Friday, May 18, 2012

Red Guillotine

Chuck Wendig, writing-advice-face-kicker extraordinaire, issues a weekly flash fiction challenge over at his blog, terribleminds. I have been meaning to participate, and then it occurred to me that I should perhaps solve this problem by actually writing.

Go figure.

Word of advice: this week's theme is "Over the Top Pulp Insanity," which happens to translate to "somewhat violent" in my case. Therefore, if anyone comes expecting exactly the same thing as my last flash fiction entry, Wisp, then... read with care, dear reader.

Monday, May 7, 2012



I must be a real writer! 

I'm about to look at my work in progress (currently at 15,000 words) and say, "You know what, manuscript? It's been a good run, but it's just not working between us. We need to re-evaluate our relationship if it's going to ever be real, and that means taking it back to the beginning." 

Source: shirt.woot!
And my manuscript... well, it's a good sort. Overall, I think it wants this to work, even if it's painful. 

I hope so, anyway. I'm going to have to take the knife to it, get some of the crap carved off and get the story back on track. 

I realized my problem about a week ago. I'm trying to write a relatively light-hearted story, and though it will have serious overtones, it should never get truly dark. And yet... 

I overwhelmed my protagonist. 

I hit him with too much, too fast. He's just a kid, and I knocked out basically every support structure he has all at once. I mean, yeah, I want to do that, sadistic demigod author type that I am, perched atop my anthill with a magnifying glass-topped pen, but the pace overwhelmed him, and that translated to me feeling overwhelmed. 

At first, this felt a bit silly to me. Why should I give a rodent's meaty bits about my story's hero going through a bit of trauma when I already know he's going to triumph? 

I see two good reasons: 

1) I sensed, subconsciously, the story isn't quite right. Trying to write from 'tainted' material gave the entire project a sense of doom and gloom that didn't match the attitude I desired. (Perhaps, with more experience, I will be able to write past this and go back and fix it in retrospect. I hope so. This will save me a lot of time... and misery.) 

2) I don't exactly know where I'm going with the story. You know that triumph I mentioned? I'm not actually so sure about it. I hardly dare enter the debate of 'State of Plotter v. Pantser and Discovery Writers United 4Evar' until I have a few finished works under my belt, but I'm fairly sure that having a general target is a good idea. I don't really know what to do with the second half of my book. This plot is problematic. 

This post is problematic. As in overlong. Still, it helps me hash out my thoughts on my second attempt at the beginning of my book. I'll likely recycle nearly all of what I wrote, but starting anew seems the best choice. 

I welcome any feedback.