Bullshit! That's the first word that popped into your head, right? Or, baloney! Or, nonsense! Choose your sophistication level. More, here is a scimitar. HACK OFF MY HEAD! Because who am I to dare to say this! No one. Carry on. Go somewhere else. I don't even know why you're still reading. What is wrong with you, poppet? Didn't you read everywhere that outlining a novel is a must? Oh, you must not lose yourself in the jungle of your thinking! Oh, you must not let the creative wander, you must contain it, organize it, channel it, for fuck's sake! This is how writers write, they stick to the outline! They must know how the book ends before beginning it! They must not stray from the road of the story! They must not... Yeah, yeah, yeah. I heard all that. I'm sure you heard it too. And I read about it. And I totally outlined my first trilogy. TOTALLY. Like, 3 whole times. I reoutlined my outlines, even. Gee, talk about being thorough. Now, my 2nd novel, I wrote without an outline. I thought I was crazy, but I simply didn't feel like it. It was more fun just to plunge into the mess and swim in it. Or drown in it. Anyway. With my 3rd novel I got sorta stuck, at first. I wrote the 1st shitty draft, wanted to puke at it when I reread it, and now I'm finishing the 2nd draft, and I hacked it to pieces and restitched it and added a whole another layer and am changing the ending and I was so scared and doubted myself so much that I thought, SHIT. I should've outlined this beast. But. Here is something to ponder.Read More
Photo by Zeb Andrews
I'm absolutely serious here. Seriously. I'm about to demonstrate to you how staring at a simple trash can can help improve your writing. Not only staring, but also feeling your brain steering with thought, as to what trash item has been deposited when into it, and how exactly it was crumpled, if, let's say, it was a wrapper from a hamburger, how soiled it was, which of course depends on how much fat the hamburger sported, and that depends on the cow from which the hamburger was made, but the cow has been raised on fat grass, so then we must look closely at the field where that grass grew, because the farmer's son actually was too lazy to put in the proper seeds like his father told him, so he grabbed the ones that were meant for winter, I mean, if there is such a thing as winter grass. Is there? I don't know, you tell me. And why would anyone want to grow grass it the winter anyway? You won't be able to see it under the snow, right? Right. So let's talk about grouse then. Because wild grouse, they like to swoop down from an oak tree and dig food from under the snow. But the oak tree, actually, doesn't like the grouse, because it doesn't like grouse droppings, it stains its trunk and branches and it complains loudly to the neighboring maple. But that maple can't hear shit, because it's deaf, because the boys from the neighboring village have been blowing up all kinds of homemade stuff under it and rendered it burned in the process. I mean, look at the bottom of its trunk, do you see the black spots? No? Well, take your fingers and press on your eyes, do you see black spots now? I know I do. Though no, wait, I'm lying, it's rainbows, rainbow circles, double-rainbows, and there are cockroaches scurrying above. What the hell are they doing there? They usually live under the wallpaper my grandma glued to the walls of grandpa's room, but apparently there is this special skill you have to have to make the glue, and if you don't put enough starch in it, it comes off the wall and creates these pockets. That's where the cockroaches live. Miraculously, if you put enough poison into little bread rolls, not the rolls you can buy, but if you pull a piece of bread and roll it between your fingers and then you put the poison inside, you throw these around the house, and you know what the cockroaches do? They escape to your neighbor. It's actually a really cool prank to play on your neighbor, because they migrate. Entire cockroach families migrate, and you're left with your panda slippers and zebra cookies, wondering, what the hell just happened. Here you were, sitting in your pajamas, waking up hung over after yesterday's drinking of that beer that you found by your neighbor's door, a whole bag of it, so naturally, you stole it and drank it, and then you didn't remember how you got to bed, let alone changed into your pajamas, and now you're looking at your slippers, and it feels like there an invisible man standing in them. Another second, and he'll grab you by the throat and make you confess where you put his pet mouse. But you didn't touch his pet mouse, did you? I know, I didn't see it, so maybe it ran away. So, you think, the mouse must have smelled the hamburger, right? The grease, the fat grease, as we have discovered, because it came from the fat cow, because the fat cow ate the fat grass, because the farmer's son was lazy and put the wrong sees into the soil, because those were supposed to be summer seeds, but he grabbed winter seeds, but then... Then you lose your train of thought, staring at the trash can and wondering, wait, what?!? I just spent 5 minutes reading this nonsense about a trash can?!?
You did. I fooled you. Happy April Fool's day. This was a challenge I threw at writers one day on Twitter, claiming that you can write about anything, and daring folks to write about the first thing they saw, promising that if they do, I will in return write about the first thing I saw. Colleen Alberts bit the bullet, wrote a story, and challenged me in return to deliver on my promise. So I closed my eyes, then opened them, looked up, saw a trash can, and... voila! Here is the story about a trash can.
Now, how does a trash can help your writing? It gets you writing!!! I dare YOU, to look up at the first thing you see and write a short flash fiction piece about it, just like I did. And then post the link in comments. On 1, 2, 3... GO!!!