Tuesday, February 03, 2009

CWCO: Workshop assignment

What a day yesterday was at the Catholic Writers Conference Online! Eleven hours of informative chats on everything from generating ideas to polishing manuscripts. We have seven more to go!

I was up until 1:30 working on the homework in the forums workshops. Those really are my fave, because I get to practice my skills. Devon Ellington always has a fun dialogue workshop. I'm using it to generate ideas for the next DragonEye, PI novel, GapMan! Thought you'd like the snippet:

Assignment: Two characters are traveling. As they do, they discuss a situation, and a third person.

With a moan and an arthritic grinding of gears, the conveyor belt started moving. The gaps and hills made by the rollers beneath her caused her to bump up and down.
Kitty tugged and pulled at the cords that held her bound. She kicked her legs, trying to pull free of the bond that held her ankles together, and caught her heel on the rubber of the conveyor belt. She snarled in frustration, went back to twisting her hands--

"Would you stop? You're poking my back!"

She turned her head to snarl at her fellow captive. "Well, do something, GapMan! Snap the bonds. Fly us out of here. Something!"

"You think I haven't tried? I can't. The bonds are made of Faeriemet."

"Like kryptonite. Great!" Kitty groaned with despair, then with pain as she threw her head back, whacking the back of his. "Who thinks to make a cable out of Faeriemet?"

"I dunno--maybe someone who's read your interview? I thought that was off the record."

"Oh, so this is my fault now?'

"Now that you mention it."

"Look! I was just doing my job--"

"Gee, me, too. Look where that got us."

She dug her heels into the rubber and tried to pull herself forward against the motion of the conveyor. The ropes dug into her chest as the weight behind her didn't budge.

"Help me!"

"What do you think I was trying to do! But would you follow me to safety? 'Just a few more minutes. Let's see what's behind that door.'" His voice went high and twisty in a nasty parody of hers. "Any more brilliant suggestions?"

"I don't think you're properly motivated!"

GapMan barked a most unheroic laugh. "Motivated? Who's the one facing the incinerator? What else did you write?"


"What else did you write? Am I going to find a picture of myself in Faerie-Mundane Quarterly? The sequel to 'I dated a Faerie Dragon'?"

"Could we talk about this another time?"

An increase in pitch in the engines.

"It's speeding up!" Her voice wobbled in time with the bumping of her tailbone on the belt. She twisted and pulled, trying to drag him with her. They wobbled toward the edge.

"Stop it! That's a 30-foot drop!"

"Better than burning to death!"

"He was right about you, you know!"


"Vern!" his shout echoed across the abandoned factory.

Hers was nearly as loud. "You've been talking to me about Vern?"

"No, you idiot! I'm calling for help. Vern! Help us!"

"NO! Not him, not!" She twisted, caught a glimpse of the glowing Destination of Death, shrieked through her teeth. Slamming her heels against the conveyor belt more in tantrum in terror, she screwed up her face and screamed, "Vern!"

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