International embarass yourself as an artist day
Then we can all congratulate ourselves on how far we've come.
( 1994. I have learned something in the past four million words after all.Collapse )
A complete short story, from the trunk. Just say no to frame narratives. Just say no.
I'm actually posting this because I was just chatting with truepenny about how one thing I did not get out of the box was a coherent ability to rub my thoughts together. You know that whole "just stop thinking and write" thing they tell you to do? I can't do it; my thought process is too disjointed, as anybody who has heard me talk in person can attest. I don't get flow. I have to go back and put the line of direction and the narrative connections in. So the middle above is me working as hard as I possibly can to make sense... and about seven tenths of the story just isn't on the page. So sad.
I recycled the mirror in something else, though.
Right, as for why I posted this story, well. After mentioning it to Sarah, I thought some of the aspiring writers out there might find it encouraging. It's terrible. I know it's terrible. (Fortunately for me, this was Roundly Rejected By Everyone. I have an even worse story that saw print, but I won't tell you where or when or what it was called. I have a copy of the anthology, though, as a reminder to myself that I have in fact improved.)
The horrible thing about this story is that I wasn't cynical about it when I wrote it. It was the best I could do. I believed in it. It had an important and complex thematic resolution I was killing myself to get on the page. And you know, that's the really horrible thing about the Million Words of Shit.
See, those words only count if they're your very best words when you write them. You have to believe in them. You have to be spilling your guts. No holding back. No "writing to learn." Writing, with everything you have, even if it's terrible.
If you don't commit, you don't improve. Like any lover, the muse can tell if you're faking it so that it doesn't hurt so much when you fail. And she will scorn you for it.