Friday, September 20, 2013

Notes on Writing a Story

Written over several days...

I am reading Catherynne Valente’s The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden. It has moved me to begin a fairy tale. Fairy tales are so keen. So far I have one page.
The fairy tale I started yesterday is terminally silly, but I may continue it anyway. It's kind of relaxing, after all the struggling with revision. Writing is too hard for me. I need to spend more time not giving a damn.
The fairy tale is chugging along. I'm not sure it's any good, but I'm not a good judge. When writing is going well, I think I am utterly fabulous, but then there are these brief drops into despair, followed by more fabulousity, followed by... I remind myself that I threw out "The Garden" part way through, then had to go back and rewrite from memory. The story ended in a couple of "Best of the Year" anthologies. I am not a good judge.
The thing the fairy tale has going for it is the images and lines which are digging at me, demanding to be written... Ima discovering the werewolves, Orna playing in a field of autumn flowers with dryads... And the third daughter with the witch...
I think the key thing for me is when a story keeps chewing at me. I get these images, but don't know how to fit them in the story yet. But they stay with me. Usually this means I should persist, though some stories with neat images never get finished... What is odd is how some stories flow right out, are so easy to write, and others fight me every line.


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