Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

The Last Ditch 3: Ridiculous Ideas

Week three of this Last Ditch, and looking at the week to come I feel like I’m running full speed at a ten foot brick wall, sort of hoping that having watched that parkour video that one time will fully empower me to scamper over it like a gecko on amphetamines.

The first couple of weeks were healthily productive, with a continuous flow of work produced. It wasn’t record-breaking, but it was a pretty good start to the year aided significantly by having no dayjobbery to schedule around. This week, dayjobbery returns (in fact I’ll be working six days out of seven instead of the usual five).

Alongside that, I’m shaking up the structure of my writing week. Where my wording days have been focussed on one novella until now, moving forward I’ll be splitting my time across three things every week. To whit:

Mondays are henceforth reserved for Ridiculous Ideas. I’ve a lot of these – stuff that I can’t see an audience or market for at all, but that I want to write anyway. Previously the idea of putting time and effort into writing these has been dispiriting. Yet I can’t help wanting to write them anyway. They now have their own dedicated day of the week. It will take forever to finish anything, but that’s not the point – Ridiculous Idea Mondays* is now a thing.

From Tuesday to Thursday I’ll be continuing with whatever the big project of the moment is (initially I’ll be continuing with the novella we’ve already been discussing).

On Fridays I’ll be working on short stories. These tend to fall by the wayside as bigger projects tend to suck me in, but I miss writing them. My first drafts will all be written longhand in notebooks, so I can add stuff as I go through the week, but Friday is my dedicated short story time.

The weekends remain the same – Saturdays for admin and Sundays are days off.

Between getting back to the dayjob and shaking up the structure, I’m expecting one result, with two possible outcomes. I will definitely fail to parkour nimbly over the wall. I will hit it hard and be knocked to the ground. After that I will either get back up and stagger on at a much reduced pace, or I will just lie there looking at the stars.

Let’s see. As usual I’ll fill in the days as they pass below, and post everything up on Sunday sometime.


Monday

Huzzah! Time for some RIMming**! I already have a novelette that I abandoned work on last year when it became clear that it was a classic RI. It’s been a while since I looked at it, so today was a reread along with some notes on what I want to change / where I want it to go. It’s actually a bit exhilarating, working on something  with no readers in mind, like a guilty secret. I will not hide away though. I will RIM and be proud. No words done, but for good reasons.

Tuesday

SMASHBASHBANG.

Wall encountered. Not only was I knackered when I got home, but our Glorious Leader announced a ‘snap election’ for reasons which are a little unclear. Because…um…Brexit? She’s tired of the  ‘opposition party’ voting for all her proposals as though she mothered them and knows where the bodies are buried? Who knows? Anyway, the rolling news cycle snatched me up, and a measly 168 words were tapped distractedly into the ongoing novella.

Wednesday

I am either coming down with a cold or I’m having an intense allergic reaction to General Elections. It’s hard to say for certain. Despite that, I managed to force 313 words through the space  between my headache and my imploding sinuses. 313 delicious, gooey words. Tasty.

Thursday

Man, I feel washed out. Don’t know if I’m ill or just exhausted – there have been a lot of early starts this week. Tapped limply at the keyboard for a bit to produce 338 words, then gave up for the day.

Friday

Just getting to short story day feels like an achievement this week. As with Monday, I used the time to sit down, relax, and plan things out. Ten things in my head are on paper as little vignettes that might turn into short stories – there’s the thing with bubbles, the one with the dogs, the one about the only person in the city, and more. Next week I’ll start building up the most promising and see where it goes.

Saturday

It looks like it’s going to be a glorious weekend, so of course I was stuck doing dayjobbery for most of it. Hey ho. When I got home I stayed up too late trying to do too many odds and ends, including making a start on my tax return for last year’s writing efforts. The most fun you can possibly have at one in the morning, obviously.


And that was that week. 669 words over five days. I mean, this blog is longer than that.

I wrote less than a mid-sized blog’s worth of fiction this week.

On the other hand I avoided the dead stop I was afraid of, and so am being kind to myself. 669 words is still…well…669 words in the end, inching the novella up to 20,801 words in length (and it’s in shouting distance of the end of Act 2). It may be time for one of those running metaphors I pull forth at the slightest provocation. How about…let me see…yes, that’ll do. The one to do with marathons, where you only have 26.2 miles to run before you begin. As soon as you put a foot over the start line you have less than 26.2 ahead of you, and every step brings the distance down until at some point you have less than a step to go, and then you’ve run a marathon, and you’re tired and want to cry, and might pass out a bit, and should probably eat some jelly babies.

What was I talking about again?

I should have a jelly baby now.

See you next week.


While I’ll skim over the process of how I’m writing things here, I won’t go into detail about what the things I’m writing actually are. If you’re curious about that side of things, potential spoilers and all, then I’ll be talking a bit more about the Ridiculous Ideas, the main project, and the short stories in my monthly newsletter at the end of each month. You can sign up through the little box in the right hand column near the top of the page.


*Yep, I’m going with RIM. This is why they don’t let me name stuff.

**Still sticking with it. Sorry.

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