Currently, I am about a quarter of the way through drafting my first short story and it has been a frustrating process as I have tried and discarded different story ideas or, quite honestly, been totally stumped as to how to start and grow a cohesive narrative.
Through all this, I have finally settled on one idea and stuck with it. Not something new but an idea I had scribbled down some time ago during my morning commute to work. I remember at the time angling my writer's notebook away from the person sitting next to me, so as to avoid them thinking I was odd, and wondering afterwards how in the world I was ever going to build anything out of it.
So here we are, about 2 years later, at the beginning of something I am excited and hopeful about. And the most fun I have had is doing the research. As a writer, the journey to getting your story down and finishing is all part of the process.
Right now, I am enjoying Tristan Gooley's The Natural Explorer and hope to read his other works: The Natural Navigator and The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals and Other Forgotten Skills. I also have Samantha Martin's Bush Tukka Guide handy and I've been contemplating trying out one of those overnight or weekend adventure activities just to see what they're all about. All research for my writing of course!
As a writer, you really do end up building a cache of weird and wonderful knowledge to give your characters life and naturalness to their circumstances. Great for trivia nights or for surprising your family, maybe not so much for the poor person sitting next to you at a dinner party or work function left wondering why you have such an in depth knowledge of witchcraft, medieval weaponry, or the criminal justice system.
I am not sure where I will end up at the conclusion of writing my short story but I will have gotten something worthwhile out of it even if it is only to increase my appreciation and love of the great outdoors even more.
Happy travels on your writing adventures for 2016 and, hopefully, we will all reach our destinations with a great story to tell.