In TUFF Love, Carrot Ranch’s Charli Mills asked participants to revise an original western romance through a 99-59-9-99 word process with each step requiring a different craft twist. This event is an exercise of inspiration thru changing POV and final edit.
Original 99-word Draft: The Wild, Wild West
Anton shrugged out of his jacket, kicking off his boots,and with them, the urban muck of cow shit and cheap whiskey. Padding into the foothills in bare feet, he wrinkled his nose, drawing his lips back from canines that glinted moonlight.
His departure had been delayed. Had she already left?
Trees morphed to low brush as he climbed higher, tearing buttons from his shirt, slipping off his jeans, to reveal his sinewy, tawny body. He panted, called to her, low in his throat.
Pausing, his hope faltered.
Startled, joyful, he rolled, as her canines grabbed his careless neck.
TUFF PART Two: 59-word Story with Original POV
Anton abandoned the mining town, shucking jacket, boots, shirt, finally slithering out of his jeans. He wrinkled his nose, padding across stone, toward the foothills; the town’s stink still clung to his tawny, sinewy body.
He hoped the smell wouldn’t drive her away. Had she already left? He growled, heart breaking.
She landed on him, canines at his neck.
TUFF PART Two: 59-word Story with Different POV
Audra watched his dark shape slink to the foothills, shrubbery shaking with his ascent. He’d much to learn in his new skinwalker form, but what a fine form it was. She could wait.
He called, deep and low, anxiety unmasked, still stinking of the mines.
Audra bunched her shoulders, canines bared. She was ready to pounce, ready to fuck.
TUFF PART Three: Three 9-word Taglines for Your Story
Strongest Aspect: Skinwalker flees western filth, finds love in the foothills.
What was missing: New to skinwalker world, he seeks his kindred soul.
Summary of Main Conflict/Tension: The body is willing, Can he survive the love?
TUFF PART Four: Final Revised 99-word Story with Weird Trope Prop
Anton abandoned the mining town, shucking Stetson, boots, and shirt, finally slithering out of his jeans. He wrinkled his nose, padding across stone, toward the foothills; the town’s stink of cheap whisky clung to his sinewy body.
Audra watched his dark shape slink to the foothills, shrubbery shaking with his ascent. He’d much to learn as a new skinwalker, but he intrigued her. She could wait.
He called, deep and low, anxiety unmasked. Had she already left?
Audra bunched her shoulders, canines bared. She prepared to pounce.
The time-traveling photojournalist followed at a distance, then lowered his camera, blushing.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2020)
To see my alternate story, that I almost like better, please click The Romance of the Rails.