I have been very disappointed in myself with writing the blog as of late. I am trying to get back into more of pattern that will challenge me to post more often. I am in these two newsgroups and have recently loved the challenges that one of them is bringing to me. There is a woman who is trying to get more interaction on the newsgroup going – she is posting questions about writing and people are responding. So far they have been very interesting: What are you reading? How do you write (pen and paper or computer), roll call and getting to know your characters.
Some of these are ones I have blogged about in the past, like the character development. The one that really provoked me to do a lot of thinking was the one on how do you write. I always thought that I was being ‘less productive’ and not keeping up with the times because I tend to write – pen to paper. It’ll happen in the most unusual times and places as well – and I will write on whatever I can find that will work as paper and welcome the pen that I am using.
I have tried typing my initial story on the computer – but always seem to fail because either I am distracted or just get tired of sitting at the computer and typing. When I look at the short stories I have written – everyone completed one of them was written first from pen to paper. So it got me thinking about why I do this and I wonder if it has to do with the whole editing portion of the computer. I think I try and edit as I write when I am typing, but when it is pen to paper – it just keeps coming out with a speed and focus that I can’t seem to get on the computer. Though I am a much faster at typing on the computer than I am writing by hand.
So now that I have identified this, that offers a new challenge – either get writing more with pen and paper or learn to write without editing on the computer – one would be faster than the other. Both have just as many inconvenient steps as they do convenient ones. The pen and paper route really allows for me to write just about anywhere – that means I have to carry paper with me wherever I go. Pen and paper is slow for me to transfer to the computer – seems to be my first edit. The computer is just faster and it is right there for me to edit after I finish; however, doesn’t seem to be something that I do well at doing (although I do seem to be able to do it in my blogs).
Just After Sunset by Stephen King
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this – I am a big fan of the short story – I have to admit that some were better than others. I love that Stephen King sticks a little tell of the books at the end of the book. I enjoy finding out what he was thinking and why the story was written. The last one was the most haunting for me – the port-a-potty story – not so much for the outdoor toilet, but it was like someone was actually addressing my own fear of the old fashioned outhouse. I also wondered about the cat story, so it was interesting to hear how far the actual story went back.
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Another week gone by. I have to admit that this was a fairly productive weekend…not in writing. I got most of my home winterized and brought in my passion flowers and Cannes bulbs. I did also work on transferring my latest short story to the computer. Usually I wait awhile to do this 1. because it is considered my first re-write and 2. because I have stepped away from the story long enough to let my right brain kick it around a bit. I am not sure I like the direction the second draft is going. The first was all about horror, gore and mystery. The second has a tone of sarcasm and humor that I wasn’t expecting and am not sure that I want. I am going to finish with the re-write this week (hopefully tomorrow) and see what I think at that time – either it will go back to the original tone or I will keep it in the direction it was going. Ideally I was hoping to get it done in time to enter it into the short short contest at Writer’s Digest, we will have to see.
In the last couple of weeks, I have been really taken by short stories. I am not only reading them, but I have been thinking a lot about them. I have these novels that I am working on and between chapters I seem to be writing a short story. In my writer’s group there has been a lot of talk about finishing things and the whole thought that we cannot be published unless we finish what we are working on. I agree with this and have been kind of beating myself up about it. The truth is, I do finish things. I enjoy writing short stories. I enjoy the amount of information that can be put into a small piece of work and the thought it can provoke.
I mean look at a story like Shirley Jones’ The Lottery. Who doesn’t remember reading that story in school. I remember reading it in middle school, high school and college. Each time I read it, it haunted me. It’s a short story that affects whomever reads it, or at least it did me. What writer doesn’t want that story (not necessarily The Lottery, but the story that stays with the reader) to be theirs. I know I do.