Friday, February 17, 2012

Practicing the Art of the Short Story

My focus this year is short fiction. Why? Because I have seven NanoWrimo drafts and one Savvy draft that I need to untangle and work in to proper novels. I would go nuts if that was all I was going to work on. Too many ideas running through my head. Then, I started putting characters from the novels into short fiction and discovered whole new ways to indulge my personal world visitations. Also, I have created a couple of characters that live and practice in my world, my real world, and they have taken on a life of their own, wanting me to tell more and more of their stories.

All of this has led me to take more classes in which the short form is the medium of craft investigation.

I have already drafted and or finished seven stories this month with a couple of craft investigations. I have almost a dozen first drafts of shorts and more than that if I include the flash fiction attempts. At the moment, as I am writing this, I am also listening to (the first go-through) of a seminar on the short story: Narrative Espresso from Story Wonk.

Wow! I've only gushed about one other podcast and that was Brenda Dayne's Cast On, a podcast about knitting. If I tell you that all my worlds and most of my stories include some form of needlework, gushing over a knitting podcast makes sense. I hope. Then, I discovered Story Wonk and fell in love with another podcast. It's not just the personalities, although Lani and Alastair are wonderful to listen to and make me smile a lot. Both podcasts are sources of information that entertain me, that enhance my pleasure in the craft and art of their topics. More than that, though, both podcasts inspire me to continue to work on aspects of my interest that might be tedious, inspire me to keep going when I might want to give up. For Cast On, it's the pursuit of lace knitting. For Story Wonk, it's the pursuit of the craft of writing. Both require a kind of focus that I do not usually have.

So, that's the point. I've never really made that connection before: Lace knitting and short fiction are both about learning to develop my focus. In Huna, my alchemical training, one of the principles is
Energy flows where attention goes
and its directive is
Be Focused
Focusing attention strengthens my ability to focus. And being able to focus for increasing lengths of time gives me the confidence that I can accomplish the tasks of transformation, of making the world a better place, that I design.

No comments:

Post a Comment