Week 186 – Writer’s Block, Questions And Ohhhhh Noooooo!!!!

Here we are at Week 187.

I was wondering about writers block. Strangely enough when I thought on this I felt so many memories flooding back. Really strong, vivid memories.

I don’t know why as I’ve never suffered from writers block.

It’ll come to me.

I think every writer can be premature with a story and it finishes before it starts. They have the idea on what they want to do but are overwhelmed. At this time they should think on things to get them through, things like Shakespeare or George Orwell. But this doesn’t always work. It just comes out with no focus on where it should go. Sometimes they don’t even get it near the paper.

All they are left with is a very short and disappointing foreword.

Then there are the writers who have had a brilliant time getting to the idea, they are euphoric and overly stimulated with outside influences and are ready to impress. Everything is going well and then…Nothing.

They try thinking about a Thesaurus they once had but to no avail. They are left feeling apologetic and ashamed.

There is a worse scenario but at least the writers pride is intact. That is having no idea what-so-ever. There is nothing, they are comatose. The only part of them that can work is their hands and they are willing to type but there is nothing else.

Their mind and body shut down and all that is left for them is the next day.

Now as I said, I’ve never suffered writers block. I think there’s one simple reason for that and that is I never think on a story. (You’ve probably noticed!) I’ve always began with a line or a point of view I’ve heard or considered and from there, the words seem to find me and they outline themselves.

Apart from longer works where I need notes and reminders of plot, I tend to write off the cuff. If I had to plan out a short I’d be lost.

That’s why I’m in awe of some of the complexities on some of the stories we receive. The likes of Leila Allison and Tom Sheehan construct very intricate situations which they put across so clearly. There is so much content in their tales but they are as clear as they are in their own heads.

It was actually Leila who got me thinking on this. She commented on a story and wondered if it had been written all the way through. For me that is the only way I can write a short. I may put some question marks if there is something I need to check or exclamation marks when I have written something clumsy. Strangely enough my exclamation mark button could be marketed as a very sensitive condom.

I need to more or less get the story down in one visit. I don’t mind going back to tidy or to maybe expand but the story needs to be there. I’m not sure why I work this way, I suppose there must be some reasoning but I’m fucked if I know!!

So I was wondering if we may have a wee bit of writer input and you would indulge us with your answers to:

 

1. Do you need to write a story more or less in one go?

2. If you do, why?

3. Or are you able to work on a story over a few days?

 

We’d all be interested in your thoughts.

And if anyone can tell me why I have a compulsion about completion I’d be very grateful.

Oh I also have a recurring dream about an out of date tin of peaches and Daleks in suspenders. Well it’s only the belt as they don’t have legs. It’s not really an issue but if Jon Pertwee is ever involved, I’ll seek professional help.

OK folks, onto this weeks stories.

We have three established writers, a returning author and a débutante.

Our subjects this week include; Steampunk, banishment, Rwanda, loss and a dream.

As always our initial comments follow.

 

On Monday, we had a man who is probably the only writer that has a chance of hitting one hundred stories. Mr Tom Sheehan was first up with ‘Pulling Strings.’

‘Weird and quite wonderful.’

‘This was lyrical and smooth – I was hooked.’

‘I’m left with many questions but the journey was worth it.’

 

Our only new writer this week was showcased on Tuesday. We send our welcome and hope that Ernest O. Ogunyemi enjoys his time on the site and sends us more of his work.

Garuka – Please Come Back‘ was next.

‘There’s some beautiful writing in this.’

‘The central story is heartbreaking.’

‘The passion and sadness of this relevant story was overwhelming.’

 

Roger Ley is a very tenacious contributor who is a gentleman and a joy to work with. He is now on his fifth story for us.

Jerry Cornelius (The English Assassin)‘ broke the back of the week.

‘The story captures the Steampunk atmosphere and visuals very well.’

‘This is vivid enough for me to see this in my mind.’

‘I like the idea of a character being re-purposed.’

 

On Thursday we had the lovely and enigmatic Leila Allison.

Leila’s writing brain always amazes me. Her story ‘Attending The Mote’ was published on Thursday.

‘The titles and ideas were revealed as the story went on.’

‘This without fail is Brilliant!!! It is an honour that Leila found us!’

‘I think that Leila always explores soul, consciousness and conscience, whether intentional or not.’

 

And we finished off the week with Thomas Elson who is a returning author. He’s took a while to return but it was worth the wait. Let’s hope it’s not so long to his next.

‘Vestigal’ was published on Friday.

‘The inverted logic of loss is well captured.’

‘Grim but very well done.’

‘Surreal! Nice tie in at the end.’

 

 

Well that’s us for another week folks.

Wait a minute…

…I’ve just realised where the memories are coming from!

…Fucking metaphors!!!!!!!

 

Hugh

13 thoughts on “Week 186 – Writer’s Block, Questions And Ohhhhh Noooooo!!!!

