Monday, August 28, 2017


One of the problems of being a conscientious writer is that I never know when to leave things alone. The old saying that "better" is the enemy of "good enough" seems to apply to drafts as well as practically everything else.   Sadly, I seem to have a serious case of revisionitis.

In my previous post I went on and on about my methodical approach to producing a decent draft ms. Immediately after writing that I created  new epiphany/denouement scenes  and pronounced the piece finally, finally, FINALLY complete. Then, that night I awoke with a new bit I had to insert to improve a scene. Naturally, the ripple effect then proceeded to slightly change related scenes and, not surprisingly made me think of other changes and "improvements."

So, here it is two days after the last of the ripples died down to wash against the smooth sands of the story no more. On what must have been the hundredth re-read of the draft* I realized how little those last minute ideas had influenced the basic story.  They were  mere glosses on the narrative, necessary only because they painted a more complete picture of a character or the background scenery. Had this been a fantasy story the glosses would have overwhelmed the bare bones of the tale, which is why those picaresque stores tend to result in thick novels and not short stories.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing an expansive background to reveal social behaviors, an alien planet, or beliefs far different from my own.  I did this in my latest published novella in Analog, a prequel to my VIXEN novel.  But for the piece I am/have been working on, such ormolu turned out to be, on reflection, unnecessary. I need to learn better to offer only enough wordage  to sketch in the broad details and let the reader color between the lines with their own (and probably richer) imagination.  With all that in mind this piece gets sent later this week after I make a few more adjustments.

I'm sure they won't affect anything.

*In print because I can't depend on my lying
 eyes to spot all my typos and misspelled words.


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