After bitching here, I went off and finished writing “Josef’s Train” which came out, I think, okay. No magic moments of writing where a shaft of light came down from the heavens and I went “This! Is! Art!” or something. But it was late at night anyway, so that would have woken up the children.
I’m making notes for the second draft (i.e., the bit where I type the story up) and making notes for the next story, “Keepers.”
I think making notes might be one huge difference between a story that Really Really Works, like “dark to end all nights” and the ones that followed, as I talked about. I made notes for that first story, and none for the others, and now have made notes for “Keepers” and it feels more solid already.
When I was young and writing nothing but online serials, I made endless, obsessive, copious notes. I made more notes than fiction. In hindsight, that was really useful. These days, I just do a page or two of notes. No character bios, world descriptions, schematics, etc, etc, I really don’t need all that. Just a page or two of doodles.
Oh, and I unstuck my “M” key. Thank god, that was putting me up the wall.