While reading through a few short stories I’ve been working on I realized the voice and style were not mine. I may have been infected by the reading I did in certain markets, or subconsciously trying to emulate the stories in those markets, but either way, I lost track of the way I tell stories and in a couple cases, how those stories need to be told.
I’m glad I caught the issue before sending the stories out. No one would buy them because they don’t sound authentic. They were dressed in someone else’s clothes. I’m only starting to realize what my voice is, but I do know what it isn’t.
So I’m rewriting again.
Also, I caught this, or it became evident, when I was trying to read the stories aloud. My brain kept inserting words that weren’t there. I wasn’t stumbling over what was written; I stumbled over what wasn’t on the page.
Today I finished the last rough draft of the final story in my shared world collection At the End of the World. Six stories, probably around twenty thousand words once edited. The publishing timeline for this book looks like September, which means heavy editing over the next two months.
Poetry has taken a backseat to finishing At the End of the World, but I have read through the Rhysling Anthology and most of Jenni Fagan’s The Dead Queen of Bohemia. Reading is also writing.
I’ve got one story to submit before the thirtieth and another two I hope to submit before vacation. There’s always more to do. Writers’ vacations don’t look like those of other people.
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.
Edited several poems. Feel like I’m making progress on that craft. I also worked on the three novella series plot. That feels less like progress.
This windy port draws the lonely
through tufting tides between bows
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;
The space between ports liminal
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full of risk, fear; chances to perish,
and of hope.