“Clarity” Diary #1: How this started

Header image: Erik Silva, Flickr

Clarity is one of my (many) works in progress and it’s the one I’m sinking the most time into. It’s different from things I’ve written in the past in a number of ways:

It started off as a short story. I wrote the short story in one sitting, and then put it away for several months. In my mind, it was one of the weaker things I had written in 2016, and I didn’t think I was going to do much with it except maybe scrap it for sentences to use in other works.

But then I re-read it at the beginning of this year and saw some promise, so I started editing it. I initially thought it would stay a short story, but then I started including more and more detail, started showing the side characters more until they became main characters, and so much had been added to it that I decided to go all out and turn it into a novel.

I’m writing it, somewhat, chapter by chapter. Although I wrote basically a detailed outline of the novel in the form of a short story, it still feels like I’m writing this chapter by chapter. I have to go from 7,000 words to roughly 50,000 so there is a lot of new writing going into this. Rather than doing my usual thing and writing the complete draft to edit it later, I’m writing and editing as I go, posting the chapters for critique to Scribophile when I think they’re ready. I probably won’t do any rewrites of the story until I finish the whole thing, but I’m experimenting with a new way of writing.

It’s a romance story. Romance isn’t a genre I read widely in, and I’ve never written a story with romance at its core. The fact that this story is in a different genre than what I’m used to was one of the deciding factors for me to use a pseudonym; it felt strange to write this story and still be “me” as a writer. I still have a decidedly literary tilt to it, but the genre has conventions that I’m still working on navigating. And honestly? It’s a little fun.

And finally, I’m documenting the writing of it in the form of this blog. Who knows whether this story will get beyond Scribophile? And who knows when I’ll finish it? But having a public account of the process might help me see my shortcomings, and help me document them with more regularity.

If you’re still with me after reading all of this, please check out the first two chapters on Scribophile. You do have to have a Scribophile account in order to view them, but it’s free to sign up. Plus, if you’re a writer looking to improve, it’s a great site to get feedback on your work.

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