Talk about storms… my post from this morning is now outdated as far as Black Violas goes. Black Violas is a good story, and the contest theme led me to it, but they don’t fit together. I broke the story elements out to what would fit, but my heart isn’t in it. I like the story the way it is, aside from fixing plot holes and getting it to fix inside the 3500 wordcount limit. So why do I need to do that? I don’t. I can turn this baby into a novella, get into all those nitty gritty details without freaking out about writing a full length novel on this topic.
So my new plan for the parsec contest: I’m taking the elements I broke down and fitting it to a fantasy story, changing the setting from a cave to a forest (because I really don’t need two cave-in stories!), and THIS concept seems to fit the theme better, more naturally.
Here’s the catch: I only have eight days to write, revise, and submit this thing. I am insane, but I’m going to give it a shot!
I know I’m growing as a writer. Before, when someone critiqued me and tore my story apart, I bled. Me. I’d think I was a failure and question why I was doing this to myself. I’m done with that. Critiques are so neccesary to writing fiction. The world and story are so alive in my mind, that I cannot convey it all properly right off. Maybe if I had six months to forget the story and read it anew, that would help. But I’d still need the view of someone who hasn’t had any exposure to it at all. It’s invaluable.
So, Black Violas: I got back two critiques from writers, and two from non-writers. They all helped me understand what isn’t working. It was an early draft, I knew it needed work, but I didn’t realize how much I really tried to cram into a short story. It seems what I need to do is go in with a highlighter and find everything related to the single most important idea in the story, and anything that supports that. And start the next revision with just that.
It means cutting another character, and actually, I’m all right with that. What’s helping me is believing that the story as is, is a novel synopsis, so I can play with all my complications later on, in a stronger form. It’s allowing me to let go of what isn’t critical for this small piece to work.
There is less than a month until the contest deadline, and I have two other deadlines before it. This is definitely shaping up to be an interesting year–and I am not backing down from the challenge.
This story has gone through the ringer, but it’s finally in good enough shape to pass onto critters. 🙂 No not the furry kind, the writer kind. Yes, I’m loopy. I stayed up too late, but… it’s okay.
Despite my cold, I came down to write tonight. The edit’s been progressing well, and I got done several more pages tonight, and then realized that my wordcount is still way too high. I’m five pages from the end, which is going to be rewritten more or less. I had a brainstorm on eliminating a character that really truly isn’t neccessary. But he did serve an important part that can be transferred to another character, but that means adding a scene and removing a scene. It might end up being that this change will not alter the word count, but I think it puts my MC in a better position of seeing the crap that’s about to happen and not just get it from someone else.
This could be good, but it means I’m NOT done tonight.
And I still need to dig through my To Edit pile for some short stories for my viable paradise application.
I need more time in my day…
Last night I stayed up late to complete the rewrite. Not the revision: the rewrite. Sent it off to a few friends who I know enjoy SF, and sure enough when I read it over lunch today I realized how far I had veered off course in the last five pages. This is major. And this always embarasses me. I know I need to wait 24 hours before sending it anywhere.
I figured out what it lacked, that was all I had time for. But the amazing thing of driving home from work, without the radio, without screaming kids in the car, is a focus for me. I connected the dots of what was wrong to how to fix it. And that’s what I’m doing now. Just finished the final redlining, and am launching into a screen edit.
Will I finish tonight? I sure as hell hope so!
Spent a few hours on Black Violas today, and put together a game plan on how to fix it. I was afraid it wasn’t fixable. I didn’t understand why the voice wanted to be in first person, but it did, desperately, and today I figured out why. I figured out why the ending didn’t work, and came up with a better one. I found a couple of muse bombs and I am exploiting the hell out of ’em. This is going to be a kick ass story when I’m through with it. I would love to share specifics, but heck, that’ll ruin it for when you read it.
A few days off due to family and stuff, and now I’m back at the keyboard. Working on Black Violas, and it’s coming along nicely. Slow, unfortunately, as I am rewriting the story, so it’s deeper than an edit, and not quite as free as a first draft, but it’s strong. My heroine is bitter yet motivated, and damn if she isn’t going to figure this out, one way or another. 🙂