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.

 

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fictoid:  Street Pizza

fictoid: Street Pizza