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A Finished Product, Sort Of

February 22, 2010

It was a productive weekend, on the writing front, and I’ve finished a draft of my short story. I am not pleased with it yet – it is over-written, too long, and it lacks a center – so there is much yet to be done. In a perfect world, I would let it rest for a week or two, then return to it with a fresh pair of eyes for a heavy re-write. That can’t be the case, though, since the deadline for the journal submission is March one. I’ll need to keep plugging away and rely on the trusted criticism of my wife and friend to get this thing into a submit-able form.

It does feel good, though, to have a completed work. I sat down two weeks ago with an idea and a character, and a story grew from there. There were days when I knew that the direction was off, or that the writing was less than stellar. On those days I almost just scrapped the whole piece and went back to the novel. But I stuck with it and forced myself to finish for finshing’s sake.

I ended up with a 20-page story, and a fully resolved little plot. It is not great – maybe not even good – but I have something to work with.  Even if the piece I submit to the journal next week is not what I want it to be, I’ll still have a story that I can come back to at some later date to continue revising and polishing.

Today, I hope to take out 10% – 15% of the words. I need to re-work the opening to make sure that it more fully sets the emotional state of the narrator, and I need to weed out the elements that don’t lead to the conclusion the story found. That should fill an hour easily.

It will be the first day of this experiment that I spend editing. As an English teacher I edit constantly, so I I’m hoping that I’m good at this.

We’ll see.

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