Story #3 is in the can.
One of the things I’ve started doing after I finish a story is a review. Not of the story itself, but of aspects in the process I can improve on.
From my experience with the second story, I decided to simply call this one Story 3 and figure out the title as I got near the end (“Hunted”). Very different story than the original one from now about four years ago.
I’m sticking with the naming convention. I even adapted it to the novels. That keeps my inner critic from fussing about the perfect title.
But the story still took about 8 hours to write, mostly with nailing down the first scene. I’m finding that’s a critical scene. If I get all the pieces in place, the rest of the story will happen. My goal is to get it down to seven hours (minus any final editing cleanup), just a small bite off the ultimate goal of about four hours.
I also did research in conjunction with writing, specifically on:
- Names of characters
- Trees and fall colors in the Cascades (left to my own devices, I would have thought there weren’t any. I grew up in Southern California. Fall didn’t have much of a color change).
- Shades of color. I was working some creative muscles to use other names for colors besides black or white (and you can search for this online for ideas). I used white smoke for a color.
But I think I need to do that separate of the writing. It takes the wrong kind of mental energy for the story. It’s also not actually writing, so it can come off the time writing.
And Story 4…
Also mining from a past story, possibly for an anthology call. I’ve been doing something not in stories prior to the first one. I took an emotions class, so I’ve been working at adding emotions to the stories. Which is one of the reasons I was paying more attention to color choices.
Surprising fact: Most writers don’t add enough emotions to their stories.
That’s probably how writers end up frustrated at showing angry by having a character make a fist.
Story 4 will take creativity & travel to another planet.
There’s so much about creativity in the business world…book after book on how to be creative. People don’t know how anymore. What would creativity be like in the future?
I grew up in the desert. What are trees? (GRIN)
I’m finding that as an INTJ, it’s really hard for me to connect with emotions – my own, or others’ – and I know that’s a weakness in my writing. It’s on my list of things to address, but I’m not sure whether emotions come first or setting (as told through character opinion). Different sides of the same coin, for sure, so I’m hoping that maybe working on one will improve the other.
As for creativity in the future … I’m not sure we can even guess what it will look like, except in the broadest of strokes – riffs in technology, mostly, I’d guess. Fashion trends that might not just be riffs on styles from 20, 30, 40 years ago. (Please all the gods, no more bum-bags, parachute pants, or shoulder pads that wouldn’t be out of place on an NFL lineman!)
I’m afraid that one reason why so many stories feel formulaic and/or ripped off is that current students not being exposed to the source. Students aren’t (necessarily) reading the classics (and not just of Western Literature; how many students are exposed to, say, the Tale of Genji?), in school or out of it.
So instead of being inspired by, say, Romeo and Juliet, they’re being inspired by West Side Story. The next generation will be inspired by that re-telling/ripoff/re-visioning, and so on.
The problem with that, of course, is that re-tellings/ripoffs/re-visionings by necessity leave something out of the original, and eventually you’ll get an Nth generation ripoff that lacks anything of the original and feels quite dead on the page/screen/canvas/stage.
And I mentioned school, but of course education isn’t limited to school. But it’s much easier to fall into, say, a video game or a television series than it is to read. Reading requires more investment from the reader. Not just time, either, but in imagination and other brain activity.
Which … doesn’t really address the question of what creativity might look like in the future. Sorry! (Grin)
Congratulations on figuring out (however slowly) how the short-story writing process is/will be working for you!
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I’m an INTP. It is possible to work emotions in the story. Just look at some of the best sellers to see what they do. It’s through what the characters sees and experiences…a building looks like a tombstone…the sky is bruised…her fingers grip a mug….eyes flashed…eyes warmed…cold icy eyes. All things that we kind of get told not to bother with.
I think technology will probably follow people’s desires, because that’s where they’ll make sales. They’re already using AI to do critiques…how far would it be to help you with the creativity process?
Hmm. I don’t think much about emotion(s) in my stories, I’m afraid, she sobbed.
I started looking more at it after a newsletter article from the a Writers of the Future judge. He said one of the things he looked for was emotion.
Speaking of using color, in my story, Pretty Pink Planet, I used all the pink shades I could find! I had fun. In the sequel, Hot Yellow Planet, it wasn’t as easy.
Yellow’s a hard color.
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