So I woke up this morning at 5:30, groaned, told DH “I’m checking conditions and if they’re crappy I’m coming back to bed.”
Mid-thirties. Raining. Uh-uh, not a day for skiing, and besides, I wanted to sleep in after dragging out at oh-dark-o’clock yesterday and writing like a madwoman in the car all the way to Clatskanie before swapping over to the pickup and cruising to Hammond to dig clams. So I dragged my behind back to bed…and got up at 10:30. Huh. Guess I was tired after all. I haven’t slept in like that without it involving an illness or international date line travel for years….
Anyway, the day got spent writing. Some time got dedicated to feeding birds, doing a couple of small projects around the house, but…mostly writing. 3600-some words today, probably more when cuts get taken into consideration. And the story is finished. Not beautifully, but it’s a good enough rough draft. I went back over the story today and slipped in some pieces early on to make the front end fit the back end better because, really, the story evolved over the fury of writing that took place yesterday and today.
And while the story is not a thing of beauty yet–first drafts never are, especially ones written like this one was where I had deadline hanging over me and I HAD to figure out what came next in the story to get to the resolution I wanted, but the events and the logic and the characters didn’t quite want to play—but in a weird, twisted way, it fits. One thing about writing stuff like this, with a given theme, a deadline, and the editor’s need for something professional that fits–in one way or another, I can usually beat a story into submission somehow. The results may be somewhat warped, but they fit together. I can’t decide whether these stories are better than those that I just write in general because I got an idea. Some of these themed stories are better, some aren’t.
I don’t know if I can yet craft the final product to evoke the parts I want it to. I pulled on some very old and dear parts of my past experiences to put it together, but I’m not sure that all the references work. It’s a very Bradbury-esque piece in its own little way. Middle America…with a twist. Plus it’s an entirely new world for me, so I was building the world and its magical logic as I wrote. Worldbuilding on the fly, which can always be a bit of fun but requires either ruthless relentless notetaking as the magical system evolves throughout the story or else incredibly detailed continuity checks. I’m opting for the latter, though there are notes scattered on bits and pieces around the computer.
It does look like I’m going to need to write another story in this world. Darn it, I had to scrap my original title because it no longer fit the story. But I like that title, plus it’s the name of an honorary title within the story, so…gotta write a story with that title in this world.
And then a funny. I got a sweet little rejection from an editor who clearly liked one story, but just couldn’t make it fit editorially–editor kept raving about how it would make a wonderful novel, I really had novel material there, if I wanted editorial advice editor would love to help…I half-grinned to myself. Y’see, I know there’s a novel’s worth of material in there. It’s part of a novel worldbuilding process I was doing when the idea came to me. It’s just not ready yet–but it does give me a pleasant feeling that there might be a market for that novel. Once I get it figured out. That’s one of my quirky little worlds which requires a lot of PITA worldbuilding because the weird needs to be the right kind of weird, and that means also being considerate of existing weird cultures that I don’t know a lot about. Yet.
Plus hey, I have friends who are excellent editors and whose judgements I trust. But still, it was nice to get that kind of feedback on a world I’ve built. Am still building.
Hmm. Maybe I need to go back over my list of published short stories and note what’s sold in what genres.
And I felt even more justified about not going skiing when I checked on conditions later in the day. Rainy and slushy. Nope, not a ski day.
But it turned out to be one hell of a nice writing day. Writing for the win. Now if I could just plan to have a weekend a month like this…