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Monday, October 26, 2009

My Writing Process: Act 5

Let me tell ya; there is nothing that puts a smile on my face faster than having this song as my ring tone. (Side note: does anyone else get really nervous at 0:51, when Shang pulls Mulan's shirt out? I always think "Don't look down!! You'll find out her sekrit!")

Anyway, onward!

How Sara Writes: A Play in Multiple Acts

ACT FIVE: You Beta Believe It

Our protagonist, Sara, lies on the stage beside Big Red Desk, PC's florescent glow flickering on her clothes. By the look on her face and her posture, it is clear Story lied about her not regretting Act Four.

Sara: Can't...look...at...screen...eyes...burning...

Story: Oh, grow up. It wasn't that bad. And look how shiny I am now! It was worth it. Admit it; you love me.

Sara: *hiccups* Too...much...awakeness...

Story: Why did you hiccup?

From off stage comes the sound of giggling, talking, high and feminine. A group of about 5 women appears stage left and, upon seeing the prostrate Sara, gasps as one.
Woman 1: Oh no! We're too late!

Woman 2: If you hadn't needed to ask for directions...

Woman 1: Big Red Desk isn't on Google Maps! Not my fault.

Woman 3: Stop bickering! We've got to help her; there may still be time!

Group of women rushes forward. Two of them tend to the barely conscious Sara, who mumbles things about clown cars and pet stores and nuclear holocausts and NO, ADVERB, BEGONE! The other three women stare down at PC.
Story: Whatta ya lookin' at me for?

Woman 4: *hands on hips* Shall we, ladies?

Woman 5: *mischievous grin* We shall.

Story: Hey now, what are you doing with that red pen? You're not going to-- not on PC's screen! You wouldn't dare! No, no, I'll tell you anything! Anything! Parlay!

Woman 3: You promise to cooperate?

Story: Yes! Anything! Just-- put the pen down. That's not necessary. We're all friends here, right?

Woman 4: That's yet to be determined.

Woman 1 and 2 drag Sara off stage while Woman 3, 4, and 5 pick up PC and head off stage left.
Woman 5: *pausing at edge of stage as lights dim* Come on, Woman 6.

A muffled whisper of confusion sweeps through the audience as a shadow passes over Big Red Desk. From off stage, Story whimpers.
Story: Sara said nothing about one of you being a ninja! No! I change my mind! No parlay! Help, help, he--

Story's strangled cries disappear beneath a swelling orchestral tune full of mystery and excitement. Good things are to come for sure.

Betas rock. Period. Next to editing, betaing is my favorite part; sending my story out into the wide, wide world of fellow writers is exciting and anxious-making and so, so constructive. Good betas give advice without being cruel, give criticism in a way that makes you go "Oh! You're right!" not "Oh my god. I'm never writing again." I've been truly blessed with the group of betas I've found; they're all fantastic!

Must go before I get all gushy. Tomorrow: the conclusion of How Sara Writes: A Play in Multiple Acts.


Unknown said...

I just spent the last half hour watching clips of songs from Mulan on Youtube.

Time well spent.

Natalie Whipple said...

This series is so hilarious. Once again, just laughing. A lot. Yay for beta!

Adam Heine said...

"Parlay!" Haha!

Betas are so, so, so important. But I've had to put strict rules in place for reading their critiques. For example, I'm not allowed to read a critique of my work -- ANY critique -- before I go to bed. Every time I have, I didn't sleep.

Renee Collins said...

You know, my daughter loves Mulan and as many times as I've seen it, I never caught that part about Shang pulling her shirt. LOL. A precarious moment, indeed.

Elana Johnson said...

I love my betas too. The only thing better than getting crits in the email is getting them in person. Now that's some major bleeding right there. :)

Mariah Irvin said...

First, I must say that my roommates and I have been singing that song for the last two weeks. Seriously.

Also, betas rock.

I love when story begs for parlay.

Julie Dao said...

Haha! Go betas! I feel a teensy bit sorry for Story though, but he totally got what was coming to him.

Hayley Lovell said...

I love this series Sara, it brightens my day every time I watch it! So lighthearted and warm, and I love your "story" he/she is so cute.

Wow that makes me sound crazy.

Sara Raasch said...

Kat -- Time spent watching Disney movies is never time wasted.

Natalie -- Glad I could make you chuckle :)

Adam -- Very true. The critiques usually keep me awake too because they get my writing juices flowing, or I'm so appalled that I missed something THAT obvious that I can't sleep until I fix it.

Renee -- I get distracted by the silliest things in movies. I'm almost certain I'm the only one who worries about that part of Mulan, hehe.

Elana -- Ooo, in-person crits. I've yet to have the pleasure of that experience, but I'm sure it's, um, thrilling, to say the least.

Mariah -- I <3 Disney songs.

Julie -- I felt bad for Story too, but only until I remembered what he put me through. Revenge!

Hayley -- Don't worry; we're all crazy here ;)