Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: Revision

 
Alone With All That Could Happen
by David Jauss

The experience of the last several months of reading the books of self-published authors has awakened in me the hunger to have a wider audience for my own stories and showed me that I'm not as unready as I imagined.    If that is I can whip my WIP into shape.

I could, in a relatively short time, have an approximately 40K word short story collection into ready to launch.  The already written stories need little more than a good line-edit.  I'd been holding them back primarily because they all belong as chapters in unfinished novels.  But they are also stories that stand on their own.  And my exposure to the self-pub scene on amazon and smashwords has shown me that such a story collection can serve as appetite whetter for the audience and a galvanizing motivator for me to finish one or more of the novels.  Or at least a few more of the chapter/short stories that could be added to the original collection.



Description by Monica Wood

With this in mind, one of the searches I did on the online library catalogs was for books on the revision process.  The most likely candidates I found were in the Vancouver WA system so I sent for them on my sister's account and she picked up four of them today.  I think there is one more on the way.

Two of the ones I received this evening were specifically on revision.  One was on one of the most troublesome aspects of narrative fiction for me: description.  Which is bound to come up in any revision work.





Revision: A Creative Approach
to Writing and Rewriting Fiction
by David Michael Kaplan
The last several days have found me often falling into daydreams set in my storyworld.  If I was home and my time my own I think I would be trying to write in their files again.  I am reluctant to allow myself to be taken over by the story dream while here at Mom's because I know that I can't pull the stunts that I do at home--the chaotic sleep 'schedule', the space-case social pariah,  the putting of the freshly poured coffee in the fridge and the half and half in the microwave, or the turning on of the griddle under it's lid which was covered with kitchen clutter instead of  turning down the burner under the kettle.

Oh, wait.  That last one I did just yesterday.  Or was that the day before.

So it has already begun....

I was daydreaming about Faye and Julia and Wilma and Inny and Brianna and Fancy and Mae Bea from my Fruits of the Spirit storyworld but especially Chrystal from my unfinished story 'Home Is Where the Horror Is" because she is about to walk into Faye's story in the next chapter I want to write and I need to know exactly what happened to her in the days preceding her arrival.


The Half-Known World
by Robert Boswell
Technically she has already arrived late in Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes but only as the mysterious 'guest'  the shadow Officer Cassie saw following her patrol car up the drive as she delivered Estelle Star and Brianna to Faye.

I stalled out Faye's story precisely because of this and so began Chystal's story only to stall out on it.  For the same reason I discovered and blogged about here at some point (but I can't find it so can't link it ) after I realized I always stall out when the villains are about to walk on scene and in the case of Faye's story the primary 'villain' is the cult she spent her first 13 years in.  Chrystal's family was mixed up in the same cult.

In the last couple of weeks though, I've have had some insight into both villains and cults via the downloads of dozens of free books from amazon while participating in the Kindle Fire Giveaway and the subsequent Kindle Fire Boogie author promos.  These were atypical fare for me.  Based on the blurbs anyway, they are mostly too in your face violent, featuring blood and gore and monsters wearing human faces.

At first I was just downloading them as my part in helping the authors reach their goals.  But then I decided to dare myself to read a few as an exercise in studying villains.  When I saw that The Red Church by Scott Nicholson had a nasty cult at the center of its plot I decided to start with it.  Although the cult in this story is quite different from the one I've imagined for my story, The Red Church is giving me useful insight into the nature of cults and their leaders and joiners.

So it has begun.

The characters walk and talk in my head and make it impossible for me to walk and talk in the real world with the real people depending on me.  Especially to not set fire to the house.

But to send them away again might mean they will sulk for another six to sixteen months.

Why can't I integrate fiction writing into my life without loosing touch with MY life?


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