Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Contamination of a Story.

I've written just under thirty short stories now.  Fortunately, and I am very fortunate, almost all of them have been accepted for publication.  But there have been times when I've felt a little nudge in the ribs, a little dig, the flashing lights of a neon sign:

'CONTAMINATED AREA AHEAD.  TAKE CARE!'

Is it the repetition of a formula?  Is that the contamination?  Or the, once again, embarking upon a tale in the vernacular of an East London ne'er-do-well?  A tale of the broken and lost?  My thought processes contaminated?  After a lot of thinking, I decided, no.  This is just how I write, and these are my subjects.  This is not when the warning sign appears flashing in my head.  It has only happened a couple of times.  Just a couple.   That flashing.  And that is when my thought process, my creative process, is interrupted by considerations as to the story's commercial viability.  Will it be accepted?  That is the source of the contamination.

Once the story becomes contaminated by my ego in this manner, it takes a couple of read-throughs to eliminate said ego-contamination, and I can get back to just telling the story. 

Do you suffer from a contamination of the process?  And how do you know?  And what do you do?

Mmm . . .

1 comment:

  1. I've been stopped in my tracks by what people might think of me should they ever read what I'm writing - which translates as 'Oh, gawd, I can't possibly write that' syndrome. Of course, whatever it is generally has to be written, or else the story limps and clunks, so I just have to get over myself.

    For practical and professional reasons, I wish I could keep the business stuff and the fiction separate, but that just isn't possible with t'Internet. It wouldn't matter if I wrote 'nice' stories, but the likes of us don't, do we! :)

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