Creativity, Editing, Fiction, Poetry, Self-Medicating, WIPpets, Writing

Update on the writing life: Month #1

writing

It has been one month today since undertaking the goal to complete 52 short stories in 52 weeks. I am nowhere near meeting it but I do feel encouraged by what has happened in the past 29 days.

  • 3 & 1/2 rough drafts of stories on their way to completion
  • 2 drafts of poetry
  • 1 submission of poetry to HOOT literary magazine
  • 1 sketch (a portrait)
  • 1 plan to self-publish my first manuscript of poetry, The Latent Talent of Conception
  • Participation for the first time in a “write-in,” six of us scrawling/typing a total of 8,114 words in each other’s company
  • Only one half of one book read: Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Subscription to Duotrope for manuscript submissions and tracking
  • Subscriptions to Glimmer Train and Alaska Quarterly Review
  • So many cups of coffee and Americanos. Black.

I continue to find fiction more challenging than enjoyable to write. However, a process is unfolding and it’s getting easier and even fun!

Last night, during four separate sprints in which we wrote continuously in chunks of 20 minutes, I hashed out about 400 words at a time and then returned to add layer upon layer of detail and interest until I could read it without dying of boredom.

As evidenced by my list above, I have a problem finishing stories. On a side note, I write boring plots and characters; I have little imagination.

However…it does seem to be getting a teeny bit easier and the writing has improved.

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Editing, Feedback, Fiction, Self-Medicating, WIPpets

“It won’t feel good, but it’ll make you grow.”

help

My good friend ReGi McClain graciously took the time to read my first story, a take on “Frog Prince,” and responded with the following email, complete with a “shredded” draft that I have almost gotten drunk enough to read (LOL, kidding…). Still. YIKES! Here’s what she wrote:

Hi!

So what I did was what my beta buddies and I refer to as shredding. It won’t feel good, but it’ll make you grow.

This story has tons of potential and the chance to convey an empowering message in a fun way, and therein lies the greatest strength.

What’s not working so well is the amount of information you’re trying to put into the space you have. In a short story, tangents are not allowed. Every sentence has to move the action forward or explain why it’s moving the direction it is. About a quarter of this draft is background we don’t need, but we’re missing pieces we do.

So here’s what you do. Read my feedback, give yourself a week or so to hate my guts, get over it, then come back, read it again, and see what you can do about incorporating the advice you think is worthwhile and ignore the rest. Way the by, you could make it twice as long, if you wanted to.

Whatever you do, don’t give up or let yourself be discouraged for more than a day or two. Every time you write, you’ll get a little better. 😊

Love you! For reals! Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. 😉
~ReGi

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