Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Cut, Paste and Blend

I am a member of two writing groups, Focus on Fiction at my local Barnes and Noble and the IWWG (International Woman's Writing Guild). I love the companionship I have found in these groups and both afford me wonderful contacts, a test audience and editing staff, a sounding board for my creative gripes and useful knowledge about the writing world. Not to mention I enjoy being all those things for the others of my group.

Well, my FoF group and soon my IWWG group, enjoy writing prompts and take home assignments. Recently I have been using some of these prompts as scene starters for my WIP Ghost Mountain. I complete my assignment, I get a audience for my story and I have another scene for my book. TA DA!!!!!!

Of course the scenes I have created from these prompts are in no particular order in my story. Like so many other scenes we write when something inspires us on a lark, I find myself stowing away these scenes and sprinkling in bits of them as I write my WIP. Cut. Paste. Blend!

Below was a prompt I assigned my FoF group a couple months back. I gave them three pictures and asked them to write a scene from the POV of the person or persons in it. It went off well, being that the creative mind is a visual mind. I chose the woman looking out over a lake to a mountain. Go figure.

Do any of you have a great cut, paste and blend story or have a piece that still needs a home? Do you do this sort of bit and piece writing or are you a shoot straight through sort of writer?

The scene below is in the running with two other "finally we are together" moments I have written for my MC Wyatt and his gal Mary. It's from Mary's POV. It's rough and I have a few issues with it, but it also has enough merits not to be embarrassed by it. Keep in mind, it is at the end of the story and there is a bit of spoiler in the scene.

Thanks for stopping by Under the Steps.

A scarce grin lifts my lips. I can still hear Aunt Sissy grousing about the meal I didn’t eat to Mr. Morrell in the B&B’s back kitchen. I didn’t want supper or the coffee that now grows cold before me, but she made them just the same.

Sissy wants to take care of me. I understand. And I understand that worrying about me right now is easier than distressing over all of the wondrous and insane things that have occurred these last few days. So I am happy my eating habits have given my dear Aunt’s worrying a narrower focus, but I can not help but envy her for it.

Leaning further onto the porch rail, my stomach empty and my head full, I watch the colors of evening continue to dim and darken into dusk over what remains of Mt. Hesper. To think only a month ago, it was just a silent sentry on Mercy Corners horizon and not the hiding place of a possible threat. We now know our mountains secrets and all questions have been answered. All but one of my own...


Pinching the bridge of my nose, I close my eyes in attempt to give my thoughts their own focus.

Wyatt Paxton, Mercy Corners Sheriff, town hero and my long lost childhood friend and heartbreak. He’s the reason why my appetite and my heart feel so ill tonight. Why I wish it was only the unbelievable events of this past week that’s left me spinning still.

I finally know why Wyatt left me and Mercy Corners all those years ago. He became a Marine to be a better man than his father, although I never had a doubt the kind of man he would be. And he left me because he believed—my self sacrificing, frustratingly stubborn and oh so stupid Wyatt—believed that I deserved a better future than barefoot and babies in a small town and a better man not to have that with.

So I know why he did the things he had done. My question left unanswered tonight—hell, since coming back to Mercy Corners—has everything to do with ‘what now?’

Pulled from my thoughts, I hear what sounds like Brownie dog scratching at the kitchen screen door. I reach for the table light and set off down the veranda and into the house. Aunt Sissy and Mr. Morrell must have just left for bed. All I see in the kitchen is the dim light of sunset bouncing off the floor tile and Brownie’s tale wagging in and out of sight just past the entryway.

“Brownie what are you...”

My hands still over the dogs collar before I can pull him away from the screen. A shadow stands at the edge of the back stoop.

“Wyatt, is that you?” I know it’s him, but still I don’t open the screen door.

The shadow nods from the bottom of the steps and my chest tightens. I can just make out the glint of his big black eyes in the dying light.

“Wyatt, you live here too. Why don’t you just come in?” My eyes are more focused now and I can see Wyatt’s head lower and his broad hands squeeze the hat he holds. But he makes no move to step forward and I make no move to open the door.

“Wyatt—Wyatt, talk to me...” I didn’t want it to sound like a plead, but it couldn’t be helped.

Abruptly he steps up to the closed screen and I involuntarily flinch. His frame fills the door and his face is now inches from mine. I see things I recognize in his eyes and things he has never let me see. With each exhale of warm breath into the cooling evening air between us, I know my last question needs to be answered tonight.


I can do this. I have been through an earthquake, had half my loved ones in the hospital, was nearly buried alive and faced down a UFO, just within the last week, so I should be able to ask a question?

“Wyatt, do you still love me?”

Wyatt’s eyes close and I can feel his ragged breath warm my forehead through the screen. My own breathing has already ceased. And then he gently nods and I hear a soft but solid “Yes”.

“Wyatt, do you want me?” I swallow hard when his eyes draw open and I see my answer long before he gives it.

“So much” a wistful glint lightens his gaze and I can’t help but brightly smile. “So very, very much.”

I clear my throat and straiten my shoulders while reaching for the door latch. “Then I think you better step back Sheriff, so I can open the door.”


  1. Love! What a great scene. I adore the image of a full head and empty stomach.

  2. Thank you! It's a start. And the picture kinda brought the "full head and empty stomach" image to me. A woman in deep thought sitting with a cup of cold coffee and untouched food.

  3. Whew! Love the anticipation there! Great scene. Um, I can never leave here without feeding your brain knows they're not real...but I just HAVE to feed them-they act so hungry, lol.

  4. Like I said, its a idea. And I HAVE TO feed the fishies too, before I leave my blog. (And feed the cat lower on the page) I have koi in the real world and they just amuse me. Take some to your page. Its a fun add.

  5. I love writing prompts and how they sometimes lead in a direction I hadn't thought to go. What a great scene! Well done.

  6. At first, I didn't think I would. But since I have been using to help along my WIP's and I have been writing other prompts as stand alone short stories, I look forward to getting them. I like challenges when I write and prompts do that. And thank you so much for commenting...all of you.

  7. I really like this scene! It really drew me in - great voice here.

  8. I may end up "cut and pasting" my blogfest entry. :)

    I enjoyed your scene! Wyatt is one of my favorite names.

  9. Guinevere: It's a start, thank you. I am happy that my characters are talking to more than just me. ;-)

    DL: Why not. Like we said before, blogfests and writing prompts are a wonderful way to get new material for our WIP's.

    And the name Wyatt resonates quiet and strong guy, honorable guy, not afraid of action/ could have been a cowboy guy. Also like Logan, Jack, Max and Jake.

  10. Wow, that was really good. Thanks for sharing it, Nicole. =o)

    I'm a right straight through kind of gal. If I get an idea for a later scene than where I'm at, I jot it down in a notebook. My brain needs a line it can follow, I guess - even if that line is all loopy and crooked sometimes. LOL

  11. Hey, thats the kind of straight line I understand!!! ;-D And I bet you have a few of those notebooks. I know I do.

    And thank you for the read and kind words.

  12. With me it's usually a full stomach and an empty head!

    You took me into the scene so that I felt it was real. That is true talent. Roland

  13. ;-P THHHHHHHHHHT! Like most men. *knowing smile*

    And I am glad this bit did it for ya. It just needs a whole lot of fixin.



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