’s curious about this Michael Witherington—she’s been hearing his family name her whole life. So she arranges to bump into him (literally) on the street in front of her home as he’s arriving. And as soon as she sees him, she recalls all the stories she heard as a girl about his namesake father’s colorful past as a privateer. For Michael Witherington, with his unkempt, curly dark hair, scruffy face, and fancy suit, looks every inch the pirate his father was purported to be.


    • Monday, January 30, 2017 6:16 pm

      Michael Witherington = Michiel Huisman
      The Lady Marianne Yates = Sophie Turner


    • Monday, January 30, 2017 11:39 pm

      It’s turning into a reverse-Cinderella sort of storyline!


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