Writing Notes

I’ve had writer’s block for two days now, and I hate it. I even wrote a neat little simile about writer’s block last night that involved tea-kwon-do and using your attacker’s strength to your advantage. But, as you can imagine it was a horrible attempt at paralleling martial arts with my approach to writing.

I’ve been bothered a lot by the fact that I’ve never really written fiction. In most of my stories the physical details are fictional, but the emotional core is something very real. I’m between thinking this is how you write good fiction and this is how you write bad non-fiction. I want the writing to be authentic and I want to be able to relate to it, and I have nothing wrong with bringing in my own experiences. There’s no better way to write a compelling story with believable details. But, I’m having difficulty distancing myself from my characters and often, they come off as idealistic figures of loneliness or loss or whatever my emotion of the day is. They aren’t flawed and they have no humor. They are one dimensional and because of this, I get stuck at one page of writing.

My goal for the coming week is to write two 1500 word stories that involve three central characters in crowded settings. This is partially in response to Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” which is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. It is simply told, but leaves you with much to think about.