Monday, September 29, 2008

Genius or folly

Today, a couple of changes to the Writing Progress Meters (over there on the right sidebar).

"Pale Roses" has been archived, since it is finished. (Finishing things feels good!)

I've added a new meter for "The Blue Wall," which is a children's story intended for eventual submission to Cricket Magazine (at least for starters). I'd mentioned I was going to shift from WotF Contest short stories to children's, and this kicks off that effort. On my agenda for this week on the short story front was simply to get the story concept cooking. My Muse handed over the title (which has a story smidge/history of sorts attached to it, but that'll come out in the story itself), along with the scent of magnolias, the sound of the ocean, and ghosts. I've fleshed it out a little beyond that, but I haven't started writing it yet, so I'm leaving it right there for now.

Crowmaker has a new meter, too. After much thought about the story itself and my career objectives, as well as the hunch I've had for a few years now that my voice and writing style might lend themselves better to a different genre than category fantasy (much as I love reading it), I made some decisions about Crowmaker and, as you can see, did a fair amount of hacking. (Fear not, the original, much-longer version is safely backed up for the next time I change my mind.) I've wondered from the start if this story might be well-suited to the Middle Grade/Young Adult market. The viewpoint character/protagonist is a teenaged girl. She didn't start out being the protagonist, just a person to tell the story for the real protagonist, the Crowmaker. But then she uh... made herself the protagonist. And thus the story has become as much, if not more, about her personal growth and the things she does as it has about the Crowmaker. And the story itself seems like so much MORE when I cut it back to its original story arc than it had become when I had three times as much word count cluttering it up.

The danger in such moments of indecision and decision, of course, is that my Muse is just fussing with stuff instead of putting forth the effort to come up with new material. It's really hard to know, sometimes, when your reason and your gut instinct are telling you things you should listen to, or when you're just trying to chase your tail instead of putting in the real work you should be. I honestly, at this moment, believe this is the right choice for this story. If tomorrow I change my mind, I have my old notes and ms backed up. The only thing I have to lose is a little time while I feel my way through what I'm doing.

And thus justifying my hack and slash of a perfectly good ms, I move forward!

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