Work in Progress: June 5, 2019

I tried to revise a story I like a great deal, but it just seems to sputter and lacks the fire I envision for it. I guess I just keep plugging away until it catches. It felt better after spending a few hours with it.

I recently set myself a goal of developing one new short story idea per week (and ideally writing a draft each week) so I pieced together the rough sketch for this week’s story. I don’t outline short stories but I note each event and scene and try to get it into order. The first draft includes setting and dialog, so right now this story is a sketch, not a draft.

I also realized, while I have several poems here on the site, I don’t have any stories up. I’ll try to rectify that this week.

The Liminal Sea

This windy port draws the lonely
through tufting tides between bows
and skiffs.
Sailors and navigators ply
unseen highways from this rough
city to another.
To ride the whale road takes heart
and luck and an empty home; 
none waiting.
The space between ports liminal
full of risk, fear; chances to perish,
and of hope.
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Work in Progress: May 31

Today begins a new trajectory for my life. I no longer work full time for someone else. As a result, I’ll spend much more time writing. To celebrate, I wrote three new poems and started revisions on a short story. Normally that would be a full writing day, but today I will do more.

Earlier this week I moved one rejected submission to a new market and I’m preparing poems for a call due by the middle of June.

I’m debating on a story I have that fits an anthology, but the publisher is on the lower end of the semi-pro scale in terms of payment (and probably distribution and marketing) and I think the story might be saleable to pro-markets. Considerations one must make.

Work in Progress: May 18

Lot’s of deep editing today. I only worked on short stories and concentrated on ensuring my central idea of the story, theme, if you will, was present and focused throughout the story. As Jeanne Cavelos recently pointed out, theme usually comes after a few drafts. To help me find a story’s theme I’ve started writing a ‘why this story’ paragraph and put it on a separate page at the end. This does a few things. One, it forces me to state the theme in a sentence or two so I can go back and make sure I’m representing it and that it’s unifying the story. Second, it’s a note to my future self about where the story came from and why I thought it was important enough to write. Third, sometimes a market will ask why you wrote a story, and this is a head start on that answer.