So, a writing post. I did some last night. Whoop. Whoop.
Actually, it was exciting. I got inspired by Dark Fiction Magazine’s Twelve Days of Christmas ghostly anthology theme. Didn’t expect it, but even though they said it didn’t have to be horror, I came up with something grisly. Not very ‘me’ at all. I do depressing, but I don’t often do horror. It was kind of fun. Not ‘I will now become a horror writer’ fun, but fun. It felt like playing in someone else’s sandbox, rather than something natural and familiar, but hey, the sandbox was full of toys I don’t usually get to touch. At least, not so many at once.
Oddly, there are people who think I largely write dark stuff. These are people who are basically going on my published work. The first piece (the painfully badly titled, yet successful, ‘Lorry’s Death’) is about suicide, and ‘Bereavement’ is, of course, a ghost story, although it’s not really a horror story – it just pretends to be one for a bit at the beginning. O’course, I got a few more publishing credits, now – ‘The Harvest of the Machines’ and ‘The Window Within My Window’ are both science fiction – but it’s funny how impressions can build up.
Anyway, the point is that I strayed a bit from my comfort zone, and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed having a prompt. The first writing group I was in met twice a week, and after we’d done our critiquing we always had a 10 minute writing game. Not that I got a lot of useable stories out of it – my go to zone when I couldn’t think of something good was silliness, which is fine for entertaining your friends, but less good for publishable fiction. The point is that I got into a habit of finding inspiration quickly from prompts. It’s good for getting the juices going.
And I needed it. I was positively bursting with creativity at the weekend, and, apart from the fact that I had work to do, and couldn’t afford to write for very long, if I was writing on anything, it would have been The Giant. And I don’t want to write The Giant. Something about being so close to the end of something so long is really putting me off. Most of the action is over. I just need a couple more conversations, and then the closing scene. I know exactly what happens, and it’s just going through the motions.
Which should be great: I’m nearly finished! Hurrah! Finally! This story has been in my brain for 6 years, now, and it’s grown out of all proportion. It’ll be good to lay it to rest. But I don’t want to. It’s been with me for 6 years, and I guess maybe it’s hard to say goodbye.
I don’t know. Something like that. All I know is that I’m dragging my heals for no good reason. It’s the first time I’ve come in for the close on something this long. Short stories usually get bashed out in one sitting, and longer ones… well, they never get finished. Only exception has been the longer short stories I’ve written for Shed World*, and they were half the length of this, written with the drive of other people depending on me.
So, I guess when I saw a flash fiction prompt my brain went: ‘Ooo! Ooo! We can do this, it’s not really cheating!’ And a new story was born.
What about you? Have you ever had this? Ever stalled just shy of the end of a story? Or do you find the ends always come easy in a glorious rush to get over the finish line?
*A shared world project involving no sheds whatsoever, just a noisy bar, someone miss-hearing something, and an in-joke.