Thursday, 26 April 2007

Still dabbling with stories whilst novel writing (and notes on 'voice')

I was reading Sally's blog yesterday and she was talking about re-visiting old short stories - which I found interesting as I'd just been working on a short story I'd abandoned over a year ago (I have a folder called 'Abandoned openings' on my desktop and every now and then I trawl though it to see if anything sparks an idea).

Anyway, I didn't want to abandon this particular story as the voice was very strong and the premise was an interesting one (to me anyway). I re-read the story several times and an idea for an ending slowly formed in my mind. The trouble was - I couldn't get back into the voice - and I silently cursed my past self for not finishing the story. In my experience when you suddenly 'get' a very strong voice you have to complete the short story in one sitting or risk losing the voice, the moment, forever. I have to admit I struggled to get the voice back for the second half of the story and I'm not entirely sure I did it justice second time around. This weekend I'm going to send the story to my writing group to critique to see what they think although I've got a very strong feeling they'll be able to see the join. I'm also not 100% sure the story works as is but...we'll see. Maybe some fresh eyes will be able to point out where I went wrong.

Fortunately the voice in my novel isn't nearly as strong as the one in the story so it's much easier to slip back into it day after day.

Talking of the novel - it's plodding along nicely. 700'ish words last night and 400'ish words the night before. I need to do some serious work on the novel this weekend and wrack up a couple of 1,200 words a night totals to push it along.

1 comment:

Quillers said...

Yes, I completely agree about how hard it is to get that particular voice back after a break in transmission (so to speak!). I find that if I can get a story done in one sitting it is much better. Not necessarily a perfect story, as it will still need editing and honing, but you can keep the original tone better when you know what it ends like.

I've yet to find the ending to the story I started ages ago. I've also got a sci-fi story I started weeks ago but as it has quite a complicated plot (time travel, vagaries, wo/men stepping on butterflies figuratively speaking etc etc) I've found it really hard to go back. I know what happens, but it's just applying myself to the outline that's the problem. Maybe that's my task for this afternoon...