If one’s eyes are large than one’s stomach…

…one would look really weird. I mean, a stomach is what, the size of two balled fists? Imagine eyes that were bigger than that.

Hmm. A strange way to start, I’m admit. I’ve been reading a lot of Chuck Wendig‘s blog-posts recently, and I suspect it is rubbing off. Hopefully his word-fu will have made it in as well.

So, an announcement – I’ve given up on the aim of getting my novel submission done. It was never realistic to expect that I could knock out 10,000 words and have them be of a quality that only a cursory edit would be needed. My ambitions were bigger than my abilities, so I have had a think, and dropped that aim from my targets for the near future.

If I’m honest, it was a pretty easy decision. I have been struggling with getting into Noble Born all week, and the reason for that is that I’m going into it cold. I need a good run-up to a project, time to think, to plan, to write and re-write notes, get the characters thought out and settled in, and all the other prevarication that goes into getting comfortable. And while I have done all that with Noble Born – it is a story I have wanted to tell for a long time – that was before I returned to Budapest Will Burn and these other shorts.

The other reason I’m abandoning the novel for now is due to a philosophical revelation I’ve had these last few days. It began with a comment I left on Adam Christopher’s blog about defining oneself, and snowballed from there.

I want to be a novelist. That’s the job I see for myself, its what I’m most comfortable reading and planning and writing. However, I am jumping a few rungs on the imaginary career-progression ladder (that is completely and utterly fictional, but bear with me). I have yet to finish more than one or two short stories – I mean really finish them, not first-draft-done – and yet I am thinking in terms of the trilogies and grand sweeping arcs I want to tell and figuring I can jump straight into that.

This is hubris, arrogance and over-reaching of the first water, for me at least. When I really sit and think about it, I’m not confident enough in my story-telling skills to really do justice to that level of tale just yet. That’s not to say I can’t imagine it, or conjure up the plot points and characters etc. But the nuts-and-bolts writing, the words-on-a-page, the craft of writing is something I feel I am still comparatively weak in. And I want to get better. Much, much better. So good I can build my worlds and spin the tales I want to tell.

How am I going to do that, you ask? Well this blog is getting a bit long, so I will save that for tomorrow. But put simply: Focus. Finish what I start. Then go back and finish it again, properly. Analyse my writing and figure out its real weaknesses and strengths, not just those that I think I have. Finish what I start.

And to that end, I am going to go and get these two short stories hammered out. I still aim to blog every day, and I do want to get my 10,000 words done. So, that’s that. If you want to read something funny, check out Chuck Wendig’s latest bloggage about baby-raising (I guffawed loudly) or Jim Swallow’s advice on the writing industry.

Peace out y’all. Wish me luck.