Writing Report #8

Aw shucks, it’s been a minute since my last report again. There have been some small developments to write about, however, so I figured I’d do a little check-in with any of you lovely people who are interested.

In my last report I wrote about how I need to form a habit; that I write in bursts with longer periods of inactivity in between. That is unfortunately still the case and I hate myself (only a bit). I feel a little guilty about not having broken that, even though I’m sure others can relate to some degree. Anyway, enough lollygagging.

Short Fiction

I actually did seek out and find another place to submit my short horror story “Shower Thoughts” to since my last report. The experience has had me questioning the title as well as how I can revise the story generally. You see, the final line is meant to invert a sudden sense of security that the character feels after a harrowing experience. It means to present that maybe it was all in their head, only to turn that around and suggest that it really wasn’t (the ol’ double switcheroo).

By no means do I think I’m a master of terror, but everybody I had test-read the story for me understood the not-so-subtle implications of imminent danger that the final line was meant to leave the reader on. This publisher did not, so they thought it being “all in his head” was telegraphed way too early and defused the horror. This vexes me.

I appreciate the feedback they left me, in any case, as no other publication has done that for me before. I’m sure with some tweaking somebody will like this story enough to publish it.

Novel

I have made more progress on my fantasy novel Dry Well, but it has been slow. I’ve got about three pages down, and I mean to add more to the front so the starting point is a little earlier in the story’s chronology than I currently have it. This will be new content that keeps most of what I’ve currently written, so I’m not counting this as rewriting the intro.

I actually did wind up revising some of the intro to suit a sudden change I wanted to make to the protagonist’s situation. I really need to stop doing this though. There is an impulse in me that insists that when this book is finished it must be perfect on the first attempt, which is why I constantly feel the need to revise heavily as I go. I need to kick this, or I’ll never get this book done.

I feel like this bad impulse is one of the biggest factors that hurts my motivation to write this book, and I’m not quite sure where it came from. I logically know that first drafts are important and that almost nobody has their book perfectly down on the first go, yet emotionally I feel it has to perfect or I shouldn’t bother. Such a hindering mindset, but so often we are our own worst enemy.

In any case, I’ve found it funny how much actually writing has helped formulate ideas. It sounds obvious, yet when I’m just mulling things over that isn’t the case. I passively go about my day wondering how things will fall into place and coming up with nothing I commit to. Once I’m actively writing it I’m finding it so much easier to flesh the details out, big and small. It’s an important reminder how valuable just doing the thing is, regardless of what your pursuit is.

That’s it for this report. Hopefully next time I will have made more progress. Thank you for reading!

2 thoughts on “Writing Report #8

  1. Hey! I find it commendable you’re working on your writing at all, and then posting about it! That’s a great way to keep yourself accountable.

    That’s awesome you’re submitting your short story! I love the horror genre but it’s hard sometimes to make sure that fear is translated to other people. It’s a good sign all your beta-readers felt that your last line had an impact! Keep refining and I’m sure you’ll find a place for it.

    And good luck on your novel! I struggle with revising as I go too and it’s just not efficient, no matter how hard the temptation is. You got this!

    • Thank you! I appreciate the words of encouragement. The accountability is a lot of what I’m going for with these, though I’ve tried giving myself stricter deadlines on these posts and that unfortunately hasn’t really panned out. I figure writing about it, and having progress to report upon, will help to keep pushing me forward nonetheless.

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