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...


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

One Man's Rubbish is a Writer's Goldmine...

Before my move into my office (okay it's only one end of the dining room, but it's as near an office as I can get) I had all my writing stuff split up in different areas.

Whenever I saw an interesting article which was relevant to one of my projects, or future projects, I'd cut it out of the magazine, or newspaper and put it to one side; or I'd keep the whole magazine.

Then whenever there was a mini tidy-up they'd get put in a bag or a box, because I didn't have anywhere to store them...

Over the weekend and the Bank Holiday Monday my OH was shifting the boxes and bags that had got shoved into corners, and was about to throw the lot into the recycling bin. I didn't quite scream 'STOP!!!!' but I retrieved the bits and pieces- including postcards, some old manuscripts, pictures and articles, and put them in another box- as another family member was at the computer and blocking access to my box files.

So I better get to filing all these pieces away before they disappear again...

Am I a hoarder? Probably.

Are you a neat and organised writer- desk clear and everything in its place?

Or like me, books and papers left on the desk, the odd lottery tickets waiting to be checked, and the odd five pence piece lurking- or whatever you leave lying about?

But at least my OH now knows not to assume that a bag of paper related items is rubbish...