Thursday, July 21, 2011

Writing: My current WiP is expanding at a rate of knots

I'm a magpie when it comes to my writing projects. It's a symptom of my short attention span. If something is not pleasing me, I tend to set it aside with an "I'll come back to it later". More often than not I don't.

I've worried that this may effect my transition from short story to novel writing. I want to attempt the novel at some stage, but I've never got past the Thinking About It stage. I have a few notes, but I haven't plotted. I'm notorious for winging it on a lot of my projects, and I know that this contributes to my inability to stick with the WiP if the going gets tough and I stall on a scene. I know this, I recognize this, and I have to work on this.

About three weeks ago I got an Ooh Shiny story idea. I started it, liked the characters and the setting, and had a shopping list of ideas and scenes. I thought it would make a longish short story.

Then I hit 4000 words, and I'd barely introduced the characters. This may have to do that I was writing them from birth (because their origins are important to the story). "Ok," I thought. "This may wander into novelette territory."

Then I hit the 7000 word mark, and I'd only cleared the first major scene. "Ok," I thought. "Novella?"

It's a strange feeling where I'm at with this WiP. There's a little 'proper' writer in me screeching about planning and plotting and how it's gonna fall apart at any moment. Then there's the artist in me liking the impetus and the flow and shushing the Writer - "it's gonna be ok, subconscious. Hang in there. Chill out. It's looking good."

I have a very clear vision of the end. I think in my best stories they came out good because I have a firm ending in mind from the beginning, even if I haven't planned them that well. It gives me a goal to tie everything into.

This is an odd place for me to be right now. I didn't plan on writing a longer piece, but now that I'm here it feels right. I am missing the quick satisfaction of writing short stories, and I do feel like I need more of them circulating on the slush piles. But I don't want to walk away from this WiP for too long, or I may lose the good feeling and momentum.

Messy Mind writer strikes again.

Please buy a paper shredder. I'll even pay for it. This used to be a fun hobby
but I can't keep up with all your mistakes and rewrites!

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