Through trial and error, I’m discovering that I need to take more time with a story before I commit to writing. This comes as I’m working on the 3rd rewrite and 6th draft of this story.
I don’t take enough time to figure everything out. I jump in feet first and don’t think about it. It takes me more drafts to do that and as I worked on the story this morning I’m understanding the story better. It could be the draft number, but I’m realizing more about the story I didn’t see before.
I won’t get into the specifics because I’m submitting the story again this year, but it’s about more than I thought it was. Parts of it are personal, others are just the story, but I hope it finds a home.
But I digress.
When I take my time I understand the story, and while it takes a few years, it’s a better story for it. The current story started a couple of years ago as a short story. It’s changed what it is, but the meat is still in it and the heart continues to beat.
Getting through each draft is the maddening part of it. My wife thinks I should outline and narrow the scope to reduce the number of drafts. Some stories don’t let me do that. I know the story’s bones when I sit down. That’s not all the time, but usually, I construct the rest of the story around those bones. When I don’t know it I may sketch the thought down, just to have a record of it. I’ll work with that thought over a few weeks. If I have enough I’ll get to work. If not it sits.
The problem is jumping into a story without having those bones, ligaments, tendons. The heart may be there, but it’s a lifeless, grey thing without the other parts.
I’m trying to slow down with these drafts and construct something better.
I have to get other things done today. I hope you’re all well and I’ll see you on Friday.