I’ve never been good about keeping a journal. It all boils down to consistency. There are days when I skip making an entry. Life can crowd out the time I need to write down my thoughts about a day’s events. I’ve also been reluctant to pose as an expert on the writing process. If I knew anything of value about writing, my work would already be in print. I went out on a skinny limb of a tall in 2022 when I shared my 365 days of thankfulness. The exercise forced me to put myself out there with my soft belly exposed. Therefore, I decided to get my feet wet and do a writer’s journal in 2023. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey. I will call entry number 2, The Long Short Story.
Note: I consider editing an important part of the writing process. Editing is where all the artistry happens.
The project I am working on now is editing The Long Short Story.
I edited two more short stories from Tecumseh City Limits this morning. The work isn’t filled with what would be considered short stories these days. It’s more like long short stories in which the characters are all connected in weird ways in the small city of Tecumseh, Indiana. You won’t find this town on any map because the place only exists in my mind. These characters revolve in the collective fringes of my imagination.
I admit that some of the events I write about happened, but I used my imagination to magnify them on an extreme level. I try to write humor into tragic situations. A person’s only alternative is to cry if they can’t find something funny when faced with tragedy. I prefer to laugh than to cry. I will be done editing these long short stories soon. Then, I will move on to editing something else. I’m waiting on my muse to inspire me with another “Ars Poetica.” Word daddy is taking his sweet time.
The book I am currently reading while editing The Long Short Story.
I am still reading Stephen King’s The Dark Half. Thad’s trying to figure out how to beat George Star and save his family. His big problem is that no one will believe his pen name has come to life and is killing everyone who had a part in burying him. Thad is also trying to figure out the meaning of the sparrows. George knows about them, but he can’t hear them.
I love how King recycles his characters from one story to another. He used Sheriff Alan Pangborn and his wife from Castle Rock, Maine, again in this story. My characters from Tecumseh have a habit of popping into my other stories. I can understand why King uses Maine as the spot where he does most of his world-building for his stories. It’s always nice to use an environment you are familiar with when you write. That’s why I set my tale tales in Indiana. I’ve lived here most of my life. Sometimes it is hard to make the place sound exciting. There isn’t much grandeur when it comes to a cornfield.
What I’m listening to today while working on The long short story
John Mayer’s Any Given Thursday today. I like listening to live music. John Mayer also has a unique way of telling a sad love story. I started listening to him a lot this year and find his style interesting.
Grammar terms I am studying from the little blue box.
I found a little blue box filled with grammar terms I wrote on index cards. The study I did ten years ago was forgotten. My goal was to review all English language punctuation and speech parts. I missed most of the essential parts of speech in grade school because of my dyslexia. A writer needs to know how grammar works. Words and how they fit together are important tools in the trade, the technical part of what we do. Grammar is the brush strokes we apply to the canvas of our stories.
A quotation mark is a nifty tool. Double and single quotation marks are pretty much interchangeable. They are necessary for a fiction writer when constructing dialogue because they let the reader know when the character is speaking. They always come in sets of two. One goes at the beginning of the quote, and another comes at the end. If no one said the words, you shouldn’t use quotation marks. You don’t need a quotation mark if you rephrase something someone said. Never use quotation marks for emphasis. They can be used for emphasis, but only for a single word. Double quotation marks are used the most often.
This post concludes my review of the mighty quotation mark. I will pull more cards from my blue box in my next post. See you then, and have a great writing adventure.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!