From Short Story to Novel in Three Weeks

My new motto for writing has become the following:

Even if it sucks, at least it is written, so just sit down and keep writing!

Just keep writing!

Over the past couple of weeks, the short story I originally outlined has grown.  The fact that I am not looking back at anything I have written has freed me in ways I could not imagine.  Usually I get stuck and lose interest in what I am planning to write long before I get to this many words.  As of last night, I have written 17,633 words, and I now know that I have at least 4-5 times that many more that I will need to write to complete this tale.

I shudder to think about what kind of a mess I will see once I actually go back and look, but I am now convinced that if I ever want to actually “finish” something, then I need to let it breath and grow organically until it is “done”; and by done, I mean that the story has been fully told.  I am told by some experts over at Holly Lisle’s site that going back to try and revise during the First Draft phase is normally a death knell, especially for people like me that tend to get caught up in the “revision jungle”.  I am going to heed their advise, since they are published authors, and I am not!

This probably means that I won’t be playing any video games for quite a while.  With limited free time, I have to choose my activity carefully, and right now, writing is getting the nod.  I miss you all, however, so please keep in touch with me as I stride forward in this new direction!

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Writing some More

Between my last post and now, I have managed to do a plot outline for a short story.  Ultimately, this short will be a small introduction to what could potentially be a novel in the same world, but that’s a long way from happening.  I am happy to just be writing again.  Along with the plot, I have completed about 2,100 words of a target of 7,500.  I have also drafted an “Opening” for a contest with the IMP writing group that I have rejoined.  That is due for the contest on July 18, so I will be letting that percolate a bit longer.  I have added a progress meter to the right bar so you can track my progress.

 

Back to Writing

I have been spending my free time focused back on my writing hobby (which has been mostly dormant for 15+ years).  So far, I am enjoying it, and I am even starting to get mildly excited about writing Fiction again.  There are several factors that have played into this decision.

First, I have re-connected with an amazing group of writers that supported me in my initial attempts at the craft.  Back in the day, we made our home on Compuserve, under the SFLIT handle.  Originally mentored by author Mike Resnick, this small area of the “pre” internet became a haven for writers that were serious about the craft, but needed help with or critiquing of their work.  In addition, there were many writing contests, and even a “chocolate pool” where one could soak away the wounds associated with being told every instance of where your writing went astray.  These helpful crits often felt harsh, so the chocolate pool was necessary!  We called ourselves “Imps” and we were part of the Impire. It was a lot of fun.

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I fell away from the group when kids, career, and PC Gaming took over my life, but many of the people that stuck to it are now published authors, some with many books already under their belts.  Recently, the Imps showed up again with a small Facebook group, and I have just started to re-engage.  I always valued my past experiences, and I look forward to being a part of the group again.

Second, I have followed author Holly Lisle for many years.  Recently, I purchased some of her books on writing. Now I am attempting to work through them on a daily basis.  In the past, I would get an idea and just start writing.  Occasionally, I would even get a full chapter or two completed before hitting a wall.  With Holly’s help, I hope to be able to break through those barriers and actually complete a few pieces.  If nothing else, I will learn one way to do it systematically (everyone knows there is more than one way right?)!

Third, I realize more each day that I do miss it.  It’s harder to be disciplined about writing than it is about playing PC games.  After all, the games feed the fiction to you, and you just get to play along and enjoy the stories.  When you are the one that needs to write the fiction, it is a little more difficult, especially for those of us the don’t really use the creative side of their brain very often (aka we accountants).  With a goal of doing something productive in writing this summer, I am attempting to see if I still love it as much as I did back when I last took time to focus.

I don’t have a specific “objective” other than to give it a disciplined try.  Perhaps a short story or a novel outline will come of this.  I’ll keep you posted!