Wednesday, June 13, 2012

short story update

hah, you all thought it threw the towel straight in, dintcha? ;-)

Back in 2010, I put some serious time and effort into developing a short-story sketch into a short story. I even found a few generous, REAL WRITERS to read the rough (maybe chunky is more appropriate, here!). The biggest problems I've run into, other than the time factor, is that some extremely nasty things happen in this story, and it just seems to me that is the sort of thing that I Would Not Want to Actually Read.

Or, be responsible for writing.

I am not any further along in being at peace with that problem.

So, why the hell am I doing it?

Because it's part of the story that is there, and it makes 'sense' (if only 'story sense'). On the other hand, I have pretty strong views about guarding what you put into your own head.

To be honest, I wouldn't put my own story into my head, based on that criteria. It's too violent, and the nightmarish idea of 'copycat' behaviour is a problem for me. Other writers have solved that problem by having their bad guys actually 'be' monsters. The humans are the 'good guys'. I am not writing flat-out fantasy, but it would help if I accepted that one aspect of my story could be....sci/fi-horror? Maybe?

The story concerns a big-city teen who is dragged back with her family, to her mom's hometown in hicksville, where an honest-to-Betsy, missing-person mystery begins to unfold. Raising the stakes on 'interesting' for her is the fact that one of the key figures involved is a handsome teenaged boy. Despite setting my plot in a cozy part of the timeline where a few Quite bad things have already, quietly, happened, more bad things are coming up like random, poisonous, daisies. Our heroine, the big-city girl, happens to have a journalism future in her head, making her a perfect candidate for the role of 'meddling teenaged kid'. At least in her own eyes.

The story hit the back burner of my chaotic home life, just as our girl found what she thought was a clue - an old text book from the home of an elderly and (possibly) missing - recluse. (Being a recluse with more than one possible home-base, she can't actually report him as 'missing' to the cops.) Thinking nothing of theft, (after breaking and entering) she hastily grabs a book she judges to be significant...and later face-palms herself in despair to find it full of dry , 1940's-era science.

In German, which she cannot read.

I know two ways the story can end, one is bleak, the other, improbable. I have a few plot threads to pull together, to make either happen, and then some likely continuity-repair. And then writing over the placeholder stuff. And then hitting it with the de-crapifier pen. And then finding a willing teenager to read the dialogue and tell me how far off I am, and coach me  berate me back towards reality. And then, finding a patient reader with higher standards than mine to point out idiocies, flat places, and plot points that he or she doesn't care about. And characters and plot points about which they do. And then whipping out my so-far non-existing copy of 'grammar for fiction-writing dummies' and going over the damned thing so I am not too mortified to send it out for it's first rejections.



For the record, That's why this story isn't done yet.

On the other hand, given how very tired I am today, there's more than One reason the story isn't done.

No kidding, I am so wiped out from a long night of Both kids waking - more than once - that I just took my son's Adderall instead of my allergy pill. I'd call poison control, except I am already wondering just how many books I can get shelved in the library today.....;-) On a serious note, it's more likely that today I am going to feel edgy and drained at the same time.

Clearly, that short story will have to wait Just a Bit Longer....

There. May your day be more productive, less edgy, and consummately less Whiny, than mine.

Carry on. Be smart. Be brave. Be kind.

Finish your stories ;-)


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