Monday, February 2, 2009

Over the Dry Spell and Writing the Short Story

Excuse me while I am compelled to "toot my horn" and announce that the writing/publishing dry spell is now officially over. Part I of my mystery short, "Betrayal in an Envelope" made its debut today in the ezine, Piker Press. I must say that I felt nervous submitting it. Being the verbose writer that I am, I don't have much luck with short story writing. I mean, how to tell the story, say what needs to be said, and say it well in a few pages is a nail-biting undertaking for me. However, once submitted, I had a refreshing experience with a wonderful editor -- Sand Pilarski. She gave me constructive feedback to show me where I could improve those "fuzzy" moments and details of my story. In fact, everything she questioned was a "Wow! She's right." kind of moment. So, thank you, Sand Pilarski.

Pleasant surprises popped up as I reworked the story. I found new layers to the characters and a better understanding of how they should act and react. But the best surprise was the ending. I changed the main character's reaction to the events and, well, you will just have to read it! After the final segment, I will post again and explain the original ending, how it didn't work as well, and then see what you think. Until then..... check out part one:


brainsnorts said...

1. regardless of my opinions of anyone's work, i will always congratulate a writer on getting anything published anywhere because it's more than i've done - yet.

2. i know, being a writer as well, that we don't really gain as much from being told how good something is as we do from being told what needs work. in the dialogue, your characters addressed each other by name too often. when two people are talking to only each other, very rarely do they use names as there isn't anyone else there to be confused with. the closer two people are, the less they use names.

3. do you know the full story? i don't like serials and continuations. however, i don't like lobster either while the rest of the world adores it. in any serial, i have to wonder if the writer didn't know enough to finish the story, or if it's being intentionally dragged along. regardless, i don't like soap operas, and nothing drags out more than those.

4. i don't have a 4, but i like square numbers.

5. congrats, and i hope to accomplish half as much as you eventually. i have a short story called "the sweeper" on my site and i hope you have time to read it.

6. the name wesley seems trite, over-used, but i have a feeling that further chapters will justify its use.

teacherwriter said...

Brainsnorts -- First of all, thank you for going to the website and reading part 1 of my story. Point 2 on use of names: well-taken, however, I am comfortable with my choices. And thank you for your advice. Point 3: I would never submit work that is not completed -- shorts or novels. I might paint myself into a corner on that situation, with no way out! Too scary. The three-segment serial was the editor and ezine's call, not mine. Quite honestly, I doubt if very many magazines or ezines would buy a short story without seeing the completed project. Again, thanks for your input. I will definitely check out "The Sweeper" soon.