This challenge was to write a 100 word piece containing the dialogue, “What are you lot doing here?’
Here’s what I came up with (100 words):
Tears of a Clown
Ken was dead.
When he opened his eyes, he found he was beside a huge circus tent. Stale candyfloss and calliope chorus floated past on the breeze as several familiar figures approached.
“What are you lot doing here?” asked Ken.
“Welcome, Coco!” said Mr Giggles, painted tears contrasting his cheerful outlook.
Ken groaned and looked down at his own garish red and yellow costume.
“Yes, you guessed it,” said Flower, “It’s Clown Heaven!”
“Is this a joke?”
“Coco!” said Jangles, “There’s nothing funny about Clown Heaven!”
Ken sighed and put on his clown nose. “Yeah. You’re telling me.”
I try to post these on a weekly basis and I love to hear your feedback so please comment below, follow the blog or join the conversation on Twitter. Why not try your own pieces based on the same prompt and post your links below?
Ok . . . excuse me while I just slap on a fake smile and put some positive spin on this . . . ahem . . . there we go. That’s better.
So, 15k in May is over and the big question on everyone’s lips (ok, just the select few who are interested) is did I reach my word target? The answer is no, but I did make a lot of progress on my novel, writing around 12,000 words over the month. Better still, I highlighted some major issues with the denouement of the book and now have a much better idea of what I need to do to fix it.
I began brightly enough, throwing down words with reckless abandon, despite the fact that my outline chapter plan ran out several thousand words ago – and therein lies the problem. This novel is very heavily plotted, which is fine, but does mean that I should have really taken the time to properly devise how I was going to satisfyingly bring it all together for the climax of the story. Over the last few days of the challenge I ground to a halt, realising I had written myself further in to a corner and limited my possible outcomes to outlandish coincidences and conceits that will jar with the rest of the work.
All of this means I have to scoot back a few thousand words, to where I believe the problem started, and take some time to adequately weave everything together. I have begun to do this – with 500 words of notes written on the last day of the challenge – but it will be a work in progress over the coming weeks and months.
This is my first attempt at a novel and, like most forms of writing, it is a learning experience and a chance to create something I am proud of. Clutching this positive thought to my chest, like a childhood teddy-bear, I will continue the journey and keep you abreast of my progress. I am over 70,000 words in to the project and not about to give up so easily!
In the spirit of full disclosure, here are my final daily word counts for the challenge:
May 23rd – ZERO
May 24th – ZERO
May 25th – ZERO
May 26th – ZERO
May 27th – ZERO
May 28th – 663
May 29th – ZERO
May 30th – ZERO
May 31st – 500 (notes)
FINAL WORD COUNT FOR CHALLENGE: 12,289
Although I didn’t reach the target, it was a fun exercise and a great excuse to do more work on the book. It also gave me the opportunity to meet and learn from lots of other great writers, as listed in my previous post here. Thanks to everyone who took part in or supported the challenge. See you for 15k in May 2014?