Well, the short story is finished. Of course, that just refers to the fact that the story itself is typed out from beginning to end. Its going to my alpha reader now and I have no intention of looking at it until either this weekend or next week. A good story, like a lot of good things, needs to rest before being further enhanced.
I need some space between myself and my writing before I start doing any kind of re-writing, so I make it a point to not start the next draft immediately after finishing the previous draft. That gives me a chance to reset myself, to get my second (or third or fourth or…) wind as it were. I know what I want the story to be like, and I know there’s extraneous material in it, I know there’s parts I can do better. But…I don’t want to just go in and start hacking out big gobs of words only to realize later I should have left some of those words in. So, I take a break.
Something I want to try, though I’m not exactly sure just how this works, is something Ken McConnell, a writer friend, said he does: start reading it backwards. I’ll have to talk to him about that, find out what the process is. Although with a short story of only 1,500 words that might not be a good approach. We’ll see.
For now, that’s where the writing stands. Perhaps I’m overly critical of my own writing, perhaps I’m anal about what I put out for others to read, but in my mind that’s good. My stories are my PR and I want my PR to be at its best. But first and foremost, my stories are for my readers to enjoy, and I want them to be able to know up front they can sit down and get a well-written story. Even if they wind up not liking the story itself they’ll know at least I won’t be intruding on their reading with poor writing. So, I’m always going to do my best to give them the best I possibly can.
As to good writing versus a good story, there’s this: I write for myself, not for the market. I know what I want to write, I know what I like to write, I know how I’m going to write it, and I’m going to do it that way. Maybe someday I’ll “write for my readers” because they want more of something, but right now I have the luxury of writing for myself and enjoying doing so.
So, that’s the current status. I’ll be sending out an announcement to my friends to let them know when this story is up and available and I’ll probalby tweet that fact as well.
Until the next post!