I wonder if Ms. Parker ever faced the dilemma I am facing this week. In the last two days, I have written over 20 pages of, I believe, a short story. However, based on the following facts, I hesitate to use the label “short story:” this particular story does not seem to want to end; the characters in this story have taken up permanent residence in my every waking minute; the last time I was so inhabited by a character, I ended up writing a novella!
What’s the problem? you may well ask. Let me list the problems in order of my level of concern:
Problem 1: This particular story is unlike anything I have ever written. It appears to be a “romance?” It’s a little steamy, but it may just be trashy! I have no experience writing in this genre. For all I know, the descriptions of the close encounters are cliche, the circumstances unlikely, and the plot just plain silly (although, I have to admit, I am liking the dialogue so far). But who am I to judge? I am completely out of my element and, therefore, baffled as to how these characters got inside my head in the first place; however, they are there, body and soul. I have nothing whatsoever against the romance genre. I would simply like to know what it’s doing hanging around my office (if this is indeed what it is – I’m not even certain of that fact yet.)! Having said that, don’t go away, you romantic devil, you – writing is writing, and I will take it as it finds me, as always!
Problem 2: The historical novel that is in progress and has been waiting patiently lo these many months for my total devotion, and that I desire more than anything to complete (at least the first draft) before the end of the calendar year would also like to know just what you other characters think you are doing! I can assure you, Mr. Romance Story Character #3, there was no one called “Sonny” living in 18th century Europe! You will not, from here, move on to loftier things (at least, I don’t think you will – you do seem to have a mind of your own; perhaps you plan to attend a Halloween party dressed as Robespierre and you simply haven’t notified me of that plan yet.).
Problem 3: If I did decide to try and publish this whatever it is, I’m not sure I should use my real name! That was just a joke … maybe. As far as you know.
Have any of you other writers out there experienced this kind of visitation? An unplanned, unpremeditated journey into a style of writing you never thought to try? If so, please share.
The Good News: I am about to take my annual writing retreat. The idea had always been to work on the historical novel this year, and I am still looking forward to that work. Last week, I wrote my first poem in months. It was worth the wait, I think. My point is, the windows of my writing creativity seem to be opening at the right time … and therein lies the real love story.
Thanks for reading!