I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to write a serial on this blog.
I tend to be a very methodical writer. I revise as I write, which can make the completion of a story a slow process. I like to polish my sentences and harmonize my themes as much as reasonably possible before I send a story out into the world. Generally I think the finished product is worth the extra time. The downside of this, though, is that there is always a risk of getting so bogged down in the minutiae of a paragraph or a scene that work stalls. Sitting down to work on it can become a chore, when it ought to be fun.
I’m working on three projects concurrently right now. The past few days they’ve all come to a place where careful thought and hard labor are required to move them along. That’s fine — it’s nothing new. But rather than not write for a few days or a week, which is what I would have done before, I’m going to try something different.
I’m going to start up another work, altogether different in style, setting, character — just about everything. I’m going to write in quick bursts, probably no more than a few hundreds words in a sitting. I will not revise and, most importantly, I will not plan ahead. This is going to be a blind charge into darkness. I’m not allowed to fret over this. The whole purpose is to keep my mind fresh and to keep myself limber while I work on bigger projects.
So. I picked a title that’s been sitting in my head for a couple of years but never managed to find a story: “The Cannibal Priests of New England.” I picked a setting that sounds romantic and fun: Tortuga in the 17th Century, in the golden age of pirates. That’s all. Everything else I will make up as I go along.
I’ll post a new installment at least once a week. More, if I feel a strong need — but once a week at the very least. You’ll notice a new page linked at the top. I’ll post the updates here, in the main body of the blog, and archive the posts on that page so they’ll be easy to find. Because the point of this is to write freely and quickly, I will not make any effort to censor myself. It will be written for grown-ups.
This may turn out to be embarrassing; I’ve never thrown first draft material out into the world like this before. I’ll probably write myself into corners more than once. But that’s okay. It’s not meant for posterity. It’s a self-imposed high wire act, meant to keep me honest and to keep me working. With luck, we’ll both enjoy it.