new short story on the way
How difficult can it be to finish a short story in the right literary style with the right structure and substance from the beginning till the end?
concept design bookcover by studio Skripka, first draft, although I am not sure about the title and the story is not finished yet.
JOY AND DESPAIR
Like it or not, I am still with mixed feelings working on this short story, the two major characters are present, they are in the right place and time, they are okay, it was easy to found the images to embody them, I have spent a lot of time with them, followed them like a private eye looking for clues and like a dog digging up their dirt, so far so good, but I am missing something. Don’t know what exactly. I do love creative novelwriting and did had some blissful experiences with literature. As an author I am acquainted with both the joy and despair of this profession. Believe me its hard work. It needs discipline and meditation every day. At the end, when the final end is reached, when all of the writing finished well, that can be really satisfying, a profound pleasure, one of the best.
You just simply can’t begin to tell a short story without a specific idea how to start it and how to end it. In many ways this is flexible, you have to decide what it will be. If the first scratches in the first draft do not work, and the story doesn’t knock you over, you just start from the begining again, no problem. That self-critical writing itself is a nice process. Definitely: no need to doubt the relevance of the genre, it offers great literary possibilities. Almost anything goes.
Every word to the point
It is also essential to give the words extra attention and reconsider their presence and input. Such is the routine. Where are the right words you need? The words with the right intentions, colors, their rhythm and contrasts, are they strictly funcitional? Are the details in balance with the consistency. Do the words have the right meanings with their subtle differences of connotations?
The first line and the ending
The middle and the end of my short story are more or less okay, but I am not happy with my first line, the opening sentence, those first words, the intro of the story. I am struggling with the typical problem to begin to begin to begin. A good first line should be intriguing, striking and surprising. (You don’t want to reveal too much info, whitholding important info is better to create a surprising ending.)
All of us, readers of literature, know the brilliant first lines, unsurpassed and iconic, for example Franz Kafka’s short story Metamorphosis: “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” After this first sentence you can’t stop reading. You are seduced and now it is impossible not to go on.
And there is the famous first line in Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike, but an unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Classical Examples, outdated but they are always on my mind when writing short stories. I keep a private collection of first lines. One first line less known is this one: “You can’t be any poorer than dead.” Flannery O’Conners.
While writing my short story I was listening to the song My baby and Me. Music and lyrics J.J. Cale from his album Unwind – The unreleased recordings, 2007.