Three Stories in Three Days

I like to be challenged. I like setting goals for myself and seeing if I’m up to meeting them.

I had the idea of Three Stories in Three Days for several weeks. I wanted to see if I could do it. No immediate reason, other than the alliteration sounded good and I thought it would be a decent test of my artistic skills and endurance.

I’m telling you, it almost killed me.

I got up early every morning, had a big breakfast and coffee, and was working by eight. I often finished around eight or nine (I can’t really remember) that night, with an hour or two (or three) of downtime.  But even though I wasn’t writing those hours I was thinking of the story at hand. It was all very  intense, more than I realized it would be, I guess. I should have known better.

The problem was even though I was working on the first story of three, ideas for the other two kept popping into my head. So I had to deal with that and compartmentalize.  It was a mental juggle. It didn’t help that my nights were for the most part sleepless. Ideas (and some angst) kept intruding on my rest.  Initially, that first morning, I had some trepidation. Was I insane? This was a really big project. Who was I trying to impress?  What did it mean, if anything, that I wanted to do this? Not to mention I’m of the school a story is as long as it needs to be. Oh, no, what if a story had to be 40 pages? That’s a lot of work for one day. Was I setting myself up to fail?

Eh, quit your whining, you fuck, and get to work. Failure is not an option.

By the second day I was 2/3 through the second story when I was faced with a decision. I could write a quick and easy ending or go for the gold and write the ending the story had to have. Which meant it would be longer and I would have to keep working. But I was so tired! If you read my blog with any kind of regularity you know me well enough to know what side I came down on.  Story comes first.  But when I was into it I was psyched.  I kept getting up every couple of pages or so to work off some of the kinetic energy that was flowing from the story into me.  When I finished I thought I had written something pretty special.

By now I was damn near running on fumes.  The whole mental aspect of this was more draining than I figured it would be. I’ve written three days in a row before. I’ve written an entire story in one day. I’ve written 10.000 words in a single day.  But the whole dynamic of Three Stories in Three Days was like nothing I’ve ever attempted before.  Because day by day I had to shift into another gear. Often I would think, “I”m not going to be able to do this.”  But then I realized I did not want to fail. So I kept going. I pushed myself.  It was all mental.  That surprised me.

On Day Three I was dragging. It was zombie time.  I had no reason to be ashamed. I could quit. I already had completed Two Stories in Two Days. But that’s not what I set out to accomplish.  I started the third story. It didn’t want to flow. By noon I only had about four pages. I was running out of time and starting to panic. I recognized I was being held up more from exhaustion than anything else.  I knew these characters and the setting. (Which is the reason I chose them to be all Haxan stories, because I thought that would make it easier.  Haha. Fool that I am.) I pressed on.

By six o’clock the ending began to reveal itself, like slices out of an orange. I had to put them together. I have three Writing Rules: Tell a good story, persevere, and trust your instinct. I depended heavily on the last two. I instinctively felt the story was good, but I had to keep going and most of all I had to trust myself.  I wanted to quit. I couldn’t quit. I had to finish what I had started.

I did it. I wrote the story.

When I was finished I sat looking at the screen. I was beyond the point of being able to concentrate. I had lost that ability long ago.  The past three days were a wild blur.  It had been incredibly intense. I don’t know if anyone else would have felt that way. Maybe their experience would be entirely different.  But I am still amazed how personally intense those three days were with story, Story, STORY.  Man. I still can’t believe I actually did it.

Bottom line, I wanted to prove something to myself and I guess I did. It doesn’t mean anything in the long run. But I learned something about myself, what I can do, what I am capable of. That was instructive.

And to answer a question you might have, No, I am NOT going to do this again, haha. At least not on purpose! Once was more than enough, believe you me.  You can give it a shot!

I want to thank everyone who was cheerleading from the sidelines. That was a big help, more than you can ever know.

I’m still kinda stunned.  Three stories in three days. Doesn’t mean anything to you, maybe, but I was able to accomplish it. I set a goal and tested myself and met the challenge. Best part? The stories don’t suck.

But, boy, did it ever wear my butt out.

Do You Night-Walk? The People Of Haxan Do!

Find out how they do it in FIVE days!



HAXAN

Appearing in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazine

03. 26. 09.

Blood.
Dust.
Wind.

Third of Three Stories Down! NONE Left in the Thunderdome!

I am so exhausted.  Mentally and physically.  It took everything I had to finish “Grand Guignol” today, all 3700 words.

It’s a psychologically dark, claustrophobic and gritty story.  Which means it’s pure Haxan.  But, man, it was tough. I was fighting myself as much as anything. After three days, switching gears from one story to the next to the third…it wore me out.  That was the hardest part.  Switching mental gears like that.  But I’ll write about that later, if you don’t mind.

I am truly wiped out.  Beyond the point of able to focus. But I did it.  And I feel pretty good about that accomplishment.

Three stories in three days. I’m not bragging. It’s just something I did, that’s all. That’s all.

Man.  Am I ever going to sleep tonight.

See you guys later.

blood, wind, dust….

%d bloggers like this: