The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Itchin’ for some Fiction pt.4

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I made it.  I wrapped up “Something for the Hurt” Saturday afternoon, just in time to get it to the public library for their creative writing contest.  I also sent it off to New Scriptor, a literary journal that publishes writing from Illinois teachers exclusively (I sent them a poem and a CNF piece, too).

I felt a lot of momentum with the story, starting ’round about the last time I posted about it here (that’s one of the purposes of the blog…  to motivate me to write; I also knew if I announced the story to you, gentle readers, that I would have to keep at it so as to avoid telling you I gave up on it).  I also started back with some old writing habits; primarily, working on chunks of the story in 15-20 minute bursts when my Creative Writing classes were journaling.  That was a nice reminder of how much I can get done if I just sit down for a few minutes.  Plus, I would invariably leave of at some awkward point, so the story would remain on my mind until I redressed the awkwardness.

Another old habit came into play here, too…  I stuffed the rough drafts and edits into my journal each time I was done working on it.  My journal is always with me, so the story was, too.  It was like my shadow following me around.

My friend Ray (my local fiction expert) was kind enough to do a late edit for me, and it was a real difference maker.  He pointed out some issues with the story that I had little clue about because I’m not trained in fiction writing.  I referred to those issues as the “emotional truth” of the story, and they were key to getting the reader to care about the protagonist, and even convincing the reader that the protagonist cared and had cause for concern about the other characters.  It’s complicated.  I addressed those issues as best I could, and called it a story.  At this point, I don’t care how, where, or if the story is recognized.  The experience of writing outside of my comfort zone made the story worthwhile, and I’m content with that.

I don’t know how much more fiction I’ll write, or even when.  I don’t get the fiction impulse; I don’t get bit by an idea for fiction like I do with CNF, or even poetry as I often do.  Like I said in a previous episode, the idea for “Something for the Hurt” literally fell into my lap as I was engaged in some rigorous cognitive processing.  The story flashed through my mind almost in its entirety, and my writer instincts kicked in almost immediately.  So I started writing.

I know my mind is trained in certain ways, and that’s why I am attuned to ideas for CNF and poetry.  But I also wonder if I subconsciously suppress my fiction urges because I’m uncomfortable with or afraid of it.  I am both.  I think fiction presents too many problems to solve for a story to make sense.  I have to get deeper into psychology than I am comfortable getting.  There are blind spots I can’t negotiate.  As I’ve said time and again, I prefer CNF because I’d rather make sense of the world instead of creating a world that makes sense.

Finally, I realize now that all these stray thoughts are pointing in the same direction.  There’s no sense in me denying it.  I need to write more fiction.  It will help me become a better writer.

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Written by seeker70

March 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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