Monday, May 29, 2006

Storyplaces

A story comes from different places at the same time. It seems it also requires space and time. It is my 4th day off work, being a long weekend, and only this morning have I managed to both shut out the clutter in my head and the clutter in my life (this weekend: the faultering computer) to tentatively write a few words. I began a story a couple of weeks ago called, initially at least, "The Invitee." Its a story that relates well to the Robert McCrum article I mentioned below, since its essentially about modern celebrity, identity, and literary insecurity. I've often thought one of the main themes of my fiction is "doubt" and this story, as it painfully works itself alive, is full of different levels of "doubt." Yet I realise, now that I'm writing it, and trying to fix its coordinates in my head (I rarely write a synopsis), that I'm pulling on longheld ideas for a longer piece, perhaps around the same subject. Maybe this is the first tentative stab at an idea that I've been brewing for a decade at least? Yet I've got to keep things in perspective. Its a 3,000 word story tops, with a clear arc to it, but one that requires careful handling. I'm writing a story about absences - the absence of a guest at dinner; the absence of success in the case of one character; and finally the absence of integrity. I have to get through this one: and soon - my own absence is increasingly the "art" itself rather than (like this post) the talking about it. I've read a little as well, but my concentration is poor at best. I'm trying to finish the "least completed" of my recent stories: and once I've done that maybe I'll find a key to unlock the nearly there ones. More than anything, I think I need a concentration of time writing fiction - even if not a "long piece", perhaps several short ones, locking together at some point.

3 comments:

Will said...

I know your blog is the Art Of Fiction but can I tempt you to try the Art of Non-Fiction?

The Robert McCrum article would have had more credibility if we weren't weary of his drone. And if he actually bothered to edit his literary pages half as well as the Times or the Saturday Guardian.

Lee said...

Do you make your short stories available online?

Bournemouth Runner said...

I'm intending to put some stories online on my download site, though inevitably one's that I'm working on - and sending off - won't be just yet. In the meant time I've a couple available at Scarecrow (see link on the left of the page.) "The City is Written in Ink" (http://tinyurl.com/npqw4) and "The Clearing (http://tinyurl.com/p9yrg).