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writing overtime

April 1, 2009

I’ve been working on a quaint little story the past few days (the Kree story is in time-out for bad behavior).  I won’t go into details on the plot, but I was trying to put the first draft to paper and kept getting stuck trying to finish it.  I knew I was close to an ending, but I just couldn’t find the angle of approach. I couldn’t even bear to look at it during my pergatory of a day at school.  I opened up my laptop tonight and realized…it was already done.

Don’t get me wrong (I say that a lot, don’t I), this is about as rough a rough draft as I’ve ever created.  The idea was still sketchy and my characters need better motivation and the setting is beige, but the essence of the story was complete.  It’s one of those stories without a satisfying ending; I knew that before I started writing it.  I just kept trying to trudge along into unnecessary summary.  Either the reader gets it (gets something out of it) or she doesn’t.

Fred (as Damon Knight called the subconscious) must have known when the story ended.  I just kept writing and deleting back to the exact same spot, the spot where one character walks out and the story ends.

Now the hard part: editing.  Writing can be tough, grueling, but it’s the creative side.  I made something out of nothing.  Now I need to make something good out of something raw.  This is the sculpting part, an art all its own.  It seems more satisfying when I edit.  I get the sense of doing something right, making something better.  It’s still tough.  Most things worth doing are.

This story, titled “Roshambo”,  comes in about 1800 words.  It may grow a little as I flesh out the setting, maybe put more character into the beats, but it’s still the shortest thing I’ve written (over drabble length) in quite a while.  I hope that’s a good thing.  We’ll see.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 2, 2009 4:08 am

    Keep up the good work! I would listen to Fred, if I were you.

    I wish Fred would talk to me! In a way, the characters themselves are the subconscious in my writing. Once I turn them loose on the page, they start doing things, and it doesn’t always head somewhere productive. I’ve been dabbling in flash fiction to hone my plotting skills, but nothing new completed yet.

    Have you given any more thought to the online workshop scenario?

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