the old story’s finished; long live the new story!
following more of Uncle Jim McDonald‘s endless sage advice from Viable Paradise, i moved directly to the final revision for a short story, Games People Play, after finishing “Another Night…”. GPP is one of my older stories (in its original form, anyway) that i kept picking away at over the years, but last year was when it really came together. this was both excellent and depressing:
- excellent, because the story went from a neat concept to an emotionally powerful and real story (as i see it, anyway)
- depressing, because of the precedent set for how long it takes me to properly finish a short story.*
in any case, the story really came together last year and i am quite proud of the result. unfortunately, it came together at just shy of 8000 words, putting it beyond the outer limit for most of the markets i think would be right. i submit it to the one it did fit, but got promptly rejected. no real surprise, but i was then stuck. i couldn’t see anywhere to cut anything out, so i put it on the back burner.
until yesterday. with half a year’s (further) distance, i was able to properly deppo it, and this evening i finished typing up the edits. nearly 800 words gone, and not only within the limits of the other markets, but stronger and tighter as a result, as usual.**
it will need another set of eyes to make sure there’s no repeat of the Fragile incident, but then it’s out there!
* i was going to mention that it seems to take far longer for me to get a good grip on my short stories than it does on my longer pieces, but on reflection i realized it’s because i historically tried to ‘wing it’ for shorter pieces, rather than work through even a rudimentary outline.
** i don’t honestly know why, but it’s still amazing to me that i can write that many extra words and not notice it in previous revisions.