Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Monday, 24 November 2003

I roughed up a revised outline for my demon story, restructured to have alternating flashback and present-day stories. I also peeked in the folder with my various old drafts of various versions of this story.

It's a little sad and embarrassing to see them.

This story has its roots in one of the first ideas I started working on after I started writing seriously again. Judging from the file modification dates, I started it in 1995 and made at least one stab at it every year until the fall of 2000--the time when I decided to apply to Clarion. Thinking back, my failure with this story may be part of the reason that I decided that Clarion was something I should try to do.

I knew by then that my biggest problem had to do with "tension" and that I needed to "raise the stakes" for the characters. Unfortunately, what I did in these drafts was add artificial stakes-raising devices--external time pressure from an approaching army being the main one. I made little or no use of the actual tension inherent in the situation.

I'm so glad I never submitted it anywhere. I can do much better now.

There aren't many of my old stories that I'll try to salvage--my new ideas are generally better than my old ones--but this one is both dear to my heart and quite salvageable.

I sketched out the main beats in the two interlocking story lines, and saw that the two stories line up perfectly: 7 beats in the main story and 6 beats in the back story to interleave between them.

It's a fantasy story, something I don't write very many of.

Speaking of fantasy stories, Jackie and I watched the first half of the "Fellowship of the Ring." Our copy of the "Two Towers" is on its way, so we thought we'd prepare by reviewing the Fellowship.

I got Jackie to bring me a drink in my illuminated Aragorn goblet. I had bourbon and coke this evening, but a nice amber ale actually looks better.


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