Sometimes all of the planning and ideas in the world won’t result in progress if everything refuses to string themselves together.
I really wanted to write this month but first I struggled to find the time, then the motivation and then I was wondering if I would manage to write anything at all. I know we’re only about half way through the month but it wasn’t looking great.
Then, yesterday afternoon, I was unexpectedly inspired.
Sometimes I’m inspired by a word or a phrase or a picture (I’ve blogged about this sort of thing before). Apparently I can also be inspired by the inflection in someone’s voice as they say a particular word or phrase. Although, in this instance that moment was just one of many lately that joined together and brought me around to my latest idea.
It’s nice to genuinely feel this excited about an idea again.
This particular short story that I’ve started has reminded me about the kind of writing I would truly love to be doing. The last couple of years have been an exercise in trying different styles but it’s not always easy to write that way. Never settling. Always on the lookout for what is new. Occasionally you have to trust that what you’re already writing is good enough or you’ll never finish anything.
Of course it’s nice to try out new styles, formats, ect. but, I think that right now I need to be writing something I love. That doesn’t mean that the story itself is something I’ve done before. It just means that I’ve circled back to a familiar genre but I’m armed with more experience. When I say familiar genre in this instance I mean that this particular story has elements of fantasy although I’m planning on keeping the story contained to one setting. I’m not going to tackle any expansive world building right now and that is the beauty of a short story – one or two settings is enough. A part of me is hoping that this story will ease me back into the genre because it’s been a while since I focused on it.
One of the first clear parts of the story that came to me was the setting which is a mountainous region during the autumn. Autumn is one of my favourite times of year and a secluded setting that can naturally change quickly is great as it should offer many chances to move the story along without too many unnatural pauses or jumps.
My two characters are completely new but they didn’t exactly come from nowhere. Looking back I can see that I’ve had parts of their personalities in mind for a while but I’m ready now to pull those thoughts together. I can picture them more clearly now and I’m ready to try letting them run loose on the page. The experiences I’ve had don’t just benefit my understanding of genre because I’m much happier about writing complex characters than I ever was before.
It’s not just the genre that’s making me feel encouraged to write this story. I genuinely like the plot. Right now, the story I’m writing is the story I’d love to read.
So, it may be a short story but I’m happy with that for now. Like I said, I really wanted to write this month.