This project is a bit of an odd one – and while I suppose I may eventually use this blog for other purposes, this is the primary and the generative one:
I’m going to try and write stories that have already been written. Gene Wolfe, in The Best of Gene Wolfe which by the title I will trust contains his very best advice, describes a method he attributes to Benjamin Frankling for learning to write.
What one does, is one takes a story by an author you admire, a short story, and reads and reads and reads it until it’s fixed in one’s mind. Then, one hides the story away where you can’t read it, and writes the story again without reference. Then, compare the two, repeat the process, and learn how problems arise and how to fix them.
He also says no student he’s ever taught has taken his advice, so I thought I might as well, especially since the story he suggested quite caught my fancy. It was “The Boy Who Hooked The Sun” and I have elsewhere seen it claimed that it was in the book of fables carried by one Severian. Regarding that illustrious origin in unfathomable futurity, I cannot guess, but it is a story I can stand to write a few times over. After that, I may well move on to other short stories – at the moment, I think I’ll go on to Avram Davidson’s “Golem” – of similar length.
I’m cheating slightly – I just finished my first pass, but am holding off on formatting it for WordPress out of laziness, so here’s an introduction instead.