For a concept that has been sitting in my brain for 25 years, I was very unhappy with where "Breaking In" finished up. I wanted to use it to do exploration of character and how to drive a story through character needs. But as I worked through it, I found myself generating writing that alternated between talking heads and horribly bland narrative ("He (blahed). He saw (blah). He realized (blah).")
As I said at thing_in_150, it's like the creative storytelling part of my mind had turned off and all that was left was the "Just shovel the shit and get the job done" part of my mind.
I wonder if it's the pledge to do 500 words a day mixed with the fact that I tend to not have a lot of time. I usually end up doing those 500 words in what is about a 20-30 minute chunk of time. Maybe I'm not thinking enough about the story during the day. I am very stressed/preoccupied with responsibilities at work and with all the other stuff I have going on any given day.
But still, those are all excuses. Since returning from Viable Paradise, I've written "Crow and Samoset", "Real Enuf 4 U", "Real Space", and now "Breaking In". "Crow" doesn't really count as I wrote a bunch of it on the way back from VP. The other three are just bad. They might start strong but they soon descend into excruciating prose and leaden narrative.
This sucks. I felt like I learned something at Viable Paradise. I felt like I learned something at Orycon. I just don't seem to be able to apply my learnings and break out of this hole I'm in. No matter what my intentions with a new story are, I fall into the same traps: stock narrative sentence structure (noun-verb-objects), fluffy dialogue, nebulous non-specific places and settings, and weak character development.
I'll try to do something different with "Friendship Repair Shop". But I do worry that it will sink into the same hole all the other stories sank into. I think about giving up the 500-words-per-day commitment, but that commitment is getting me to write a lot. Maybe I'm just learning all the "here's what you don't do" lessons faster than I normally would.
Whatever the heck is going on, it sure is a tremendously disheartening pain in the ass.
And that's really the end of today's whining and griping. Time to go to bed.