As I type this blog post up, I also balance that attention with needing to conclude my two flash fiction prompts (number 29 and 30) for the week. We’re in week 15 and I’m keeping pace with my goal of writing two of these short stories a week for 52 weeks. It’s challenging but I love it; this came about due to wanting to keep writing despite the writer’s block I faced with my novel.
Back in January, I gave my attempt at my second novel a break.
I didn’t understand it. I spent every day jotting down characteristics for my protagonist and the other supporting cast. I spent an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest and art pages on Instagram to gain some visual inspiration, and even have begun reading more in 2018 (NINE books already). With this wealth of information, I was able to type out what I thought would be the chapters of my book, summarized with what I thought would happen.
Yet I found myself at a loss when trying to make it through chapter one of my story.
Everything I learned up to that point told me that the more structured of an outline, the more concrete plan I had to attack the novel. But that’s simply not the case and this flash fiction challenge has shown me that. I work best with a general idea. A premise that provides a direction that I’ll be heading in when I open up my word processor. I’ve heard career authors describe it as being a ‘seed’ writer in relation to farming. From that seed, the structure of your story will grow and eventually yield ‘fruit’ (in this case, a fleshed out idea that transforms into a full-length story).
The above four links have short stories that I’m particularly attached to, all of them thought of on the spot from a writing prompt or just from a simple idea that I expanded upon. This exercise continues to build my confidence and has me back writing my sci-fi story with renewed vigor. At the end of the day, it’s a grind.
And nothing is a substitute for hard work.
Until next time.