Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Forays In Fiction

Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food.
--The Art of War by Sun Tzu

For the foreseeable future, my Friday posts are going to be dedicated to aspects of fiction writing--excerpts of my own fiction when available, goals, commitments and status reports, musings on the art, craft and work habits, reviews of books about fiction writing, links to online resources for fiction writers, and surveys of the dreaded publishing aspects of submission, markets, agents, editors and promotion.

I've dedicated Fridays to this as Friday Snippets seems to have withered on the vine and lately my own fiction writing has suffered its own shriveling. I just realized that I haven't posted a new snippet of Crystal's story, Home Is Where the Horror Is, since July 4. That is essentially a month. This is what I suspected would happen if I gave myself permission to go on that fiction reading binge. My pendulum always swings too far.

When I got serious about my fiction writing again last summer under the influence of the first round of 70 Days of Sweat, my reading and especially fiction reading about dried up.

But the triple spurs of 70 Days of Sweat, Friday Snippets and NaNoWriMo 2007 really put me whole heartedly back on my true passion's path. I'm so grateful for that and for the encouragement other participants sent my way.

But now there is no community spurring me on and holding me accountable and I've let the reins go slack and my butt is sliding off the saddle. I guess I need to get back my firm grip--hands and thighs. :) With or without community.

Crystal's story has hit that stretch all my stories seem to hit between one-third to one-half way. The threads get tangled and broken and I fight the temptation to start fiddling and fixing instead of writing for the finish line. And I usually loose that fight. In fact I've never finished a book length project. The longest 'finished' story, Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes, was about 16K and it, tho it can stand alone, is really part of an intended novel. Which in turn is part of my Fruits of the Spirit story world for which I've started almost as many stories/novels as I've created characters for. When I made that promise to write to the end of Crystal's story before stopping to edit or rewrite, I thought it was going to be a short story around 5K. It has topped 13K and is maybe approaching the halfway point.

If it weren't for the commitment I made to myself when I started posting the snippets of Crystal's story hot-off-the-keyboard in March to keep my focus on finishing a first draft before stopping to fiddle and fix I'd have begun fiddling with earlier scenes long ago. If it weren't for one clamoring voice, that of my fourteen-year-old niece, begging for the rest of the story, I might be tempted to drop the threads entirely for a time (weeks? years?) and wander on back (or forward) to one of the other characters in my FOS story world. But a promise is a promise. Time to get a firm grip on saddle and reins and ride/write this story to its finish line.

3 tell me a story:

Anonymous,  8/02/2008 11:51 AM  

I look forward to seeing what you come up with each Friday!

Jamie 8/02/2008 12:29 PM  

Yepee, I can read your blog this afternoon, I"m excited. Anyway, I look forward to your snippets of any sort and I encourage you to follow your passion and I'm on board with you. You are an amazingly talented soul and it is time to get your wings and fly out of that prison of you. Bravo, for your niece and I totally agree with her. Balance is a hard thing to achieve for anyone, and I know you will find it...

Anonymous,  8/02/2008 1:20 PM  

I'm trying to keep a little bit of snippeting alive on Friday's. I'm not posting something every Friday, but occasionally I'll have something. Glad to see you will, too.

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