I’m writing a story finally. Took a while to get the ideas organized in my head for the next planet, Jupiter. I’m writing about an endless storm, but on Earth.
The problem is I don’t really like it. But I can’t stop now so I’ll just have to push it out.
It’s not like I can tell what’s good anyway. The stories I love the most never sell, and those I whip out in a flash do… So what do I even know. It mostly just feels like rolling dice…
I’ve spent a bit of time the past few days wondering if anyone will ever want to read my stories, or enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them. Am I the only one who enjoys the sort of thing I want to write? Surely I can’t be… I’m not that special or unique or smart or dumb. There must be people out there who like similar things to what I write.
But what if there wasn’t? What if, somehow, the exact thing I enjoy reading and writing, was not popular with anyone… would I still write it?
Would I change my ‘style’ to please someone–anyone!–or, would I keep on trying to satisfy my own tastes and preferences.
You might ask: what’s the point of writing something no one wants to read?
But, what is the point of writing something that doesn’t say what you want it to?
A certain feeling, or idea? A shade, or color? A memory, or a dream?
Grab every little thing that sparks your imagination, and use it. The bobbing head of a black bird, the way a leaf twists in the chill wind, the boiling shape of a cloud. The twirl of your gut while falling from a height, the similar twirl while falling in love, the flare of anger in your chest, the prickle of anxiety on your scalp. The mystery of an unopened box… the unease of a dark corner… the satisfaction of a smoothly interlocking puzzle…
Gather all these feelings and burn them in your mind’s furnace to fuel your fingers and write, write, write!
I’m in the mood to destroy words! I think I’d better not, though, until at least a couple other people tell me the targeted words are bad. Otherwise I might just erase everything…
I have finished a first pass through of my novella, and fixed all the problems I had highlighted! Now to read it again and find a whole new slew of them (I’ve already found a few, sigh.)
I know it will never be ‘done.’ It will only ever be ‘good enough.’
But it is still frustrating noticing new problems. Why couldn’t I have noticed them before? Or while I was writing the damn thing?
But I guess that’s just not how it works.
The next step is to make a nicely readable word doc and get it out to my writing group to get some feedback! Also, I made a cover for fun (that’s it above) 🙂
Looking forward to sending this out somewhere, sometime this year!
When in the process of splashing out words for a new story, we all find ourselves writing words we don’t need, repeating words, and being hacks in general. I’ve composed a list of these ‘filler’ words that I’ve found most often in my own work. Search for, and delete!
Very: Delete any that aren’t in dialogue.
Almost: Delete unless it is specifically necessary for a thing to almost be, instead of just being.
Nearly: same as above
Really: Delete if it’s being used as an adverb, unless in dialogue.
Still: When used to show something is continuing, you can delete it 90% of the time. To show something is motionless, often you can use a better word. (I bet you’ve used ‘still’ a dozen times for that already.)
Toward: Can almost always be changed to ‘at’ or ‘to’ or be removed.
Turn: My characters are constantly turning this way and that (even turning toward things!) and most of it is unnecessary.
Feel/felt: Jane felt the water lapping gently at her feet. versus The water lapped gently at Jane’s feet. The only reason to say feel/felt is if the character wasn’t feeling it before and now is, otherwise it is sort of taken for granted that they can feel it…
Watch/see/saw: Same as above. Unless there is a real need to make it clear that the something is visible to your character, it is kind of assumed that the viewpoint character can see what you are describing. Jane saw and heard the waves splashing, and felt them lap her toes. Seems silly now, right?