Going Postal: The Writing Process and How It Messed Itself Up

Back when the world shut down in an effort to curb the spread of a certain virus, I found my creativity stunted. I felt afraid, defensive, worried, uncertain.

Like many others in the blogosphere, I did not feel like writing.

The idea for expressing some of my anxieties through a serial story came a few weeks later, as I (once again) chased down the funny, reserved, down-to-earth, white-haired and blue-eyed man who delivered the mail to our area. My mail man is not named Ron, but his appearance and manners are based on the one I know and have known for a few years.

Originally, my story idea revolved around the mail carrier knowing what everyone had shipped to his house and …going postal on everyone and stealing their stuff. Somewhere around the second or third installment, I wrote each segment from that new character’s perspective. At another point I don’t remember, I decided the different stories would follow a triangle pattern: the last would be from the same perspective and in the same location as the first, the second would match the second-to-last, etc.

Two problems arose: One, I didn’t know where to …end; where to arc and come back down. Two, everyone (including me) got attached to Ron.

How could I make Ron go ‘breaking bad?’

First, I thought to make him accidentally infect everyone. He did, in fact, do that. He coughed all over the postal sorting room, after all. Then, in walked Marty. Personally, I like Marty. I also do not like Marty. He’s a scumbag. Thanks to Marty and a later idea that Carol wouldn’t make it, we had our key to breaking Ron.

Thanks to recent developments in America, I had more danger to add…

So, Going Postal is the story of a happy, friendly mailman who was eventually convinced to aid Marty in his exploits -or, it’s possible that Marty knocked him off and is using Ron’s pickup truck and route to rob and plunder in The End of Times. You get to decide.

A final Easter Egg: I decided to never name Coronavirus in the stories.

Going Postal, I
Going Postal, II
Going Postal, III
Going Postal, IV
Going Postal, V
Going Postal, VI
Going Postal, VII
Going Postal, VIII
Going Postal, IX
Going Postal, X
Going Postal, XI
Going Postal, XII
Going Postal, XIII
Going Postal, XIV

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

P.S. In real-life drama, my favorite mailman was recently let go. I’m hoping to call someone who knows something and tell him a final, “Thanks.”

Screenshot_2020-06-21-08-15-29

21 thoughts on “Going Postal: The Writing Process and How It Messed Itself Up

  1. ellenbest24 June 22, 2020 / 8:24 am

    Farewell to the Mail man and good riddance to Rona … long may she go undetected, inoculated or incinerated in the bowels of oblivion. I love an Alliteration. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 22, 2020 / 10:37 am

      😀 I’m glad you approve. They were all named things like “Sally” and “Bill” the *first* time I edited the darn thing…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lensdailydiary June 22, 2020 / 9:49 am

    Surprising how we become attached to our characters and change the story arc as we meander along trying to find the way forward. I enjoyed the stories, Chelsea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 22, 2020 / 10:38 am

      Thank you, Len. I appreciate that you read through to the end.

      Like

  3. Robert Matthew Goldstein June 23, 2020 / 12:52 pm

    I have some catch up reading to do. I’m glad to know I wasn’t alone in feeling like doing nothing when the quarantine began. I don’t think I reached the same degree of productivity. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. CarolCooks2 June 23, 2020 / 9:40 pm

    I also definitely have some catching up to do coupled with the feelings and the glitches on WordPress all aimed at liking and commenting I nearly lost the plot..marvelous what a change of browser can do..althoug not the bits which come with it…sigh…I hope you and yours are keeping well Chelsea 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 23, 2020 / 11:04 pm

      Thanks, Carol!!! I love hearing from you and intend to pop by a few of your posts before sneaking off for the summer…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa Bradshaw June 28, 2020 / 2:58 am

    I loved reading the story.. Did you give the episodes to the real mail man to read.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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