So. I’ve got this idea. For a short story.
I started it on Sunday. Figured I could have a zero draft knocked out by the end of Monday.
So far I have over 3,000 words. But there’s a problem: it’s divided between three different versions of the same story.
But wait. There’s a punchline: none of them is the right version.
Oh, none of them are terrible. They don’t make me want to wire my keyboard to a stick of dynamite. They’re just…meh. Honestly, bad would be better, in a way. It’d be easier to see the problems if they were bigger. Besides, nothing damns like faint praise. I’d rather have a flaming bonfire of spectacular failure than this little pile of boredom.*
You know the old phrase about square pegs and round holes?** It’s like that. Except instead of a square peg, I have a four-dimensional skewed, twisted thing. With tentacles. And it keeps changing shape. And I’m not allowed to look at the holes I’m trying to jam it in. I just have to keep trying different ones with my eyes closed until something fits.
There is a story here, and a good one. I can feel it in my headbones. I just need to find it and force it out of whatever abysmal shithole it’s hiding in. Once it’s in the light all the dross will burn off. But first I need to find the right vehicle to get it there.
Different narrator? Point of view change? New start point? New end point? Gender switch? More cursing? I’m trying it all. Sooner or later one of them will work. In the meantime, I’m trying to think of all the bits and pieces I have written so far as a really, really big outline. In narrative form. With three different main characters.
I may need to do more thinking on this one.
*It’s this attitude that has led humanity to most of its great achievements and all of its really big fuck ups. Seriously. It’s true. Check the history.
**Sidebar: this same phrase was once used by someone describing an awkward sexual encounter to me. Now I can never look at it the same way again.