Thursday, 5 November 2015

Once you Start Writing...

writing can be like a
dripping tap...
Once you start writing it's like a dripping tap, it never stops...

I really shouldn't have said I'm going to do chapter two this week, as the inevitable other problems and demands disrupted my days- not helped by over-sleeping.

Plus I had to write a 250 word story for Wednesday night's annual Manuscript of the Year competition at the writers' club (yesterday, 4th). Plus I was one of the two readers for the event.

I've had months to write it, but nothing I considered developed. Then Tuesday night reading a post on Facebook, I had one of those lightning moments of inspiration for this year's theme, 'slippery when wet'.

So Wednesday lunchtime I settled down and began to write. The words just poured out without thinking about it. I stopped at 400 plus words.

Of course it was much too long, so I started editing. I reduced the start, cut the middle and still had 342 words.

More cutting and changing left me with 262, so a bit more jiggling and I finally lost those 12 extra words.

I knew I'd lost too much of the story, and it was only humorous at the end, but it was an entry, and every entry helps make the competition.

My character, Valerie, finally decides to leave her demanding but dense partner Derek (apologies to any Derek's out there). He really should have got that tree in the front garden sorted out when she originally asked earlier in the year- one of his many faults. But of course, he hadn't and along comes autumn, lots of fallen leaves and rain.

I think you can guess what happens...

The club chairman said she thought Valerie had been out with a broom earlier piling up the leaves. :D

I really must give Valerie a new future somewhere now I know her- she deserves it.

Ten years ago managing to write a 1,000 word story was tough; but over the years the length of my stories rose naturally: 1200, 1600, 2,000.

Now I'm writing longer stories it's harder to write short ones!





image courtesy of Mister GC.& www.freedigitalphotos.net






13 comments:

  1. Well done at getting your short story written, Carol. I have the reverse problem to yours - I can write 'em short, but have difficulty writing longer stories!

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  2. Thanks, Susan.

    It's strange isn't it? Some writers can only do short or long, while others have no difficulty with either.

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  3. I used to struggle to get a story up to 1,000 words. Now it's difficult to keep them under 3,000. We have to think differently for the very short ones and after doing longer pieces it's tricky to clear the extra details from our minds.

    That's my excuse anyway.

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    Replies
    1. You've described my issues exactly, Patsy.

      For shorter stories you have to rein everything in, more compact without losing the depth, but if you're in expansive mode it's harder to adjust.

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  4. I think you've done really well, and you know what they say, you have to have something to edit. We like to rip things down to size and rearrange don't we? Good luck with it. Let us know how it goes Carol...

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    1. Thanks, Maria.

      My entry stood up okay against the others, but it wasn't the right story, so I wasn't disappointed to not get in the top three. :)

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  5. I agree, Carol. I think shorter stories are much harder to write.

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    1. So right, Wendy. :)

      I've always found that when I've written a shorter story, by the time I arrive at the end I know there's a bigger story lurking.

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  6. I've always found longer fiction easier to write. You have much more scope to develop the story. It's the pesky little 250 - 500 word ones that give me problems. Good luck with that competition entry, Carol. x

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    1. Thanks, Rena. :)

      Yes, the scope to develop the story beyond the surface layers seems more natural to me. So perhaps it's just how my mind works.

      Delete
  7. Well done on that short fiction, Carol. I like both long and short length as they are so different.

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary. :-)

      I admire writers who can produce both short and long stories with apparent ease. Perhaps it's how their creativity works...

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  8. Flash fiction is an entirely different animal, isn't it? Well done for getting it out on time!

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