A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Stick

 by Debbie Nance

I did NOT have chemo this week. Yay!

I had so much more energy. Tuesday I started feeling a bit better. By Wednesday I ran errands, got gas in the car, stopped at the grocery store, did some editing for which I will get paid, and cooked a real dinner. I even updated the family photo frames so that my two youngest have photos that include all of their kids. Thursday, I finally caught things up to the present in my scrapbook/journal, which included putting in the Christmas cards from last December. Both days, I worked on projects for WIFYR, wrote and answered email, read and commented on blogs, and worked on my lesson for the Primary kids on Sunday. It’s been a great week!

I didn’t tell you what happened on Monday in place of chemo.

I may have mentioned before that I have macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that causes loss of sight. Every six weeks, I go to my eye doctor to receive an injection –yes, in fact, “a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” that keeps me from losing my sight. So that is what I did on Monday.

What does this have to do with writing?

Long ago, I read a friend’s PB manuscript where she described a girl who, each day woke up, got out of bed, got dressed, brushed her teeth, ate breakfast, and I don’t know what else. The story didn’t keep my interest. When everything goes well with our characters, there isn’t much tension. Not much plot. It is when our characters have obstacles to overcome or tasks that stretch them to their limits that our plots become interesting.

You’ve probably heard the saying that writing is like a Three Act Play. In the first act, you get your character up a tree; in the second act, you throw rocks at them; and in the third act, you get them down and safe.

Monday and Tuesday were when I personally got stuck in one of my trees and had rocks thrown. Wednesday and Thursday are when I got down and enjoyed things.

Which part of my week was most interesting to you? (My hubby has an eye injection on video if you ever want to get grossed out. Just let me know, and I’ll forward it to you.)

Write a scene where your M/C gets into some kind of trouble. Throw a few metaphorical rocks. Where does it take you? What do you think? If there isn’t enough tension or movement, throw a few more rocks or give her a poke. I promise it will liven up your story.

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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Life, Plot

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