09 June, 2011
Oranges, Storytelling and Reading
This week I have come to something of a writing standstill. I did manage to finish my first assignment and have got within a couple of exercises of the end of my shorthand workbook, so that's something at least. Actually, shorthand is having an interesting effect on me - it's making my longhand terrible! My handwriting is getting worse and I find I really resent having to write long words out in full when there is a easy Teeline outline. Work on my short story though has stalled. Partly, this is because I found out that I didn't get anywhere in the Exeter Writer's competition. This in itself wouldn't deter me - I don't get anywhere in a lot of competitions - but, I read the three winning entries. They're good. So very good. Much better than anything I think I could ever create. With that downer in mind, I don't want to rush a story to get it out to a deadline I've set myself, knowing that if I spent longer on it, it might be so much better. So no Bridport for me this year I think.
I really believe in the idea behind my current short story. It's just the storytelling that isn't working. I think I am going to have to do something drastic like completely change who the main character is and try writing it in a different POV - I think 3rd person might work best after all - and maybe even play around with tenses. Obviously, these changes won't happen overnight and as I have a fairly urgent need to get on with the final draft of my children's novel, it may be some months before this little literary baby is ready to take its first steps in the world.
On a different note, I am currently reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I am enjoying it but still feeling rather daunted about how long it is - think Lord of the Rings plus another book. After a couple of weeks I'm about 20% of the way through. I am also trying to be good and finish it before I move on to Carrie - Stephen King's first published novel, which I've wanted to read for ages. What are you reading at the moment? And what do you wish you were reading?