Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I wrote two short stories in my creative writing workshop this semester. I am very proud of the second one I did. It was an adaptation of a poem I wrote last semester in my poetry writing workshop. Sadly, I am disappointed in my other one. That was my attempt to squeeze what is very much a character/ethics story (with a sort of sci/fi twist) into a short story format. It felt like it was headed somewhere good at first, but had too many holes without the proper time to fully develop the main characters. The night before it was due, I was at the library working on the re-write, when the "correct" way to write it hit me. I was then faced with the decision of either doing a dramatic and complete overhaul of the entire story for the new version (which I was psyched about and felt would be much stronger) or finishing the re-write I was working on and turning in what I knew would be sup-par material. Truthfully, the decision wasn't even mine. Time only allowed for me to stick with the original re-write plan and scratch out a less than stellar story.

I am greatly intrigued by the idea of a "correct" version of a story. It's not that I believe that any given story has only one way to be told, but I have discovered that when I am in that creative process (be it writing a story, a poem, a song, or whatever) I come to forks in the road. I brainstorm tons of ideas and eventually have to choose one path or another. The interesting part (to me) is that this decision is usually quite easy. It's like I am walking down a path and as I look to the right and left I see many other paths begin to take shape. I can see some that are very close, and others that are further off. Then, at some point, two or more of these paths will converge and I must choose which to head down.
Generally, I am not someone who rushes into decisions at all. I like options, so choosing leaves me feeling limited. My solution is to stall as long as I can until I absolutely have to choose (that way I can let events pan out and have more time to gather info). Indecision has a way of making life quite difficult at times for me.
However, in writing it always seems very easy to me. I brainstorm, I get excited about an idea, and I move forward. If that idea isn't working out, I usually have another to replace it that I am more excited about anyway.
All of that explanation to simply say: my best writing always happens when I just write whatever I am most excited about.

Well, I have met my match; I came up with a story that was going to span three albums and had a modern warfare setting. It would all be told through the perspectives of two men through song lyrics. This is by far the biggest creative project I have ever endeavored, and it has been sucking up my brain powers and creative juices for months at a time over the past few years. I put it on the shelf for a little while after TMT split up, though, and am now finding it difficult to get back into for some reason (I suspect because I grew quite focused on the two stories I was writing for class). I am stuck at a fork in the road and don't know which path to take.

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