Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Memes, Zombies, and Adverbs... Oh My!

Happy Monday (on the West Coast at least).  I tend to keep blogging early Tuesday morning instead of Monday.  Maybe I should change my blogging day to Tuesday! :-)

A new meme has been going around on the Internet this week called Lucky Sevens.  I wanted to play along, really I did, but I just couldn't follow the rules.  It requires you to go to page 7 or 77, start with line 7, and post the next 7 sentences or paragraphs.  Sounds like a blast, but here's my problem: I can't post anything I'm working on.  Really.  Here's why:

1) My #norobotschallenge YA manuscript, MW: Both page 7 and 77 are pivotal parts of the book for the main character.  Within those sentences/paragraphs are things integral to the plot.  Really don't want to post stuff like that.  Plus, I'm about to query, and I don't want an agent to stumble across it before he/she receives my query.

2) My partial roughdraft, MG manuscript, TI: Both pages 7 and 77 are bare bones with compressed time scenes that need to be fleshed out and have notes woven throughout.  The sentences aren't even complete since I've been jotting notes all over them.  Not really good for playing along.

3) My zombie short story for the Zombie Survival Crew's upcoming anthology: Not going there without permission!

So, since I can't do the Lucky Sevens meme, I thought I'd do something related that's also fun.  I ran across a snippet from my first zombie short story.  I posted it on my Facebook page when I was working on the roughdraft. It's from August 31, 2009. After I wrote it, I couldn't find a home for it until I heard about the first Zombie Survival Crew anthology contest.

"Erik cold? Jaimy warm up.” She pulled my face down to kiss me. After
a long kiss, she paused and pulled back. She opened her mouth
unnaturally wide and worked a loose tooth out of her decaying gums. It
popped out like she was 8. She giggled and made a comment about the
Tooth Fairy. That’s the thing with dating a zombie; you have to watch
out for errant body parts.

Now compare it to the final version, published in May 2011 in the anthology UNDEAD IS NOT AN OPTION:

“Erik cold? Jaimy warm up.”

Her hands hold my face in a vise-like grip as she pulls me toward her
deformed lips. Zombies are surprisingly strong for dead people. After a
long, drool-soaked kiss, she pushes me back and feels around in her
mouth. She opens it unnaturally wide as she yanks a loose tooth out of
her decaying gums, and a smell similar to rancid meat fills my nose for
just a second. As the acid rises in my throat, she giggles and mumbles
something about the Tooth Fairy. It doesn’t take me long to compose
myself since I’m used to it by now. Dating a zombie, you learn quickly
that you have to watch out for errant body parts.

What is with all those adverbs?! Yikes! LOL It's interesting to see how the structure remained the same, and even a lot of the language, but I think I upped the "ick" factor. :-)

 Not only is this cartoon awesome, it's by the fabulous Debbie aka Inky Girl. You should check out her site. Like now.  She rocks.

It's amazing to look back at my writing from when I first started seriously working on it (late 2008) and compare it to now.  I've learned and grown so much, but I continue to learn every day.  Craft improves the more you work at it, but there's always room for improvement.  I'll be continuing to hone my craft and learn as much as possible while I'm still breathing.

This time, the adverbs are going down.

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