Friday, February 12, 2010

What's Going On?

I'm sure my legion of fans (i.e. two) noticed I didn't participate in this week's Friday Flash Fiction challenge. There are a couple reasons for that. One, inspiration struck later than normal and I was too busy with work to write it (I guess I could've stayed up to 2am to finish, but I digress). Two, there wasn't much of a story. Just a character and a situation. It probably would've just turned out to be a character sketch and not an actual story. And three, I had something else chewing on my old gray matter.

What's that you say? Something else? I mentioned a while back that I was working on a PI short story (a loong time ago). Well, there are two PI characters. One is the wisecracking first-person Marlowe/Archer type. The other is a modern day young eye - sort of a third person Jackson Donne. I've written four short stories about him and tried to get one published (notice I said "tried").

I always had a hard time finding third-person guy's voice. It's hard to maintain a hard-boiled style over longer works because you don't want the tone to get wearying on the reader. Also, lines like "Rain fell like icy pitchforks" work well in first person, but sound like the writer sticking his nose in when it comes to third person. And if Elmore Leonard is to be believed, that's something to avoid.

About 2300 words over two days, and I think this time I may have something. I hate how overused the word reboot is, but that's kind of what this story is (sidebar: can it really be a reboot if the character hasn't been read outside of me and one other person?). I'm taking elements from his previous introduction and throwing in stuff from the character bio that I haven't used before. I found a tone that works and am getting the character a bit more transparent on the page. No timelines or targeted word counts this time, I'm just going to let the story tell itself.

So....rambling? Done for now. Friday Flash this week? Playing it by ear, but I hope so.


Cormac Brown said...

"It probably would've just turned out to be a character sketch and not an actual story."

That hasn't stopped SNL in years, or most of Hollywood.

Even if you were the only to read it, it is a reboot because you said so. Besides "reboot" sounds better than a "rebuild."

David Barber said...

It will be good to see you back at FFF this week, but if not good luck with your other projects.

WellesFan said...

Cormac - I must not watch SNL much any more. The only joke I can think of is "I'm Brian Fellow!"

Perhaps I can use the term "reintroduction". That sounds classy. :)

David - Let's see what kind of rabbit hole this week's starter leads us down.

Cormac Brown said...

The only joke I can think of is "I'm Brian Fellow!"

You've got me, I have no idea what you're talking about. The last time I watched it for more than thirty seconds, was the McCain episode.