On my flight home from Los Angeles this weekend, I was unplugged from the internet and my phone for the first time in my writing history in a long time. Generally, I have my phone on and Facebook and YouTube up in the background when I write. This doesn’t make me unproductive, but it makes me less productive. I can write a couple thousand words in a day, usually capping off at 3K in five-six hours. In the 2.5 hours on the flight during which I was allowed to have my computer, I wrote 4,500 words, which ballooned to 5,000 with my revision the next day (also sans distraction).
And so, what did I write? Well, that was a section of my novel-in-progress for my thesis material. In the section I wrote (on a plane), I was imagining my main character, who was also sitting on a plane, imagining the seven ways in which her husband might have died. She’s flying to San Francisco in this section, on her way to identify her husband’s body. He died under mysterious pretenses, which she’ll learn when she discovers it is his body.
For the same class (Advanced Fiction), I just got some great praise. I am not a genre writer, by any means, as I don’t think that’s something I’m good at. I love me some genre reading, but I just don’t write it well. That being said, I wrote a vampire story. But, really, it’s magical realism. The vampire is only in two pages of it (alive—or, really, living undead). And my teacher told me, “I have to preface this with the fact that I hate, I mean, HATE vampire stories. However, you’ve won me over with this.” I was pretty pleased. I think it’s because I’m reading a lot of Karen Russell. She makes genre characters and plots transcend genre, focusing on the common emotional factor that readers can relate to. I think that’s what I was trying to do.
In my fiction seminar, I’m busy on a third revision of a story about a kid who doesn’t fit in. He has a medical condition where he can’t identify people well.
In YA Advanced Fiction, I’m working on a piece about a young man in college coming out of the closet, dealing with the death of his mother, his broken relationship with his father, fraternity and sports woes, and trying to bring his grades back up. Oh, also? He’s slowly sinking into an alcoholic spiral.
So, that’s what I’ve been working on! A lot of material, a lot of writing, and a lot of fun! :) Add to my margins, MarginAliens.