Polar Vortex = Eye of the Editing Storm

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Working in education has its perks. Even though most days I arrive home mentally destroyed, once in a while God smiles down upon me and says, “Today it will be so Me-forsaken cold outside that it would be ill-advised for the children to commute to the building of education and enlightenment. Today you will have a Snow Day.” Or a Cold Day, or whatever they label it as. The result is the same. No school = no work. This means I can pursue my other interests that I typically don’t have the mental capacity for. Yay writing!

I mentioned the other week that I was working on a short story. In actuality that short story’s first draft was finished the same night I penned the beginning. I have then spent several weeks trying to type it up and failing because I keep wanting to bring in too much into a short story. No lie. It’s been awhile since I’ve focused my energy on a short story. Since reigniting my writing fire I’ve focused on longer stories, those that I know would be behemoths of multi-chapter goodness. The fact that I had an idea that could be expressed in a shorter span of words was amazing. Even if I plan to reuse said character for further episodic adventures it doesn’t change the fact that this story is focused on one specific moment in time.

The problem with having spent the last several years working on novels is that I’ve forgotten how to focus my energy. I thought of backstory, backplot, a million things I want to talk about…they just aren’t relevant to this story. It opens it up to a larger plot that isn’t relevant. I spent several days working on the beginning of the short story, and came up with several different ways than originally written that were cool but didn’t seem right. Then I took the time to actually re-read what I had originally written and realized that what I had was pretty good as it was. I didn’t need to start further into the past. It didn’t matter. That kind of thing could be sprinkled in later, it didn’t have to be a main focus. The focus is how this person with no experience as a hired sword somehow manages to get a place on an adventuring team. It doesn’t matter where she came from, at least not to extent I was starting to put down.

I refocused.

What was beautiful about having yesterday off was that I had the opportunity to sit my butt down in a chair and write. In three hours time I had written a second draft of the story which had expanded to encompass 3,500 words. I don’t know how much it was written free-hand, but I’m sure it wasn’t that much. There’s something about writing a story on wide-ruled notebook paper and only having maybe 10 pages that doesn’t equal 13 pages double spaced, especially knowing how much I added in that wasn’t on that page to just direct type to a new format.

Better than that, I had enough time afterwards to sit down and read what I had written. Are there problems? Oh my, yes. I had problems turning off my editing brain while reading through, I actually wish I’d had a pen so I wouldn’t have lost some of the edits I had thought would sound better. But reading it all through I had the ability to say, “This matches the spirit of what I initially put down. There’s several edits needed before I think it’s ready to show people, but it’s on the way.

So today I had off again. And now that I’m done with other chores I’m going to sit down with a pen and write in edits that need to be made. Later this evening I’m going to sit at the computer, type them in, and print a copy of my third draft. I won’t have another day this week to sit and ponder without other things on my mind. But I appreciate the time I’ve had this week; time stolen by the winter winds that have given me an opportunity to get some work done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s