Week 2 Update + Plans for Week 3

This week, besides my usual tasks, I focused on how I’m going to organize my posts from now on. I’ll talk about this during the update. This week I ended up publishing two posts, a midweek update and a short story with a comment, had some views and gained some followers, though for now I’m not going to concentrate on that. As I said, at least now in the beginning, I’m only going to be concentrating on creating content to publish at a later date, while researching aspects on writing and publishing my thoughts and findings. While having people checking out the blog and liking what they see is something that I cherish (though it also gives me some anxiety), it’s not what I’m really concentrating on right now.

Week 2 Update

Like last week, I achieved all my goals:

Novel: Read three chapters of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. From now on, and as I’m going to explain later in this post, I’ll be reading as much every week as possible since I’ve given up on the idea of making a separate post about it every week. In terms of the book itself, I’m still in the very beginning and don’t have much to say. After all, in terms of narrative, it’s establishing the setting and the characters, as well as Tom himself and his life.

Short Stories: Read three short stories: “Os Três Homens Aderem à Revolução” [The Three Men Join the Revolution], “Sentado no Deserto” [Sitting in the Desert], “Costureirinha (uma lenda Lisboeta)” [The Young Seamstress (a legend from Lisbon)]. All three stories had aspects I liked: the first one focuses on the men, but doesn’t show them in the revolution, only their plans to travel– how they end up in one is hinted at through their conversation, which mentions the (historically important) date of their trip; the second one deals with questions of social class and social responsibility; the third is a story told in the form of a legend, which is something I’d like to write myself.

Prompts: This week I used these prompts:

  • “I got this for you,” your character’s spouse says as s/he hands your character a gun.  “I have the feeling you’re going to be needing it.”
  • As your character is pulling out of the parking garage, she looks in the rearview mirror and lets out a shriek.  There is a woman she doesn’t know sitting in the backseat of her car.  “Don’t be scared,” the woman says…

In total, I wrote 3709 words. The first story has a total of 1989 words, the second 1720 and, unlike the last two, they both had a clear ending! Maybe it was because I was aware of it this time, maybe it was just the nature of the stories/prompts, I’ll continue to pay special attention to this.

I have a tendency of wanting to continue the stories, even the ones I feel are finished, like in the case of the second one. This is because I feel there’s more that can be told– the goal of the story is met, but the characters continue their lives after it, and I think there’s just a part of me that wishes to continue writing about them. My way to deal with this is to write a sequel or a longer work based on that short story, although I’m fully aware that, often, this isn’t possible.

Craft Book: I did another two exercises on The Field Guide to Your Imagination. One  focused on reality, and the other on one’s future self.

When it comes to the first exercise, I didn’t really complete it because it involved going on social media. I don’t really use my social media profiles because, after a while, I just stopped seeing what was the point in them, and they also started to unnerve me. There’s a certain sense of unreality when it comes to the reality presented on social media. There’s also the fact that I’m a very private person, so even if I had a lot to share on social media (which I don’t) I wouldn’t be very comfortable doing so. The exercise was to reflect on what I envy when looking at other people’s profiles, and why we do so. I try not to feel envy, even when I wish to have what other people have. I feel longing, but not something as strong as envy. But I can still say that, in terms of envying what others have, it would mainly come down to experiences. Going places, doing things, being able to share it all with others. On the why I feel it, it’s just my desire for more than what I currently have, to live more than what I’ve lived thus far. Of being able to connect without fear.

Last time, there was an exercise focusing on our past. This one is dedicated to an imaginated future self. I do think about the future a lot, as a sort of distant thing that will arrive sooner or later, though not much about how I will be. I have a certain, vague idea of what I want– work as a translator while also having a career as a writer, hopefully having success as both– but, in a certain way I’m afraid to do so. It’s important to imagine what we want in order to know what it is and work for it, the problem is that I don’t want to imagine a scenario so perfect and grand that it might, in a sense, sabotage me. And I’m not only talking about sabotage in the sense of me screwing up things for myself; I have this vague belief that the universe will knock me down if I dare to dream too high. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I’ve been disappointed before and it has affected me. Another thing I’ll have to overcome or deal with during my life, I guess…

Craft Element: This week’s element was Show and Tell. I’ve decided that, instead of making an individual post for every element, I’ll just compile the information for all of them and publish it on the last week of each month. This way, I can research more thoroughly and organize my information better.

Still, and to sum up, a story needs to have both Show and Tell, it’s just important to strike a balance. If you only Tell, your story becomes stale, without details and difficult to picture in one’s mind. However, there are things that you don’t need to Show. For example, if a character travels to point A to point B, it’s only important to Show the journey if it’s important for the story. If not, just say that the character traveled to point B.

Plans for Week 3

My plans are the same. I’ll be reading more than the required 2 chapters/stories and write my impressions on my Updates post. I’ll also be planning out and starting my Craft Elements Masterpost to publish at the end of the month (around the 29th, before I post my Map of February). I’ll also post more updates during the week if I feel so inclined.

Have a good week!

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