Recently, I signed up for a course with Gotham Writers. Sadly, it did not involve blogging in the Batcave. I mean, what’s even the point? If you’re going to call yourself Gotham Writers…
Bah. I’m over it.
Every week, we have assignments that address a certain aspect of writing. This particular class is helping me with my short story/novel writing. I have been focusing on screenwriting over the past two years. This focus became apparent when I participated in NaNoWriMo. I had become TOO economical with words. I had learned to leave out scene painting details because that is not the job of a screenplay. I had learned to leave out character thoughts and back story for the same reason. My “chapters” were averaging one to two pages and were hardly what I would call engrossing. This class is helping me find some balance.
The thing it is NOT helping me find, however, is an audience. At the start of the year, I had wanted to make that my focus. I’m not interested in driving up numbers on my social media or collecting legions of fans or anything. I just would like my writing to have a life outside of my own computer. Writing without an audience is basically journaling and I burned out on that in my Tori Amos-obsessed 90’s teendom.
Blogging was filling that hole for a while, but I don’t have the drive to keep up with it as much. Most of the things I enjoyed blogging about can be succinctly summarized in a tweet, a vine, or a tumblr post. Screenwriting is tricky to share because one kind of needs to learn how to read screenplays as much as how to write them. Novel writing is great, but let’s face it, it is going to take me a WHILE to get anything to the point of publication…
So that leaves me with short stories. The thing that is great about this writing workshop is that each week we have to write a short story and our assignments are limited to 500 words. That limit forces me to craft a beginning, middle and end and not amble on through a word forest with no end in sight.
So far in this class, I have five short stories. I think I will share them here. I will probably edit them and expand the ones that really pulled on me, but my hope is to get something narrative up on this blog for people to read.
Oh, and I have created an “in-between” theme for this blog so that it is easier to read than it was. I don’t mind the dark background throughout my site when I am trying to call attention to a video or an image, but for reading large blocks of text, it is a bad idea.