Friday, October 31, 2008

Introspection and planning

This week turned out to be all about the short stories. A surprise idea and rough draft for "Strong Enough," a finished first draft for "The Blue Wall," and an expedition into my back files which turned up an additional FIVE children's short stories that are all in at least first draft condition and which I had either forgotten about entirely or were better than I'd remembered. This put me in the enviable position of having more stories than I do markets to submit them to and sent me scurrying off into planning and scheduling mode. I have finishing and submitting the children's short stories all penciled into my schedule now, but while I was planning I realized that most of the markets I'll be submitting to have a turnaround time of 6 months in responding to submissions. When I sold "The Frost King's Bride" to Cricket, it only took about half that time for them to get back to me, but the potential for it to be May/June of next year before I hear back remains. That was, of course, a little disheartening for the part of me that was leaping around gleefully after finding I had seven stories to submit to my favorite children's markets.

I also realized that I really don't need to write any new children's short stories for a while, now. And with "Wings" and "Pale Roses" finished and out doing their thing, I think I've proved to myself that I am perfectly capable of finishing projects. Which means that really, I could focus primarily on Crowmaker again any day now. It still has a fair amount of work that needs done--additional layers of story and character to add, for starters. Still a couple of months worth of work until a second draft, I think, and then another rest period before I can determine how close it comes to really finished at that point. Again, a little disheartening to realize a finished novel is still out there on the horizon. I took a stroll through my bibliography and recollected the work I've done over the past 10 years or so, to reassure myself that I've come along pretty well in terms of craftsmanship and just flat out knowing what to do (as opposed to just staring at a blank screen and hoping I think of something to write down). At this point, it's all about patience, I suppose. God help me--patience has never been my strong point.

I also shared the first draft of "The Blue Wall" with a couple of friends. There's one transition that covers a couple of time periods, and I wasn't sure how well it worked, and sure enough, it threw off at least one of them, too. So, yes, Lori, you really do need to fix that up a little more. I also realized that, since my story took off in a different direction than I'd originally thought it would, I somehow missed the part that explains just why the blue wall is blue--a case of the writer knowing something and neglecting to get that little detail on paper. And it occurs to me that if that detail isn't critical to the story, I should also spend some time considering how to tie it in just a little better. Something for me to fiddle with this afternoon before I really put that story to bed for a week or so.

All in all, not a bad week.

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