Seed catalogs are coming in fast. They’re fat and colorful and full of tempting things, and they make me realize I need to start planning my garden tout de suite. I don’t need much, as I save seeds, but there are always surprises when I look at my seed stores and the garden plan.
Having spare time has opened again the possibility of writing more extensively. Back in 2011, I decided the blog would be my creative outlet and I stopped writing poetry and fiction. Mostly, I did this because my paid work and volunteer activities around food access crowded out the creative spark. Also, if you write fiction and want to publish it, the shopping around process takes a certain kind of energy and mindset I didn’t have at the time.
I’d been feeling I might have the creative mental space back, so I looked at my work. There are 15 poems, one of them published; five short stories, two published; two short stories in process; one novel, complete, but likely in need of rewriting; and one novel in its second draft.
I have always thought one of the short stories could be a screenplay but have never learned what is entailed in that process. The completed novel would likely be more marketable if I killed off one of the characters and changed the arc of the story. And the novel started and in the second draft reveals a problem I have with focus.
Most of my fictional characters come to me in a particular situation or with a particular attitude. I write things that illuminate them, not always in the order of the story and not always pertinent to the story. As a result, I wind up with excess, off-point scenes and a LOT of words in novels. Two writer friends, recognizing this problem, gave me books that addressed it years back. One is called Structuring Your Novel and the other is called The Moral Premise. The latter is about screenwriting, but just as applicable to story arc in a novel. I’ve decided to read them both, do the exercises and proceed, if possible, with the newer novel. With all the distance from the creative writing, I was able to see and accept what I was doing wrong when I dipped again into Structuring Your Novel.
As I write today, it’s snowing again and I’m enjoying it. Overnight it will turn into wintry mix, ice, and then rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be well above freezing, so I hope people stay in tonight and the stuff melts fast. Earlier, I took some video of it, but it’s relatively silent.
I’ll stay in and have a few shortbread and some hot tea…