I had thought of taking a week off from SoCS, because I’ve had a busy weekend and my brain is fuzzy and not terribly focused, (having been up since 4.30 a.m. to give a visiting friend from the States a ride to the airport) but I decided to jot a few lines, before reverting to fiction again next week.
The prompt left by Linda G Hill on Friday was;
” “date.” Use it any way you’d like. ”
Getting it right: Writing the Wrong Stuff.
The date was 29/11/15 and Linda, who runs the fabulous Stream of consciousness Saturday feature, was on holiday and the prompt was supplied by guest host, Pavowski from Accidentally Inspired;
” “stuff.” Simple, right? Ehh, maybe, maybe not. You could go direct: literal, basic. Stuff as a thing is pretty ubiquitous. Or you could go all metaphorical, even symbolic. You might even, if you’re feeling saucy, use “stuff” as a root and wander into the wild realms of the participle (stuffed) or the progressive (stuffing) or even the gerund (also stuffing, sorry for the English Teacher wheelies). One request: whether you feel saucy or not, please don’t actually mention sauce. Or do, but be prepared that I might hork all over your blog if you do.”
Pretty detailed, right?
Well, I went about my SoCS routine as usual; only checking my e-mail for the prompt as I was writing the intro, then just writing whatever came into my head and seeing what happened.
By the time I’d got to where I could end the post at a sensible point, it was clear that I had barely scratched the surface of the still-evolving story, so I decided to carry the plot over to the following week’s post, using whatever prompt was supplied by Linda (or her proxy) and I did just that.
I hadn’t even considered the possibility that I’d still be writing the same story, nine months and thirty four more episodes later, let alone that I might be considering publishing the conjoined chapters as a novel.
Which is what the next logical step seems to be.
Now I’m not saying The Wrong Stuff, as posted on the blog, is a completed manuscript for a bestseller; but as I’ve had to read it all again from the start, (for the first time since I began the story) so I could edit out the original post introductions, I was more than pleasantly surprised at how well it flows, the number of times actually I laughed out loud and, quite frankly, how damn exciting some of it is.
And I especially like Frank.
I never think about my SoCS post during the week (in fact, I don’t think I can; I have to wait until I’m sitting down to write, to be in that “zone”) so the story really did unfold as I wrote it. It was only towards the end, when the main characters are drawn inextricably together, did it begin to suggest the future direction of a plotline, but all the details, story structure and dialogue are written within the rules of SoCS (albeit over the course of several hours, punctuated by breaks for entertaining Audrey, shopping, cooking and eating) and only edited as I go, for typos and really huge mistakes that detract too much from the narrative, (one of the occasional pitfalls of using the Swype™ keyboard on my phone, with its particular form of auto-correct) which I’m smugly pleased about, given the result.
So, the next step is to have a publisher read it. Well I’m sort of fortunate there, too, because of my short stories being included in anthologies. Catherine, to whom I submitted the five works of fiction that have so far seen the light of day from the pages of an actual book, encouraged me to edit it all together and send it to Anna, the publisher.
There will still be rough edges to smooth out and I expect there will be a few overly-wordy descriptions that need paring down, but at a smidgen over 50,000 words, I reckon I have a solid base on which to build something I could be rather proud of. (If you wanted modest introspection, you came to the wrong place)
But I’m open to opinions, so if you’ve read The Wrong Stuff (or this post has encouraged you to do so, in which case, GO HERE) then please feel free to stick your oar in and advise me accordingly.
Because I want to get The Wrong Stuff right, you know what I mean?
Oh and by the way, whatever happens with her first extraordinary adventure outside of Diary of an Internet Nobody, one thing I can promise you;
Hannah Meredith will return.