I don’t generally start short stories and not finish them in one or maybe two sittings. Usually by the time I’m sitting at the computer and writing I’ve spent weeks or months working on the story in my head and it is ready to hit the page.
I currently have four short stories and one novella sitting between 200-1000 words on each. 1-4 pages, basically, on each one. I can’t seem to finish them. It isn’t that I don’t know exactly what happens (in fact, if we count scribbled notes and scenes, the novella has a few thousand more words on it). I know all of these stories beginning to end. Which is maybe the problem. I already know what is going on, so somehow the urgency to ‘tell’ the story is gone. My brain has moved on. I’m in novel mode (specifically Sindra’s Storm), and I really need to finish up the other bits before I spring into that. And on top of it all, I have to write a story this week for the workshop I’m attending. I have that story figured out too, though a few details came to me today while I was walking that will help refine the plot.
I know I just need to buckle down and get it all done. Not just the writing, but the reading and other parts too. But the writing is foremost. If I get these stories done by the time I’m out of town for a week, I’ll have five more things in the submission launcher to fire and forget. Five more things that can start collecting rejections. That would put me at 16 stories out on submission, which is halfway towards my goal of at least 30.
But mostly, at the moment, my brain wants to be writing “Sindra’s Storm” and doing pretty much nothing else. Maybe I’ll just stop fighting it (after I fulfill my workshop obligations) and go with that. Though I truly hate leaving a short story sitting in a file unfinished. Grr. Welcome to my crazy process, heh. There’s the insane part of me that wonders if I could finish all five in a giant push this week, which would mean finishing about two a day. Also, of course, wondering if the stories would end up any good that way. Can I jump through five totally different voices and worlds that fast? One is first person from a macro-biologist’s POV and is sort of survival/thriller sci/fi, one is about an aging militia facing its final battle, one is about a damaged bounty-hunter set in a re-imagined Ukraine, another deals with Munchhausen’s by Proxy and sort of a Cinderella myth, and the final one has a man dealing with an unwanted gift. Five stories. One a novella, so it’s sort of like two stories length-wise. But to have them done, that would be nice. We’ll see how crazy I feel.
Guess it is time to stop blogging and start writing. I think I can get a couple thousand words in tonight. Must. Get. Unstuck.