Usually whenever I do a reading from one of my nonfiction books, someone raises a hand during the q & a to ask, “Yes, but why don’t you write fiction?” or “Have you ever thought about writing fiction?” My response is fiction is too hard for me to write. Nonfiction is no piece of cake for me, but at least it begins with the truth as I know it which makes it grounded in something and somehow that is important for a Taurus. I like to have a starting point – it creates less anxiety for me in writing.
Fiction is like flailing around in emptiness and space where I am responsible for creating something out of nothing, and that makes me incredibly anxious before I even begin to sit down at the computer to write. So many hurdles for me to overcome in writing fiction.
The first problem I have is character names. I can’t think up good names for my characters and it’s not for lack of a reservoir to draw from. I collect names like I collect sayings – I have literally folders of names that I’ve saved through the years, but when it comes to putting them in a story, I can’t find the right ones. None of the names belong with my plot, which is my second problem. What are these nameless characters going to do? And how can I possibly keep them doing it for more than a chapter?
The short story has been my salvation, although not a soul realized my redemption except me. I have submitted a number of short stories for various literary contests, anthology collections, and magazines over the past ten years. One of them, Honky Tonk Cowboy, was published in the storyteller magazine in 2013 and another one, Dear Auntie O, recently appeared in a local magazine Fun after Fifty.net. If I were a major league baseball player with this batting average, I wouldn’t be on a team roster anywhere.
With that record, why in the world would I take on a serialized fiction project? Good question. I believe the answer is timing. As Teresa reminded me today as we were driving through town after lunch, timing is everything. And so it is.
Channillo came along at a time when I was in the process of writing a novel or novella or a very long short story – I’m not sure which – a story I started before Brokeback Mountain was a major motion picture hit. It’s a story I take out periodically, dust it off and proclaim I can write fiction. The jury is out on that.
However, Channillo is a venue that offers serialized literature for a very nominal monthly fee much like Netflix does for the small screen, and I decided to give my fiction one last ride. Chapter One of my story Cowgirls at the Roundup is available now on Channillo in the Historical Romance genre. Yikes! I must be fifty shades of red.
Click on the link in my blogroll to the right between Books I Buy and Don.