Monday, August 15, 2011

Dreams and rewrites

I set my notebook next to the bed and woke in the grip of two very strange dreams. Dreams I could force into stories, if I wanted. Not sure I want to though. One of them still has me in its thrall, and it is not a pleasant place to be.

It's been awhile since I remembered my dreams. Remembering two is pretty wild. I guess I'll have to try the notebook trick more often.

I finished a draft of a short story yesterday -- the one I mentioned in the last entry as being tough. I started seriously thinking about the anthology's theme a month ago. I wrote thousands of words trying to nail down a story. After two different approaches, pages of internet research, and a whole lot of wordy nothing, I felt lost. Then I said to myself, what are the parts you know for sure to be true?

I listed those out.

Okay, self. Can you make a story out of that? Forgetting everything else?

And I did. I boiled all the great ideas for character development and setting and plot down into one idea. (That hurt.) I gave both main characters strong motivations. I used the setting I originally wanted to use. And there it was. Finally. Once I got over how clever I was, I saw what was possible.

There's probably 1 or 2 more rewrites I can get out of the story, but I'll wait until I get the first round of reader feedback. Just to be clear, the story isn't done. I'm taking this moment to celebrate finishing a viable draft.

Sometimes it's the little things


Mark Andrew Edwards said...

Congratulations on getting that first draft done. I can't wait to read it.

Folly Blaine said...

Thanks, Mark. It's the story I submitted to group this week, so I'll be interested to hear what everybody thinks.