Monday, August 23, 2010

Novellas, Notes, and Story #13: Restless Legs

A while ago I wrote about novellas. Novellas! I said. I think I'll write one. Then I wrote one, or at least the draft of one. This is my cat standing on the notes:

They're pretty neat, right? Orderly, I mean. I took a picture of these notes because this weekend I found an old notebook with notes from another project, that looked like this:

Much sloppier! And that's not even as sloppy as things got. For a while when I had that notebook I was also writing on poster paper taped to my bedroom wall. I was big on trying to see entire structures before I even started the first real sentence. I've since chilled out a little bit. I'm enjoying random discovery again. But it makes for intensive edits.

What do you think? How do you prepare your work before you write it? And when you read do you ever think, man, this writer should have sketched some stuff out on a bar napkin before going to the keyboard?

Here's an older story from the Story Every Day Project. It's called "Restless Legs."

"Fuck you," his legs said. "We're restless and we're not going to hang around here anymore."

"But you're my legs," he said.

"Not for long," one of the legs said. The other was busy with a chainsaw.


  1. Lately I've been trying to force myself to be more drafty, to not worry so much about planning up front and just get the writing done. Planning can stifle me. But you're right that the edits then get extensive. I'm now very nervous about approaching a couple of chapters in the book that I wrote throwing caution to the wind.

  2. Ugh, Tracy, it can be terrible. Terrible! To approach those chapters, I mean, the ones that were fun and wild and have now turned into loose joints in an otherwise sturdy house. I try hard to remind myself at such times that they can be completely removed and refigured to fit, even though it may take a little pain.