Blugh (Or, how NOT to write a short story)

So I tried the thing I talked about the other day, where I tried to make a story out of the first few ideas I came across.

I went over to BoingBoing and ended up with:

Low serotonin levels make mice more bisexual


Japan Crisis:  What’s next for nuclear energy in the U.S.?

Which just happened to be the first two articles I hit.

Now, after reading, I determined that, IMO, the serotonin article said more about the nature of rape and depression than it did about whether happy pills could cure being gay (and I was miffed that they didn’t test female mice…as I told Lee, the serotonin-deprived female mice would probably break out of their cages and make a raid on any chocolate in the building).  So I decided to set the story in a prison (where people were stressed and likely to be messed up in the brain chemical department anyway), but a women’s facility (to see what they would do) where the death row inmates had to work at a nearby nuclear reactor.  Kind of a Schrodinger’s Cat death, as it were.

The main character was still trying to get revenge on the woman who had kidnapped her daughter.  She’d got her sent to prison for life on trumped-up charges, but it wasn’t enough.

Okay, sounds like a reasonable setup, right?  (Well, not reasonable, but okay for a story.)

Nevertheless, I got about as far as determining that the Evil Bad Lady was based on Baba Yaga and had managed to get one of the M.C.’s former roommates convinced that she was pregnant when I folded.

I was writing along, and suddenly I became extremely depressed, like, “Why bother living?” depressed.  I started on the You Are a Failure as a Writer mental loop.  I didn’t want to go on living, let alone finish the story.

Something I’m learning about the You Are a Failure as a Writer mental loop is that it’s my “muse” trying to tell me to stop what I’m doing and do something else.  What, I may not know, but not whatever it is I’m doing.

So I put the story down, walked to the library, and felt better.

I’m still noodling around with the idea, and just thinking about the story isn’t depressing or anything; I still think something might come of it.  But apparently I am not meant to be a “take two things and go!!!” writer at this point; I need more time to come to grips with the idea.





Out of Town


  1. Hmm . . maybe it’s the potentially depressing subject material that moved into your mind before the story took over (all the news of homophobia and nuclear radiation)? Your muse could be telling you to read some good news. 🙂 In any case, I hope you finish the story. It sounds weird. In a good way. 🙂

  2. De

    Why, thank you. I’ll noodle around with it later.

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