Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let It Marinate

I've been working on a short story for about two weeks now. When I say "working on," I don't mean I've been producing pages of writing. I've been marinating an idea in my mind. I've written about 10 pages of notes and thoughts and feelings about the short story, but nothing concrete.

This is not my traditional process. Usually, when I come up with the idea for a story, it comes together quickly. I see the first scene immediately, have a good idea about who my main character is, and already have goals and obstacles falling out of my ears before I sit down to write.

With this story, I've gotten:
  • premise: a thief and a mark
  • story theme: we are our possessions
  • first line: These things usually start with an introduction.
  • story form: an IOU
So far, my main character is somewhat elusive. Most of the time, my main characters pop into my head fairly well developed. This character MIA is nerve racking. I'm also searching for my main character's greatest fear. I'll be ready to start when the answers to these issues give me goosebumps.

This is a stubborn story. Like a baby that goes way past the 9-month mark. The good thing is, the longer I mull it over, the better the ideas. Each day gives me new insight into the story. I just write all my insights down, until I've figured out where this story wants to go.

If anyone had asked me before today, I would have said that I'd been finished by now. I only want to write a 30 - 50 page short story. If I write my traditional 10 pages per day, I'd have that in less than a week.
Something tells me this story is going to be different in every way.


  1. I can't wait to find out how both stories turn out, Kim -- the thief's as well as your own in coaxing his or her story into being.

  2. Thanks, Ann. I'll keep you posted.