I’m still trying to get my head around the idea of Clarion. I’ve decided that I want to take risks with my stories while I’m there. Writing the novel has made me such a structuralist and I want to get away from that for a while. Unlike a novel, short stories can be held aloft by naught but a conceit and a moment of clarity. A novel now seems like a Victorian matron getting ready for a coronation: belts and braces and laces cinching and girding and forming deliberate silhouettes.
I’ve set myself the project of coming up with a short story idea a day. Not to write, though I have found myself caught up in a few and scribbling out some rough drafts. (I’m not planning to take these with me, but figure they’ll be good for when I get back ready to test out my hard-won new skills but too brain-tired to write anything fresh.)
The story idea a day isn’t intended to come up with a stockpile of ideas either. I might end up using one if needed but I’d rather use ideas that come to me at the moment. This was intended more to prime the pump, get me thinking small, of moments of change, of truths revealed. I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much. Now I just have to see what I can make of them.
But not until the novel is revised. That’s my main goal before leaving. A chapter a week’ll do it. Which means I’d better stop playing around here and get down to it. The page beckons.