Friday, April 29, 2011

Honing my Craft

So I've slowed down production quite a bit. I cranked out 15 stories in 2 months. Now the output is slowing to a trickle.

The hard part for me was breaking out of the generic word symdrome I wrote out in my last post (two posts ago according to Blogger--- the internet has been doing weird things to my posts lately, even on forums). I blame part of this on my job. When I write a legal review, I want to be clear. When I write a story, I want to be evocative.

Now it turns out I have a bad case of HWS: hack writer syndrome. All I want to write about is nail biting suspense, monsters emerging from interdimensional portals, people going mad, and violence. Lots of violence. Ultraviolence, you might say.

But really? Isn't there another way to resolve conflict than pulling out a Colt .45 and splattering the bad guy's brains across the wall?

Apparantly not. I was writing a story about old age and death, a wistful meditation on change and impermanence.

You know where it went? A retired government assassin fighting genetically enhanced mutants. Does that sound wistful? Meditative?


This is one reason I'm writing a novel. When I feel like writing about some one dodging laser blasts or discovering some horrible secret, I can stick it in there.

When I write short stories, I want to write something---


---meaningful. But still involving. Like many others, when I read a "literary" piece, I end up scratching my head. How then to write something interesting, engaging, and meaningful?

This is the holy grail of genre writing, I believe.

But its hard to shake the hack. I set out to write a story recently, dipping into my warm, wonderful child memories of growing up in the Midwest in the late 1980's.

It features a child murderer, a psychopathic pre-teen, and a ghost.


1 comment:

  1. Heheh--personally, i think meaningful enters a story naturally. Write the stories that flow out naturally, and maybe you'll start adding layers of meaning over time. Perhaps without even realizing you're doing so.

    But then again, i'm a hack too. And proud of it! :D