The novel I am working on, fitfully for far too long, keeps changing underneath my very well laid out plans. This is a good thing, as it seems that the characters are more fleshed out, more real, have stronger personalities that can move about on their own, while I am desperately try to keep up with their shenanigans.
As mentioned in an earlier entry, this is a novel about differing perspectives, of how one person can see something completely differently (or not at all) than another. It is interesting to write, but I also need to take care that it ends up as something interesting to read. There is a real danger of the reader losing focus, of it becoming just a confusing mash. I think the solution is to be sure that I, as the writer, have a strong viewpoint on the heroes and villains of the piece. To paraphrase Christopher Nolan when he discussed the ending to his film Inception, even if something is ambiguous to the audience, it should not be ambiguous to the writer. I think this is true and will likely be resolved in the dreadful editing stage. That being said, the first draft is coming tighter really well. I am finding ways to incorporate previously random elements from early chapters (and to paraphrase a rule of theater, if there is a gun in the first act, it must fire in the third), binding the seams of this universe together.
As for my collection of 100 short stories, I am more than 75% of the way there. I have about 3 more themes/series to wrap up but I have a pretty good idea of where they should be going. I originally hoped to have it all done by the end of the month (aka, tomorrow), but I don’t think that is going to happen. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the overall progress.
In addition, the short story exercise has really helped develop my voice both in short and long fiction. A very worth-while exercise.
As a freelancer, things have been slow lately, which is always worrisome, but if I want to be a writer, to have this be my profession, then I must make the most of the time I do have. Often in my field, it is a feast-or-famine cycle so while I am in “famine” I might as well indulge my creative instincts and hopefully make something worth sharing.