Every once in a while life just escapes you, so here I am playing catch up.
Summer’s been busy. Besides everything else I took some classes over at LitReactor and what do you know, it turns out I’m writing a novella. And yeah, yeah – I know, people hear you’re a writer and they just kind of expect that you’d be writing novels. But listen, that isn’t always the way. Some of us escape in sharp burst of short stories. Think of it as building stamina. The finely tuned art of the short story is a perfect way to approach chapters as individual elements in the longer structure of a novel. But wait, I’m railroading off topic here.
So I took this great class called Anatomy of Archetypes (understanding and subverting character tropes) taught by Nik Korpon. And here my 1,500 word fast paced nihilistic satire about friendship, shotguns and a gap in the market became more than just another of my usual short stories after Nik challenged the class to undercut the reader’s expectations of the characters we had created, thus creating chapter two, if you will. Yeah, I’m well aware that novella’s don’t have chapters. Initially I wrote this in chapters because the first person narrative jumps between the three different character’s simultaneous stories that also interweave; and one: it was a way to keep the voices separate and two: it made it easier to splice the fragment together into one whole body of text. If it sounds confusing, know that actually, it wasn’t so much.
The thing about my writing is there’s never really a plan. It’s the rush running with your eyes shut, without the actual physical danger or stern disapproving stares. I start with an idea and see where it takes me. I’ll be doing all the auto-pilot-brain routines of everyday life such as dog walking and housework, the stuff where your chattering monkey mind kicks in and Kaa-blam: plot points, dialogue, twists and revelations.
So far I’m some 10,000 words into the first draft, I’ve come full circle back to the start, which I thought was the end, but now might only be the middle. Could be it’s only a third of the final story, I’m still waiting to find out. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be fun finding out.