25/11/09

Editing: 2 more chapters of the novel. 23 pages. Feels like i’m crawling, and i guess i am, but i have no need to rush.

Fresh Fiction: It seems to be an ideas week this week. That’s interesting, because the last couple months my writing’s been meandering. I’ve completed one short story that i think is the best thing i’ve written to date and generally cleared my backlog of stuff, but there hasn’t been the usual rush of ideas pouring out. Now, i’ve had ideas, yes. Always having ideas, i am, but there’s been no drive to actually do anything about them. I’ll get the idea and start writing, just to solidify it, but then it disappears back into the ethers of my mind and can’t be coaxed out of its hidey-hole. There’s been one or two days in the last month where i’ve steamed along, but not the usual steady i’m used to.

Here’s the thing. This week i decide to actually make a concentrated effort to get back on track (not necessarily in volume, but in direction, at least) and things have started moving. Positive mind-shift, perhaps? Not sure at this point, but that’s likely a big factor.

Anyway, here i was surfing the What’s New page on Duotrope and i come across this submission call.

And i gets me an idea for a story, just like that, and the story outlines itself in my head (nothing too complex, just start here, progress to here, move on to here, end here kinda thing) and i feel compelled to jot down some of the stuff, just so as i don’t go and forget it. Before twenty minutes have passed i’ve written 489 words across three separate scenes (just the beginning of each scene). Interestingly, i didn’t write down anything for the beginning and end. I’ve learnt that those two things are usually the most flexible and fluid in a story and–especially the beginning–often the completed version doesn’t look anything like the first draft. And i leave it there for the day. Tomorrow we’ll do some more work on it, probably from the beginning.

There is a problem with this, though. Because the story came to me so quickly and completely, i’m now worried that i’m regurgitating something i’ve read in the past. Y’know, ten years ago read a story, forgot about it, but it’s been quietly living in my memory banks, and now i’ve inadvertently unlocked its cell and here it is. I’ve had a quick look-see and couldn’t find anything, but Google is not a comprehensive source for short stories. Once it’s done i may have to run it past some people to make sure it’s not too similar to anything already out there.

Didn’t work on the novella today. I tells ya, this novella is tough going. I can write a first draft for a novel in 35 days, but this novella first draft (which’ll probably be just over a third of a novel length) has taken me eighteen months so far, and i’m only just over half done.

Perhaps that means it’ll be good 😀

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