5 minutes of effort

This is what came out of Michael Dellert’s daily writing prompt (in italics).

Jonathan was sick and tired of being pushed around. Today he was finally going to do something about it. He turned off his clock before the alarm and straightened the rumpled sheets and thick wool blanket. He glanced at the frost on the window and tugged on a flannel shirt. Jon tossed his worn boots into the bottom of the closet and dug in the back to find his lined mountaineers.  He finished dressing and slipped out his door. Practiced stealth helped him navigate his way downstairs and he softly skipped the third step from the bottom. The squeak of that stair was an instant alarm to his folks.  In the mud room, he pulled on his duster and gloves. He rubbed the blood and mud off of the torn sleeve as he turned the old brass knob and quietly exited toward the barn. Today, would be his day.

This was just a bit more than 5 minutes.  Again, it feels like too many words. If I went back to edit it, I’d probably trim some of the details. Right or wrong. Editing isn’t my strong suit. I feel like I state too much, don’t lead the reader to the scene quite enough. I’m working on it. I want to get to the point where the reader glances up from the page and is startled to find their own room surrounds them still. I want to craft magic.  So far, I have pots of murky potions that smell of cliche and boredom. I’ll work on the spells again another day.

What inspires your writing? How do you know when it has become magic?

4 thoughts on “5 minutes of effort

  1. Reblogged this on MDellert-dot-Com and commented:
    Always honored to see my work being put to work. What a great example of how a writing prompt can be used as a tool to further the mastery of craft. Keep up the writing!

    1. Thank you! I’m working on honing the craft. If I could get what I hear in my mind onto the pages, the stories would be powerful. I just lose something during the trip to my fingertips.

      1. “One always has a better book in one’s mind than one can manage to get onto paper.” ― Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours. If you’ve read The Hours, its hard to imagine. Day in and day out, keep practicing. You’ll never succeed, but it’s a damn lot of fun trying. 🙂

  2. What inspires my writing? Myth, literature, history, religion, politics… In a word: people.

    How do I know when it has become magic? When I lose myself in the writing the way you hope your readers lose themselves in the reading. “Good heavens, it’s dark outside already. And I haven’t eaten since… Damn. What day *is* it anyway?”

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