Friday, June 24, 2011

Writing Photo Prompt Challenge - Week 57

Happy Friday everyone! I'm taking a slight break from my day job to post the lastest installment of my mystery serial, Hearts So Deep.

Hearts So Deep - Part 5

Casey stood there and merely looked at the professor. He made it clear earlier that he was not going to divulge any further information voluntarily, so she was going to have to find what she was looking for herself, unaided. Professor Enger closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, letting out a slow breath.

When he opened his eyes, his gaze was steady. There was some doubt there, but it was apparent that he had come to some kind of decision. He reached into his bag and delicately pulled out a dog eared book. It was water-stained and dirty, but was clearly a prized possession by Professor Enger.

“Ms. Turner, I can’t talk to you about this, but perhaps you will find some answers in this book. It may help you in White Oak.”

Before Casey could reply, he turned on his heel and walked away quickly. She held the book in her hands, running her fingers over the rough cloth texture of the cover. With as much care as Professor Enger used, Casey put the book in her bag and pulled up directions to White Oak. By the time she made it to her car, Casey knew exactly how to get out of the clusterfuck that was downtown Pittsburgh and into the suburbs.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Writing Photo Prompt Challenge - Week 56

Here is the lastest excerpt of my mystery story.

Hearts So Deep Part 4

Casey looked over at the older man, appreciating the patience and kindness in his eyes. She was unsure of what his reaction was going to be to her barging into his office unannounced. This was a pleasant surprise. She reached into her purse and pulled out the one picture she had of Julianne, the one she found in her mom’s journal.

“This was her. Her name was Julianne Turner.” Casey handed Professor Enger the photo. “She was only a student here for one year, in 1975.”

“Was? Has something happened to her?” he asked, his forehead creasing in concern.

“I don’t know,” Casey answered honestly. “Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know I had an aunt. I came across my mother’s journal recently and there were several entries about Julianne when she came to school here, but nothing afterward.”

Holding the picture gently in his hands, he stared at it, his lips fighting a smile. “Julie, yes I remember her. That year was my first year teaching. She was a good student, troubled, but smart.”

“How well did you know her?”

“Probably better than I should have. We were so close in age that it was easy to develop a friendship.”


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Writing Intensity...

So I'm working into chapter four of my novel and I only get so far before I stop. It's quite maddening. This is a key part of the story that ramps up the action as the world starts to go bonkers over the discovery. When I read what I've written, I don't see the level of intensity and excitement that I picture in my mind without it being over the top and melodramatic.

It is very frustrating.

My friends that I write with say it sounds fine, but still, I doubt. Ah, but this is natural, is it not? We are always our worst critics.

My scene invovlves a car chase on a interstate/turnpike. Options for evading are few seeing how everyone is driving in a straight line. Also, the pursuer is only tailing, not trying to run the MCs off the road. The internal thoughts of the characters and the dialogue seem to get some of the mood there but not all. I am not able to put a finger on what I am missing.

I am *this* close to just scrubbing the whole scene and trying to rewrite it completely. What I have pictured in my mind is not coming across right.

Do you do that? When you are writing a scene, do you picture it your head first? The environment, the characters themselves, what they are wearing, their facial expressions? It's like a movie in my mind ... I just need to figure out how to depict what is there.

How do you develop intensity in a scene you are writing? What do you focus on? The action of the scene? Body langage? Dialogue? Or perhaps all of the above?

Onward ...

Writing Photo Prompt Challenge - Week 55

Here is the latest excerpt of my weekly serial mystery that I started from the picture prompts given to me on the Writing Photo Prompt Challenge blog.

Hearts So Deep - Part 3

Casey turned to the last page and it appeared that the final entry was incomplete. It was also dated the week that she died, well after Casey was born. The last sentence was written in scratchy, hurried script, the pen pressed far into the paper, almost tearing it. Casey realized the last sentence wasn’t even complete. The pen line scritched out, like it was dragged. A few flecks of something brown dotted the bottom of the paper. Casey held the corner of the page up closer to her face to try to examine the specks.

It looked like old, dried blood.

Could this be her mothers?

Feeling suddenly ill, Casey tossed the journal on the table. She had put more force in her arm then she realized as the journal went sliding across the table and tumbled to the floor on the other side. Sighing, she walked over and picked up the journal by its spine. As she lifted it, a couple of pictures fluttered to the floor.

Puzzled, Casey knelt down and picked them. When she had flipped through the journal earlier, she had not seen any pictures tucked into any of the pages. The first picture looked like it was overexposed, but what Casey could see was a long haired woman in a seventies-esque fringed jumper. The woman did not look familiar. She flipped the picture over and the name “Julianne” was written across the back.

“Oh my God,” she whispered.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Writing Photo Prompt Challenge - Week 54

Here is a teaser from the latest installment of my pic prompt story "Hearts So Deep" that posted on Thursday on the Prompt blog.

Part 2

The next morning, Casey was sitting at her kitchen table with a cup of coffee and continued to read the entries that her mother wrote from her senior year of high school. Susan, heartbroken that she had no idea where her sister was, searched where the phone number she had was from. It didn’t take long. It was a Pittsburgh number. That alone posed a problem as Pittsburgh was a large city, quite unlike State College. Susan’s parents had taken her to Pittsburgh a few times over the years but still, the city was quite unknown to her.

Casey sat back and thought about how many times she had gone to Pittsburgh over the years: trips to the University of Pennsylvania to visit friends or to Heinz Field to watch the Steelers. Either way, the big city was much more familiar to her than it ever was to her mother. She wondered if that would help her in her search for information on her mother’s death or her missing aunt.

Flipping through the pages, she came across an entry about a trip that Susan made to Pittsburgh, on her own and completely scared. She was determined to search for Julianne, no matter what. Susan remembered how much Julianne liked football and decided that she’d hang out around the university to see if she could find her sister.

What Susan found at the University of Pittsburgh’s Pitt Stadium was not what she was expecting.