For the last little while, on my social media accounts, I’ve been posting images that contain writing encouragement and inspiration from other authors. I post these mostly as encouragement for myself, but also for others who might need the same kind of encouragement that I do. Here’s a selection of some of the ones that I have posted.
Food for thought.
Wes Craven wasn't some young wunderkind. He put out his first low budget horror film at age 33. What will you do? What are you waiting for?
— C. Robert Cargill (@Massawyrm) August 31, 2015
The first paragraph of a short story inspired by three words/phrases:
Off the orbit of Venus, Pirates had taken the luxury liner Athena’s Arrow, while on her maiden voyage, a collection of interplanetary dignitaries and a veritable who’s who of the rich and famous aboard. The incident was kept quiet by Cruises Interplanetary, a subsidiary company of Pantheon Galactic, that operated Athena’s Arrow. Twenty Four hours later, when official inquiries were lodged by several planetary governments, Cruises Interplanetary would claim this silence was in the best interest of the solar system. There was a real danger to the tenuous peace in the system, which was threatened almost daily in Parliament, due to the tension between the Inner and Outer planets. The more civilized Inner Planets had long suspected that the Jupiter Moon colonies had been backing the pirates who had long harried the trade ships of the Inner colonies in an effort to disrupt the trade those planets relied upon. If word of the many dignitaries aboard Athena’s Arrow when it was taken was made public, tensions barely contained would erupt and the solar system would once again be at war, after so many years of peace
Still a rough draft, but the story is coming a long nicely. And after its done, I will take my requisite break before getting to revisions.
There’s this moment. It happens when I’m writing, and it happens when I’m getting close to the end of a story, when I can feel the story is closer to the end than to the beginning. In the time leading up to this point, I have started out with the enthusiasm that comes from working on a new story, to slogging through the middle, and then when I get to the middle, it happens: I’m rushing. After the slog, I just want to be finished. I wanted to stop, to just be done. But there’s a story to tell and I need to tell the story. But the slog is miserable, and its when I hate writing. Its like Dorothy Parker said: I hate writing, I love having written. That feeling when the work is finished is like nothing else. So of course, it makes sense that when I start to get a sense of being near the end, I start to race towards it.
I justify this racing to myself. Its just a first draft. I’ll fix it in the next draft. Both of these are true statements, but in the end, I’ll know that I didn’t really finish. The story wasn’t completely told, and I cheated myself out of the actual ending. And I won’t be as satisfied as I would be had I slowed down and actually finished.
So, I’m learning to take a deep breath and slow down. Its not easy, but I think its important for me to learn.
Anyone else haveÂ find themselves rushing when they get to the end? How do you keep yourself from doing it?
I thought I’d play around with some different ways of generating ideas. I wanted to stretch my writing and explore forms of storytelling that I normally don’t. Most of the ideas I generate on my own work best as plays. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to challenge myself by creating in a medium I don’t normally: the short story.
Maybe later, I’ll try the novel, but the short story is a good warm up. Using the Brainstormer app I can generate three words to kickstart my creative process. The story I’m currently working on came from the following:
What would these words say to you?