Five facts about my writing evolution

I shared an excerpt of the short story I published with my writing club and received lots of positive feedback. I was happily surprised by the response and I want to clarify I feel things:

  1. No, I have not been to the Jardin du Luxembourg (yet).
    I visited Paris on a brief trip back in 2017, and I hope to go back one day. I was able to navigate the garden with the amazing use of technology! As a matter of fact, thanks to this video I was able to create most of the scenes described in “Les Batailles de la Femme” (Woman’s Battle).
  2. I had at least six people proof-reading my story before it was published. My main struggle is (to this day) prepositions.
  3. I listened to this audio-biography of Simone de Beauvoir and that’s what inspired me to write about the early days of her life.
  4. After receiving feedback from trusted friends, I added a few things to the story mainly for the sake of the reader’s flow. I refused to change the characters' descriptions and sequence of facts as some people suggested.
  5. I read and re(read) the piece several times, I don’t even know how many, and one of the most exciting things to me is that every time I read I was taken in the journey with Marjorie. I was proud of my creation.

A lot of people commented on their own fears and struggles writing even in their first language! So, I decided to share today the very first piece I wrote with the Rough Writers club. I hope you see my progress and perhaps it will relieve some of the anxious hearts out there dying to become a best seller overnight!

(Well, not that I’m there YET, but you get the picture! We need to start somewhere).

The prompt was:

Five key elements that go into every great short story are character, setting, conflict, plot and theme.

This week’s writing assignment has to do with setting. The setting of a short story is the time and place in which it happens. Authors often use descriptions of landscape, scenery, buildings, seasons or weather to provide a strong sense of setting.

Please create an evocative description of a setting in 250 words OR LESS*. This setting may be for your short story or not, that part is up to you.

Here’s what I wrote, back on February 11, 2020.
I didn’t title it back then, so let me add a title now for you:

Wild hearts on the road

It’s the middle of the night in a remote area on the I-805 South, past the U.S./Mexico border. The sky is particularly clear and inviting to stargaze. No other lights can be seen in the distance for miles, except for the car’s headlights. Through the window, the silhouettes of naked trees yell freedom to passers-by. No leaves were needed in the desert. Those trees were survivors on the road.

There was something special about this place, a magical aura as if it was taken from a scene in a James Redfield novel. An exhilarating aroma of mint somehow penetrated the sealed windows of the car. It was a strong surreal mix of warmth and freshness. There was no GPS signal to check, but maybe there was a mint farm around?

Amazed and intrigued, they stopped the car and got out. A gentle breeze caressed their faces, like a lover’s first touch, caring and curious. As per an instinct, they took their shoes off and felt the cold, hard road under their feet. They laid on the road inebriated by the dreamlike experience, and let their lungs fill with the mysterious scent. One deep inhale was sufficient to realize: this is what heaven smells like.



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Ana C!ara Otoni

Ana C!ara Otoni

Journalist. Sustainability, Social Justice & Gender Equality. Becoming Odara daily. Passionate about life, sexuality & wine. Mugs lover.