When I was putting together my debut novella Confession, I spent a lot of time experimenting. The whole purpose of the story was for me to play. I wrote for my enjoyment and, to paraphrase Marie Kondo, if a section or action didn’t spark joy for me as the creator I cut it. Or rewrote it. Confession was born from one need. The need to finish a story. To take a tale from beginning to end and see what there was to see on the journey. Confession isn’t the first story I’ve written. Far from it, but it is the first one I’ve taken through the drafting process to actually finish it. Confession, put simply, is here because I wanted to see if I could do it. And I think I have. Writing the book, I came across three key lessons that will stand me in good stead for future writing projects. I wanted to discuss them briefly here:
I wrote this short story last month for the Furious Fiction writing competition at the Australian Writers’ Centre. It didn’t place, but that’s okay. It was my first attempt at entering any sort of competition so that’s all good. Besides, it means I can share it with you. If you’d like to check out the winning and recommended stories from October’s Furious Fiction click on the hyperlink. There are some fab stories there for you to read. Mike
After all the lovely comments on my previous piece, Knit one Purl One, I thought I’d put up the second part of the writing exercise from the other day. It’s called The Golden Moose Café and picks up the story later in the afternoon of the day the first story is set in. Hope you enjoy! Mike
Another writing exercise from the Neil Gaiman The Art of Storytelling Masterclass. The prompt I selected was ‘Two old women sitting together knitting on a park bench.” Beyond grammar checking and a light polish, this is what my brain came up with. Knit one, Purl One is after the break
It’s been many a long day since I last posted in here, I had no idea. Quick update: Still sober, still cigarette free, still working from home so not much has changed in the last 2 years. I have been working on my novel, and I’m currently undertaking the Art of Storytelling Masterclass led by Neil Gaiman on Masterclass.com. This little story was one of the writing exercises. With it, you had to take a favourite fairy/folk tale and re-write it from the perspective of a different character as a newspaper article. The story I chose was The Princess and the Pea and the article is written, from the perspective of the mattress salesman who gets an order for 20 luxury feather mattresses to be delivered to the palace. Hope you enjoy, Mike The short story, Local Mattress Salesman Hits the Big Time, is after the cut.
Well it has been a while. Not since I wrote a blog, I did that yesterday, but since I wrote a blog that focused on why Writing in Shadows was created in the first place. I started this blog several years ago to write about the process of writing. Back then, as a young whipper-snapper of 40, I had dreams of writing a novel. Maybe a movie. Perhaps a series. Definitely more than a shopping list.
I have to go on record in saying 2016 has been a pretty dismal year. On a world scale we’ve got wars and terrorism all over the place. On a personal scale I’ve been made redundant (again) and the depression I’ve been dealing with seems to be gaining ground on me lately. Frankly the sooner it’s over, the better.
I wrote this short story last year in a fit of creativity. I originally submitted it to a competition but it wasn’t right for them. Having read some of the winners pieces I can see why. It was a very different path taken to the winners and those who placed. I’m considering submitting another attempt this year. But in the meantime I have a short 600-odd word story, so I thought I’d put it up here. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do leave a comment. Hell, even if you don’t leave a comment. Constructive feedback is always welcome.
Yesterday I wrote about my “practice novel”, the next piece of writing I’m going to undertake to give myself something to practice on. To learn new techniques, to write only for the joy of telling the story and not worrying about publishing deals or publishing at all. To just write and learn and have some fun.
There is a great myth in my family – and I think in the families of many – that in order for something to be achieved it needs to be done at the right moment. The perfect moment just waiting to be tapped into and if, just if, you hit the right perfect moment everything will come up roses, or at least pansies, never carnations though. They’re funeral flowers.