So this week has been a hectic week: I started an internship, I got accepted by the university I wanted to do an exchange semester with, I started work with one of the teams at the company, and I’ve had to apply for scholarships and write essays for the exchange. To top it all off, I got home after dark every night and the internet decided not to work, every night. What I’m trying to say is that the forces of nature were against me and there were no posts this week. Well you know what I say to the forces of nature who keep me from my blog? Sod off! Yes, I actually just wanted a chance to type that, I feel slightly naughty now, hehehe. So today you’ll be getting what should have been Wednesday’s post. I’ll give a summary at the end instead of doing a separate post. On Monday, expect to see a review of Switched by Amanda Hocking. So without further fuss, let’s get on with business.
I’ve been thinking about writing books more than usual recently because I have a story in my head, begging to be written. It’s hard work, really it is and I can only gape in awe at authors tweeting about being on their second and third edits. Second and third edits? I’d just like a first draft, thanks very much. Then I did a post on characters and how they’re mostly developed through dialogue and action and I looked at my short story of which you received an excerpt as an example. It had everything necessary: a beginning, a middle and an end; a starting point, a high point and a little bit of a cliff hanger (because that’s what I like). And as people read it they commented that it seemed like it could be part of a book, sort of like a chapter, or at least part of a chapter. They were right. There’s so much going on for Katherine and Danny and only I know about it but I could write enough on it to fill a book.
So where am I going with this? Simple. Writing a book is hard, extremely hard, but I’m sure writing a short story seems incredibly easy after wrestling with a long story that doesn’t seem to want to be written. So I hatched a plan and I’ve been waiting for this post until I can put it into action, along with the rest of you. I propose that we approach each chapter as though we’re writing a short story. It doesn’t matter how short though I do think anything under five hundred words is just an essay and this is me being nice. It works perfectly because short stories have the same elements as a book: characters, setting, conflict, plot, and theme. Hence each chapter should have these elements and everything works out perfectly.
Obviously I know things are simpler said than done but you have to admit it’s an interesting idea. One of the biggest obstacles you’re going to have to surpass is not thinking about writing a book, sometimes I think the thought alone makes it harder than it has to be at times. Another obstacle is getting over your idea of perfection the first time around. Seriously, the stress isn’t worth it. So think about it: writing your book as a series of short stories which all happen to feature the same characters sort of, and which can all run into each other. You’ll sort of be chronicling their adventures! How exciting! So now onto business!
Writing Exercise 5:
Now this will be tons easier if you’ve done the previous writing exercises, especially one and two. Now take what you produced from those two exercises and give it a good hard look Now pick one of your ideas from Exercise 2 and write a short story about it. Simple? Well kind of. You need to make sure you get your characters to come across as people. Then you need to have a theme behind the story, for example, I think the themes I had going in my short story were fear of intimacy (sort of) and fear. You can’t let go of your plot, here it might be helpful to keep your overall plot in mind but you need to have a mini plot going for you as well. You need a climax in your story, you need a resolution even if it is only a partial one. Right now you don’t have to worry about if it gives you enough space to continue in a separate short story. Banish those thoughts! You can worry about the flow between them when you’re rewriting. So get to it.
Yes! I’m back people!!!!! Okay, Monday’s post is likely to be late but it will be up on Monday no matter what, I promise. I had to leave home to get this post up and I was reading switched instead of finishing my post because I was trying to see if my first impression was right or not. In the end I decided to leave White Cat by Holly Black for next Monday’s review, you’ll love that because I’m going to explore the differences between a female protagonist’s voice and a male protagonist’s. Interesting stuff, most definitely.
You should look forward to some interesting Morning Muse posts in the future. I’m really trying to find books that I think look at something really interesting hence White Cat with its male protagonist (*shock and awe*) and Switched (*kept reading to see if I should always trust my first impressions*). I hope everyone finds that they’re learning something from it. Remember tomorrow’s Classics Corner! Hopefully it will be posted both here and over at Baffled Books. Stay tuned!
I also plan to be adding stuff to the blog. I’m not going to be overly specific because I want it to be a surprise. I hope you guys aren’t too pissed at me about my lack of posts today, I’ve seen that people were still checking my blog, I feel special. Please remember, writing’s not easy and don’t expect everything to just come to you. Sometimes it takes work, sometimes it take a lot of work.
K, the Popinjay.