Writing Report June 26, 2017

Writing Report June 26, 2017

Another glimpse at how this writer’s mind works…

Had an idea for a short story the other day; won’t go into the details because I don’t want to spoil it.

Suffice it to say it’s a genre story in kind of a Twilight Zone-ish sort of way.  Has a rural setting, rural characters.

I had the idea -- the gimmick, actually -- while we were driving to visit Soon-ok’s mom on Sunday, and since I always take a collegiate size notebook with me (wifi at mom’s place is nonexistent) I was able to sit at the table while they watched Korean soap operas and write my story.

I knew who my characters were (narrator, friend, friend’s mom), I knew what the set-up was, I had a good but vague idea how to wrap things up.

At about the 400 word mark (roughly 1/5th of the way thru the final story) I wrote:  “Around here all older ladies you’re related to are Aunt So-and-so or Aunt Such-and-such, and who here isn’t related to somebody?”

And then, without my even thinking about it, my hand wrote this:  “(Other than the folks from out of state working at The Lab, that is, but we don’t see much of them.)”

I had no idea who or what The Lab was, but =bang= I knew it would be instrumental in resolving my story.

I didn’t know how, but I knew the details would be there when I needed them.  (And they were!)

And oddly, when you see the final story, you’ll see it it’s a bit of a metaphor for the creative process.

For many of us, it doesn’t feel like we’re actually creating anything or thinking it up, but rather that we turn a corner or a page and all of a sudden =bang= there it is.

The Serenity books came about this way.  I was working on a wholly unrelated project involving little kids and thought about one character “well, she’s certainly going to be a handful in her teen years” and =bang= Serenity and her story just came spilling out and in about 72 hours I had at least 80% of what that story was going to be.

(Serenity, BTW, is far from done.  I’m still writing out her story; the question now is simply the format it will take.)

Not all stories emerge the same way, or as subconsciously as this one; there are stories where I get the core idea and then have to work out the mechanics of it.

The second story I’m writing about the female barbarian would fit into that category:  I knew what the story was but the actual story mechanics of getting from point A to point B needed work.  (And I finally cracked that problem, so it should be wrapped up soon; at least the first draft.)

Likewise with several other stories I’m doing.  I find once I uncover the core idea, it’s just a matter of picking around the edges like a paleontologist extracting a fossil from stone:  Sooner or later I clear away enough unnecessary junk and the specimen is revealed.

This is the system that works for me.

Others report vastly different procedures.

Whatever works, folks. 
Whatever works.


Are Hedge Funds Evil?  Ha!  Of Course They Are!

Are Hedge Funds Evil? Ha! Of Course They Are!

fictoid:  Street Pizza

fictoid: Street Pizza