Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 23 September 2001

Done! The first draft of the bookstore story came in at just over 2200 words. It's in pretty good shape--rather better than my previous two, which both need serious rewriting.

I looked over the stories I've got waiting for a rewrite. Besides this one, there are two others that I've written since Clarion, plus one Clarion story.

The Clarion story is "An Education of Scars." It's my favorite of my Clarion stories, but also the one that needs the most work. I really like the characters, the science fictional ideas, the situation, and the conclusion. But the story-telling needs work. It got pretty good critiques, except for one thing: it doesn't start out quickly enough.

Most of my fellow classmates were quite gentle in their critique of this story. Perhaps because of that, or perhaps because he could see it in my reactions, I think Geoffrey Landis realized that I wasn't absorbing the essential message of their comments, so he said that the beginning of the story was "Excruciatingly boring." I needed to hear that.

There's a point where the story really gets going. (One critiquer said, "The story begins on page sixteen.") The easy fix would be to begin there, and then fill in the stuff that came before as backstory. But, after much thinking, I can't shake the sense that it would be better as a linear story. So, I'm going to try telling it this way, but making it more the story of the viewpoint character beginning at the beginning. I don't know if that will work. If it doesn't, I can always try it the other way. But my instinct tells me that this is the best way to fix it.

It's been a good, productive weekend, despite having spent too much time playing computer games.

I'm going to do some serious rewriting for a while. I'll do "An Education of Scars" next. After that I need to rewrite the insurance story and the mummy story enough that I can send them out for comments. Somewhere in there I'll give the bookstore story a once-over and get it out as well.

But none of that will keep me from writing new stories.


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