It's 7-ish now. The morning is still cool, but it won't be for long. I'm going to spend the day in a cafe, I think -- probably Borders. I'm wanting to write fiction. It's good for that.
I have a story I started that should be finished; I also have an idea for another story, that I woke up thinking about. There are bits of dialogue. But I'm not sure it's enough of a story yet (that's true of the other one too). There's one major plot arc moving through it, but it's a fairly straightforward and probably self-evident one. Where do I create the tension? I could try to hide the ending from the reader, but that feels like cheating -- especially because in this story, the ending really ought to be self-evident. It wouldn't feel true if it weren't, I think. So what to do to add tension? Argh. Same problem with both stories, though the other one has it for different reasons.
Hmmm...just figured something out. His daughter should be involved in this. That would add something both to this story and to hers, which I'll be telling later. But I don't know whether it should be a brief moment in this story or if I should try to make it into a second plot arc. Argh.
Don't be fooled -- this drives me crazy, but I love this part. It isn't work in the same way that writing is work. It's just storytelling in my head. Lots of fun, and sometimes I wish I could just stop there, but of course I can't -- the stories become so much more when they get down on the page. It's funny; I've heard a lot about writers who have a sort of ideal story in their head, and who are frustrated and disappointed at their inability to get it down on paper (ditto composers, painters, etc.). I think they must have much sharper heads than I do.
The story in my head is a ghost of a thing -- wispy and insubstantial. My task is to get it down on paper which will lend it substance, pulling the wisps out of my brain and helping them solidify (and gain color and depth and angles), ideally without tearing them to shreds in the process. That's the frustrating part for me -- having to be so careful to keep the story alive and entire on the page; sometimes it just disintegrates in the process, and I'm left with a whole lot of words and no meaning, a story with no heart.
Speaking of stories, I wrote the second poem in the Arches fugue; (for those who don't know what I'm talking about, see yesterday's update). I'm very uncertain about the quality of these, and whether they're of interest to anyone but me. Someone drop me a note and tell me they're worth continuing, okay?
Stories jumbling in my brain. I've got three going now, 'cause I know what that daughter's story is going to do next. I need to start getting these down! Yet it's scary nerving up to write fiction again -- it is every time I take it seriously, because there's always the possibility of killing a story, and that is one of the most depressing things I know.