Saturday, July 6, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo - Week 1

So I decided to sign up to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, but I know I don't have the time or focus to work on a full novel so I decided to try to work on some of my short stories.  I need to retool some of them before I send them off to see if I can get them published in a magazine or two. (fingers crossed).

First up I'm working on a stories I've titled "The Diner."  This week I've added on to the ending and rewrote the opening.

Original opening:
It’s three in the morning. Cassie is sitting alone in a diner waiting. She’s waiting for her ex-boyfriend’s brother; his twin brother. The twins don’t share many similarities: Dylan is outgoing and athletic with light hair and a perfectly tanned muscled body. D.J. is dark - his hair, his mood, and his clothes. What they do share is a love for Cassie.

After graduation Cassie went to school out of state and never looked back. Her plan was to forget them both and move on with her life, but that never happened. Cassie is a writer; she needs to write. Sitting at her computer one night she wrote the story she had always carried in her heart.

Just like in her real life, Cassie’s female character spent three years basking in the glow of her boyfriend. That fourth year she spent in his glow she also became the light in his twin’s dark life. When Cassie finished her manuscript she sent a copy to both Dylan and D.J. — not expecting a reply from either one. D.J. responded. She flew home, spent a week with her family, and was meeting him only hours before her flight back. She had put the meeting off for as long as she could.

“Cassie.” The voice startled her out of her reverie, and she looked up to see D.J., holding her manuscript. He looked practically the same since the last time she saw him, still handsomely dark and brooding.

“Sit. I guess we should talk,” Cassie said, gesturing to the bench across from her.

He slid into the seat and neither spoke for a moment. Then he looked up at her and smiled. “You look good.”

Here's my new opening:
A small town diner at three in the morning was the perfect place to people watch. As an author Cassie didn’t mind sitting in the booth alone. She sat scribbling notes in a battered notebook, drinking strong coffee and waiting. She started to write the scene out in her notebook. The diner was clean, but battered looking as though the years of use had been a hard fought battle. The few customers and the waitresses looked just as battle worn. She realized it was the perfect place for this meeting.

This meeting could be considered a battle, she hadn’t seen her opponent since she left home for college ten years ago. She knew the cause of this battle, her soon to be published first novel. A novel that just so happened to be semi-autobiographical. A novel that was both painful and cathartic to write. She hadn’t planned on writing this novel, but it just all came out one night as she sat struggling at her computer. She had to write this story and now she was getting ready to face a fight with one of the characters. She knew it was a possibility she would need to talk to them, legal issues that had to be resolved before the book could be published. She just didn’t expect to be asked to a face to face in her hometown.

“Cassie.” The voice startled her out of her reverie, and she looked up to see D.J., holding a file folder she knew contained her manuscript and the legal documents.

“Sit. I guess we should talk,” Cassie said, gesturing to the bench across from her.

He slid into the seat and neither spoke for a long while. They both just looked at each other, sizing each other up for the battle ahead. He looked practically the same and imagined his twin brother, her ex-boyfriend, looked similar. They always looked too much alike for their own good, it got them out of plenty of trouble as kids. Looks aside the twins didn’t share many similarities but Cassie had found something special in each of them. Dylan had been the one to ask her out first, something both she and D.J. later regretted, but by that time it was already too late. Things had already soured and Cassie was ready to leave and never come back.

One of the tired looking waitresses came over and poured D.J. some coffee. He declined her offer of a menu. Then he looked up at Cassie and smiled. “You look good.”

What do you think of my new opening? (I honestly want to know!)

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