As I’ve become more serious about writing, I’ve started experimenting with new genres. I began with short stories and features and then ventured into flash fiction and I’m currently taking an online flash fiction course with Kathy Fish, a well-known flash fiction writer.
I only started blogging this year and although not a genre as such, it’s a wonderful way to practice different types of writing while providing the opportunity to connect with other like-minded people in the blogosphere.
I’m also halfway through a novel, which I’m going back to next week. This is probably the genre which most overwhelms me, partly because of the length, but also because structure is not my strong point and I must admit to feeling slightly apprehensive at the prospect of organising such a long story.
Another thing I’d love to have a go at writing is haiku. I very much enjoy reading them – love the brevity and the unwritten meaning behind the words, and having spent some time in Japan, the genre resonates with me. In the book, ‘Writing and Enjoying Haiku: a Hands-On Guide,’ by Jane Reichhold, the author aims to show how haiku can
bring a centred calming atmosphere into one’s life, by focusing on the outer realities of life instead of the nagging of the inner mind
I’m hoping that writing haiku will therefore have both a positive effect on my emotional well-being, while helping me to improve skills of subtlety and word choice when writing.
Editing for me goes hand in hand with procrastination. It’s always something I struggle to find time to do, and struggle to do when I have the time! When it comes to short stories, I never know when to stop – they’re never quite good enough; there’s always a little more ‘fine tuning’ I can do. Short stories are one thing; novels are another. In November I managed to win ‘NaNoWriMo,’ and wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. Many of them were rubbish words though! I didn’t write chronologically either, so my novel ended up consisting of a mishmash of scenes with huge gaping holes in them. I was, however, so relieved to have produced 50,000 words, that the quality of them didn’t seem so important at the time. I figured I’d leave the story for a while and come back to it later.
‘Later’ has become now. I still have a lot of content to add but I also need to do a massive amount of editing, and that is the tough part. I’ve got into the habit of writing a short piece then moving onto another immediately so I’ve now got a whole bunch of stories (in addition to my novel) that I need to go back to.
One thing I’ve come to realise is that completion is such an important part of the writing process, as important as getting the words down, but at the same time it’s necessary to know when the story is good enough to submit. I’ve got a few weeks off from work soon and I’m determined to edit all my ‘not-quite-ready’ stories as well as complete and sort out my novel. Hopefully Scrivener will help me with that!