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On Track

May 4, 2012

Woo, another flash fiction challenge done and dusted: You May Want to Stand Back From Our Sunset.  Random title generation this week – a great brain-stretching exercise in not only coming up with content that complemented the nonsense, but matching the tone as well.  I originally outlined a different story, but the whimsical/serious mood of the piece repelled the title like the wrong pole of a magnet.

I grew frustrated, and the second outline I came up with didn’t thrill me as much.  I almost gave up.  What’s one week without making the effort?   But you know how it goes – you know exactly how it goes.  No, I won’t write today; I’ll write extra tomorrow.  It doesn’t matter if I skip lectures this week.  Just one more delicious Tim-Tam; and before you know it, the whole pack is gone and there’s crumbs all over the floor.  Which I will clean up.  Later.

Discipline is my sin when it comes to writing.  (It’s HARD there isn’t enough TIME it’s easier just to escape into someone else’s stories I’m NO GOOD anyway)  I barely wrote for at least two years because I didn’t have the focus to develop my ideas.  If they didn’t precipitate fully formed into my brain, or roll themselves out smooth as rain down glass, it wasn’t worth the effort.  But no matter the degree of ‘talent’ I believe everyone improves with practise. One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve been given is to set an uncompromising schedule, and stick to it.  From another source: a daily word-goal is better than a time-goal, because time can be easily wasted.


Forget to write for one day, and BOOM! up you go in a fiery hellstorm of red sand and viscera. Or at least putter out of existence in an anticlimactic cloud of regret and self-loathing.


In the end, I made my writing time productive.  Whatever I feel about the piece overall, I had a good time experimenting with voice; (monologue-y like last week’s All the Signs.)  I always worry that when I write any sort of dialogue or point-of-view narration, Character A sounds exactly like Character B, and both sound suspiciously like me.

My goal for daily writing time will be to make sure that however it turns out, it’s useful in some way.  I learn something.  Some days the story doesn’t work, but I can practise my action sequences or ventroliquism.  Other days my writing style feels clunky like I’m trying to describe infinity with the vocabulary of a rock hitting a skull, but I can still bash out a plot.

As long as I’m writing today, I’ll be writing tomorrow.




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