So this is what I’m up to: writing, writing and more writing. Oh, and writing. And my approach to writing has been changing, evolving.
One, I’m focusing a lot more on narration instead of plot. A book’s narrator is more intimate than a movie or television’s camera eye. In the pages, a narrator speaks to us and tells us a story, like sitting down with another person and listening. Imagine that! A book’s narrator has a personality, a persona. A camera doesn’t, so it can be a bit more distant from the characters and from you, relying on “point of view.” Narration adds depth to a novel. But a script writer may not understand narrator persona or they don’t give a shit.
And just a side note, forget all those bullcrap script writing techniques disguised as how-to-write-fiction books. Those books use complicated language to shape scripting techniques into something that isn’t good for a novel. Point of View. Character Driven. Voice. These are ways of trying to go around a narrator. You’ll start to sweat and twitch the more you read those books, nervously thinking that you, the author, must be doing all the wrong things. Imaginative writing is not about elaborate charts and diagrams that lead you into some overgrown forest, lost and afraid to escape.
Second, while I learn how to develop narrative, my plotted stories will be better for it. But plot doesn’t necessarily mean genre. I’ve never liked that nasty word genre because it drops the writer into a dark hole where tropes and cliche characters dwell. Crawl out and see the light! We’re artists, first. A great story can be plotted but it doesn’t have to grind out the same hash everyone else is doing. And if you plot something but don’t want to be too artistic, consider using an objective narrator to tell us the story.
Third, my completed works are now submitted elsewhere before I self-publish. I admit, getting published isn’t easy. You not only have to write something that’s good but the work must also appeal to readers and editors. The odds are against you. But try. When your work does sell, many publications buy one-time rights. You, the author, may have the option to later self-publish the work again. Sure, it may be a while before I publish another anthology of shorts. But a first time publication with a journal or elsewhere increases my stories visibility.
So, below are hints at my works in progress.
Three poems completed and submitted to various literary journals and the like. I’m sure I’ll always find time to write more. Metered, rhymed, strong-stress, free verse, it’s all good.
Two flash fiction stories
One draft is half finished. The second, about half. Both stories lean heavy on narrative, not plot. Different personas speaking. Nothing wrong with plot but someone has to tell the tale.
Two short stories
One of them is close to the story’s crisis moment. The second is only about a third of the way there. Again, loads of narrative.
A novel, maybe a second
Yes, I’ve been writing a novel. I’ve got a great premise for a second one that deserves my attention. A third novel could be possible as I’ve revisited an older idea that I still like. Two of the three will lean more on plot.