Thursday, September 10, 2009

Temper Teaser Time

My latest WiP is coming along pretty well. It took me two days to write the 7K word skeleton synopsis. (Okay, two days with like eight in between. When I write, I write.)

So each chapter has about a 500 word synopsis already written out, and the plan was to write whatever scenes called to me and plug them into the appropriate place. I could write a scene from chapter 3 one day, then the next day write a scene from chapter 12. Whatever my random little heart desired.

Today I started writing-- actually writing, not just loose, ill-written synopsis-ing.

Naturally, I started at the very beginning.

Ha ha ha, guess the chronological writer in me wins this round. I'm still very happy with what I've done. The entire story is mapped out beautifully, and, though I probably will write chronologically for the most part, if I ever get stuck I will be able to skip a scene or a chapter then come back to it.

Guess it's more of my obsessive need to plot and plan and outline that drove me to do this, rather than my desire to write randomly. I am really obsessive about plotting and outlining. I don't know how you jump-right-in writers do it!

Anyhoo, I thought I'd post the opening pages I wrote today.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Temper

Connor Thomas had a sinking feeling in his stomach that confirmed his worries. He knew the sidekick audition was a bad idea, but still he sat, in the waiting room of Hero Headquarters Inc., patiently waiting for his name to be called. He pulled the lavender sheet of paper from his pocket and unfolded it, smoothing it out with both hands. The poster was heavily wrinkled, soft and faded from being read and re-read.

At the top of the page there was a photo of legendary superhero Captain Power, pointing with one arm and flexing with the other. Below, in large black letters, it read:

...To be my new sidekick!
Hero Headquarters will be holding auditions to find Captain Power a new sidekick.
Have an ability? Want to save the world?
Come by the office this Friday and show us what you've got!

Connor read the words for the hundredth time then crumbled the paper and shoved it back into his pocket with a sigh. This was by far the worst idea he'd ever had. Not that he could take full credit for what was sure to be a humiliating experience. His brother, Sinker, had really been the one who pushed him into it.

“We're broke,” Sinker had declared over dinner earlier that week.

Connor shoved a bread roll into his mouth and shrugged one shoulder. “So?” He chewed and swallowed, then continued, “We'll cut back on some things-- like cable.”

“I already canceled the cable and sold the TV last week. It's still not enough.”

Connor twisted around and saw that the TV was indeed missing from the stand in the living room. “Oh.” It was all he could think of to say. Sinker loved television, if he'd sold their TV it could only mean that things were really getting bad.

Sinker shook his head. “I'm not making enough money at Hero's.” Sinker was the assistant manager at Hero's Supply Shack, a little store in the center of town. “We're running out of money fast, little bro. It's only a matter of time before we lose the apartment.”

“Well, what can I do? I'm mowing lawns every weekend but grass only grows so fast.”

“You could get a different job.”

Connor sighed. “Where? I won't be sixteen for months, no one will hire me.”

It was then that Sinker pulled the audition poster from inside his jacket. “There's no age requirement to be a sidekick.” He pushed the paper across the table toward Connor.

Connor took one look at the poster and the smiling, flexing picture of Captain Power. “No way. I'll get a real job when I turn sixteen.”

“We won't make it until then. Sidekicks are paid really well in this town, you know, and they get all sorts of benefits. Abilities that are actually useful are rare. You could do this.”

Connor groaned. “You have an ability, why don't you do it?”

“You know why. Besides, my ability is hardly useful. Just go to the audition. Try. If you don't get it, we'll figure something out. But you can at least try.”

“This is a horrible idea,” Connor replied, but he'd picked up the poster and put it in his pocket.

And now, in the lobby of Hero Headquarters, Connor was more certain than ever that he was making a huge mistake. Especially when he looked at the competition.

He tried not to stare at the other auditioning sidekicks, but it was difficult-- they were an odd group. The girl sitting across from him was chewing her fingernails down to the bone then regrowing them back, only to begin all over again. And the man in the far corner had stretched his neck out long like elastic so he could read a poster on the other side of the room. Then there was the little boy sitting by the door, whose tongue shot two feet into the air to catch a fly that had somehow found its way into the building.

Connor sighed, he was clearly surrounded by freaks. Not that he wasn't a freak, but at least he hid it much better than the others.

At that moment, the door swung open, and the receptionist stepped into the room. Glancing at her clipboard, she lifted her head and looked around the room with a huge, fake smile. “Mr. Connor Thomas, we are ready for you now.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Questions for you:

Are you a chronological writer, or a jump-right-in writer?

How much (or how little) do you plan before writing? Do you know what happens in the end, or do you not even know what happens in chapter two?

Peace and Reese's Pieces,

(P.S. Wanna win a copy of Catching Fire? Check out the contest!)


  1. Loved the teaser! Yay for more YA Superheroes!

    I am usually a chronological writer, but definitely skip around as the need hits.

  2. Ooo I like the teaser! I'd definitely read on!

    I'm a chronological writer all the way. My mind doesn't work by skipping around; I'm always afraid I'll miss something or get the emotional build-up wrong. And I always have to plan everything out too -- outlines are a writer's best friend.

  3. I always write out my scenes and chapters in chronological order. I don't plan further than a chapter ahead of where I'm at in the story, but I have the major plot points and climax in my head. Although I think planning is important, I also enjoy discovering my own story as I go along.

    I have a question for YOU: Do you belong to a critique group?

  4. Jesus, Mary, Joseph and a camel. I totally forgot to say that I dig the first few pages of your new story!

  5. Thanks for the nice words about my teaser, guys!

    Ina- I'm a member of Critique Circle, but I don't use it very often. I don't belong to any smaller/more personal critique groups.