Today I discovered my next step in this crazy novel writing education – a nine month writing course at the University of Washington. It’s a certificate program in writing Popular Fiction. For the application – yep, you need to apply and get accepted so this is the real deal, you have to submit a letter explaining why you want to take the course, your resume indicating relevant experience, and a 500 word writing sample (eeek). I chose a sample from last year’s Nano exercise. I had to do some major editing to actually get it to 500 words. I’m pretty wordy apparently, particularly with nano where I’m trying to ‘get to’ 50,000 words in a month! Who knows if it’s good enough, or if I’ll be good enough if I’m selected for the program, but here we go!
Writing Sample from 2012 NaNoWrimo “novel”
(500 word sample maximum)
I believe implicitly that every young man in the world is fascinated with either sharks or dinosaurs.
~Peter Benchley 20th Century Author
Across the lake was a large triceratops and two smaller triceratops drinking water.
“It’s huge. Is that a mother and her young?” Julie asked PuiChee the expert in their group.
“Triceratops are exhibiting matriarchal-society behavior with the young staying with the mother until grown, similar to elephant herds.” PuiChee whispered. The larger dinosaur looked up in their direction sniffing the air.
Henry unsheathed his firearm as a precaution.
“You won’t need that.” PuiChee stated, looking from the firearm across the lake to the Triceratops. There was no clear path from the big beasts to their group. The large dinosaur dropped her head back down and resumed drinking.
“Fascinating. They’re not interested in us.” PuiChee stated. She sat down on a rock at the edge of the lake pulling out her tablet and began to record notes and pictures.
“Shall we?” Julie said to Karmen nodding to her own pack and tablet.
“We’re heading back in a couple of hours to hit camp before nightfall.” Henry said watching Karmen wander off down the bank of the lake, taking samples of soil, water, and snapping pictures with her tablet of everything.
Julie took off the other direction examining and taking samples of all the plants she encountered, putting them into plastic containers and stowing those in her pack. Where possible she placed entire plants, root balls, and soil as one into the bio-engineered containers for further study.
After ninety minutes collecting, examining, recording, and observing, PuiChee noticed when the triceratops picked up their giant spiked heads simultaneously and looked behind them. The larger animal nudged the smaller ones gently with her horns, getting them to move away from the water supply, further displaying maternal behavior.
“Something has them spooked.” Henry said to PuiChee standing over her shoulder looking through his binoculars. “I can’t see anything coming, but if it’s scary enough to spook those beasts we definitely shouldn’t stick around. Ladies, let’s move out.” He called out to Karmen and Julie.
PuiChee packed up her sack. She hurried behind Henry, looking back over her shoulder. The triceratops were moving quickly, almost out of site. Henry was shepherding the scientists away from the lake rapidly.
They all felt the earth quaking with what seemed like heavy foot falls. “That’s an impact tremor…” PuiChee said. “Something very large is coming towards the lake.”
“Then let’s keep moving.” Henry said bringing up the rear of the group. They all started running, packs bouncing on their backs the entire two miles back to camp.