Sunday, October 17, 2010

dribble, drabble, dabble

Remember how I told you I was wrestling with voice? That I'm not sure how to approach my novel? First person, third person, same voice, changing voices? So I thought I play a little today. Practice. 

I was going to write a random scene, then rewrite it from a different point of view. I started thinking up a scenario but asked myself, why not write a scene from The NovelI mean, why practice my swing without a bat in hand? 

Then, I found Rayna's blog through NaBloWriMo, and I learned about drabbles, a form of flash fiction that presents a scene in exactly 100 words.

Oh, cool.

I'm a huge fan of brevity. Maybe that's simply because I don't have enough endurance to write longer pieces. Or maybe it's because I don't have a whole lot of time to write or read or go to the bathroom sometimes. But I know this: I like writing short stuff. And I really like what writing poetry has taught me -- choose words carefully and shove as much as you can into every syllable.  

So I decided to do it. Write a drabble. And write it again from another point of view. 

Then show it to you.


Cadey unzipped anxiety and tossed it aside with her windbreaker, but it clung to her singlet anyway. She was all there when the gun went off and held pace with the leaders for the first half mile. It was hard. Her fingers went numb. But when shoe snagged against shin, her rhythmic gait splintered into a slow-motion lunge. It was over. She knew she was going to fall, the same way she knew she didn’t throw up this morning because of nerves like she had told her mom. She also knew that she wouldn't get up. She wouldn't finish.


I shivered. I was nervous. Not about anything but the race – it was everything. The silence before the gun sounded was the longest pause I had ever experienced. I was a ball of tension and then suddenly – bam – I was all motion. I saw nothing but the ponytail in front of me, swish, whip, swishing. Until I stuttered. Then all at once the track was too close to my face and I knew I was done. I didn’t move. My shoulder smarted something terrible, but I knew it would be the least of my pain. I would carry something heavier. 


I liked that. I can handle writing 100 words at a time. Maybe this is how I will proceed. Hey, 500 drabbles could make a novel!