I have five stories to write.
A scary historical one.
A cultural one.
One based on a song.
One based on an ancient goddess.
A Christmas one.
Five very different stories. I’ve done a lot of research, taken a lot of notes, and two of the stories have fallen into place.
The other three just haven’t jelled. I know it’s all in my head, so this week I’ve set myself a way of bringing it out.
One device I use when I want to write but I’m not sure what to write about is called ’50 Bits’. In an exercise book, I write 50 simple sentences. I completely brainstorm it, try not to think too hard. This is a list from my last book:
1. Wearing too much eye shadow
2. Losing an eye
3. Painting a mural
4. A torch fails
Then, on just one page in the exercise book, I write whatever story comes out. It might be a description, or a conversation. Sometimes it really is a story. More than once I’ve cracked a good one, and I’ve expanded the page into a proper short story.
So I decided to try it to crack the three stories I’m struggling with. I called this one “23 bits” because I only had a 48 page exercise book. I really love exercise books. Instead of simple sentences, I went through my ideas notebooks and wrote down 23 of my ideas.
Now I’m at work, expanding each idea onto a single page.
It’s working; I’ve cracked one story, got a nibble on a second, and thought of another story altogether.
It’s a really satisfying thing to do, because I feel like I’ve achieved something, and I haven’t had to struggle to do it.