That tree out front has a mean sense of humor. Saturday, my wife and I went out and cleaned up the few leaves that had dropped, just enough to cover our yard there so you couldn’t see the grass under the tree. That took only 45 minutes to do and 5 large garden trash bags. That lasted all of two days. Yesterday morning, the tree dumped all it’s leaves, covering the ground under it in about 4 inches of leaves. Big leaves. I was expecting that but kind of hoped it’d wait until next week. This tree is like that, it gets it’s leaves late in the season and hangs onto them late in the season. Then it dumps them all at once. In some ways, that’s nice, I know when it drops its leaves it’s going to be all done, I don’t have to spread the raking up and bagging over a few weeks. Then it rained. A couple of times.
I know what I’m going to be doing this weekend.
I finally had a chance to sit down and get clarification from the one Beta reader. I’d been waiting on. I’ve been thinking about what she said, and it’s kind of obvious what she’s getting at when it’s pointed out to you. I don’t know how I’m going to fix this, or indeed if I will. One solution is to put a little more description earlier in the story to make it more known what’s going on in port when a ship’s crew goes ashore. Another, suggested by her, is to re-arrange the order in which things are said in the meeting. Hmmm.
There’s a couple other little things that are similarly drawn from my familiarity with sailing and ships where I’m torn between explaining in painful detail and leaving the situations as they are. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but while I am trying to hold my reader’s hand somewhat, these are after all short stories. It’s a fine line I walk here, trying to keep the story short while at the same time provide enough detail.
Right now, Ghost Ship is second by only about 1,000 words to Restaok in word count. I’m definitely trying to keep my stories under 20,000 words now. Previously I was using a cutoff of 15,000 words but…well…things change. Maybe this is how a writer evolves from writing short stories to writing novellas to writing novels. At this rate, I’ve gone from 5,000 words to 17,000 words in three years. The geek in me works that out to having my first novella in 2017 and my first Pa’adhe novel in 2021 if I keep this up. *shudder* The thought of writing a novel right now is scary. I know how much work has to go into it, way better than I did several years ago when I first started writing a novel. It’s not the writing and planning that’s scary, but rather the idea of a novel being given to my readers. As picky as I am about my short stories being near-perfect (only because I can’t achieve perfection), I know this is going to be a long writing project if I do it.
Tonight will see me making the final changes to my WIP so to get them out for the final round of Beta reading. It’s time to buckle down and shove Ghost Ship out of the nest and get going on the next, tentatively titled Sea Gypsies. This will be for Scarle what Restaok was to Xinu.