Writing 101: Unlock the Mind

This is my first time taking Writing 101 and the first task is to free-write for 20 minutes. Okay, I can do that.

So, unlock the mind, eh? I’m not sure if that’s a good idea especially with two exams today. I’m afraid if I do, my fiction stuff would overwhelm my brain and I’d forget the important stuff. I really have to pass these exams. On the other hand, if I don’t unlock it, then I’ll most likely go crazy trying to hold it in until the semester ends.

Maybe just a little bit, here goes…

I am currently working on a possible novelette or a novella, I don’t know. It seemed to be getting longer by the minute. I’m up to 5,500 words now. Anyway, last week, as I was trying to organize the plot for this story, the plot for another story I’ve given up trying to re-write kept popping up in my brain.

This was a story I posted once upon a time, November 2013. Don’t bother searching in the archives, I unpublished it some time ago and now it’s in my pile of drafts. I tried a few times last summer for a rewrite. No luck. It was worse the second time around. I thought about trashing it altogether until several night ago, as I lie awake and something came to me.

The scene sparked in my head and I immediately knew what it was. It wasn’t a plot for a new story but it was an alternate ending to the story I just mentioned. In the original story, the main character ended up hit by a car as she was crossing the street. She dies and story ends.

In the new version, she wakes up in a hospital room, having just survived being hit by a car. I keep thinking that I should start like that and work the story backward but then again I already have a story that’s like that, The Last Memories. It would feel repetitive to write a second story in the exact same sequence.

I also wrote The Last Memories in November of 2013. Man, I wrote a lot of long stories during the end of 2013, didn’t I? At the same time, it feels like all of my stories ended the same way, the main character dies. It not that I enjoy killing off characters, it’s just I used to be obsessed with writing death into my stories, that’s all. I like to explore through my character’s eyes to feel the sadness and tragedy of the last moments before they move on to somewhere else.

It also somehow ends the story perfectly. I mean, death is final, right? When the main character dies, the story’s finished, there’s no plot left. So if you’ve read my short stories, you’d see that I was a big explorer of death.

Not anymore, I’m afraid. I don’t know what happen when that clock stroked midnight on January 1, 2015. I suddenly stopped writing about death. Instead, I’m finding myself writing more and more about life, the resurrection of life, and so on. Of course, death is still a major topic in my stories but my characters no longer dies for good, they either have a quick brush with death or they’d be resurrected later.

Well, my 20 minutes’s up.

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