What Neil did next…

I’ve been on a semi-enforced break from writing.

At the end of a lengthy project it’s a good idea to kick back. For me, it’s a slightly uncomfortable sensation as I use writing as a way of switching off from the dayjob; during busy periods, like now, it becomes more important to switch off but, at the same point, if I don’t allow a little bit of time the story just finished bleeds into the next one. Anyway, I found myself noodling a short story last week – it’s called Bright Star, at the moment at least – and as it’s science fiction and quite short the chances of recycling are minimal.

Longer term I’ve found I’m having more novel length ideas than anything else. Indeed, a brief perusal of my ideas log shows around 9 novel ideas (a decade of work). When I look at my short story ideas they are seldom around specific hooks and more around technical exercises like trying out different structures, POV, characterisation and the like. I definitely seem to have taken to heart the idea short stories are like exercises for writers, that I can occasionally sell them or use them as promotional material here is a bonus. Some never see the light of day (for good reason).

Lending itself well to the whole how-my-life-is-structured thing is that I find it easier to work on a long project during the week and somewhat harder to work on short stories (which I prefer to write in one or two sittings).

I think the plan going forward is to have a long project on the go, with short stories slotted around it at weekends as and when I need to practice something, have an idea, need to produce a finished story for my sanity (delete as appropriate). Now I just need to decide which of the nine ideas I’m going to write next…

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