Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How Not To Write A Story

I posted this the other day on my blog, and it struck a chord, so I thought I would share it here:

  • Sit down.
  • Turn on computer.
  • Open file.
  • Think.
  • Phone rings. Answer phone. Talk to caller.
  • Other phone rings. Answer phone. Talk to both callers at once. Keep them both talking after they’ve tried to get off. Let them hang up.
  • Think.
  • Write a line.
  • Go back and change seven lines earlier in the story.
  • Phone rings. Talk to caller.
  • Think.
  • Play Solitaire.
  • Play Free Cell.
  • Play Minesweeper.
  • Write a paragraph. Move it. Move it back. Move it somewhere else.
  • Go back and delete an earlier paragraph.
  • Phone rings. Talk to caller.
  • Open an earlier version of the file and cut three paragraphs from it and paste them into the new file.
  • Think.
  • Daughter and grandson come in. Play with grandson. Make lunch and eat with family. Play with grandson. Talk with daughter. Play with grandson.
  • Think.
  • Play Solitaire, Free Cell, Minesweeper.
  • Write.

Doesn’t sound like a formula for success, but I actually did finish the story I’ve been working on. It isn’t a technique I would ever recommend for anyone else, but it’s the one I’ve had to learn to work with. I think I sort of sneak up on it, and finish it while it thinks I’m not paying attention to it. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!



Chris V. said...

You forgot every other sentence: Open refrigerator. Open cabinets.

Marian Allen said...

Ah, yes: Eat. Drink coffee. Eat. Drink coffee. Eat. Drink coffee. Pee and repeat.

Dana Fredsti said...

*SNORT!* Very familiar process, Marian... except substitute cats for kids.

Donis Casey said...

Also must check out every blog on the internet.

Gayle said...

Don't forget to check your Google alerts to see if anyone has said anything snarky about you that you can obsess over during any "free" time you might have. ;-)