As I have mentioned eleventy billion times previously, I am an aspiring novelist.  By “aspiring”, I mean that I have yet to produce anything long enough to be classified as a novel (although the story Key Relationships was a step in the right direction in terms of length).

Writing fiction for The Soap Boxers has kick-started my fiction writing, and the creative process in general).  Never in my life have I written such a volume of fiction is such a short time (roughly thirty thousand words since the advent of Fiction Friday back in March) – while also writing a significant amount of non-fiction pieces and balancing other life constraints (work, family, baseball).  I think there are a few reasons for this revival.

  • First, this blog allow my work to immediately reach an audience.  Even when I don’t get feedback in the form of comments, there is an extra jolt of adrenaline that comes with knowing that anyone in the world could stumble across one of my stories.  It’s even better when someone actually leave a comment.
  • I’m beginning to realize that I’m an aberration from most writers.  I’m really not a big fan of taking a pen and physically writing on paper.  I prefer to do my writing almost entirely behind a computer.  Not only do I prefer the physical aspects of typing to those of writing, but I appreciate the ability to make correction and restructure the story on the fly.  If I did my writing with pen and paper, my notebook would be a mess.  I do use paper to write ideas and very short segments (preferring a composition book rather than a spiral bound notebook), but I rarely write an entire story with pen and paper.
  • Blog readers, in general, like to read relatively short blog posts.  This pushed me in the direction of writing pretty short stories, since I really couldn’t drop a ten thousand word story into a blog post (although I can serialize the lengthy stories at The Fiction Writers).  Writing a new short story every week forced my the write about things I hadn’t previously written about – there are a pretty strange variety of stories within Fiction Friday).  This has allow me to branch off into new direction and also refine a lot of my techniques – in particular, dialogue.

Onto another tangent … another way to I express my creativity is through “Instant Message Bombs”.  One particular friend seems to drift away from the keyboard and leave AIM up and running (I’m fairly certain that he’s not simply avoiding me).  Whenever I determine that he’s unresponsive, I leave him a few random comments, such as:

“Then there was this explosion.  Grapes and Cheerios everywhere.  It took hours for them to clean up the mess.”

“A horse.  Can you imagine that?  Why on earth would they pick a horse for that job.  A gerbil would be a much better candidate.”

I’m really not sure if these non sequitur comments serve any purpose in the creative process, but the reaction can be fun to watch 🙂