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A New Story

As in, I've written one.  

I've mentioned before, on one or the other of my blogs, that I don't usually write short fiction.  But an idea for a story came into my head as I was driving back to Tennessee from World Fantasy in Saratoga Springs. (That's about 950 miles, for those of you who are curious about such things -- lots of time for creative thinking.)  The story is done now.  I put the finishing touches on it last week and then put it away.

I don't know if others do this -- and I put the question to the writers out there -- but after I finish something -- anything, really -- I put it away and let it sit for a little while.  With a novel, if I have the time, I'll let it sit for three weeks or so.  For a story of this length (6,500 words) just a few days will do.  Then I pull it out and read it through again.  The point is to see it fresh, to find awkward dialogue or repeated phrases that I might have missed earlier in the process.  It works very well for me.  But it can also be a little scary.  I've been known to discover, upon completing this later read-through, that I hate the thing I've written.  I've also been known to fall in love with pieces that I'd barely even liked earlier.  Seems I'm a fickle SOB....

Anyway, I've printed out this new story and am looking at those fresh white pages with some trepidation, wondering how I'll feel about this latest creation.  It's a different kind of story for me:  contemporary, subtle fantasy element, very small cast of characters.  But I like it, or at least I did when I finished it.  We'll see how I feel about it this week.  I'll keep you posted, as it were.

Today's music:  Bruce Cockburn (Speechless)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
I've started to do the same thing with short fiction. I'm a growing fan of rewrites.
Nov. 19th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
I'm very much a fan of rewrites!
Nov. 19th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
under the bed
I do that too, David. I put it in a box and stick it under the bed. In a box because the dogs love to wallow in paper. Picture scattered, creased pages with dog hair all over, some pages licked. Don't know why, but Dinkums like to like everything.

Anyway, I too either fall in love with it all over again or see it needs massive work...
Nov. 19th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
I also let a story or novel sit after I've finished -- like you, a few days for a shorter piece, a few weeks for a longer one. I will also use a different font for printing the story after I've let it sit for a while (different than the font I used for typing up the story) just so that I really will see it.

I'm excited that you were inspired to write something short! I have been as well. It's a strange impulse.
Nov. 19th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks to Steve, Steve, Faith, and Leah for the comments. I think in this case Leah and Faith have a better sense for just what I was getting at in the post. I tend to do a lot of editing as I write as opposed to rewrites, and so when I've finished I find that I need to stop and put the piece away to give myself some distance from the writing and polishing.
Nov. 20th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Definitely have to put them away. The prob with being a very visual writer is that I have terrible trouble seeing the words I write because the image come rushing back. So it takes time and effort to see my crap prose.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Australia, Ghost Gum
David B. Coe

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