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What I'm writing

I wish I could report that I've been diligently working on Junker during the past few months, and will soon have a finished first draft, but that's not at all the case. I've barely touched the manuscript this year (I'm stuck at about 15,000 words), and though the story still occupies my mind from time to time, the actual writing of it is on hold for now.

Fortunately, I've still been writing regularly, thanks to two resolutions I set for myself for 2014. First, every week I'm writing a new 1-2 page (400-800 word) story, on whatever subject comes to mind. Or actually, due to their brevity and the need to start a new piece each week, it would be more accurate to call them sketches or introductory pieces, with only a few of them so far being complete, self-contained stories. Several of the stories were riffs on various books I've been reading (Budd Schulberg, Knut Hamsun, William Maxwell), and two are even potential introductory chapters for book-length concepts I've been kicking around. I'm giving myself the first and last weeks of the year off, so this project will give me fifty pieces of raw material to further hone into finished stories or even books.

And lest I end this year with just fifty pieces that may or may not ever be finished (the latter being more likely, given my work habits), my other project is a serialized story, in which each installment is written by hand (with no editing) on a postcard, and mailed to a writer friend of mine. I have no idea where the story is going, but with any luck I'll come to some sort of resolution by the end of the year. I wrote the first installment in January and the second in February, and though I had hoped to write a new one every few weeks, it's looking like monthly installments are more realistic. Having a reader waiting to read my next installment has really been effective motivation to keep writing.

So, while nothing is happening with the novel, at least I've still been writing on a regular basis. With any luck these exercises will keep me limber and sharp if and when the novel ever comes back to me.

March 11, 2014 in Fiction | Permalink


This is pretty much me right now (except for the part about at least writing postcard stories, cuzI'mnotevendoingthatmuchitspathetic).

Posted by: Paul at Mar 13, 2014 2:44:39 PM