Thursday, 30 August 2012

Skinned knuckles and Short Story Frustration...

Today (Thursday) hasn't been as good as it could have been.

On the way to my excercise class I caught the toe of my shoe on the edge of the pavement and lurched forward. Fortunately my head missed the metal railings ahead of me, but my knuckles suffered a scraping.

So I started the day with small cuts and areas of missing skin- it was quite minor once it was cleaned up. But no experience is wasted, and if any of my characters ever scrape their knuckles, I'll be able to describe the sensation. :-)

I mentioned recently that I've been trying to write a short story for a competition at the writers' club. The judge wants a short fictional story based on a real event in history. And it has to be handed in next Wednesday...

Now I had the historic event decided three months ago, but no matter how hard I thought about it, no characters, and no plot ideas came to me; until a few days ago when my central character emerged, along with a brief plot idea.

So today I sat down with a blank document to start writing. Title? Nothing- which is not a good sign
as usually I have some sort of title at the start, even if I change it later.

I had my opening line, but it wasn't quite right, so I made a few changes, and the writing began.

I only managed to reach 161 words before I gave up.

There are problems and I know what they are:
  • I consciously decided to write it in the first person. Personally I prefer third person, but usually let my writing brain decide for me. If it's really a first person viewpoint then I'll start it that way without thinking about it.
  • The main character is hiding too much from me at the moment. I need to know her better.
  • (And the biggest issue) My writing mind has gone into novella/novel mood, ready for the annual autumn school/college term beginning, giving me undisturbed hours to write.
Really I wish I could be more flexible, but I've discovered from trying it previously, that short stories don't work when I'm in longer writing mode.

Unless a short story idea grabs me and swamps whatever I'm doing at the time, demanding to be written down immediately, I find it better (for everyone) to go with the flow than fight against it.

I'll let you know if I do get the story written...



Patsy said...

Ouch! Glad you weren't too seriously hurt.

Teresa Ashby said...

Thank goodness you weren't badly hurt! It's always good to store these mishaps away for future use in a story :-)

That story sounds like very hard work. I hope the solutions will come and you'll be able to finish it.

I find it very difficult to switch between one sort of writing and another too x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Glad that wasn't an even worse accident, Carol! Hope you get the story finished. I jump from one kind of writing to the other all the time so I think I must be wired that way.

Linda King said...

Falling is so awful - bad enough when you're a kid but the fall is so much further and harder when you're an adult! As for the story - ugh! I've been there! Good luck :-)

Keith Havers said...

I hope your fingers are o.k. now. I also hope you get that story finished. Don't give away too much here though. See you on Wednesday.

Carolb said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

I've been being very circumspect in what I reveal just in case you happened to read it Keith. :-)

Sadsly I've come to the conclusion that the story is not going to happen- unless I'm suddenly gripped by inspiration.