More of that Writing Amidst Life stuff today.
Two hour delay; breakfast with husband; the lure of fine writing implements…
The kids had a half day yesterday because of The Blizzard That Never Was, and I not only negotiated some writing time with the Husband, but used it productively to add 1400 words to a scene in the novel.
Today I had more time at my disposal and managed to sit and stare at the scene for quite a lot of it. I figured out my problem, though, which is something: I need to know what the heroine’s story goals at this point in the story. It’s a waste of my time to just add more words to the scene if they don’t serve the overall story. So I did some background writing to figure out what she needs to figure out at this point. That sounds very clever and it would have been, had I not succeeded in completely confusing myself. Time to go back to my notes, It think.
But this is the absolute worst time of the day for met to try to make decisions, so I’m going to send a few emails and try to get back to this later. Or tomorrow. But at least knowing what the problem is, now.
- Finish draft of the novel (so I can revise it for the critique group) – Getting there. Have added, since last week, about 4000 words in three different scenes, building towards the climax. Huzzah!
- Post weekly Write On Wednesday prompts to StoryADay – No progress, but I have three weeks’ worth in the bank
- Start prepping for April’s build-up to StoryADay – Wrote a Thursday Feature Article about Turning Up At The Page
- Non-fiction book proposal – No progress
- Reading – Um…
- Regular column for other site – Really very little progress unless you count what I do in the next 30 minutes…
- Planning – Captured a list of Things I Want To Do This Year. It’s quite a lot, and now it’s all organized and in a Google Document that I can update from year to year. Fun!
The truth is writing fiction gets harder because we continue to raise the bar on ourselves – James Scott Bell
Well, that doesn’t make it sound like I’m getting above my station, does it? Delusions of godhood? Surely not!
But there is a world I’ve been inventing. I’ve written parts of two novels set in this world. Every time I struggle to finish them, I run into the same problem: there are lots of gaps in what I know about the world. Not knowing, slows me down. I thought it would be easier to write in a fictitious world than to make up stories that seemed realistic to people living in the same world as the setting. I’m not sure ‘easier’ is the word I should have used. “Fun”? Yes. “Stimulating?” Yes. “Easy”? No.
So I’ve decided I’m going to devote a lot of my StoryADay May to writing stories set in the main city in my world.
This morning I’ve been slaving over a spider-like mind-map, full of different areas of life that might be fodder for stories: Family life, politics, beliefs, green issues, city life, socializing…Each little branch represents an area of city life that I might want to explore. Having decided upon that, I will (I hope) decide on what kind of conflict could arise, who might care about it, and what their story is.
I like well-defined assignments, and now I feel like I have one for the whole of next month.
Are you writing a StoryADay in May? Or even a story a week? Come and join us.
Think of StoryADay May as the parent who made you play scales between piano lessons; the coach who inspired you throw endless pitches at the side of your house in the evenings; the teacher who made you do fractions over and over and over again until it finally clicked and you started to see the music between the numbers.
Flash [fiction] communicates via caesuras and crevices.
Grant Faulkner, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/going-long-going-short/
“People often assume short stories are easier to write because they’re, well, short! But it takes a particular skill to establish mood, character and tone in quick strokes, and tell a story which leaves a lasting impression.
“These stories open windows on worlds which seem familiar but, through fiction, which is tightly written, reflect those worlds, in richer and more surprising colours.”
Razia Iqbal, commenting on the Commonwealth Short Story Prize
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
Someone shouted. Colors exploded overhead. She picked up her gun and ran.