Crossing into the Abyss

canstockphoto2695154For the last year I’ve had this idea in my head to have a fiction writing blog. I love this blog and all the readers I’ve met and I like the casual, personal tone of things. It is my intent to continue writing from The Green Study, but I long to try my hand at fiction. After spewing out a novel during National Novel Writing Month, I have quickly run out of excuses.

Last month I heard an interview with Margaret Atwood on NPR regarding her upcoming serialized novel. The idea of serialized fiction took hold of me and I haven’t been able to shake it. It just sounds cool. I quite possibly will experience a massive failure, but that’s what I thought when I started this blog, which has taught me to write regularly, rain or shine.

When I think of posting fiction, my stomach turns in knots. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I feel like I’m about ready to make a huge mistake. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my writing, but I’ve been writing truths (at least my version of it). Now I have to lie. And lie lyrically. And lie convincingly. And lie well enough that people will continue to read.

Well, enough procrastinating. Welcome to TGS Writes, an experimental and serialized fiction blog. I’ll be posting short fiction there every weekend, taking feedback and comments into account during the week, before writing the next part. Ms. Atwood calls it improv for writers and that comparison alone makes me imagine it might be fun.

So, this is my invitation to you. I understand if you can’t possibly add one more blog to follow, or if you’re not much of a fiction reader or it’s just not your thing. But it’s mine now and I’d love some company on a journey where I might very well have to lean over the side and throw up.

I will continue writing from The Green Study and have added a link on the side for TGS Writes.Β  My work on the novel continues. I wanted to be a writer, so I’m not complaining. Just having a little freakout. Inhale, exhale….publish.

63 Comments on “Crossing into the Abyss

    • I really do feel like throwing up. I don’t know how you do it, Pete. First fiction post will be this weekend, I don’t know why it seems SO much scarier than essay writing.

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      • It won’t once you get going. It’s just something new for you, you’re gonna do just FINE. πŸ™‚ Step out of your comfort zone and make it happen! If you puke along the way, so be it haha j/k

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        • Human nature. Just do me a favor, a “solid”. πŸ™‚ Write uninhibited and free. And always get better. There’s no reason to do anything more, you don’t have to be perfect in your eyes today or please anyone else. Be uninhibited and free (as per our past blogging discussions) Enjoy yourself.

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    • Thank you! I can’t believe how nervous I am. I suppose the very first post on The Green Study, I was this anxious – I just don’t remember!

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  1. I think it’s a great idea, serialized fiction sounds like such a good match with blogging, why not? Good luck πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. Fiction almost calls for longer posts, but sometimes I have a hard time doing heavy reading online and I wonder if it is the same for other readers.

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  2. Funny, as I’ve been thinking about the very same thing with fiction writing. Now I don’t have a novel written out or even a short chapter, but I’m drawn to fiction writing. Maybe once I really tried I would find I’m not as good at is as my romantic ideas would like to think. But that is still a long ways off.
    I’m thrilled you are doing this and will follow TGS Writes with anticipation.

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    • Thanks for the follow, Tania! I wonder if I’ve set myself up a bit. When I started The Green Study, I had no readers, so it was like shouting into a void. My first posts were shaky at best. But you know I rally to the cry “Fail Spectacularly!”, so jump on in and give your fiction a shot. I have my own romantic ideas of having an online Algonquin Table, but maybe I should just start working on the fiction post first!

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      • We learn by doing. And getting feedback and learning more. I know my blogging has improved since I first started – you must feel yours has as well. Certainly this can also translate to writing fiction. It’s an exciting endeavour.

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  3. I believe I would savor the sounds of your lyrical and convincing lies as they ride the thermals in my mind. I’ve heard it said that the difference between writing fiction and non fiction is that one tells you how it is, the other how it feels. Since you already do that in the non fiction arena, you’re already there as far as I can see. I admire the way you are able to capture the tapestry of emotions with your writing style.

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  4. TGS – Welcome to the pool. I write fiction and have for many years. I feel it is a great way to stretch you writing skill. Do not fear the unknonw, embrace and create it. I will DEFINITELY follow. I just entered a 95K fiction novel in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and i am absolutely pumped. There are tons of sites accepting fiction short stories, so when you get going you can try your hand at that!

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    • Thanks, Joe and congrats on the novel submission- wow! My focus this year is finishing the re-writes on my novel and practicing shorter fiction. I’m a slow learner!

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  5. Good Luck! I’m recently back to fiction…I had to sort of turn from my blog though as it really just took too much of my time. For me, writing fiction is like digesting something large, you know like a snake who swallows a small rodent and then takes months to metabolize it. For me, blogging is a little like constant snacking; it seems to prevent me from the important work of ingesting the whole mouse.

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    • Blogging does take a lot of time, but I’m getting a little more efficient. Offline, I’m focusing on the re-writes of a first novel. I’m hoping it’s doable, but I won’t know until I try!

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  6. I’ll bring a bucket for you to chuck into. Go for it, life it too short to put off your dreams for “the right time”. I look forward to seeing this work for you. Good Luck!

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  7. How fabulous!! Good for you. You’ll be fine. You are a wonderful writer. What difference does it make whether you are writing about real life or using real life to create fiction? You won’t be lying. You won’t be deceiving anyone. You’re not trying to pass it off as something that has really happened. You’re just writing it as if it were real. So people can relate to it, identify with it. I can’t wait to read your new blog.

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    • Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, Fransi. I don’t mind lying – I just don’t know if I’m any good at it. I did tell my mother that I really liked the sweater she got me for Christmas, though, so there’s hope!

