Finally! I’m done with my short story (now I just have to proofread it and re-edit it and market it…)

I did it. After nine whole months, I finished my fourth (and hopefully final) draft of my sci-fi short story “She’s All Light”.

Whew.

Of course, as you can tell by the title, there’s still a whole lot of work to be done to it. Now that I got the storyline down the way I want it, I need to get readers so that they can tell me if what I wrote was the best thing they’ve ever seen or that I basically wasted six months working on crap. Then I need to process their comments, perhaps fling myself on the floor in a bit of rage, or perhaps stare dully at a wall for a couple of hours, then somehow work up the courage to go over the story again to incorporate their suggestions…or just trash the whole thing and go work full-time as a secretary. Then there’s the finding of a market to send it to, and formatting it so that I can send it to that market, and spell-checking and grammar-checking and fact-checking…

But really, I am done with the story.

I think this is the first time I worked so long on a story. Normally, it would take me at the most three, maybe four months to do a story from first scribblings to final draft. But that was when I had oodles of time at my leisure. When I started working on the fourth draft way back in September, I figured it would take a couple of months…December at the latest. Boy was I wrong.

Part of the reason why it to so long was that the story itself is picking long–almost 13,000 words. I might be able to get away with cutting out some words during the final grammar/spell check, but when I worked on this fourth draft, I intended on making it as tight as it could. So it will probably stay at it’s high word count. Another reason was that this was a deeper story than I realized. I needed to go slowly just to make sure the story stayed in line.

And the real reason? My life exploded.

Between October and May, my writing slowed to a crawl. There were days when I could only work on SAL for 10 minutes. The days when we worked on the house to get it ready for sale…I’d do some painting, go revise a sentence, do some more painting, revise another sentence. Ugh. Not that it wasn’t a good thing. The slow going helped me to focus, making sure each sentence, each word contributed to the story as a whole. (And it helped that I started reading Francine Prose’s book on reading slowly).

But revising that story felt like pulling out a mouthful of teeth. One molar at a time.

I’m pondering now if I should focus exclusively on re-reading Willow to get it ready for its editing. But part of me is crying to work on something new. Some poetry, maybe or another short story, one that is more light-hearted than SAL. I want to work on something cute and fluffy.

Guh. I really have been writing drama too long.

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One Response

  1. Congratulations on getting this one done. Take a break and work on something new — you’ve earned it, and you’ll be fresher for it.

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