Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 17 May 2003

I've got to get my critiqued stories rewritten and off to editors. I know this, but I'm constantly tempted by new stories I want to write.

That's just an excuse though. The fact is, I find rewriting much harder than I used to. I know now what a difference it makes to have everything working in a story, as opposed to just most things. Before I just did the best I could and sent the story out. Now I find myself struggling to do the sort of stuff I used to scoff at when English teachers claimed it was in a story. I want the struggles of the minor characters to reflect the struggles of the major characters. My stories have always needed more tension, now I want more thematic richness too.

I started today. I went through my most recently critiqued story and fixed almost everything people mentioned, except for one hard bit of world building. I have some biotech as the speculative element. Two things are different because of it--two things that matter in my story--but what else would be different? I need to think of a dozen social, political, economic, and technical implications, then slip a few of them into the story. And not just any old implications. Ones that add thematic richness.

I'll do that tomorrow.

Went for a long run yesterday, 2.5 miles again. I was tired right from the start. I'd taken the previous day as a rest day, so I was a bit surprised. Maybe it was the lifting I did in the morning that had left me tired. Maybe it was just the fact that it was Friday after a long week. Whatever it was, I decided to take another rest day today. We went to the farmers' market, ran a couple of errands, had lunch out, and went to the bookstore. Then, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on my rewrite.

Tomorrow we're planning a picnic.


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