(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
If I’m going to write something and get it published, I have to give up a lot to find the time. And I have to focus. I have tried so many different ways to write, and nothing’s worked for me so far. I can write multiple stories at once, but nothing long. Then I think about Yuletide last year. Somehow, I pulled a couple of thousand words out on a short deadline, in a fandom I had never read in, let alone written in, and it turned out to be one of my favourite things ever. And I think that was focus. It was partly deadline, partly writing for someone else, and knowing that I had to have something amazing at the end of the day, but mostly, I think it was the focus of working on one thing at one time. I’m going to try to work on one thing at one time now.
I have this story I wrote for a deadline, an anthology, and, actually, thinking about it now, it’s the one that I haven’t heard back from yet. So, I don’t know, maybe this story will get published. But, at this point, I doubt it. I still love the story. It’s the only one of the handful I wrote for those deadlines that came so easy. It could have easily been another thousand words. It could have easy spun out into something so much bigger if I allowed it. So now I’m going to allow it. I’m going to make it something big. And I’m looking at the other short stories and seeing how they can fit into a larger narrative. Because, I think I’ve been writing the same story over and over. The names may change, the places, the jobs, but not the core of the story. What I have right now is a handful of started, but not finished stories.
I have a musician and a radio jockey who meet because of a tour. There’s a date with two boys who don’t have any particular job, so they can easily become Charlie and Wes. There’s the story of two boys in the same band who are on hiatus, and a lot of that stuff can be transferred over to one boy in one band, and going on hiatus. That’s three tabs I have open right now that can actually be the same story. That’s a lot of words that all of the sudden count towards one project. It’s pretty amazing. It’s also a huge boost. It feels like I’m halfway to somewhere.
On the other hand, I have a couple of hundred words of two ballet things that could be one ballet thing. I might hang onto it and make it into a bigger ballet thing later. All those ideas I had while I was reading the Nureyev biography. Right now, I want to write something easy. Something that doesn’t require a lot of research. And right now, that means writing about boys in bands because it’s what I have, arguably, the most experience doing. Funny how fandom works out like that.
I’m still working on the pretentious arthouse thing, but feeling stalled. I don’t have a decent handle on the characters or the plot just yet. It needs to percolate a while longer.