On Writing Muscles

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

100 Days is progressing. We have 86 more days to go. On my I end, I wonder what I’m learning after fourteen consecutive pieces of work, some of which have floated to the surface out of a swirl of ideas. Each has been different and with each I’ve tried to introduce something new.

There are a few rules. Each has to be a “story.” Each should be constructed in a day, which is somewhat of a task. Last year, I wrote a poem following Carianne’s work, and we’d talked about flipping the scenario as a follow-up project. Now that the scenario has been flipped I’ve been able to consider the differences between the poems and following Carianne and writing stories as a kick off to the day and then, throughout the day, considering how John’s, Jessica’s and other artists work influence my thinking.

Writing a story a day is not “the” task. Last year I was able to write several poems a day. When Carianne posted her work, I was ready to write something unique. But writing stories takes different muscles. While I write several ideas a day, and maybe even a few stories, I find myself moving into the next day sooner because I can’t let the ideas sit.

The first consideration is time before, time during, and time after. Warm up, work out, and cool down are pretty much usable metaphors. These periods are different for every story. Let’s say we need to get Hank onto the beach where he finds a body washed onto the sand (maybe it’s someone he knew, maybe someone who’d threatened him.) It may be that Hank isn’t at the beach. He’s at Harold’s place. Or he is at the beach and the “maybes” take center stage. (It me just a few moments to write this–time spent).

. . . and there you have it. Each thought breeds another and the writer is stuck with Hank until his issue has been dealt with. In my case, image drives the poetry, but character demands different questions, as do the other works being created by John and Co.


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