Saturday, September 26, 2020

Process II

This is my one hundredth post for 2020.

I have not written a short story in a long time. I wrote a brief piece for a local magazine about ten years ago that I was happy with. I tried my hand at writing articles for Cleveland Magazine in the mid-aughts but they weren’t very good. 

They were fine.

For my “dark fiction” class I need to turn in a short story in a couple weeks, one which includes elements ranging from the gothic and grotesque to the horrific and weird. Neither my writing fiction nor engaging in negative storytelling do I consider strong suits; hence, I took the class.

Creating and comprehending the plot of a mystery, specifically Sherlock Holmes Meets the Bully of Baker Street, inspired me to plot out the plot visually in a manner I had not attempted before. I created a chaotic flow chart, where I could drop things I knew must happen, in the order they must happen, at various points on a large, blank page, correcting them with arrows. The spaces in between were then filled with songs, puzzles, and other elements which I hoped to include and gave me a visual sense of pacing.

As a result, I could write the play in pieces-parts, without worrying about the order -- I could organize them according to the graphic later -- and concluded with a first draft that was coherent and largely complete. This was something which would have been useful crafting my previous mysteries, espcially those which had been adapted from pre-existing works. 

The story I am working on for my fiction class is one I have been thinking of for twenty-five years. Seriously, I have had this tale rolling around in my head for decades, but have never written it. Because I never had the time or inclination to -- I did not know where it fit in my writing life. Now I do, and I cannot express how exciting that is.

Because it is an assignment. I have to do this, not for me, but for a class! Which is a much better reason for me to get it done.

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