I wrote more yesterday than I typically write in an entire week. Over 3,700 words, mostly in the space of five hours, thanks to a day of writing with my friend Pamela (otherwise known as Shark-Fu) at our friendly neighborhood gelato palace (it’s amazing what camaraderie and the prospect of a little dessert will do for your motivation), and also thanks to this little utility that shuts off all the chatter so readily accessible from my keyboard (chatter that, yes, I know I’m adding to at this very moment; the irony is not lost on me).
This was not a story idea I came up with on my own. A friend and editor asked if I’d be interested in submitting something for an anthology he’s editing (actually, I think his request was something along the lines of, “You’re going to submit, right? Don’t even think about saying no”—he’s really not the sort of person you dare say no to), and the subject matter was just far enough out of my comfort zone (in fact, way out of my zone) that I couldn’t resist. Now that the first draft is done, it’ll sit and percolate for a while as I move on to some other projects (like the second draft of another novel and another story request) and maybe revisit a couple other stories I want to revise and see if I can make them ready for prime time.
Have you ever written fiction to an assigned topic? How did you find the experience? Do you have a writing buddy you like to sit with and write independently? Because I have to say, I have Pamela to thank for a lot of my most productive days.