This is the table in my study where I’m working on my new novella/short novel. I don’t always, or often, cut things up or stick post-it notes everywhere but on this occasion I needed a strategy to help me think what next and enable me to move forward. Cutting things up, moving them around, highlighting new things to be written or connections between things on blue post-its, proved a good creative solution.
I had two things to work with: Eating Words, my Manchester Fiction Prize shortlisted story - long before Manchester I’d made the decision to continue writing Alice’s story – and 6,000 words which I’d written in France.
There were a number of things to think about – how could I move away from the short story or at least not be hidebound by it? How would I manage time? What would the structure be? What about the repetition in the fragmented pieces in my notebook? I had lots of ideas but before I could write it was time to make some decisions – that’s the novella for you – it makes early demands on the writer in particular in terms of ‘how.’ You can write on as I did in France but before long choices will have to be made. Short fiction is a fascinating form and tomorrow at our Teikyo workshop myself and writer Wendy Robertson will be sharing with those who’ve signed up, everything we’ve learned about it so far. Can’t wait! Looking forward to it very much. Workshops are always – or at least always should be – as inspirational for the tutors as the participants. See you there…
If you’re interested in writing short fiction of novella length (approx anywhere between 10-50,000 words), both Wendy and I will be posting more about this on our blogs in the coming weeks