Recording Creativity

A record of my education in writing, literature, creativity, and self-expression. Updated whenever I can publish a quality post.

January 27, 2009

Funny thought: "the story about a computer that writes its own stories."

January 19, 2009

SS1: Progress

I'm about 400-500 words in right now, and I want to conclude this one at around 4000. This isn't a budget or hard cap, but a prediction on how much material I'll have to work with.

The story is progressing well. I'm feeling more confident about sentence structure and diction, and I like leaving threads open for future writing sessions. This is thoroughly enjoyable when I'm not so rigid about it.

1/24: about 1000 words in now. New ideas about how to continue the story.

January 16, 2009

First Fiction Thought

If I don't find my own story interesting, no one will.

SS1: About Face

In light of a bet, I'm going to churn out a short story over the next month. The bet involves writing a 6000-word story between now and February 15th. This means a 250-word pace for 24 days, followed by 6 days of editing. We can chop those days in half and take 3 days of time to plan...maybe a planning session once a week with two days of editing?

Anyway, a six-pack of beer (!!!) is at stake here. Not sure if the story's going on Facebook, but that'd be some great fun.

The importance of cherishing one's family. Labor and possessions are important, but ultimately secondary to one's social bonds.

Man leaves his job at a factory to be by his wife's side as she gives birth. Prognosis for wife's birth is grim; she may pass away during delivery. Man considers recent events, his wife, his own life on the way to visit her.

December 21, 2008

1SS: Theme and Plot-Theme

I'll refer to this first story as 1SS. Today's post is a mini-exercise on the story's theme and plot-theme. It took about 15-20 minutes to write.

NEXT: Review additional short story construction activities, start writing.

Situations which require forced action and how to cope with them. i.e. "have to work to help the family get by," "putting a sick dog to sleep," etc. An examination of situations where one MUST take a certain course of action, even if they disagree with it passionately, if only because the alternative is much worse.

A man receives a piece of news via a telephone call which forces him into such a situation. The news is never revealed in an attempt to maintain ambiguity and universal relevance. We convey the man's emotions through physical and verbal cues as he sits at his kitchen table. The story ends with the man grabbing an old revolver and solemnly leaving the house.

Use of revolver is meant to emphasize the finality of his decision, i.e. he cannot take back his action. Revolver will be old, heavy, polished, some type of simple metal (brass, bronze, copper, whatever revolvers are made from) as a symbol of responsibility and its burdens, and the timelessness of decisions associated with it.

December 19, 2008

The Translator

A story about a translator born and raised in Darfur during its regional genocide. The writing isn't super sharp but still solid. The story is incredibly interesting, even 20 pages in.

A quote about traveling in the Sahara:

...So you will want to know the ways that have worked for thousands of years.

If you are good, like my father and brothers, you will put a line of sticks in the sand at night, using the stars to mark your next morning's direction of travel; you can extend this line as needed. Be careful: some people die because they look to a distant mountain as their guide, but the wind moves these mountains around; you might travel in circles until your eyes close and your heart withers.

It says everything about this land to know that even the mountains are not to be trusted, and that the crunching sound under your camel's hooves is usually human bones, hidden and revealed as the wind pleases.

December 15, 2008

Short Story: Setting pt. 1

Written in 40 minutes.

Next goals: continue developing the kitchen a bit more, start developing the main character.


The morning sunshine floods into the kitchen and warms every cabinet door and countertop. The walls--which normally take on a light, butterscotch color--appear like honey in the nascent dawn. A pan lined with cooking oil, black pepper, and egg yolk remnants rest atop the gas stove. Nearby, a cutting board holds pieces of cheese, leaves of spinach, and bits of sweet onion which went unused in that morning's breakfast. A white table stands in the back corner of the kitchen, accompanied by two white lawn chairs. One of the chairs bisects the table and the center of the room, seemingly vacated in a hurry. Several items atop the table also suggest a rushed departure: a half-finished bowl of scrambled eggs with a fork hanging off the rim, a newspaper tossed aside with advertisements spilling out, and a napkin crumpled up next to an unused knife.

A dusty trail of bootprints winds from the table out into the living room. The prints pass the cabinet filled with crystal glasses and fine china, which refract the morning light across the opposite wall in a burst of colors. They pass the maroon linen couches and their textured cushions, situated far from the windows and thus still covered in darkness. The trail--now barely visible on the dark wooden floor--ends at the front doormat. A strong wind blows through the open front door and burrows under the doormat, creating sinuous waves of fabric for seconds at a time. On the front porch, between two planks of wood running parallel to the street outside, rests a bullet casing.

Blog Archive