Writing a story with Jennifer

Over at Jennifer M. Eaton‘s place, several of us are writing a story together. Jennifer started it, and then we each get to add around 250 words to it. This week it’s my turn, yay! It’s not too late to join, you can add your name to her list over there too and write a future installment yourself. Before you read my installment, you may wish to catch up on the story so far…

Part One – Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Two – J. Keller Ford

Part Three – Susan Roebuck

Part Four – Elin Gregory

Part Five – Eileen Snyder

Part Six – Mikaela Wire

Before I wrote my installment, I needed to see what the character structure looked like (so far), so I attempted to draw it. I’m not claiming that this is any kind of definitive character structure for the story, but it’s how I saw it. If you can’t read it clearly, then click on it to open up the bigger version. If you don’t find it helpful, then feel free to ignore it!

Character structure tree

And finally, without further ado, I give you my installment…

Part Seven:

Jodi knelt down and peered through the gap. Too dark. The March wind she had felt in Carlisle Street had followed her here and it whispered its way in and out of the foliage, as though enticing the fauna to reveal its secrets. Jodi strained to look deeper into the gap and became aware of faint voices from within. She willed the wind to quieten as she positioned her ear towards the voices.

“I insist you tell me how it came to be in your possession.”

“Forgive me Gwydyon, but I cannot.”

“You are aware of the consequences Janosc?”

“Yes.”

“Well, no matter for now, time is short, we must seek guidance.”

Jodi nestled her ear further into the gap and listened keenly as the chanting began. First one voice, and then another, and another, until she could no longer count them as all the voices came together in a quickening repetitive chorus. “We open our eyes to the Spiral of Taur, we open our hearts to the Spiral of Taur, we open our minds to the Spiral of Taur, we open our ears to the Spiral of Taur”.

The mossy ground cushioned the sound of the approaching footsteps, and Jodi was unaware until the voice boomed out from behind her. “Jodi? What on earth are you doing?”.

She leapt up and glanced nervously back down towards the gap before mustering up the best semblance of a genuine smile that she could manage, “Oh it’s you, hi”. She beamed broadly and shuffled uneasily from foot to foot. “I was just…um…”.

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60 responses to “Writing a story with Jennifer

  1. Great job, Vanessa. I’m so glad you diagrammed the characters–now I don’t have to do it, lol. I love your piece and I really like how you homed in on one specific moment. Very tight and focused. I also love how you left off at a piece of dialogue. Very clever!

  2. oooo, I love the cliff hanger! Can’t wait for the next installment. Love the character flow chart, too. Great idea

  3. What a great idea! I’m entirely too intimidated (and let’s be real–not good enough) to participate, but I love this genre and I’m looking forward to seeing the story unfold!

    • I felt a bit intimidated too because some of the others involved have had books published and everything, and this isn’t at all the type of genre I would generally write, but I figured hey, it’s good to stretch yourself!

      And you would be good enough!

      • I appreciate the vote of confidence, but seriously, knowing your limitations is a good thing, and the ability to write fiction is one of my limitations :) But you never know, I still might give it a shot. I do at least understand what makes good and bad fiction.

  4. This is total and complete awesomeness! You drew it all together in one quick and easy sweep. Now we have two complete distinct stories to drive forward. Fantastic!

  5. This whole thing is such a clever idea! I love it!

  6. That diagram was a great idea! It helped me re-orient on the story in no time. And now you’ve nicely woven Jodi closer to the other characters, so the total fabric of the story is taking shape. But now I want to know who just showed up!!! Cliffhangers—argh! :)

  7. An excellent addition. This is a great story :)

  8. Great concept–collaborative writing. And you left the next person with a great ending. This could go anywhere! Clever!

  9. Pingback: Write a Story with Me – Oh Yeah! – Part Seven | Jennifer M Eaton

  10. Grand addition to the narrative with lots of potential for multi-universe cross-overs between contemporary Philadelphia and Argot. :) This just gets better and better.

  11. I always loved doing this with my students, but orally. This is such an awesome idea. Love where the story is going.

    • Yes, it reminds me of the game when we were kids where you sit in a circle and tell a story, one word each, but obviously this is on a much grander scale. You feel quite a sense of responsibility when it’s your turn!

  12. Gosh! Who’s just arrived on the scene? That was an excellent diagram which puts the whole story in perspective. Love the cliff-hanger…what’s going to happen next?

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  45. Oh jodi, Vanessa has you in a pickle! I like this Vanessa! Jodi is coming into the story very nicely. I appreciate your graphic and can see the benefit of it. I am coming in to the story soon and love the way it is filling out by installment 7. I hate that number six is missing, but expect it does not leave too much out that would negatively affect my understanding. I invite you to check out my piece when it is published,

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