I spent a couple of nights in a bar in Kuala Lumpar last month. I was astonished by the groups of obviously wealthy women who spent what appeared to be the entire evening on their smartphones. One group in particular didn’t appear to talk to each other, unless it involved showing each other their photos. I thought it would be a great idea for a short story. However, I needed a hook. So I left the story on the back-burner for a while.
And so I had some time to write, and although I knew I wanted to tell a story about people editing their lives. I’d been annoyed by Facebook and Instagram, so I was in the mood. So I just started writing. I managed the first 1,700 words without trouble. And then I hit a wall. I had my set up, and I had my scenario. Now what? I understand that many people plan their writing thoroughly. I can’t do that. I know what I want to say and I know they style and themes and genre I want to say it in. Sometimes, however, I find myself at a loss on how to proceed. Sometimes I know where I want to go, but can’t fathom how to get there. Reading helps. Like nothing else. While writing I was reading a piece of magical realism and a book on film history. So. How to conclude?
A good walk helped and a casual mention of a them in an academic essay within the aforementioned film book, and I knew how to end the story. I had an image of John Constantine from Hellblazer in my head as I wrote the conclusion – I hope that it’s not too derivative.
I’m not happy with the title, so it may change. The first draft of Life, etc. is here.