The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Earl and Me episode 5

with one comment

I finished the story yesterday. It took two more drafts, two outlining sessions instead of one, a week of hemhawing around about it, a weeks worth of writerly angst, feedback from an NU classmate, two sessions of trying to frost the cake with a heavy, sweet frosting that would have ruined the delicately balanced tastes I’ve tried hard to elicit, and one A-ha! moment in the shower at my girlfriend’s parents house on Sunday.

The more I write, the more I’m reminded of Ray Bradbury’s advice to have fun writing the first draft, because drafts 2-9 are going to be hell. So, glad I had fun the first time around.

The key to getting this wrapped up was making the story matter for whatever reason. I knew that, but didn’t know how to make it matter. That was the sneeze that I couldn’t seem to coax out of my sinuses. The rough edges of the story itched and irritated me and even made me miserable with discomfort. One thing that helped me find why it mattered was cutting my direct involvement in the story in half. This story was already the one that features me the least… 2 paragraphs before the editing. It’s still two paragraphs, but they were born from 1 paragraph at the end of the story. I’m now using the paragraphs as bookends. I suppose in some way that this is good for my ego, and that’s fine by me. I’ve been making a conscious effort for the last two years to write less about myself anyhow. Maybe I’ve realized, too, that when I have a significant issue with a piece of writing I need to look at my own presence in the story first and see if that is the hangup.

I wanted so desperately to be done with this story that three trains of thought plodded through my head in the last week, each of which has its own name:

1. Leave this “pretty good” story as is and send it off knowing that it’s only pretty good and will probably get rejected (Surrender after fighting hard enough to win).

2. Give up and deal with the notion that I overestimated myself (I’m not yet ready to have the training wheels off my bike).

3. Try to rest comfortably on the soothing wisdom I give my high-school aged developing writers… The process of writing is what is most important, not the product (Drink the Kool Aid).

So I think this has an excellent chance of being published. It is the best thing I’ve sent to EFQ in light of what they like to publish. But I’m still taking a significant risk since theirs is the only outlet I’m considering.

Written by seeker70

July 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] when I was writing the story (the serial continues with episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, and episode 5).  If you’re feeling even more daring, you can hear a live reading of story excerpts from […]

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