Writing short stories is a unique process. An always changing process. Whether I am typing a story on my iPad, or writing a story the anti-technology way, getting to the end of a story I realize it is nothing like what I originally wanted. It’s weird, and I’m sitting here unable to understand how a writer could use an outline.
I was walking to work this morning, thinking about my current project, you know, what it needs, what it wants, what I want. Our relationship is unhealthy, or at least I thought it was. The first draft, and maybe the second, are always rough like Calgary’s roads after winter. I always find a string in a story I’m writing, tugging in the opposite direction, then I get frustrated. I don’t wanna write it. I get scared that it wont be any good. But when I find a pair of scissors, and sometimes I don’t, but if I do I cut that string.
That’s when things feel like they are clicking into place. I guess that is the Ah-ha! moment.
So this current project was going to be about a kid in middle school who decides to be a super-hero of the schoolyard. I wrote a first draft, which is currently locked up in a drawer as I write the second draft. The first draft is like sketch, or frame. A test to see how sturdy the story is, a way for me to see the entire thing as a whole. When writing, sometimes you fall in love with certain scenes, moments, and feelings. Putting them together, you find you’re matching blue socks with red socks.
The super-hero angle wasn’t what the story needed, but is what I wanted. I’m writing a second draft now, by hand, on blank printer paper. I lied in one of my posts (realizing this now) when I said I liked writing on my iPad. I still do, but ultimately typing is restricting. I can’t write things in the corner of the pages, or in between sentences, nor can I doodle pictures on top of my words. And writing on blank printer paper felt even better than writing on lined-paper. This probably sounds hokey, bordering clichÃ©, yet it’s the truth.
Hell, I am not even writing this thing in order. I gave up on forming a solid plot line. I am looking for the interesting moments my character has with the other characters. I am observing them to find the theme, to find the plot. I know they’re there, I just haven’t discovered it yet.