Well, at the OCW conference I had a discussion with a few other writers about our styles. I tend to go dark. Even when I try to write something light and humorous a dark edge creeps into the work. So, I’m challenging myself. I want to write some light-hearted short stories in an effort to develop my skills.
With that in mind, I scoured writing prompts and did a little brainstorming. Nothing grabbed me. Then it hit me, I have a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes from my past that I can fictionalize. The events are universal. I can create characters and settings around them. The truth in fiction, so to speak.
It isn’t as easy as it sounds though. I devoted a bit of time to one such event, but I’m having trouble getting the beginning right. I’ve started with character. I’ve started with setting. Nothing seems right. The only thing I can think of to make it work is to just write until I find the beginning. Kind of like a nature walk. You amble along until you find that flower or tree that really grabs you, fires your imagination. (I particularly like trees with ‘character’)That means a lot of crap will hit the page before I find the treasure. I’ll pass through nondescript areas and gaze upon flora and fauna that are familiar, maybe even comfortable. When I stumble upon that rare Plumeria Golden Unicorn it will be a beautiful sentence. Perfection. You’d think this process would be frustrating, but for some reason I’m really enjoying it. So far.
Now, I need to schedule myself. I don’t want my writing to suffer because I’m stretched thin. In order to make sure the quality of my work is the best it can be, I need to focus. With so many projects going on that means creating a routine. I’m open to structure if it will allow my creativity to flow.
It also helps that I’ve found a writing group. I think. My schedule hasn’t jived with theirs as of yet, but I’m committed to making it work.
I find myself on a frightening and exhilarating journey. One in which I’ll occasionally flounder. It’s comforting to know I can always write until I find the beginning.