Tag Archives: news

Writing away

I’m up to 6900 words now. Might get a little more time tomorrow. I’m still getting used to these characters and trying to find a balance in the early going.

Basically, Jenny is a TV news woman who does local interest stories. She’s aging and her station wants to diversify and get younger at the same time. They promoted her to Assignments Editor, which is off-camera. Also makes room for a targeted replacement.

She would like to do hard news, but the deck is stacked against her. I know where this is all going, but am trying to find a balance. She’s a single mother of a college student who is also a major character. There are the workplace struggles. Plus a plot I want to get into.

I want the plot to unfold slowly, but am afraid if I don’t call it out in the first two pages I might bore some people. I want to challenge myself with a mystery-box style, but it’s obvious to me there’s going to be a learning curve. I’m trying to use some subtle imagery to call things out, but I don’t think it’s working too well. Things like an image on a kombucha bottle, a restaurant sign, and a few others.

I’m using a lot of workplace tension to try to keep the interest up. Jenny is trying to get her former cameraman used to her replacement. Struggling to find a schedule that keeps all the reporters busy, that kind of thing. She’s also haunting the basement to look through old files from various newspapers her conglomerate absorbed over the years. Maybe one of those will bring the kind of news she wants to dive into.

Finally, I sent Jenny on a day trip with her son. He’s failing Geology and has the opportunity to do some extra credit with a scintillator. This is basically radioactive prospecting. Her news research is starting to come together with his research paper.

I really should start my other story, but I’m dwelling on this for a while. It would probably help to get two going so I can bounce back and forth.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Might return to outer space with Percy the Space Chimp. Might stay where I am for a few more chapters.


Filed under Writing

What I wound up doing

After my reading binge yesterday, I had no agenda today. I earmarked time to talk with my mother, and we spent two hours on the phone. No rush. No squandered time.

I’ve got this character that’s been screaming at me for attention. She only has the vaguest outline of a plot, but she’s really interesting. Today I went down the research rabbit hole for her.

I spent my day learning about newsroom hierarchy, cattle mutilations, rare earth minerals. Double checked the locations of the Green River Killer. I spent an hour learning about radioactive prospecting by geologists, and shopped for scintillators. These things are better than Geiger counters and have even been used from low flying aircraft to identify ore bodies. Even made up a joke about them.

Research led me to common items in every home that will give off a radioactive signal. Things like several fruits and vegetables, smoke detectors, granite countertops, bricks, ceramics, and our cell phones. Cigarette smoke is radioactive, but vapes aren’t. No idea why that might be important, but it’s something I learned about today. A scintillator will pick up these light duty readings where a Geiger counter will not.

Botox and fillers took up a brief section of time. My character is going to be an aging television reporter whose looks are fading along with her desirability on camera. She wants more out of life. She wants to do hard news. I gave her a great weird habit that I think some might relate to. (Weird is kind of what I do.)

I invented a son for my MC, and decided she’s a war widow. This had me learning about audiologists, audiology technicians, and even Foley artists. What kind of college courses might be needed in these fields? I’ll have to make some of this up on the fly.

I’m getting close to what looks like a plot, but it isn’t ready for a storyboard just yet.

I need some kind of shadowy figure or a group to add tension as the rest unfolds. Why are they following her? Probably federal types, but it could also be something related to a tech billionaire. The kind who send rockets into space.

I scratched out some notes about a mentor type character. My MC can’t go from fluff pieces (or weather girl) to investigative journalism all at once. I like the idea of a disgraced newsman trying to live in obscurity. Maybe he was a fanny patter after that became newsworthy and he took the fall.

Sometimes I just need to get things out of my head. I’ve been known to make these sheets for stories that never get written. Sometimes they take two years before I turn them into something. Working ahead has served me well over the years. Then again, I might start drafting this next weekend. Who knows.


Filed under Writing

Is it time to go fishing?

Here’s a neat article about the Loch Ness Monster. 

I won’t steal their photos to glorify my blog. Check out the article.

As per usual, people see what they want to see. Is it a sunken ship, an airplane, waves? The comments on the article indicate all those things, and why the commenter feels that way.

For me, I need a ticket to Scotland, and a ten foot earthworm. Maybe a size 1000 cast iron skillet.


Filed under Uncategorized