Blog No. 118
I have a rather full plate this year, when it comes to writing and the like. Christian and I are hard at work on the second (and a half) drafts of our collection, I have a rather long multipart story going up monthly on Adventure Worlds, I’m picking away at the novel I started last year (and restarted this year), I have edits galore, and since we have more artists working on Finders, I’ve been drumming up new ideas for the pair, plus the next zine is due. What I don’t need is another story idea burning a hole in my imagination, but that’s what I have. Saturday morning, I woke from a vivid dream, ran over to the computer, and feverishly typed an awkward opening paragraph encapsulating the fading memory of the dreamed adventure. Now it’s following me around, pulling me away from my other tasks, spinning around my head like one of those pirate ships at theme parks (but the ones that actually go all the way around.
Having story ideas has been a problem of mine. I suspect like other authors, I tend to have too many. I’ve said it before; I started writing because it is the most direct way to tell my stories. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me. I spent many years struggling to sit and get the words on the page, bursting to tell my story to my friends. Usually, I gave up and just explained it all in a flurry of: “and then,” “because,” “so this guy,” and so on. I’ve had thoughts of making movies, writing comics, putting on plays, and even bringing back radio shows, but all those mediums require people, money, and skills that I don’t have. Also, every time I tried, someone (often me) would fail to hold up their end, and the whole thing would fall apart. Writing is a way for me to tell my stories on my own, succeeding or failing on my own.
As many authors know (definitely the Adventure Words writers do) jumping from shiny idea to sparkling concept, does not a writer (or story) make. The way to improve writing and storytelling ability, and actually finish something, is to stick with one story until it’s finished. Eventually it gets hard to stick to only one (when you have a blog and other things going on) but the lessons learned happen when stories are finished and edited. Picking up a new story idea whit the number of things I have on the go is stupid, selfish, and a good way to fail, but I’ve already done it. As of Saturday, I added the new story to my list of ongoing projects.
I’m not going to get into any details. You can read the story when it’s finished (if another new idea doesn’t get in the way). I will say it’s not much like the other things I’ve been working on and I suspect that most people would categorize it at a YA or Teen novel (thought I don’t think that’s where it’s going). It’s very Studio Ghibli in style and their tone varies greatly. In order to make this betrayal of my other writing worthwhile, I’m giving myself strict daily goals. Each day, if I reach my goal (anywhere from a thousand words on days when I do this blog, to twenty-five hundred words) then I get to keep working on the story the next day. It’s made for some nice momentum and big word gains. If I keep this process up, I should have over ten thousand words in a week and the new story will become my novel for the year. I’ll be sat to put my other novel on hold again, but it will be that much better when I get around to writing (maybe next year). Now I have to get to writing if I want to do more writing tomorrow. How did I manage to trick myself into that?