White Room Realisation

So I’m editing this piece I was going to use to open my next attempt at a long story. I finish all the changes from my notes and send it off to a friend. He points out that the tense past/present seems a bit unclear in places and that he really doesn’t like pieces set inside characters head’s. Fair enough. But that gets me thinking. Exactly what’s going on in the piece that IS interesting.

It comes in around 1500 words. It’s describing a man waking up in a white room with no idea of where he is. He stumbles around a bit, hung over, and has a look out the window, finds a note addressed to himself etc. All fine I thought. But then I realised it’s like 1500 words of scene setting. Not very much happens. If you think of that in terms of novel length it’d end up spanning four or more pages. Do you really want to start a novel with four pages of some guy stumbling around a room, not knowing where he is?

The answer is no. The answer is re-write.


It’s hard.

So I’m trying to get back into the mindset I had when I skipped a class at Swanwick, sat myself in the vinery, turned on my shuffle and lost myself. It’s hard. I’m at home. There’s TV. There’s snacks. There’s a microwave in which to warm milk.

But this is the thing. I’m still doing more than I was before. It’s amazing the good a little positive feedback can do.

Firing Your Imagination

1. Take the first mundane thing that comes into your head. Write down what you would like to happen to that thing or in that situation. Don’t allow yourself to be restricted by the boundaries of social convention, morality or even reality.

2. Pick one of your characters. Write down that characters current job. Now write down his or her ideal job. Think about the jobs they may have while going from current to ideal. Think about how they came to change or lose those jobs. Make the jobs as mundane or outlandish as you like.

3. Imagine a room of purest white. The room is square and the approximately fifty feet by fifty feet. The walls are ten feet high. Write down the things you would change about that room. These can be anything from size, shape and colour to things you want to put in the room.

If you have any trouble then remember the feeling you get when you unexpectedly hear one of your favourite songs. This should get your spine tingling.

Some Haikus

These are my friend Jen’s fault…

Sodden leaves descend
Sunset casts life in dark flame
Autumn eve grows cold

Frosty stars glisten
My celestial chart lives
The way home is now

Grey star fond yet close
Soaring mind flashes vivid
Molten gold draws me

You have to protect
them from me because I am
not what I once was