Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Got into a flow yesterday, writing a short story. It was a we-need-it-yesterday piece, with a start and a direction in which to go, so it was easier than beginning from scratch.

Sometimes, a story is sketchy enough in mind that it takes a while to fill in the blanks, you have to sit with it idling until you can figure out where you want it to go. In this case, I was able to put it in gear and burn rubber ... 

It came with about five hundred words of an opening scene, and I added another 2500 words. Got started early in the afternoon, was done by five p.m. Ran it through the spellchecker, touched up the worst flaws, sent it along. 

It was easier, in that I knew it would be cleaned up and shortened a bit, so I could play it fast and loose. I dunno exactly what it will look like finished, if they liked it, nor, at this moment, even where it will wind up. Those are things to know, of course, but the primary joy in writing a tale is in the writing itself; it has to be, for me. Yeah, Ole Sam's dictum, No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money–but there are better ways to make more money and if you never find joy in your occupation, how sad it that?

This kind of thing is what you want in any job–where you just crank, lose track of time and space, look up, and you are done, as if you are less the creator than a conduit; not of me, but through me. It doesn't always happen that way; more often than not, you are adding, cutting, revising as you go, very much aware of the nuts-and-bolts aspect, using craft to sculpt art.

A good writer will wind up with a product that most readers won't be able to tell if it was a hoot or drudgery to do, and that's how it should be–stet scriptum sua sponte–let the story stand on its own.

Not a great work of art, but some touches, and another demonstration of how that be-here-now stuff works. Getting lost in the art and craft takes you place you wouldn't get to go to otherwise. Worth a smile and some satisfaction.

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