I’ve noticed something lately. When I sit down to work on my novel, I approach it in a straightforward manner. Plot a scene, write it, make notes. The story is linear and falls within a rather traditional science fiction vein.
Then there’s my short stories, which are free-flowing and often resemble prose poetry. They deal with fantastic creatures and death and morbid worldly topics set in otherworldly locations.
There’s a disparity between the two, the long form and the short form.
For those of you more experienced in this than I, will this hurt me? Is this a detriment to my writing career right out of the gate? Though I love the free verse feel of my short stories, I’m not sure if I could utilize that for a novel length work.
How do your novels and short stories compare? Vastly different or one in the same? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I want to write a weird book.
There, I said it. I have plenty of irons in the fire already, but I have this irresistible urge to write a completely unconventional novel filled with all that is strange and wonderful. I’ve been letting go of my inner censor on my short fiction, but very much stick to convention when it comes to novel-length works. I can’t understand why I keep doing this, but it’s ingrained in my brain for some reason.
And that got me thinking. There’s finally a bit of chill in the air as fall descends upon us and that can only mean one thing: NaNoWriMo! I participated three years ago, and I plan on participating again this year. And this time, I’m going weird.
And this time, I’m going to try to use all of the wonderful things I’ve learned this past year about short stories and how to pour myself into them. This time, I want to write a novel I care about. Thus far, I’ve yet to accomplish that feat.
No clues on characters or plot just yet, but I’ll keep it in the back of my mind as I rework a few old short stories throughout October. I’m also thinking about starting a Tumblr account to log my NaNoWriMo efforts specifically. What do you all think? And perhaps I’ll just post recaps or summaries of the journey here? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
On a final note, as I construct my steampunk-o-riffic costume for Halloween, I promised I’d keep you up to date on my purchases and findings. The pic at the top is of my earrings. Got them on Etsy from a very talented seller. Pretty cool, eh?
I think we all hit that stage. You know, where your writing is going along swimmingly until one day you realize you’ve used a word like “swimmingly?” Yeah. That’s where I am right now.
I shall brood in a stew of self-pity.
I started my novel about four weeks ago. I had only the vaguest idea of plot, but that was okay. I let myself ramble and write the story into whatever direction the characters wanted to go. And you know what? It was liberating.
But after much meandering, I figured out some major plot elements. That should make me happy, right? No such luck. In fact, it’s just made me realize how much the first part of the novel sucks and will need to be scraped and completely rewritten.
I’ve hit 37k words and I feel like many of my scenes run around in circles or follow a similar pattern. They look like this:
1. Characters fly somewhere.
2. Characters encounter a big beasty.
3. Characters narrowly escape.
What’s terrible is I’m aware of the pattern yet it keeps happening. I can’t stop the train from derailing!
Pardon my ramblings, but this just gets so frustrating. I guess it makes sense though. I’m approaching that dreaded “middle of the book” territory. You know, the part where if your book was a physical entity at this point you’d throw it across the room, fetch it, set it on fire and print out another copy just so you can destroy it again?
I guess I better go finish this chapter.