Wednesday June 19th, 2013

The exercise:

Our theme for today's writing is: piece by piece.

The weather has returned us to Rain Land for a little while. Tomorrow is looking to be worse than today (which wasn't excessively bad, to be honest - but it still kept me out of the garden), so we're considering making a rare non-market trip to Penticton to run a few errands and maybe meet up with some friends.

Also hoping that the wetness doesn't end up splitting all of the cherries still on the trees.


In the past year or so I have left a lot of stories over on Protagonize hanging. I really haven't done very much writing outside of this blog - probably none at all this year, actually. That might be a lie, but the fact that I'm not sure if it is kinda proves my point here.

A big reason for that is my tendency to want a large chunk of time to get writing done. I may not necessarily get it finished in one sitting, but I'll walk away from it knowing that there's not much left to be done before I'm happy with it.

Thing is? Those big blocks of time are almost impossible to come by these days. So writing projects gather dust. Stories languish. Readers forget and move on to other tales. 

Writing partners suspect that I've died.

So I made a long overdue decision today. I'm going to get back to those stories, one at a time. I'm going to work on them every day, even if it's just for ten minutes. It may take me a week or two to write something worth posting, but that's better than waiting a month or two (or ten) just so that I can write it all at once.

It's not my usual style, but I'm hoping that it'll work. I think the writing will benefit, as it usually does when I have time to let ideas simmer and stir in the back of my head before continuing on. And I wouldn't be terribly surprised if those 'ten minutes a day' suddenly turn into twenty or thirty minutes, even an hour.

Piece by piece, no matter the number of words hammered onto the page at each sitting, it's time to get those stories moving again.


Greg said...

Well, normally I'd recommend enjoying the rain in summer, but when there's soft fruit to be gathered I can completely understand your concern. Especially when you already know how fast those cherries will sell! I guess next Winter you'll have to make thousands of tiny little waterproof jackets for next year's cherries... ;-)
I know what you mean about preferring to have the time to sit down and write properly, but I found out a few years back that it wasn't going to work for me like that. Writing when you can does work though, and you will find that sometimes the ten minutes that you thought was all you could spare stretches to thirty without causing problems.
And... you mean all those little hints I keep dropping about Protagonise stories actually worked? o_O

Piece by piece
The Inn of the Shire was falling apart, piece by piece. Its once beautifully thatched roof now had holes in, and unwary hobbits walking past might suddenly find themselves the victim of an aerial haystack attack. Mumpy Tuesday, one of the refugees from the War of the Ring, had caught the entire chimney stack when it fell, so they'd stuck a plaque on it and left it where it was. Inside, the floor was slick with fluids and slick mucal veins dripped constant from the ceiling; no-one dared climb the stairs to find out what lived there now.
"Oh Mr. Frodo, Sir!" said Samwise, hopping on his remaining leg and waving a hand. "Mr. Frodo!"
"Oh Sam, aren't you dead yet?" sighed Frodo. He reached for the One Ring to slip in on and disappear from sight, remembering on at the last moment that the Ring – and his finger – were long gone.
"Mr. Frodo, Mr. Frodo, Merry asked me to tell you that Gandalf is visiting today."
Frodo paled. Gandalf's Gulf War Syndrome was causing more problems for the Shire than the War of the Ring itself.
"Well that's just great," he said bitterly. "Please tell me he's come to clean up the Inn."
"No, Sam," he said heavily. "I didn't want you to speak again. Go and drown yourself and do me a favour."
Frodo walked off, leaving the decrepit Sam looking hurt and near tears, and cursed his luck. It felt like his life was also falling apart piece by piece.

David said...

With each thought his life was torn apart.





He wished his wife would stop nagging.

She developed throat cancer and was unable to speak.

He wished his children would stop failing at school.

They were expelled.

He wanted his boss to leave him alone.

He was fired.

Did an old gypsy woman curse him?

Was he magical?


He wished the thoughts would stop.

He fell into a coma.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah!

I'm (re?)discovering that same sort of thing: I like having chunks of time to write/work, but I think for my forthcoming radio project to work out it'll have to be in scraps of time where I can find them.

I've also started some audio-editing practice, and I've dabbled with video editing here and there, and with the video editing especially, it's fascinating how little of the raw makes it into the final thing. It's a lot like DNA, really: there's so much there, and yet a very tiny fraction actually means something.

So, yeah. Mostly I'm excited about the prospect of seeing more from you on the Protag side of things!

Marc said...

Greg - the visual of tiny little cherry waterproof jackets is brilliant :)

Wow, that got dark in a hurry! Particularly liked the bit about the chimney stack.

David - love the progression of this piece. It all leads, rather sensibly it seems, to that ending.

g2 - glad to know I'm not alone on this one :)

And yes, I'd say Lunacy is probably second on my list of stories to get back to.

No real time frame on that, honestly, but there you go.