  1. “Yesss,” she cackled wildly, “first one here.” I have never written anything in one go. I average only a hundred words or so per day. I purposely work on two, sometimes three things at one time, so if I get stuck on one I go to another. In my mind, writing a short piece is like crossing a shallow creek with a self-built bridge composed of two stones. You lay the first stone down, step onto it carrying the second stone, lay it down, step onto it then reach behind for the first stone then lay it down, repeat the process, etc., etc.You’ll either get across or find a hidden deep hole and drown.
    Now, it always rouses my jealou—I mean, admiration, when a piece, like the Ley one this week, comes across as a single thought.
    Thank you for the questions and the nice remarks, Hugh. Maaan, I’m too much like my goddamn cats, I could never do such a generous thing without first scanning it for how it might be in my self interest.
    Regards to all,
    Leila Allison

    Like

    • Thanks Leila,
      I may have a few ideas at any one time but they are getting less and less frequent.
      I have two at the moment and when the urge takes me, I’ll work through the clearest in my mind first.
      I could never try and write the two together.
      Maybe it is correct and men can’t multi-task…But that’s pish. I can drink a beer, tan a whisky, listen to Frankie Miller and read the paper all at the same time. Unfortunately there are no jobs out there looking for that set of skills!
      Stay happy Leila and let the cats plot and plan!
      Hugh

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Writers’ block. Mmmm! I was always start by knowing the ending of a story (it will change along the way) then I think – how did I get there? By writing towards an end I know where I am going – perhaps with the occasional diversion and lazy meandering – but it keeps the writing journey moving.
    It works for me, perhaps others just chase words along the screen or write on paper until it makes sense.
    Wordsworth may have wandered lonely as a cloud – perhaps staring at the blank white bobs in the sky. But staring at a blank screen/paper only gives me a headache, you know just staring. I get up and go out and meet people and cultivate those madcap ideas – now you know the kind of people I meet.

    Like

    • Cheers James,
      I can’t stare at a screen as nothing comes to me except a Polar Bear covering his nose.
      I can never force a story or decide to write, I can only do it when I feel as if I have something.
      Now talking to people, I think in this day and age, you are a radical Mr McEwan!! I’m quite sure someone would post this thought on Facebook to see if you are strange!!
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I write in a trance, it seems. A sentence or thought comes into my mind, and I sit down at the computer and let the character dictate to me. I write my short stories in one big rush – and fast – usually half an hour to an hour from start to finish and I have NO IDEA where the story is going to take me. It just happens. Then I “wake up” and look at it. Sometimes I am very surprised at the outcome of the story, even though it was flowing through my fingers.
    The hardest part for me is the editing because I have to discipline myself to do it. I find it grinding. I spend far more time editing a piece than I ever did writing it. Days, sometimes weeks.
    But the story itself? One fell swoop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that Sharon.
      Editing doesn’t really bother me. It’s weird as it is one of the few things that I have patience with.
      Most things, if I don’t get it in the first go, it’s normally thrown a distance, then I follow and then jump up and down on it. I don’t do any DIY and have never had kids!
      Hugh

      Like

  4. I work on a story over a few days. Like James, i prefer, and things go better, when I have the end in mind, but that’s not always the case. I always have my wife and a friend “pre-read” a story and often tweak it based on their feedback.

    Like

    • Hi Dave,
      All these comments are very interesting.
      It makes me wonder about writing tutorials. How can you teach something that can be as individual as the person doing it??
      Pointers are fair enough towards the mechanics of writing but I reckon that the writer will find their own way.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Like

  5. I can only speak as someone who only knows what I read in an online course and then completely ignored. When I have a plot, I can write up to a thousand words a day. Sometimes ending a story is a problem, but if it isn’t good, it is the reader’s problem. Up until the last few months, I always had a few ideas on my list. Right now I’ve got an idea worth about a hundred words.

    Worst case, it was a good hobby while it lasted 2014-2018 (see https://sites.google.com/site/aberrantword/) with a hundred or so “things” published.

    To clarify – plots hard – writing easy because I don’t have the talent or interest or knowledge for craftsmanship.

    Like

    • Hi Doug,
      Your disservice to yourself makes me smile!!
      But I probably agree, the writing is the easy bit. If we didn’t want it to be understood, it would be a doddle!!
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Like

  6. It seems I do much better if I get the bulk of a story down in one day. And most of the time the damn thing writes itself anyway-I start with my idea and by the end I’m left going, huh, not what I originally intended.
    That being said, I’m an awful rewriter/editor. After the third rewrite I’m usually done rehashing the damn thing.
    I work 12 hour shifts so I get a couple days a week to write-on the days my daughter has school I can usually get a 5,000 story written.

    Like

    • Hi L’Erin,
      I find that dialogue can really write itself. If you have an idea who your characters are, they do tend to take over.
      …Either that or I need an exorcist.
      It’s great to see you around the site!!
      Hugh

      Like

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