Out of Words

Damn it!

So, I’ve been working on the mythology short story for the anthology, as I mentioned a week ago. I had a plan of action, a series of events, and thought I was on my way there. The characterization was seeming a little too shallow, but they are fleshed out to me, so I could beef them up with details and histories in a few minutes of editing. The parts with the gods and goddesses flowed like it was nothing, so that was never a problem. I had a maximum of 10,000 words for this anthology call and I thought I could make it all fit.

I’ve come down to the last act and realized that I am totally out of room. I have a thousand words left and there is almost no way I can fit in the third person/last minute appearance I wanted. I would have to make the characters totally flimsy and shallow and cut out some of the good parts — the gods and goddesses. But…I was going to make one of the lesser known goddesses kick ass! And who she was going to team up with was awesome. And the reason was even better. Now…it may never be.

The fact that I was so easily able to pick out what needed to be cut probably shows that it wasn’t all that necessary anyway. I had to do the same with The Snow Queen — there was an entire subplot where Gavyn was going to meet up with Isi’s people. Instead, I had to cut it out totally and do more with what was already there, and while I liked what I came up with, it was really sort of a 11th hour creative splurge that worked in my favor. (Yeah, that last paragraph was for any of the roughly three people who might have read the thing).

But that’s all showing my lack of expertise. I’ve never been good at reining my words in, though I’m getting better all the time. In fact, my version of The Snow Queen, which was published in the Torqued Tales anthology (also available separately, if anyone cares), was literally the second short story I have ever managed to finish, and the first that was worth anything. That it was published says something. (What it says, I don’t know. That it was good? That it filled a spot? That my publisher had no other decent entries? That I actually made this deadline, unlike with the only other short story I have ever finished? I have no idea.)

So, this is all new ground for me. My last short story was published and has all of one review that I have found online, and all of two ratings (not reviews) the last time I checked Goodreads. That’s not much feedback. The first short story I did wasn’t very good AND was turned in after the deadline for the anthology (because I apparently didn’t own a calendar or a way to tell time then. Novice, infantile mistake.), yet I was invited to spruce it up and resubmit it as a stand-alone short story or flesh it out and resubmit as a novella. I never did. I might, though.

So, I have been blindly plucking along with this one, trying to listen to my inner compass, hoping that it guided me right in the past and will continue to do so. And now at the end of it, I find that I don’t have enough room to do what I wanted. Do I try for the anthology? Do I spruce it up and turn it into a novella? Do I let it sit and see how I feel about it in a few days?

I’m hoping it turns out okay, or that I can pull it together in the end, because I’m nearly out of words, and not in the way one might suspect.

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~ by Darren Endymion on January 19, 2015.

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