Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ain't That A Hole In The Boat

Emmett is rabid for the Gameboy. We should have heeded the rule: two of everything. He loves playing the game from the movie Cars, but has no idea that he is controlling Lighting McQueen through the course. Fortunately, without any help, McQueen travels generally towards the finish line, albeit like a total drunk.

Inspiration is at low ebb, and so is my creative confidence. I read over my current short story and I do not like it much. Which begs the obvious question: will anyone else? My wife insists that the premise is quite good. That may be so, but I question my execution.

So now there are two short story fragments on my hard drive. I suppose that's a good thing. My latest effort is five thousand words. Considering that my last completed story was three thousand, I should feel warmer towards it than I do.

Does anyone else have this problem--works in progress that just don't float the old boat?

17 comments:

Jaye Wells said...

It happens all the time. Sometimes it's just a matter of mulling them over until I land up on the correct fix. Right now I'm struggling to find the right scene to begin this book. It's hard not to panic about it, but it will come.

Is your class not helping? Do you have assignments or prompts?

Scott said...

I've only had one class so far. My prompt for this week was to pitch four or five ideas for a story, no matter the genre of format (short or novel). I've already written down my ideas, which vary in complexity. The next thing we'll do is provide writing that can be shared with the class. I thought about using my current short story, so I read it over. It felt forced--and I want to make a good impression.

Maybe I should post sections and ask for honest criticism, to hone it for presentation.

I don't know what to do. I feel stuck is all.

Kathleen said...

Not that I'm a writer, but if the current story feels forced, have you thought about deleting and starting over again - same premise, just start from a different place - be it in the story or just in your brain?

Scott said...

I suppose I could do that, and maybe that's what it will be. I'm sure I could salvage some of it though...

Argggghhh!

Flood said...

Scott, this is how you get a buncha ideas in your library. In a month, you might be able to see exactly what's needed to better your stories. In the meantime, maybe moving on to something different is the way to go.

About making a good impression: when LP practices her skate boarding tricks, she looks like a total clod (don't tell her I said that), but she keeps trying til she gets it, without any concern for how she looks to the rest of us. She just keeps at it until she doesn't look goofy anymore. You can't walk in there wanting to read perfection to the class, when you are there to better the work, right?

So drive drunk to the finish line.

Scott said...

Flood - Very nice answer. I suppose I should move on. I do have another idea to rework an old story. It would be a great way to start with the new class anyway. Perhaps rabbit, perhaps...

fringes said...

I can't follow Flood. She was perfect in her advice. So let me just say: I was here and I read this. Oh, and maybe vodka could help.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Yeah, I feel the same way about a few of my songs that i've had knocking around for a while.

Once I have written one thing, I just want to move onto something new because the song usually represents something personal that is now expunged from my system.

Bernita said...

No, no, don't delete it!
Let it simmer.
Flood is right. Though no one wants to feel inadequate in front of "peers," why are you there?
Worrying that you might place low in the first round of a talent pool is borrowing trouble.

trinamick said...

That's pretty much what happens on my blog lately. I look over my notes and think, that's not what I want to talk about at all. But it's more of a case of needing a new life, I fear.

In a writing class I took in college, our prof made someone else read our story drafts. Then they would write down the questions they had or parts that confused them/wanted to know more about. It helped having a fresh perspective.

Miranda said...

Don't delete it! Work on something else for awhile and come back to it. :)

jason evans said...

If you are uninspired by the story, then the story will be flat. I'm with the others. Definitely set it aside for later. Try to find a topic that sparks your interest now.

A change of pace can be a wonderful motivator. Reworking an old story you don't like can drain the life out you.

Moni said...

I'm not a writer, but I do have bits and pieces of songs floating around everywhere. Some on deposit slips, some in a book. lol So, yes I can empathise. But when you strike that creative gold mine make sure the dust settles on all your work. ;)

benjibopper said...

yeah, even wrote a poem about it, an apology to my aborted poems. good concepts that for whatever reason just didn't make it out of my pen's womb. a really good editor once told me that the odds of getting something right the first time are really really low, and that it never hurts to start over again from scratch and see what comes of it. not that i ever heeded his advice, but it sounds good.

Bailey Stewart said...

OMG - that's my blog for tomorrow. Seems we're on the same wavelength. Worrying about it just makes it harder.

Scott said...

Fringes - Welcome, and thanks for the note on the fridge.

Toast - So I guess when inspiration hits I need to get cracking before it fades. I know what you mean about already having worked out a frustration. Once you've done that the energy is gone.

Bernita - No way do I delete it. There are some good parts, and the idea is sound. I'm just lost--that's all.

Trina - Yeah, I need to just bring what I have and let it rip. It will help, and as noted, I'm there to become a better writer, not get accolades.

Miranda - You're right of course. Deleting it would be total suicide. Besides, I may be inspired later, like you say.

Jason - Yeah, I hear you. I was reluctant to move on because I wrote another story and moved on from it to this one. That's ok though. It's all practice anyway.

Moni - Thanks. I can probably borrow sections later if I need them.

Benji - Funny. There is so much writing advice that I've heard, and even dispensed, but haven't taken myself. Sometimes I'll give it a try later and kick myself for not taking it sooner.

Bailey - Then I'll just stop worrying about it. It's only a short story, but damn it man! I want another piece for submission.

Toni Anderson said...

Totally happens--even at 100K!!