Ruminations on Writing

I’m in a writing lull.  I think I know the cause, but the lull seems serious enough that I’ve pondered the unthinkable — to stop writing.

So, what’s the cause of this?  Writing a story for which I do not know the how and when of the ending.  Unfortunately, there are actually two stories I’m in the middle of writing for which this dilemma has appeared.  Northville Five & Dime, what started as an 1,800 word short story from a prompt at We Drink Because We’re Poets and that I then submitted for critique at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference.  The story has now reached almost 22,000 words.  I believe I am near the end of the story.  I think.  Maybe.  The problem is I could see ending it in the next 500 words or going on for another 10,000 or 20,000 words and I’m frozen with the doubt that creates.

A friend said I should just write what comes out.  I think that’s what I need to do.  I have often said that one of the beauties of e-publishing is that length doesn’t matter.  A story of an word count can be published now.  So, Northville doesn’t have to be an 80,000 word novel.  Or a 30,000 word novella.  Or a 5,000 word short story.  Instead, it can be the story it is.  I just need to decide what that story is and then let it come out.

The other story is something I started a few weeks ago, thinking I would submit it for The Literary Syndicate’s Monsters Under the Bed collection.  The story has crossed the 4,000 word threshold.  I have no doubt I can get this story done in the required 5,000-15,000.  Problem is that it’s horror and I’ve never written a true horror story.  I’ve started something that I have absolutely no idea how to explain and how to end.  So, it sits there and I stew.

That’s it.  I can’t figure out how to end two stories and I am just frustrated.  Enough to consider whether I want to keep writing.  I’m not going to stop, but I’m looking at these two stories and thinking that if I can’t figure these out maybe it’s time for something else.  Yes, I could go back to one of my half completed novels.  I definitely know how both The Irrepairable Past and Terror in a Small Town will end.  But, you know what my problem with those stories is … I’ve got the beginning, I know the end.  It’s the vast mushy middle that is causing me a problem with both stories.

It’s like I’m losing the ability to find the connections that drive me through the writing of a story.  It’s a scary thing.  So, I ponder not doing this anymore.

And, tomorrow or maybe even right now, I’ll open the Northville document or the un-named horror story and see if I can make some progress.  I think I’m going to try the horror story.  We’ll see how it goes.

About kingmidget

About the name. I was the youngest of four. Until I got to kindergarten, I didn't have much to say. All I had to do to get what I wanted was to point, and a sibling, or loving parent, would fulfill my request. As a result, my father coined the nickname -- King Midget. At least that's the way the story goes. I am a father, husband, friend, and lover, writer, runner, pizza maker, baker, and many other things. What I am not is my occupation. It is my job that pays the bills and provides for my family. But, it does not define me.
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6 Responses to Ruminations on Writing

  1. sknicholls says:

    Even thinking about writing is progress. I know, I know, everybody says just write, but sometimes we need to think.

  2. Papi Z says:

    Pondering and contemplation in moderation is good. Too much can paralyze us, not enough leads to errors and the like. I am in the same boat as you. I have like 25 stories that are dying to get out, but how to start, or which one to start with. I know how they end, at least potentially end. Maybe Al Davis was right, just write baby… 😀

  3. Trent Lewin says:

    Only thing I can say is, don’t try too hard. Writing is freedom. Feeling like you have to write is anything but.

  4. I almost laughed out loud. You got it bad buddy…it’s who you are. You’re not about to put down the pen…er…keyboard. Like me…we MUST write.

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