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      • Guess we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I don’t know how writing fiction is lying. But it doesn’t matter. I just hope you enjoy it. I am sure you’ll be great at it.

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  8. I’m interested to see where this goes – I know you’ll write something great. Fiction would be scary for me too – memoir is just recounting a story – I find that feeling pretty safe. Kudos to you for making the leap – I’m in – clicking the follow button πŸ™‚

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    • I’m interested to see where it goes, too. I imagine it will be a little bumpy at first, but then I have grand visions of guest writers, contests for endings, just a nice place to be a writer and a reader. Thanks for following, Lorri – very kind of you!

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      • It sounds exciting. I struggle with knowing how to put together writing that is “good” so I end up winging it. I will watch and learn πŸ™‚

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        • LOL – I discovered during NaNo that sometimes I just needed to get the information down, and now I’m editing and polishing. Seriously, I’m just going with my gut – but I think that’s part of the learning process.

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        • I think once I’ve rolled up my sleeves and dug in, there won’t be as much anxiety. My novel needs work in ways I never imagined. I have a plot-driven story, which is to say, you get to the end of the book and have no idea how any of the characters look. It’s crazy! So now, I have to go back and flesh out my characters. I also discovered that my novel is completely humorless. I really learned a lot from the process, but I also learned how much I don’t know!

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        • I totally understand. I haven’t figured out a method to tie all my stories together – it’s more of an anthology than a memoir at this point. I keep feeling like there needs to be a progression or overarching theme – that’s proving to he hard to shoe-horn in.

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  9. Good luck! (I’m afraid I fall a bit in the “not my thing” category, but I’ll definitely drop by when I can.)

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  10. I will definitely follow! I have my fiction-writing blog, and my Gratitude Journal, and my regular blog, so I know it’s doable. Go for it!!

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    • You one of the people who made me realize having a separate blog would suit my purposes better. I spent a good couple of hours wrangling over domains and setting things up. I hope the ride from here on out is a little easier! Thanks for the follow – I’ll be looking forward to your insight!

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  11. “I’ve been writing truths (at least my version of it). Now I have to lie. And lie lyrically. And lie convincingly.”

    A few years ago I wrote an essay that filed fiction under lying. That lead to a comment from a fellow who’d been taught that fiction is neither truth nor lies. That is, there is truth, lies… and fiction.

    I think that point is well-taken. Good fiction uses “lies” to speak truth. In the literal sense, yes, fiction is lies. But in the deeper sense, fiction (good fiction) speaks truth in a way that mere facts cannot.

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    • I think that’s true. I heard a great interview with Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried. His fiction was a collection of stories about a platoon in Vietnam. They were stories inspired by his own experiences. The gist of the conversation was that fiction is a distillation of truth – that what he wrote was truth, but not reality.

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  12. writing fiction is great fun. It’s not lying. It’s telling a story. Telling a story that you want to tell. You can’t think of it as lying. Because it’s not. I’m sure you’ll do fine as you are a good writer.

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    • Thanks for your kind words. I am being a little tongue-in-cheek about the lying. I seem to be getting some comments about my referencing fiction as lying. Maybe my next post should be a humble apology to fiction writers everywhere!

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      • Ah no, it’s ok. We writers are sometimes a bit thin skinned. That and we love telling stories. No problem. Once the fiction bug bites you will see πŸ˜‰

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  13. Go for it! I am a little jealous, but I can come up with the grace to encourage you. I am revving up for the first installment. Break a leg ( is that for writers too? If not, break a pencil!)

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    • Thanks for the grace! I’m revving up for that first installment, too. As in, “What the hell was I thinking?” I might be one of those writers that needs negative motivation – hence the announcement and setup of the new blog – forcing myself to write on deadline.

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  14. Totally get what you’re saying about lying. I’m in the same boat, may likely wretch over the side myself if I ever muster the nerve to do what you’re doing. Lead the way for us through the choppy waves and dark seas…

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  15. Congratulations on deciding to make this big leap. I think writing memoir is more difficult (people can complain and criticize your actual life!), but there’s a pretty good community of supportive fiction writers here.

    It’s funny you should mention the serialization concept–I had a conversation with another blogger on retaining readership, and she brought up this idea (“Tune in tomorrow for more!”) It’s an interesting idea, and I look forward to seeing it realized on your new blog.

    Good luck!

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    • Thanks Karen. I’m curious as to how it will work as well. It’s a little self-serving beyond readership, in that I’m basically creating a writing workshop for myself. But I’m hoping it will be a lot more fun than the writers’ workshops I’ve attended!
      I think blogging and serialized fiction are well-suited to each other.

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  16. Wow, good luck with the new venture. It’s a brave step – but I salute you for being willing to take it.

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  17. You will do well – you already have a disciplined writing habit and that will help so much. Good luck on this next step!

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  18. So excited to read your fiction! I assume blogging can be a great warm up for fiction (I wouldn’t know, since I haven’t written any myself since starting my blog). I’m going to live vicariously through you for awhile, if you don’t mind, until my daughter goes to kindergarten in the Fall, and then I might have time to cross into the abyss, too! Good luck!

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    • Thank you! I’m finally at a point where I have more time to devote to writing, so I feel very fortunate, but nervous. Fiction seems so much scarier to me than personal essay, but I have to start somewhere. I am, at the very least, in the habit of writing regularly which I didn’t have before starting a blog. Time to close my eyes and just jump!

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