On Writing a New Drabble

I wrote a drabble on the train this morning.

The Merlin drabble community had as one of the current prompts the word “tree.”

An idea for Merlin and a magical tree instantly lodged itself in my mind a week and a half ago. It drew upon pagan mythology. I knew what the story was, I just didn’t have the words. It needed to cogitate.

After writing out my To-Do List on the train this morning, I continued writing on the notebook paper. To my surprise, it was this drabble, the one about Merlin and the magical tree. I hadn’t thought about it, I hadn’t thought about the words, and yet, there it was, wanting to come out.

Some drabbles take a long time to write. This one flowed out shockingly quickly. All the words were there; they just needed to be on the page.

Surprisingly, it came out quite close to 100 words. The scribbled first draft weighed in at 107 words. A revision to the first paragraph brought it down to 101. Revising a later clause brought it to 100. Then it was just a matter of using stronger verbs and more precise nouns and adjectives.

I wrote out a title. I wrote out a second. I liked neither.

It wasn’t until I typed up the hand-written drabble that I had the right title.

“The Solitary Wood.”

I was pleased with it when it was done. Fifteen minutes work, tops, and it clicked. 🙂

I may record it as a podfic this weekend, just for fun, much as I did for “The Twain in Camelot.”

You can read “The Solitary Wood” here. My other Merlin drabbles are here.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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