every moment can be inspiration

it’s twenty past two in the morning and i’m awake because of some ongoing stomach issues. frustrating and angering, yes, but i’ve also stumbled across the answer to my story-by-day plot problems. i’m not revealing it yet, but five minutes of mad scribbling at my desk leave me in a far better place on this point, and quite excited to write, which i’ll probably not be doing until at least daylight.

why not? because i’ve learned a couple things about my writing.

one: the freewrite is my nuclear powered secret weapon. even so brief a time as five minutes of writing, in whatever environment and at whatever time, can reveal a gold mine of possibilities for me. i can feel cemented in place, barren of ideas, bemoaning my difficulties and chastising myself for ever considering myself a writer (which all happen far more than i would care to admit), but if i simply force myself to spend five uninterrupted minutes writing, even to just write that i don’t have any ideas, i’ll have an idea.

then another. and another. and i’m off to the races. i just need to start, and then i can keep going.

two: the danger of these freewrites, however, is my propensity for scope creep, to use corporate speak. as i think i’ve mentioned elsewhere, i’ll find myself filling in backstory by the decades, generations, even millenia, in the case of my fantasy work. conversely, i can easily bloat a simple arc short-story into a multi-novel development.

it’s this last problem which i’m trying to get a handle on. i am coming to appreciate the true power of the short story, and the genuine mastery it requires. not unlike the well-written, story-driven song which lasts no more than 4 or 5 minutes but is complete of itself, such writing requires significant control of language, pacing, and scope, to generate a satisfying, rounded, concise experience for the reader or listener. this, i don’t have yet, and it’s one of the things i’m trying to be aware of.

so, to make a long story short (too late!)*, i’ve found tonight’s inspiration trending in this latter direction, so i will let it sit and ruminate a bit upon it before following it out. i do look forward to the fun of it, though, and that’s why i write: the experience of it.

* a little Clue, anyone?