Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Short Stories and Heart Palpatations

If you were to sneak into my room some time (but let's keep this hypothetical for everyone's safety, yes?!), you would find... a pile of laundry.  And past the clothing heaped on the floor you would see these huge bookshelves that Bear built for me.  And on one of those shelves, you would see a row of nondescript journals that chronicle my life since elementary school.  But you will not find my most embarrassing scribbles on the bookshelf.

In a drawer in my room (if you're a sneaky little devil who paws through things), you may find a huge pink book (really, truly massive and bright).  In that book there are all sorts of pictures and things taped on the inside covers, and in the bulk of the book are several uncompleted manuscripts for books.  Truly mortifying manuscript parts.  Only a handful of people ever saw them when I was writing them in elementary, middle, and early high school, and nobody actually bothered to read the chapters through all the way (I know because the grammar and spelling corrections never made it past the first page, nor did any Doritos finger prints stray beyond the initial page).  I think Bear may have read a couple pages once, but not much more.

The remnants of the stories that never were mock me from their drawer.  They aren't terrible, but I did approach the whole "I want to be a writer" thing in a haphazard way.  It went as follows: Daydream.  Get an idea.  Research cool names that nobody uses nor can pronounce that mean exactly what the characters destinies are and make a list so you don't confuse yourself.  Sit down at a computer.  Open Word.  Go to town.  Take a break.  Get a soda.  Have a snack.  Write another chapter.  Print everything.  Go over it with a red pen.  Cry.  Rewrite.  Forget about the story for so long you have no idea what your original plot was.  Try to salvage the story anyway.  Take a break.  Get a soda.  Fume.  Stare at the screen.  Will characters to remind you what their destiny was three months ago when the whole thing began.  Give up.  Print all pages.  Stick in hot pink journal of shame.  Find said journal eleven years later.  Re-read.  Learn that timelines and outlines are important.

Everything has a lesson, no matter how embarrassing.  So, this time around, I am trying to do things the hard (read: correct) way.  It's far better to move slow and steady and to have an outcome you are proud of, than to breeze through the writing with no direction and spend the next three years editing and uncovering the actual plot through piles of poetic and descriptive crap.

But sometimes I just want to WRITE, without the research and outlines.  So I condense everything.  I write down the main points.  Do the characters need names?  Will dialogue be necessary?  How about I just work on forming something cohesive out of this strange language of ours and call it "practice".

And that's what I did today.  Based loosely on Kevin Fox's novel Until Next Time and a crazy dream I had, I wrote this little 1,532-word story with nameless characters and ONE quote.  So, if you're looking for something quick and easy to read, please follow the link and enjoy!

I've never really shared my writing before, because it is frankly a frightening thing to do.  However, if I want to pursue creative writing, I'll have to let people read my work at some point.  May as well begin sooner rather than later. 

Anybody else out there baring their soul or making a necessary but frightening step in their life?
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  1. Is there a 'favorite' button for this post?
    We just did sample your writing, it's like a story within a story.

    I think many of us have been waiting for a sneak peak for a while, so thanks for the link :)

    As far as the soul baring, and first steps to bigger mountains thing- not yet on my front, though I have this heavy premonition, this something-gotta-break feeling in front of me.
    There is a lot on my/our plates right now that I'm determined not to let affect my summer, and my here-and-now, while not completely ignoring it.

    I really want to make short, unsophisticated films with my friends, but I'm no writer...

  2. I share a lot of creative projects on my blog. When I first started blogging I was quite insecure on how my blog would be received. Quite frankly I told nobody I even had one. But as we make little step towards doing the things we love to do, we also grow in confidence and in skill. Keep up the good work and keep sharing!




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