noctuary: (absinthe)
Sometimes I look at what other people take from prompts, and I feel like I don't have any imagination. Whatever they come up with always seems to much more rich and interesting and original. Then I look at myself and think myself a poor writer - "what sort of a writer has talent with words, but no imagination??" and get mopey and depressed. With non-prompty,-non-writing-exercisey short stories, I tend to have trouble coming up with ideas at all.... Short stories in themselves are difficult, because of twist endings and implied meanings and so on, but I like the freedom of construction and function they can sometimes present. They're exciting to do.

Today I took a prompt and did something I consider Interesting. That, along with my okay-idea-but-poor-execution drabble from the day before yesterday, make me think this collection of exercises could turn into a trove from which to pull ideas and concepts and drafts to shape into proper short stories one day in the future, when I feel the need to craft one and can't think of an idea. The little purple leather-bound book (jasart, pretty, soft, nice to hold and have but not the most satisfying to write in) I've been writing these things in is slowly turning into a trove. Not a treasure trove as such because there's going to be a lot of dross in there too. But a bible of ideas and possibilities for the future.

It's exciting, and I like that. I just have to keep up the scribbling of exercises and prompts, and allow myself to be truly free with whatever I scribble, because it doesn't have to be perfect or even good for me to use it for something great in the future.
noctuary: (CDFreidrich)
My "Writer's Book of Days" has arrived. I admit I'm a bit disappointed with the quality of the paper - I'm the sort of person to whom that sort of thing is important - but it was half price, and the content appears to be as good as I hoped it was. Or at least of the type I hoped it was. Time, of course, will tell.

I'm going to start, hopefully, writing a piece a day. Some of them might fill in the backstories of some of my novel characters. Some might be new short stories with new characters. Others might end up being incorporated into novels half-written. Others might wind up being journal entries. few will end up being posted here. If I don't like the prompt given in this book, I might take one from one of the communities I'm a member of, or from the book of prompts I have. Regardless, I hope doing this will help both with my writing practise and with fleshing out my novel characters.

There are other things to work on, too. I keep stalling on my way through "The Ode Less Travelled" and should get some proper poems written that aren't sonnets. And, of course, I'm working on finishing the novel properly. I have less than 20 pages left to edit now, which itself is scary. I don't enjoy editing but I also don't know if I'm ready to run out of what I've already written and come to the point where I have to set aside my editing hat and put on the creating hat once again. The prospect is frightening... and while I don't want to get mired in short stories to shield myself from Finished Novel Land and the concerns of sharing and publishing that come with it, it could also be true that exercises here and there might bolster my creativity so I can finish it off.

And this sounds silly - or maybe not - but I think I need for these to be private. I might be going to put this novel out into the world for all to see, and perhaps one day, a book of short stories - Tales from Montmartre? - but these exercises, private, in a special private journal. Maybe shared on occasion, but written specifically for me. I always write for me, but often worry over how good this is or that, and who I can or should show it to.... these can be just for having.

Meanwhile I should be reading over the notes I took when I visited the Louvre last year, but I can't bring myself to do it. I feel a particular angst regarding them, for some reason. And, yes, as should be obvious my now, I am still writing this blog to avoid actually working. I mean, I've edited four or five pages today. I don't theoretically need to work any more today. But I want to (yet I procrastinate). I don't feel like I've accomplished anything today. I need that extra something, to help get the angst out.

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December 2011

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