Friday, January 4, 2013

First story of 2013 complete

I finished my first story of 2013 (and my first story since the Sundering of the Great Writing Hiatus) this morning. As per usual, it is inspired by a heavy metal tune.

Anyhoo, the resulting story is ridiculously long: 9,300 words. This seems to always happen when I write adventure fantasy/sword & sorcery. Those battles - both the sword-wielding kind and the terse verbal sort - just take up a lot of real estate. When I come back to this one, goal number one is to cut 1,000 words from the tale. But, almost without doubt, I'll end up adding rather than taking away. Le sigh...

I'm also pretty sure the story is rife with issues or maybe just not very interesting. It's pretty technically perfect, but that's kind of the problem. Fantasy story structures (at least the epic/heroic kind) are so ridiculously standardized, the possibilities so thoroughly worked-out, that it's really difficult to do anything terribly novel. I think I've produced something with an interesting setting and tone, and the plot (with its attendant twists and "for justice!" conclusion) is quite nice, but I just don't know if it's very special.

Welp, on to the next one. I've for a long time accepted that some stories are just not "wow" material. But at the same time, maybe this IS wowish stuff. Every single story I've ever written that I've really loved has been stomped repeatedly by editors, whereas the stories I feel just alright about seem to get sold eventually. As Elizabeth is constantly telling me, I ought to be writing stories that a 12 year-old can understand.

Perhaps I shall. I've been working on using less purple prose in general. But the only way to get better at that is to write more, so... enough blogging. Time to get down to business: only a few more days before I get back to real business (i.e., work and school) and have far less time for the love-business of writing.


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