When Your Short Story Turns Into An Ass

Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes writing feels more like wrestling.

You get some inspiration and let it roll around your head, an idea comes and you grab it by the horns and force it on to the page.  Then maybe you’re in control for a while, and it comes flowing out almost easily, in fact you’re quite enjoying it now, watching as it takes a life of its own and surprises you.   You care about these characters!  They become more and more three dimensional as you tap away at the keys or scribble on your notebook.

Yeah, this is good.  Is this actually good?  Oh my God, it is, isn’t it?

Then bam! The honeymoon is over.  You hit a block, a character gets stuck in some half dried concrete and falls flat on her face.  The plot refuses to unravel.  You start to wonder if you even had a plot to begin with.  It’s like a horrible knot that gets more complicated the more you try to undo it.

Then you start on yourself.  I’m a shit writer.  I suck so bad.  You start to reread what you have over and over again, and the more you do the worse it seems.  Your story has officially become an Ass, and it is enjoying getting the better of you.

So what’s a girl to do? Here’s my advice, though it may not work for everyone.  Pick up the pen and keep writing, tap those keys and keep writing.  It doesn’t matter if your ending makes no sense.  Go ahead, bring in the God from the Machine.  Submit to the Deus Ex Machina.  Do anything to get that story finished.

It’s just a first draft and a first draft is absolutely allowed to suck however much you need it to.  The fact is having it finished is going to make the chances of a redraft higher. If you just turn your back on it and walk away, the chances of you abandoning it long term are higher.  Furthermore, in the face of me charging onward my story often decides to stop being an obstinate ass, and my ideas start to flow again.

So that’s my tuppence on mid-story blues.  What about you lot?  Any advice on this?  What do you do to tame a wild story?


4 thoughts on “When Your Short Story Turns Into An Ass

    1. I used to be the same! Now I power on through. How do you find writing a short story about a character in one of your novels. Do you find that easier? Sometimes I do that to flesh out a character at the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

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