Friday, February 01, 2013

In process -- Jan 2013

First Draft

“Don’t Choose Astronaut”. Short story. My IM status was the title of this story for a few days, and one of my TW peers asked me what it meant, so I explained, and he told me he chose demolition expert, which was good because he immediately understood what I meant when I explained the story. So I’m on the right track! This story came out of a conversation with the boy at the restaurant in maybe October. 

“Useful Things to Know”. So I didn’t have anything planned but I was thinking about memory, so I started this with a character from St. Praxis. And then on about page 3 it tied in with a theme from “The Water Leopard” and started being its own story, and quite neat, I think. 


 “XTree”. (short story) This is the story I realized I hadn’t opened since March of last year and felt bad about (see a previous post). Other than being too long and flabby, it seemed good on a re-read, so I tightened it up over two drafts and sent it away.

Probably the hardest thing for me as a writer right now is figuring out when a story is done. I have no problem writing first drafts, and I’m on my way to having a system for editing (whether I follow that system or not is another story). However, I do not know when to stop. Other people have pointed this out to me, too… or at least one person did – Karl Schroeder, when he was the writer-in-residence at TPL a couple of years ago. He drew me a revision circle that had first a plot cycle, and then character, and then setting, and then style or something like that (it’s not in front of me right now). And he told me to go through that cycle maybe twice, and then say “okay, it’s done” and send it away. I of course have not done that.

With this story I decided that when I got it down to the length I thought it was supposed to be, I would quit. Then, in order to give characters a reason to go back to the farm, on p. 7 I wrecked the ending. So I had to fix that. At a certain point I wasn’t making the story any better anymore, so it was time to move along. 

“The Delicate Art of Clairvology”. Opened it and tried to fix something I’d left a note about when I was ploughing through the first draft, but gave up. 

 “Don’t Choose Astronaut”. So I decided to try something different. This was one of my ugliest first drafts ever. There were problems with POV all over the place (like I changed from 3rd to first and then back)  so I typed it up immediately after finishing it and started a draft 2, where I’m trying out 1st person present, which I think will work for the voice.


“Biohazard”. (pullover) Second sleeve is my carry-around project. 
“Ceremonial Armour”. KF cardigan. No progress.
“Tenny Park.” Body almost done.

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