The Prisoner

Last week’s story was different. At least for me.

I decided that I would write a story about a girl who was being held captive in a remote house. She never saw her guards, but she got fresh food on a regular basis and a daily assignment to keep her occupied. Other than the fact that there was no way to leave, it was a pretty comfortable prison.

But it was still a prison, and she missed having contact with other people. Especially her boyfriend. And after getting an assignment to write his obituary, she decided she couldn’t stick around any more and planned an escape. The story ends on the night that she makes her attempt, and, of course, that’s when something new popped into my head which turned the entire story on it’s head.

I realized that maybe the reason there weren’t any other people around was that there weren’t any other people. Maybe she wasn’t being held prisoner, but instead was being kept, like a zoo might do with endangered species. She might have been the last person left alive, and either machines were caring for her, or she had been taken to an alien zoo. I left the question hanging at the end, but I am thinking that when I edit this story I will need to work hints of it into the earlier parts so it doesn’t hit the reader completely out of the blue.

A big thing that made this story different for me was that I wrote it as a series of diary entries. I’m still using the Magic Spreadsheet (over 50 days in my chain now) and I figured that it would be easy to write one entry per day, which it was. There were a few days when I cut the entry short, but I tried to work it into the story in such a way that it seemed like a natural stopping point. But something that came out of that experience was that now I am considering writing something shorter for this week.

You see, by using the Magic Spreadsheet, I am making myself write at least 300 words a day. And since I am writing one story a week, that means that each story has to be at least 2,100 words. The final word count is actually more like 2,500. Before the Spreadsheet, I had some stories that were as short as 500 words, and quite a few that were less than 2,000.

I know that when I started using the Spreadsheet I knew that this was going to be an issue. At that time I had said that if I wrote a shorter story I would get my words in by either adding to or editing some of my older work. I think I’m ready to do that now.

This week, I’m going to write whatever comes to mind for my story, and if it is short, for the rest of the week I’ll work on something else. Maybe I’ll continue last year’s NaNoWriMo story, which wasn’t actually finished, even though I hit the word count goal. It has been a while though, so first I’ll have to read through it to remind myself what I was doing.

Or maybe I’ll start editing the YA superhero story I was working on last summer. I finished it before NaNoWriMo, but it’s just a first draft and maybe it’s time to start edits. I just finished reading EX-Heroes, by Peter Clines, so my mind is kind of in that mood anyway. If you haven’t heard of EX-Heroes, it’s something along the order of the Avengers meets the Walking Dead, and it’s pretty awesome. there are several other books in the series, and they have been added to my to-read list.

So that’s my update for the week. I’ll be back next Sunday to let you know how it went. See you then!

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