Since the end of September I’ve been going to a weekly writers group most weeks. It’s been good for me to have the space each week which is given over to writing and makes me focus on actually writing rather than thinking about it and talking about it. It’s also very inspiring to hear others talk about what they’re writing.
Sometimes I struggle to find things to fill the time with and others I struggle to concentrate for the whole time (it’s 2 hours split into two 45 minute writing sessions and coffee breaks). Sometimes I end up googling things I want to know about for my writing and others I open the Kindle app on my iPad and start reading a review book. I just need to write those damn reviews now.
But over the last few weeks I’ve been picking at writing a fanfic. It’s not going as well as I’d like and I’ve convinced myself I’m bad at writing fiction. That’s not an unusual stage of writing for me and actually when I went back and reread some of what I’d written I did think it was good. Admittedly I’m writing slower than I could be and not in a cohesive way but in a slow and somewhat painful few minutes at a time if nothing else way I was writing. I miss the days when I used to sit and type for an hour nonstop without thinking just to get the piece down.
Locally there have been a few writing workshops. An evening one on plotting which is was very useful and I could definitely do with looking at the pacing of my work based on the tips she gave us. And two one day ones on flash fiction in February and character in March. I got a lot out of both of those but enjoyed the one on flash fiction much more than character (possibly because it was a different group and possibly because I was stressed and tired for the character one). Using the prompts in the session and free writing techniques made me remember that I enjoy writing short pieces like that. Flash fiction it turns out may be much more my thing than writing a novel. But I still want to write a damn novel.
Going back to the fanfic, there is a deadline for it as I signed up to write it for a fandom big bang. And part of me wishes I hadn’t. I haven’t written in that fandom before or seen the whole series. And I’m not sure when I last wrote fanfic for any fandom. I did it for my first nano in 2004 and can’t remember doing so since I stopped playing with that piece in 2005 although it would suprise me if that was the last time. Hang on, as I write this it occurs to me I wrote a very small piece of Chalet School fanfic and posted it on The-CBB when I was first on there which was 2007 ish I think. One of the problems I’m finding at the moment is I’ve only written for three fandoms before – two of which are set in the UK and the third was a character driven Star Trek piece that had basically nothing of the setting and very little plot in it. This fandom is an American show and I don’t want to use too many Britishisms as I know I find them glaring when I spot them in fic (Americans calling each other mate is a frequent one I see in others pieces). I’m sure some will slip through but it’s making me think more about my word choices.
I ended up deciding to use the flash fiction principle and dividing my rough storyline into prompts then writing each one as a separate piece. It’s a work in progress but it seems to be going well because the biggest problem was how to transition between the different scenes. I’m still going to have to figure it out later but at least I’ll have the plot down. And as a fair amount of the story takes place in a hospital there’s not a lot of physically moving around to be had.
I still think this is going to end up a very bad piece of fanfic and I’ll get negative feedback. But I’m really glad to be writing regularly again and especially to be writing fiction again (particularly fanfic). I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this month and have set myself a goal of 60 hours spent on writing over the month – it feels like it might be out of reach but I think it should be doable now I’m going. I’ve done a fair amount of writing today inbetween other things as my powerchair batteries were changed this morning so it’s been charging. As always it’s not as much as I’d like but it’s a start. And I do seem to write more in the evening than other times. We shall see.