Progression in writing

Last night, barring the long discussion with my mother, was pretty much dedicated to watching Pirates of the Caribbean and working one of my commissions. I have two in the queue right now, but I think I can finish one by the end of the weekend. Its only ten thousand words, simple, right?

It's a strange thing, writing on commission. I get 3-5 paragraph request, usually character names and appearances, then asked to turn it into a 5k, 10k, or 15k word story. Sometimes I get pictures for inspiration for the location or the characters, but those are always the hardest to integrate. Other times, I get 1-3 scenes from an anime or movie that someone would like expanded.

I don't always get excited about writing commissions, but I enjoy writing them. When you create a short story, you know the characters intimately. You know what they like, or can determine what they like. When you use someone else's ideas, you are writing another character. A fan fiction, of sorts. I have no doubt that some of the names and descriptions are of people in the commissioner's life. In others, it is pretty much a straight fan fiction for someone else. Remarkably, my commissions based on a scene usually focus on a secondary or background characters instead of the main ones. Giving a name to the nameless (and not a member of SAG).

But, that unfamiliarity is also an exciting part of it. It's solving a puzzle. There is some work in writing a plot where all the words are already defined or the actions are determined. Fitting with a personality with my writing style is part of the challenge. And I like that challenge, it is hard but enjoyable.