I just started reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I am only a couple chapters in and already drowning in details. Everything, everything and everything is described. Which right away helps define the characters and the things that are important to him by what he decides to tell us and say about them. Instead of just saying he is a rich, elitist type of dude or having other characters say it about him, you learn it by the things the he buys and the things he scoffs others for thinking about and buying.
It provides an interesting distance between the main character and the other characters since there is so much focus on the things and details and less about what he thinks about them.
I have an idea for a plot that I have never started because I can’t get very interested in the main character. One of those destined hero kids.
It might be interesting to tell the story from the older guide who initially saves him and drags him through the world but doesn’t actually like the kid but have that guide character focus on the details to an excessive degree instead of the kid. He could kind of create an emotional distance to the kid by nearly ignoring him and getting lost in the details of the world and the mission. The kid could practically turn into luggage which could present its own problems later on in the story.
Hmm. Sounds like I need to open up a text editor soon and start pounding away.
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” -Helen Keller
I have a full day of work followed by volunteer hours at the library followed by homework hours as I head into the final week of summer school. So my small goal today is to get started on a story that I outlined yesterday and just write about 250 words of the first scene.
What small tasks are you going to heroically attack today on the way to your larger goal?
I have a few writing articles that I like to re-read whenever I need a kick of inspiration. This is one of my favorites about how long it takes to learn to be a writer. One million words.
I would guess that I’m around 100,000 which means any day now…
One of my goals would be to get to around 200,000 in the next year.
How far along our you on your path of practicing writing fiction? What kind of schedule do you have yourself on to get through those million words?
Here is a photo prompt for you.
What are these guys up to?
Are they celebrating the birth of a new baby? Are they celebrating their city’s football team winning the championship? Are they plotting a bank robbery? Or did they just invent a new three person, every man for himself, thumb wrestling game?
I have a few ideas for stories that have been in my head for years. I have played with most of them off and on over that time frame and failed to finish the story. Normally it is because I like the idea and don’t want to “waste” it on a crappy story.
But right now I am a mostly crappy writer. A lot of that is because I don’t finish and edit very many stories. And a lot of that is because I am afraid of wasting good ideas….
Especially since ideas are anywhere and everywhere.
Especially since it is stopping me from finishing stories.
The bigger question is how to fix it. I would imagine that I need to just write stories. Finish stories. Edit stories. And then submit stories to try to get them published.
Then the story will be done and I can work on the next idea.
So, let’s get started on a short story that I started a rough draft of about three years ago about a bunch of women gossiping at one of those Tupperware type of parties where the gossip turns to a bit of petty revenge at the end.
And let’s add some potential public shame to this. The story needs to be finished and submitted somewhere before October 20th. That’s an insanely long deadline for this story but the Writers’ Journal Write to Win! story prompt for October 20th is “Hey what are you…” which could absolutely work for my story.
So final draft due by October 20th. If it ends up being under 1500 words, submit it to this contest. If not, pick somewhere else and have it in the mail by October 20th.