I was talking with my friend and writing partner about a WiP I’m currently in the throes of writing and it occurred to me that my anxiety and thrashing about are caused by the scope of the piece. I believed I described it thus:
It feels like going out for a nice wade in a little pond then finding yourself in the middle of a large cold lake desperately trying to tread water and figure out what’s going on (I grew up near Lake Michigan, I think that’s what came to mind). It’s frightening, shocking, and somewhat disorienting.
Yes, my story has turned into something much larger than a 4 – 6,000 word short story. Which is what I set out to write. Which is why I’m stuck and, well, intimidated. Which is an overwhelming position to be in, as I’m sure you could imagine (see above for imagery if you can’t imagine).
Don’t exactly know where the story is headed, but more than that, I don’t know what it is I’m writing. I don’t know it’s size or scope other than bigger than what I’d expected. As if I had signed up for adopting a rescued cat and someone brings the feline over and through the peephole in the front door I see something that might very well be a lion. It’s a bit distorted, mind, but the woman from animal rescue is not holding a little puddy tat in her arms, she’s leading some gigantic beast by a sturdy-looking leash you could haul boulders with (were you in the habit of doing such, for exercise maybe, or because you’re trying out for the part of a strong man in a circus).
Related, perhaps, is a delightful book I picked up from the library: Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop by Carla Sonheim (her website here).
I write stories about fantastic people and animals and places that do not as such exactly exist in this world of physicality. And I’m inspired by what I see and hear and eat and feels around me. Thus, I thought this book might be helpful in my creating some of the wonderful fantastic creatures and places I write about.
That and art is fun and creating with brush or pencil in hand is wonderful. And physical.
That and have you looked at the cover… I mean, how cute are those creatures!