The kids are back from camp and I spent last week, off and on, doing day trips and working on a short story. The story – an idea that has been haunting me for the last 6 months – took six kicks at the can and multiple POVs and voices before I got somewhere. Each attempt felt boring, lacked a theme or reason to read it, or the characters felt vacuous. But it wasn’t until I changed the sex, and the orientation, of the main character and shrunk the time range, and the voice came with it.
Writing a short story is hard. Writing a 1500 word short story is…God it is unbearably hard. Why is it hard? Well consider this: you (or rather I) will spend almost the same amount of time wrestling with the premise and plot of a short story as I will with a book. But with a book, or at least the first draft of the one I just finished, I had time to figure things out, to move ahead, to adapt as I wrote. With a short story, especially one in the 1500-2000 word limit that many contests and magazines require, I find that in order to move ahead and adapt I have to start from scratch. Not always, but many times.
And while it has been an arduous process, I’m going to keep at it. If cooking as a hobby has taught me anything, I need to practice to get to a point where it is less arduous. To get to a point where I fail less.
So that has been a majority of my week: day trips in Alberta and writing and re-writing that shortstory. And now I am working, in between these day trips, on getting this site ready for launch and figuring out another story.
Oh and I’ve joined that new writing group and it is a different beast than my other group. While Edmonton Writer’s Group is skewed older, the community established and the numbers high (we have anywhere from 9-20 people in a meeting), Inkhorn is younger, newer and smaller. So far I get more social, more interaction at Inkhorn – something I can’t get from EWG because of the numbers. But from EWG you get more varied feedback on your work, which I like. I’ll continue to juggle both, but right now I find it too much to try and do both in a week.
And finally, I’ve got into a rhythm with my change from Evernote to OneNote/Google Docs, but there are some things I still need to figure out, and then I’ll write an article on it.