I have been writing and find that some ideas I had are bearing no fruit. This is not as upsetting as it sounds. I've always maintained that writing is a learning curve. As long as the words flow, it’s never wasted. Dialog and scenes, plot lines and settings not used remain in an inactive directory that may be accessed at any time -- and I have plucked details from rejected stories and inserted them into published works.
Most of my creative writing right now is about stories on the aftermath of infidelity. Some of it introducing characters, or dialog between antagonists, such as this moment when a woman runs into an ex-lover:
To follow the progress of the upcoming collection, visit http://www.facebook.com/mistressbook
Unexpectedly captive in a hug I wasn’t sure I wanted to reciprocate, I felt myself grow cold.
“Of course,” said Josefine, “you know Bill.”
She did not mean to be malicious. She didn’t know we’d had an affair. She always suspected it was more than just a playful acquaintance.
“No,” I said and turned my back on him as I tried to walk past him. “I can’t say that I do with any degree of certainty.”
He grabbed for me, thinking we’d embrace or kiss, or something far more civil than my actual response. He looked baffled by my rebuff. And if I know him at all, he thought he deserved better, ‘I was a generous lover to her!’
I glared at him and at his hand on me and, instinctively, he let go.
“Mr. Green,” I acknowledged him, but the contempt dripping off it made it sound as if I were a tween addressing a substitute teacher.
“Of course you know me,” he said and smiled. I saw him restrain himself and rein it in before he called me “babe.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his wife peek through from behind him. She had a neutral look but I knew she was more than just curious.
“I know you’re a liar,” I said softly, making her strain to hear what I was telling her husband. “But I assume you’ve enough sense of self-preservation to just drop it.”
For this particular story, I have the wife and former lover join forces to become a sort of surreal dynamic duo that goes out into the world to bring some twisted justice to it.
It may lead to nothing, but getting there is an interesting exercise nonetheless.
Doing research and further reading may lead to the conclusion that it has been done. This does not mean you can’t do it, it simply means that if you commit to doing it, you must improve on its treatment.
I’d written a few ridiculous scenes, but it is a delicate balance. Do I want to make it a humor piece or a plausible story? How much drama/tragedy ought there be in the collection?
Shall I try micro-stories or respect the characters enough to allow them a word or two beyond a Spartan, minimalist existence on paper?
Then I remember that I wanted to write at least one food porn story and I hear my inner editor beg, “Go long!”
Someone once told me that writing was like a drug, and certainly, it has a euphoric aspect. The art of creating possesses and transports you. And it may be that the idea in your head is far more ambitious than what you can deliver in reality. The beauty of it is that you can try and try again until you get good enough to pull it off.