a plan (with a hatchet)

I’ve decided to give real writing a more whole-hearted try than the random flailing about I’ve been doing my whole life. This approach requires actual organization, of which I have very little. Amazingly little. None really, let’s just be honest. So, I don’t even want to talk about that: how I have random bookmarks on various computers about where to find submission information, and journals scattered all over the house, each with partially written ideas scribbled in margins, and no sense of the proper way of going about anything. And I don’t want to tell you how so far I’ve only managed to send articles off to people who aren’t even soliciting and don’t have submission guidelines published and for all I know trash anything they get.

I’ve decided to step away from all that for a moment and try to do this the right way. Obviously try is the key word here, but let’s be optimistic. I have come up with a plan, triggered by a dream I had the other night. I can hear what you’re saying. How good can this dream plan possibly be? It’s based on a dream, Alice. Well, right, but see, the plan itself isn’t based on a dream, what I’m writing is.

I know, I know. Even better.

I always have these ridiculuously stupid dreams, but they tend to be really vivid with whole plots and twists and climaxes and endings and everything. And I wake up thinking, I should write that as a story! But then, as the dream wears off and I have some coffee, I think about the dream in terms of a story plot and I realize that what the sleepy me thought was an excellent story sounds mostly like a ridiculously stupid dream. You see the problem.

But I kept thinking about a dream I had the other night, and it turned itself into a seed for what could be a short story. And once I figured out the genre, I zeroed in on a potential place to submit the story, which gave me a goal. So, now I’m writing. The story may end up in an entirely different place and I may need to rethink the plan once the story’s written, but I may as well give myself a goal to get me started.

But my problem really is in getting started. Not in starting to write, but in starting the story part of the story. I’m aiming for 5,000 to 6,000 words. I’m already at 2,000 and the actual story has only just begun! But I don’t want to dump the reader into the story with no context, no backstory, no reason to care! Then again, I don’t want to rush through the important parts at the end as though they’re afterthought. I’ll just have to hack away at this tediously long intro later, but man it’s hard to kill my words, my poor, bombastic, long-winded introductory words. They don’t mean any harm. But they’ve got to go.

The delete key can be like a hatchet, and I’m a serial killer in a hockey mask.

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