I was hoping to symbolically bring in the new year by working at midnight, bring in the new year writing. This failed entirely, as I woke up at 12:15 AM, 2010, having dozed off face-down at my desk. So I brought in the new year with, presumably, snoring and drooling. I hope to god that’s not an omen.
LAST night, I stayed awake rather later than I wanted to, and managed to write four and a half pages of this short story. Also wrote a page of the draft of it going in the wrong direction, before I took a deep breath and started the story over. So, five and a half pages last night. All after midnight, so technically that counts as today, so technically I’ve done my pages for today. But that feels too much like cheating, so it doesn’t apply. Still need to get my pages done today.
Maybe the rest of the story. I like the story. The tone’s settled down somewhere between the African folk story it started as, and the straight narrative approach it veered into. And interestingly, this is the first short story I’ve done in quite a long time which is reads out loud very well. that always makes me happy.
If I gave writing advice — which I don’t, because how arrogant is that? — I’d suggest reading your stuff aloud and pretending you’re in front of an audience. It might not produce instantly good fiction, but it does help prevent groan-worthy dialogue.
I’m really enjoying this blogging-daily-thing. Who knows how long it’ll last, but I’m finding this a lovely way to start off my morning.
A paragraph into my writing last night, and my Lamy fountain pen ran out of ink. I knew it was coming, of course.
Interesting thing with this one: with other fountain pens I own, when it runs low on ink, it begins to fade,the text growing lighter and lighter and lighter. But with the Lamy, it literally just STOPS. As in, I had just written a “g” and was about to write a “t” for the next word, and it would not write the “t” even a little. No ink.
So I did all my writing last night with one of the Pilot Precise V5’s lying around the house. Always comfortable, although it smudges the paper badly and left the side of my hand black.
Back down to regular pens until I can afford to buy ink for my lovely Lamy. O the suffering for my art! This will make an amazing bio-film. The adversity!
If you’re interested in writing anything, read this interview with Alan Moore. Like all Alan Moore interviews, the length and depth of it means you may want to print it off first.
It’s very useful, though. I took what he said about imposing boundaries on a work and found it useful. When I started Save Us, I sat down and arbitrarily declared “each chapter will be twenty pages long, about ten thousand words, and there will be exactly twelve chapters.” And stuff like that. It’s useful for the artist-brain to impose boundaries.
And it’s arbitrary, in that if I find myself needing a longer chapter (which I did for chapter 4), or more chapters, or fewer, then I’ll do it.
Right. Time to go eat things, and then back to this story. I really need to finish something. It’s been awhile.