Day 78: 1000 One Step Journeys

Often as I sit before the keyboard and the screen I wonder exactly what I am going to write next.  Will it please me or will it suffice.  More frequently than I like it only does the later.  Will it extend the blossoming work I am doing on the Shanty lines?  Will it be something entirely new and intriguing?  Or will it be something more like this?  My brain dumping a few thoughts to barely cover a debt to me of sevety-eight days ago.

I might not always be proud of the content, but I am continually happy that I don’t let myself get away with a fail.

The feeling of not writing tonight or any time is exactly like the craving I get on the penultimate day of a fast.  I’ve done enough.  There’s nothing I prove by going one more day when I’ve already gone this long.

Bargaining with oneself is so odd, so ironic.  If you could video tape a person doing this in their heads and play it back it would be comical, sad, or both.  The audience–even the auto-audience–wouldn’t fall for it.  They wouldn’t understand how either half of the man could.  Yet I do.  Or at least I can.  It’s nice to use that oddity for something constructive.

They–the Chinese ‘they’–say that a journey  of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  What they don’t tell you is that the the journey is made up of first steps.  It’s hard every time.

Word count: 245 

Day 75: One of Shanty’s Ends

Thickening the plot remains elusive to me.  After I practice writing I must learn to practice thickening.  Even a runny plot would be better than what I regularly mix up.

If you take the time to read any of what I have written–here or elsewhere–you would likely discover that I dabble in images.  The very brief element of a scene is something I feel I am good at generating.  In addition to setting the scene, I like to think I am able to allude to a direction, to a conflict.  Regardless of your appreciation of my abilities to do that, I have that impression.  The thing is, I don’t have a plot or even a plan.  I just have a finite moment or two.  What I need is a next.

I’ve heard more than a few authors like to determine the beginning and end and then work out the middles.  I have tried that once and still not gotten the middle worked out.  Mathematician’s would argue once is not statistically valid–possibly it’s worth another shot.

What I have in my head while I am writing is this thing with Shanty.  I’ve ended up with three scenes pointed squarely at a single destination.  I think it’s clear that destination isn’t the end of the story, just the site of the initial physical conflict.  I like these scenes and I am enjoying the characters thus far.  I don’t want to let them down.  I don’t want to let them down by composing crap nor by not composing anything at all.  Each of the three began as a simple but concrete point of view effort to describe Shanty.  There was no intention.  Maybe I could just try the same technique on the ending…

Tritti held nothing more dead Johnka’s belt knife.  She held no doubt that she would next kill the Killer.

Gane’s enormous hres finally paid off with the location of his sister.  Behind this door.

You tug at your shackles.  You pray that when they chronicle your journey that they leave this next embarrassing part out then fear for your immediate death overwhelms you.

The young witch resolves from the darkness with only that knife as a weapon.  She imbues it and throws.  No matter how you move or jerk or turn away it will find you heart.  Gane opens the door, sees the knife, and shields you in time.


Let’s see if we can put that to some use.

I should probably look into what comprises a good paragraph before I spend too much time composing any.  It’s doubtful I’ll discover anything I don’t already know about well written paragraphs, but I imagine the effort will beneficially remind me what I already know.  Not doing so perpetuates bad habits.

Word count: 453

Day 59: Humping the Muse

I feel like I have been pushing the envelope on some of these little scenic things I am doing.  If you’ve paid attention to the word count you will see that it dwindles as I press on.  Most of this drop off is a reflection of my poor ability to lock in a time of day to write the remainder stems from the medium I am using for inspiration on a lot of these: other peoples photos.  Such reliance does a number of good things and some bad things for my productivity.

Using external prompts like photos allows me to write about unexpected events or things–things not sitting on my desk.  Photos transport me to a world I might not have otherwise considered or to a view of the world within my considerations in a way I might not have possessed without the photo.  While some folks might find this method too much like trying on someone else jeans.  Initially similar but increasingly foreign as you attempt to button them up.  I am OK with that (but not for pants).  A writer needs to take someone else’s approach from time to time.  Doing so is like having an editor for your inspiration.

Easter egg hunting holds no appeal for me.  Searching out muse photography holds little more.  Long range and regular it ain’t.

I think I had the most fun with the piece of artwork I had seen several months back and can no longer dredge up from the Internet.  That one brief image spawned three perspectives and four characters so far.  It also felt more like my own, yet new.

What all this means I am not sure.  Perhaps I will return to ‘Shanty‘.  Perhaps I’ll just apply the same technique to another inspiration experience.  Both are attractive.  Older posts call out to me to be edited and expand as well.  I may heed those sirens.

The immediate next step is going to be nothing so emotional or creative.  It’s time to increase the word count to something substantial.

Word count:  335