First off, my apologies for the infrequent blog updates the last few months. I blame the StarCraft II expansion and a foray into the world of dating 🙂 I hope to get back on at least an every-other-week pace again.
I spent most of the last couple months working on the third draft of The Wildfire Crown. I was generally very pleased with this draft; I added a new section at the start of the story which worked well, and the late middle of the story finally started to take shape. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t happy with the end. The final scene I really like – it’s the final two or three chapters leading to it that I still don’t feel great about it.
Feeling stuck and frustrated, I vented to some friends, both who gave me the sagacious advice of taking a break. I took them up on it, and spent the last two weeks working on a short story.
It’s a fantasy story about a thief seeking to avenge his lover’s death at the hands of a sadistic serial killer. I wrote the original draft last fall, and thought it thoroughly mediocre. But I kept coming back and playing with the plot, and thought I was ready to give it another try.
After about a week, I had most of it down solid – except the final two or three scenes right before the end. Same issue I had with Wildfire. Fortunately, after a couple days of angst and a very long conversation with Sean, I came up with something that worked. I spent another week polishing / finishing it up, and then on Friday sent it off to a first reader for critique.
I really like this story. It’s not perfect – I plan on doing another round or two of revisions – but it’s complete, it’s fun, and it unifies a lot of ideas I really like. Exactly what I’m trying to do with Wildfire, only 1/6th the length.
Still, it gives me a ton of confidence that I can actually complete something worthwhile. I feel like I’m so close with the novel – just this last little bit, and I’ll have something I can work with. Maybe it won’t be good enough for a publisher, but it’ll be the start of something good enough for me.
The next question is whether I should take even a longer break, and work on another novel. There’s a lot of merit to the idea; Two weeks wasn’t long enough for me to ‘forget’ Wildfire. Still, I really want to get to the polish-phase, so I’m going back and forth there. I plan on making a decision by the end of the week.
I plan on submitting the short story to the Writers of the Future contest. I’m hoping it’s strong enough to be a contender, but it’s hard to tell. I’ll let you know in the fall, when I get the results.
Today’s video is one of my recent favorites – an absolutely beautiful little song. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!