Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scribbling and bibbling

I've been writing and writing and writing so much lately, and it's making me deliriously happy. "Here. It's all right here in my noodle. The rest is just scribbling. Scribbling and bibbling, bibbling and scribbling." That's a quote from the movie Amadeus (one of my all-time favorites).

Forever and ever and ever I've only written non-fiction. Well, except for that book I wrote in third grade where I had a magic kite that would take me wherever I wanted to go, which I think at that time was mainly Pizza Hut. What I am, I've come to learn, is an essayist. While thrilling to learn I have an actual literary label, it's not nearly as impressive as the others: author and/or novelist. Then I learned that what I do could also be called flash non-fiction, which sounds way more impressive than it really is. It's where I just sit down and barf on the page. The words just flow, brain to fingertips. It's what causes me to "type too loud" and what what has ensured, over the years, that I am the fastest typist I know. I have to type fast, just to keep up with my noodle.


I have always been envious of fiction writers. I mean, how on earth can J.K. Rowling create a whole different world in her head? And then transfer it to paper where it all makes sense and people love it and obsess over it and dress like her characters for years to come? How does Stephen King create all those creepy stories when he's led, basically, a pretty middle-class vanilla life (not counting the drugs and shit he messed with after he was published and became An Author)? How does one do that? I can only write what I know, what I experience in my own life. I can't make shit up.

Or so I thought.

I got an idea this week. Popped into my head fully-formed, like Athena only without the armor. I stewed on it and made some notes and formed some questions. I sat down and did some research. And then, tonight, I wrote.

It's not huge. It's not like I just slammed out a full novel or anything. It definitely falls into the category of short story. But 1,352 words isn't shabby. Seriously. Stephen King writes about 2,000 words a day, and it took him years to work up to that productivity. There's still some work to do be done on it, and I'm sure I can add more. I just so dang pleased that I wrote something. Let me clarify: I wrote fiction.

So now my big question is: what on earth do I do with it? I am too frightened to share it with anyone, mainly because it's so very different than anything I've ever written. That, and the fear that whoever reads it will say, "Um, yeah. You might want to stick with essays." Not that there's anything wrong with sticking with essays...those are in my wheelhouse and I will probably (hopefully) always write them. I just want someone to tell me that I can indeed pen fiction and that it doesn't totally entirely astronomically suck, maybe it just sucks a wee bit.

The writers workshop I attended two weekends ago had a guest speaker who instructed us to never, ever show our first drafts to people we love. Because they love you, they will either never give honest criticism, or they aren't literary critics and will unnecessarily bash the shit out of your ego. (Sorry, Beano. According to his advice, you're out. Damn. And you were the first person I was gonna let read it!) Can't show it to M, because of the above, and because the most praise I've ever received from him after years of writing here is, "Hm. It's nice." right before he flips over to CNN or home videos of other peoples' yard trains on YouTube.

I joined the St. Louis Writers Guild, and they have critique groups set up. I guess I'll just have to find one of those, which means I have to be patient, which we all know I suck at.

Part of me doesn't care though. It's a whole new world. Fiction, bitches!


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