Friday, December 20, 2013

Waiting for Clarence

Not much to report. Just want to wash away the taste of my previous post.

(Boring writing stuff below, so if you've stopped by accidentally or are just checking in, Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And have a nice day.)

Work proceeds apace on my latest, the sequel to my St. Pete zombie short, "Nearly Dead." I'm actually having fun with this one, which isn't something I can say for much of what I've written. I've noted before that (for me, anyway) writing a novel sometimes feels like cutting off a big chunk of myself. I can't explain it, except to say that on longer pieces, when I get to those magic words, "The End," I feel that I'm leaving behind (and losing forever) some part of myself that I can never get back.

In some ways, I suppose that's freeing and exhilarating. But in other ways, it's scary as hell. Am I the only one who feels this way? Or am I just doing it wrong?

Funny, I don't feel the same way after finishing a short story, be it 4,000, 5,000, or 7,000 words. Even the novelettes and novellas clocking in at 13,000 or 15,000 words don't take much out of me. But get beyond 40,000 words and I'm a total wreck, and it's not just exhaustion.

Problem is, one of the knocks on "Nearly Dead" was that it was too short. Of course, it was written for an anthology whose upper word limit was 4,000 words. I actually had to cut to get it down to that. Then, after submitting, I learned they changed their high limit to 2,500 words (welcome to my world.) But they did like the story and wanted me to cut. I said thanks, but no thanks. It was complete as is.

And though I did consider it, I'm not one who can take an already written short and blow it up to novella length or longer. I think that's why it was a short story in the first place. But then, St. Pete's a small town. New York's a big town.

In "Nearly Dead," the main character simply blew into St. Pete for a few hours and did what he had to do. But he lives in New York. He knows people in New York. He might even . . . care about a few people in New York. And so by definition, setting aside even the larger canvas, this one has lots more opportunity for character development, plot, settings etc. In the end (those magic words again!) it will probably end up clocking in at somewhere around 30,000 words. Maybe more.



The most hilarious thing, of course, is that hardly anyone will read it. Absolutely no one will review it, unless I give it away for free. I've come to terms with the fact that for whatever reason, I write stuff nobody reads. And as noted in my previous post, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I simply can't do that anymore.

What's that they say about insanity?

So I'm taking my time with this one. I want to make it as good as it can possibly be, oddly enough, because it doesn't matter anyway.

And if you've made it this far, let me take another opportunity to wish you a sincere Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. Special thanks to everyone who still reads or has read my drivel, be it here or elsewhere. It meant a lot.


No comments: