From One Word A Day To Seventeen Hundred

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So, it may come as no suprise, given that my 55-word-story output has fallen to the point where I’m probably at about a word a day, but I’m having trouble with National Novel Writing Month.  My first attempt, yesterday, resulted in 500-odd terrible, terrible words.  This morning I have written 200 better words.  After scratching yesterday’s aborted attempt, though, I have about 3,000 more to go. You may read both versions below the fold.  I hope to have a chapter or two ready to post by the end of tonight, come hell or high water or hideous, hideous writing.

I Can’t Believe I Started Writing and a Crappy Young Adult Book Came Out Version:

“So, what’s so cool about this cave, again?” asked Ricky as he braced himself between two spiky, almost-pyramid-shaped rocks.  He jumped forward onto more even ground, but failed to take his backpack into account; it nearly pulled him down to the hard, wet cave floor.

Mrs. Noonan turned around.  “It’s supposed to have the best cave paintings in Spain.  And stop goofing around, kid.  This might not be a tough cave, but you could still break your fool neck on the cavern floor.”

Ricky grunted noncommittally.  Some vacation this was turning out to be.  He let his blond hair fall in front of his eyes and tried to stare daggers at his teacher.  Mrs. Noonan stared right back and then smiled.  He automatically smiled back.

“See?” she said.  “Even I can smile. So, so can you.”

“Whatever,” he said, waving her away but still smiling.

Erin came up behind them, stepping smoothly between the two spiky rocks.  “Did I just see Mean Mrs. Noonan smile?” she asked.  “I didn’t know you did that.”

“Now, don’t be cheeky,” the teacher warned.  “My rule generally is:I don’t smile until after Christmas.”
“Really?” Erin asked.

“Yes,” said Mrs. Noonan.  “If I was as nice to my class on the first day as I am on the last, my students would think I’m a pushover.  The rest of the class will see me smile when we get back from this trip.”

“Hah, it’s like a trailer,” Erin said.

“Yeah, said Ricky,”a trailer for The Smiles To Come.”

Erin lowered her voice.  “‘Everyone knew her as Mean Mrs. Noonan.  Some students thought she was ex-Army.  But no one knew the startling truth: Mrs. Noonan was secretly a nice person.'”

“That’s really good!” Ricky sat down hard on a rock, laughing.  It echoed strangely.  “You sound just like that movie trailer guy.”  He lowered his own voice.  “‘This January, coming to theaters – The Teacher Can Smile!'”

“Very funny, Erin Ledee and Richard Beckwith.”

“Did you hear how awesomely that all echoed?” asked Erin, sitting down next to Ricky.  “That was worth coming down here by itself.  Hey, is that Galen?”

“Yeah, here comes Hunt,” Ricky said.  “Where are the others?”

“We went pretty fast, I guess,” Erin theorized.

Mrs. Noonan squatted against a slanted rock wall.  “Good idea you two had, taking a rest.  We should probably wait for Mr. Wendell and the stragglers here.”  She rustled around in her pack and took out a sandwich.  “Anyway, Erin, if you think the echoes in here are neat, wait until you see the cave paintings.  They’re supposed to be amazing.”

“Hi, Mrs. Noonan,” said Galen as he sat down with them, taking his backpack off and setting it against the rusty-looking rock.

“Hello, Galen,” she said.  “What do you think of the cave so far?”

Somewhat Somewhat Better Version:

“This is the find of a lifetime,” said Grant Allen.

“That’s what you said the last time.”  Frank Rich spat his tobacco out into the baggie Allen had made him bring.  “Is this a second lifetime, then?”

They stood, side by side- or as side-by-side as they could, with such an uneven rock floor.  Allen wore a grey t-shirt with “National Archaeological Digging Month” written in red raised lettering on its front, with “November Is NaArDiMo!” written on the back in yellow.  His jeans were faded and wrinkled, and he had a miner’s helmet on, replete with light on the top.  The other man had the same helmet on his head, but there the similarity of dress ended.  Frank Rich believed in being prepared, and it showed.  His clothes were shiny and new-looking, though they were not, in fact, new.  His red pants and blue long-sleeve shirt were made of new, technological materials, designed to regulate body temperature and cushion from a fall.  He had a backpack on that practically doubled his size, and he was not a small man to begin with.  He had six inches and seventy pounds on Grant Allen, much of it muscle.  He also

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2 Responses to “From One Word A Day To Seventeen Hundred”

  1. Sebatinsky Says:

    Cool new banner.

  2. gryfft Says:

    The banner was me, and it was because nobody else does it.

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