Massive Effect

There’s something I would like to try, it involves this little jar here.

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About a week ago I came up with this idea to do blind writing prompts. I cut my index cards into four rectangles, wrote a prompt on them, then placed them in this jar. I got up to 40 by the time my hand cramped up.

I hoped this would help me to get more words on paper (so to speak) rather than spending time scrolling through pages and pages of prompts until I feel the “AHA!” moment.

Most of my “brilliant” ideas never seem to stick, I hope this one does.

Here is the first prompt I got:

Take a timer and set it to 10 minutes. Start the timer and begin writing from the point of view of a person drifting in space. The catch? In 10 minutes they will run out of oxygen.


The beeping intensified, thrumming its incessant high pitch ring into my brain. My stomach did loop-the-loops as I went upside down, flipping effortlessly. I couldn’t stop flipping over, spinning, or whatever the hell I was doing. Although surrounded by the stars, their light never seemed so dim. The pinpoints of light were like blurs as if ink smeared across a paper. A black paper. A very empty black sheet of paper.

I wasn’t slowing down. The beeping was getting faster or was that my heart? It hammered in beat with the alarm.

5 minutes now.

That’s all I have left. I was drifting away, the ship was no where to be seen. Maybe if I tried twisting my body, try to at least slow my inevitable voyage into the endless abyss. My beaths are shorter now. Deep breaths. slow. On who am I kidding, I’m not going to live.

3 minutes.

Part of me knows it’s useless but my body keeps jerking, just a little bit more.

2.

I feel myself slowing. My lunch is in my throat. I swallow. No need to make my day worse than to suffocate in my own vomit. Yes! I’m spinning the other way now. The Ship! Oh sweet mercy! I see it. A dot extends towards me on a bungee cord. I’m crying. They saw me. Just a bit longer –


This piece was inspired by the movie Gravity (as if I needed another reason to fear Outer Space). I was actually rooting for my guy but the timer ran out. We can’t fight time, well unless you’re Max Caulfield.

Even from this small passage, I’ve learned a bit more. I still have problems with tones and description, most of the things I wrote don’t make sense. While typing this up, I had to stop myself several times from adding more to it, I needed it to stay raw. I think that’s the best way to analyze it.

I hope to at least try this exercise once a week, take a break from my regular  characters and explore for a bit.

At first, I was tempted to toss it back in the jar. It was hard to pick something I didn’t want to write, or feel inspired by, kind of like an English essay prompt, but I like thinking on the spot. I’ve found that all my essays in school were better when I didn’t have much time to plan for it. Which is weird because I don’t like writing stories that aren’t planned to a “T”.

My question to everyone else is, are you a Pantser (write by the seat of your pants), a Planner, or a hybrid of both?

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9 thoughts on “Massive Effect

  1. This is a very interesting exercise! First, I liked your passage. It worked. My guess though is that you are visually and mentally too close to the movie, Gravity, to create a totally unique description of being in a life-threatening situation in outer-space. Now, having said that. I thought you did a very good job…in spite of having seen the movie. You’re good. Your stream-of-consciousness narration was effective, given the small amount of time you gave yourself to write. Way to go!

    Now, to answer your blog question. Hmmm, I think I’m a hybrid. I start out–almost always–as a “panster” but as the story develops and deepens, I usually have to stop and construct a “plan!” I really liked the post. Thanks! oh, and I think the jar idea is good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it. I haven’t had much experience with the science fiction genre and Gravity is what stuck ^^;
      I almost didn’t post it but that’s what feedback it for.
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. It’s really cool to hear back from people and knowing I’m not living in a vacuum (too early for space puns?).
      The idea of being a “panster” actually terrifies me; if I don’t plan for every contingency I can’t write but I think being a hybrid is the way to go, like having the best of both worlds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Ameteal, let me just say, I really like your blog. You’re doing a fine job.

        Hmmm, to tell the truth, I go through much of the same kinds of angst that you’ve experienced. It’s a mix. I’ve experienced one or two occasions…not many…where I actually sat down and wrote a story from beginning to end. Oh, I loved it.

        BUT, I currently have, a number of stories that have yet to be finished. Oh hell, I have three novels in the works… one finished but needs extensive work and two others flat out hardly 1/3 done. Sigh. I’m working on one of them at this very moment…. I’m trying to discipline myself to stick with one project until its done, but what happens is that I get this incredible idea. I write it into my “Ideas” folder but then I’m so excited I pull it out and start writing like a mad man…until a week or so goes by then I start thinking about the “other’ novel…gaaaaa. And both works need planning…big time.

        Oh, and please excuse me for being wordy. I think you’re the first person I’ve been able to talk to about this. But, I use an ap called Scapple. It cost…I don’t know, a minimum, and it really helps me with characters, plotting and stuff. It’s a kind of mapping using blocks of info and little lines all over the place. So that’s that. Okay. and hey, go with the flow. You’ll be fine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m the same way; it’s hard to stick to one story and flesh it out (my current novel I’ve started a few years ago and am just now treating it seriously). I feel unfaithful to my current story because my mind wanders too much. You don’t even want to see my notebooks (every few pages pertains to a new story. I need to get organized >_<).
        And no excuses need to be made. I'm happy you feel comfortable talking to me about this. It is a struggle. I miss my writing classes because of the support, so it's great that there are places online that writers can support one another ^_^
        I'll check out Scapple, anything that helps is welcome 😀
        I have read a few blogs that talk about Evernote but I haven't checked it out yet.
        What I've done so far (plotting wise) is make a chart in a my notebook of all the key points/scenes for all my stories. These are supposed to be my guidelines (but my characters rarely want to follow the program).
        Sometimes, I find that it helps if I write just a bit on my novel (for like 20-40 min) and then write something else (like for the blog, or just type up the ideas from my notebook). There's a quote I like from Stephen King, he said "write a page a day. Only 300 words and in a year you have written a novel". Anything you write towards your novel(s) is a step closer to finishing. It's also great because you don't have to limit yourself to one story at a time ^_^
        Hope everything goes well :3

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  2. All my life – and it is quite long now and my writing life began when I was about 7 it is not about planning ever. I simply could not exist that way. (Perhaps that is just me) Beyond the Ashes (my first novel) Perhaps you could check it out the e-book is not expensive….find on Amazon. You may not like my writing but one day I had a question in my mind…….how do people respond to tragedy. What happens to a family…..does everyone react the same. When life disintegrates like ashes….what happens. Beyond the Ashes was birthed. It took many years of bits and pieces of writing. One day it was finished! I loved your prompting suggestions and what you have written is clever and thoughtful. These exercises are BRILLIANT. Keep going you are probably destined to be a better and greater writer than I could ever be. Simplicity and of the heart is the only way I could write but the world of possibilities is yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Faye. I’ll definitely check out your book, it sounds very interesting. As always, your words fill me with encouragement. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog.

      Like

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