A Tagless Dialogue

No, nothing to do with last week’s con experience. This was a writing exercise at a Trai Cartwright workshop I attended last month. We were prompted to write a scene based on a cliche, and I went a bit meta….

“It’s you. Just you.”

“What’s me?”

“Everything. It all depends on you. You’re the Chosen One.”

“‘Save the cheerleader, save the world’?”

“Yeah, sure, something like that.”

“Who the fuck are you, anyway? There hasn’t been a single damn dialogue tag this whole conversation.”

“Never mind who I am. Like I said, this is all about you.”

“Well, then, who the fuck am I? Even that hasn’t been established yet. Dialogue tags, dude, dialogue tags.”

“Hey, did you just mis-gender me on purpose? I am pretty clearly not a dude.”

“Couldn’t prove it by me. This has been nothing but dialogue without a shred of narrative, let alone any character descriptions. I don’t even know if I’m a dude. For all I know, we could both be AI programs. Poorly programmed ones, at that.”

“Speak for yourself. I bet I could pass a Turing test. Can you say that?”

“I’ll say whatever the fuck I want. I’m the Chosen One, remember?”

“Wait, I thought I was the Chosen One. Whose turn is it to talk, anyway?”

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Plan A

Wow! This post, which I wrote back in September, has miraculously reappeared! It just went poof and I could not find the draft anywhere. But here it is, more or less intact. And I’m happy to report that I’m still more or less on track, with just minor changes to Plan B.

– – – – – – – – – – –

They say one way to improve productivity is to not only set goals but to share them with others. It’s one of the cornerstones of NaNoWriMo, and I do believe that my active involvement in the local NaNo group last year is a large part of why I finally “won” after oh-so-many attempts in previous years. I do have that as a goal again this year, but this time I am considering it more of a stepping-stone sort of goal. My next significant goal is to enter the Killer Nashville contest for the 2013 Claymore Award.

I know myself well enough to know that I must give myself plenty of stepping-stones. So here’s the plan:

1. Research trip to Arrow Rock.

2. Trai’s seminar on developing voice.

3. Research reading.

4. Steampunk and language creation panels at Mile Hi Con.

5. Trai’s seminar on novelcraft.

6. Creation of working outline for NaNoWriMo. (A gods’-view timeline, actually. That is a post unto itself.)

7. NaNoWriMo 2012.

8. Basic development of steampunk patois.

9. NaNoEdMo 2012. (That would be National Novel Editing Month. AKA December.) Trai will most likely offer a seminar.

10. Critical assessment of rough draft. (This means finding brutal readers skilled in the art of constructive criticism.)

11. Edits focused on first 50 pages.

12. Alternate history panels at AnomalyCon 2013.

13. Critical assessment of first 50 pages.

14. Contest-focused edits of first 50 pages.

15. Contest submission.

:: deep breath ::

It’s just 50 pages. That’s, what, half a NaNo?