Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Still out there writing

For a while, I was posting updates on my writing. The last one was in March. Nobody's asked me to post about it again, but despite the silence I venture once again into navel gazing.

I've been busy since March. That story that I was hashing over for weeks and weeks I finally finished. I ended up going to my notebooks and writing it longhand to get it done. It helps me to get away from easy access to the Internet. The next step for that story is typing it into the computer, making a few changes, and sending it out to friends and at least one more objective reader. (If anyone is interested in reading what may be a horrible waste of your time, or possibly my first genius work, feel free to e-mail me.)

So now, where to go from here? I've played with some flash pieces. I'm trying to take Jay Lake's advice (PDF) and write a story of some kind each week. This isn't the way I've worked up to now. I seem to be a slow writer, I work in fits and starts. I'm attempting to do more to see if that's just how I write, or if that's me being lazy.

My big problem at the moment is I've created this great fantasy setting. It's unusual and, with any luck, it's a fun place to read about. But I'm finding that I don't know what story to tell there. I keep starting things and then backing off. These false starts add new information and descriptions to the world, but don't get me any closer to having a story about it. I need a character who springs from this place and has a tale to tell. For now, I'll keep playing with the idea and I will hope to bump into a character along the way.

So, how's your writing going?


Paul Jessup said...

Mine is going pretty good. I'm taking a little slower than usual- limiting myself to one short story a week and building up to a novel. I think before I was writing too fast and burning out on my novels after 20,000 words.

Right now I'm working on the second story in the African S&S setting. So far, untitled.

Brian said...

Your slow still seems faster than my fast. Can't wait to see the next installment of that S&S story.

Speaking of which, how did you come up with those stories? Setting first? Or character first? Or some combination? If it was setting first, did your characters arise naturally out of the setting, or was there some other method? I'm always interested in other's creative method and I'm currently wrestling with this idea right now.

Paul Jessup said...

Usually setting first. Sometimes the characters arise naturally, sometimes they don't. With the short stories I'm writing now, the characters came much later, and from reading some old Greek Myths.

Sometimes, a character comes first and waits for a setting.