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.

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.

Work in Progress: 4/28

I did change Melina Unbound to present tense and that has improved the energy of the story. It still needs better words and deeper images.

Struck by a new idea for a short story. It’s just an idea, but it could develop quickly. I sketched a brief overview and some worldbuilding elements.

I did a chunk of worldbuilding for both novellas. I don’t normally work on two similar projects at once but the ideas came and needed to be written down before anything was lost.

I should mention that I don’t record in this series the craft work that is ongoing. Reading about craft, doing exercises, and receiving feedback is all part of the work. Hopefully, the results are revealed by the works in progress.

Work in Progress 4/25/19

I returned to an unnamed short story and was pleased. The ending needs a little work but it could be ready for a beta read soon.

The story Melina Unbound has everything I want for it except the main character’s voice feels incomplete. She needs innocent anger with fear, wonder, and joy as related by one who has suffered innocent anger. I’m also going to try a version of it in present tense. That might reveal the voice I’m looking for and give the story the right tone.

Both stories are close but need refining; it’s always finding the last best words that takes me the longest.