Last week I finished the short story. The Wife loved it, which I was nervous about, and overall I’m quite pleased with it, delving into a time period that is vastly different from the one in my book, but taking everything I learned from writing that and applying it. I guess there’s three key things I learned from writing my first draft:
- Write. Keep going. Don’t stop.
- If something isn’t working, either move on or put them in a different place.
- Kill your babies
This last one I actually learned from the last 15 years of making games. Nothing is precious. All that matters is the end product. So if it isn’t working, it’s not working. If your First Reader or someone says that something fell flat or is confusing, it doesn’t mean that it needs to be rewritten, it means that something needs to be addressed. Hell I’ve had video game work nay-sayed by Casey Hudson and I still didn’t do what he said to fix it. I listened to his criticism and talked with him to figure out the best way to address his complaint.
I’ve elected to miss the deadline for another contest, this one at Toasted Cheese. The story I was planning to submit was just not coming together (I wrote 6 drafts of it). Every attack at it, every point of view, every change on the premise left me with a story that was washed out. Undesireable. Bland. and so I’ll spend more time on the idea and maybe use the premise for the CBC contest. I’m looking into other short story contests coming up, but I’m unsure I can make it in time. I think what I have to do over the next year is get together as many short stories as I can and submit those.
It’s been a busy month, but I have finished the backbone of the website. I’m quite happy with what is there, and I think I have a tone that reflects who I am. I’m now scrabbling together some articles to put on the site at launch, as well as transcribing my recent journal entries (like this one!)
I had planned on getting back to the book this week, but that plan has been way-layed by some computer hardware issues that arose (my thermal grease had dried), the children’s assemblies and recitals and the gardening that happen at this time of the year. I have, at least, planned out the next draft and everything that has to happen there, including starting to sort out the logistics of the timeline, both fictional and real. Between short stories, some freelance work, the website and real life, things are starting to pile up.
I had an epiphany about that short story in my sleep last night, and so I will endeavour to tackle it tomorrow.
And of course this Thursday I will be completely distracted by the Steam Sale.