Thank you for your support. I want to continue to provide this sort of thing, so make sure to spread the word! The more people who participate, the better!
Also, there are donation buttons and a link to the LJ IDOL STORE on the sidebar. Those are great ways to “give back” and help things like the Work Shop, and Season 9, happen!
As I’ve posted over the last couple of weeks, there are some great new books out from Season 8 fan favorites milk_and_glass notodette and whipchick’s Champion Christopher Buehlman, so be sure to check them out!
As for Episode 2, I invited joeymichaels and sharya to discuss their process as one of the most effective duos to come through those halls.
Fortunately, for all of us, they agreed to it… so, let’s get this show started!
Gary has offered sharya and I an opportunity to discuss anddemonstrate out working method this week.
During the two season I competed (6 and 7), everything I wrote as an official entry was edited by Shar. Even if I wasn't pretty severely dyslexic, I would want to work with an editor. In addition to fixing spelling, grammar, formatting, awkward word choices, etc., Shar provides me with feedback about the quality of the storytelling or the piece as a whole. I've abandoned or completely restructured pieces based on her feedback.
Rather than talk about how we work together, we thought we'd show you. What follows is a very brief rough draft by me. After that, you can read Shar's first batch of edits and feedback. She and I will continue this discussion in the comments and, working together, we'll produce a finished version of this piece (or a piece like it) in the comments.
I've selected (part of a) prompt from LJI Season 2 as a starting point for this entry: FRIENDS – MAKING THEM, KEEPING THEM, AND LOSING THEM.
Sleeping Is Giving In
The gunshot was still ringing in her ears, but instead of being dead, Tia found herself lying naked on a warm metal table. She could still smell the gun's discharge and her wrist ached from the kickback. A mask covered face leaned over her, its breathing tube dangling inches from Tia's face.
"Did we get her? Or is that still the slug?" a voice asked over a speaker.
"Its her but she's bleeding," said the mask, "but I think she's just been grazed. She seems lucid."
"Yeah, definitely lucid."
Tia felt a sharp prick in her arm and felt herself start to drift off.
"I've sedated her. I'm going to get to work on the head wound."
"Good work, Susan," said the voice over the speaker.
Everything around Tia went black.
When Tia regained consciousness, she found herself in her bedroom,
alone. Her first thought, naturally, was that it had all been a dream - stealing the money from the register; having her boss threaten to call the police; driving home in hysterics; getting the gun; the person in the mask. Then she felt a throbbing on the side of her head and the tightness of bandaging. She started to reach for her wound, but her arms were restrained. Tia decided that she must have failed to kill herself. Her parents must have found her and tied her to the bed so she wouldn't do anymore damage to herself. The worst possible ending to the event.
And then the voice from speaker spoke, but in her head.
"Welcome back, Tia," it said gently.
Tia didn't say anything, but her mind was racing. Maybe she was dead?
Maybe this was hell?
"This isn't hell, Tia."
"What is going on?"
"I know this is confusing... it was confusing for me, too, at first. We replaced you just as you pulled the trigger with a clone slug. Its in your grave right now. Has been for almost 400 years."
"We need you... well, we need somebody and you come very highly recommended... I recommended you, in fact..."
"Recommended? What? Who are you?"
"Somebody who loved you in another life. We've all been through the same thing you've been through. Well, similar things. Can we trust you to not harm yourself... at least until you see what we need you for?"
Tia's thoughts were jumbled, but she was more curious about what was going on than in ending her life at the moment. The voice responded before she could speak.
"I thought you'd see it that way."
With that, the restraints around her wrists unwrapped themselves and Tia's bedroom melted away into the inside of a bare metallic gray cube. A door slid opened and in walked a slightly familiar man.
"Billy?" said Tia, "But you're so much older..."
"I didn't try to kill myself until I was 35. I have a lot to show you."
He offered her his hand and they exited the room.
Over to you, Shar!
Ok, first impressions:(And this feedback is assuming that this piece is written for the lj idol competition rather than for any other purpose)
The first sentence might be putting people off a bit. I mean right away, it's talking about a gun and a girl near death, and lying naked on a table - the naked part led me to believe there might be something sexual going on here, and I thought this was going to turn into a piece about a sexual assault. It didn't though, but to start it off that way might be a bit off-putting and some might not finish the piece based on the first sentence. Just food for thought there, but I think it would go over better without the naked reference.
It then flows really well until it gets to the point of the sentence that mentions the clone slug. Now it could just be that I'm really tired, but that part lost me. I re-read it a few times and I think that part needs to be fleshed out a little more - it's introducing a foreign concept with not much in the way of an introduction.
I'd say you had my interest right away, and I'm pretty sure I was hooked by the mention of 400 years.
Good start! Keep going – I want to read the end!
(Joey to continue in the comments)