I think it was the great Bill Bryson who said that a waiter will never see you until he’s ready to see you, and in the same way, you can’t tell a story (great or otherwise) until it’s ready to be told. What this means for me is that I might have the idea but for various reasons the whole thing is not completely assembled in my brain, there are parts that I haven’t processed properly yet, and to try to write it down at this time is to fail. I’ve seen this myself on several occasions and having since been able to go and finish the work I know it to be true.
If you remember, George Lucas always said that he had waited to film Star Wars episode 1 until the technology of CGI had caught up with his vision, well it’s the same sort of thing. Before I could write Myra I had to get my thoughts in order and work out how I was going to incorporate the flashbacks and that meant a lot of research; in that time I read a lot of excellent stuff and learnt how other writers had dealt with the techniques. And the back story had developed enough in my head as well, to give me a better idea of where I was going.
And often, while I’m writing, I’ll realise that I have nothing more to say about a particular story, all my ideas come to a grinding halt and it feels like I’m unable to move things along, even though I know where I want to end up in the narrative. I have to put the project to one side and get on with something else. Then, in time it will all make sense, a logical order will come to me and I can return to it. Hence why I have several ideas on the go at once; I can hop around as ideas take shape in my head.
I can’t imagine how much easier it is in this age of word processing to write than it was in the old days of typewriters and longhand (even though I still use a notebook sometimes).
And so, having finished two of my ongoing novel projects this month, I’m going to be spending May on edits and Short Stories.
I have a novel called “Jungle Green,” which my editor has gone through; it needs a bit of a rewrite, and I have another, “A new life in Ventis,” which is off for a first look this month, that of course, will need working on when it returns. I have several short pieces which could do with a bit of attention, I’d like to publish another selection of short stories soon and the more content I have the better it will look. And working on short stories is a lot easier to fit in around editing. At the moment I have a mixture of straight Sci-fi and Steampunk ideas and who knows, one of them might just develop into more than a short story. One of them is, in fact, a sequel to a short story I wrote which features in Flash Fiction, a part three to my story “Tales from the Sleepers,” an examination of time dilation and its possible outcomes.
If you haven’t yet you can get Flash Fiction FREE from this link