characters, please go into my short story and stay there

On the plane, on the way to Europe, I began writing a short story in my notebook. I wrote about six pages, and then had the overwhelming desire to get it all into my computer. I put the notebook on my lap and pulled out my laptop, and then proceeded to do something I’ve never done before so soon after beginning a piece of writing: I started over. The notebook was like a first draft, the computer, a second.

The computer version of the story is completely and totally different from the handwritten version, which I find very interesting. It’s as if I let myself go crazy and be a little outlandish in the notebook, and then when it got into the computer, the story calmed down and took a more appropriate shape.

I’m not sure what the point of this post is, exactly. I know that I want to keep working on this story, but I have not been able to continue from where I left off in the computer version. It’s stuck. Probably I should return to the notebook. And, probably, I will.

I am weirdly attached to these characters in a way I have not been with other characters. This is, I fear, dangerous. It also may be blocking me from continuing the story. I think about these characters a lot. I get lost in the weird, weird ambiance of this story, except it’s mostly in my head. I think I like the main character and her eccentricities and her mysterious friend so much that I don’t want to force them to exist the contained space of a short story.

But god, I don’t want to write a novel. I just want to finish this story and let these characters go.

I’m going back to the notebook.


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