Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Something Like Hysteria

So, I've had a bit of a strange experience this morning. I woke up this morning to be rather surprised by an unexpected email. You see, I hadn't really expected to be doing any writing today; I was up a bit later than intended last night working on a short story. The other day I remembered a call for submissions I had seen for an e-zine by the name of Crossed Genres, and this month's theme? Tragedy. Being that most things I write are tragic, I did clock it and thought I should look into it further. Of course I then forgot about it, but the other day I found it in my tabs and...well. Even though I rather suspect the vast majority of my works are not tragedy so much as emo teenage angst-fests, I came up with three options: Raw Canvas Remaining, Edit The Sad Parts, and Of An Orrery.

Raw Canvas Remaining is the one that won out, in the end, though I did decide to rename it as Blank Canvas. The really interesting thing about this story, though, is that I originally wrote it in 2004 or 2005. And it's...well, it's not terrible. Not exactly. But my god I wrote very badly, didn't I? Ha. Of course it wasn't quite as bad as going back to some of the original manuscripts involving this character written in 1999/2000, which I also did in the early hours of this morning. Good Lord, that was a terrifying experience. I mean, when I was younger, I wrote...all right. Better than most kids my age, I suppose, but...yeah. Too much Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews influence, not to mention I was also rather a fan of Christopher Pike and Stephen King. Er. So, basically flowery prose with distinct hints of bloodlust and horror? ...oh, god.

So, anyway, this short story: the original story was really intended as a character study so I could get into the miserable head and life of Inciseth della Morraine. To that end, I decided to rework the story to give it a real purpose and ending (involving a palette knife, no less; thank you again, Mr. King!). Now, this character comes from a novel called Newton's Cradle, which is something I have been trying to construct properly for years. I started writing it when I was seventeen, which was the age of the kids in the story, and I'm now twenty-eight and still haven't worked out where I am going wrong. Thing is, though, that the longer of the two stories I submitted to The Long and the Short of It is Jeramie's story...ten years later. And I am starting to really think that that? Is how the actual novel should be. Because even when I was myself seventeen I wondered what it would be like, years after the fact. Saving the world, I mean. So many shows for younger audiences are all about kids and teenagers saving the world...but what happens when you grow up, having done something like that?

Not that it really applies to Seth, as such; he takes a dive out a window of the conservatory atop Radeen Dam before he ever gets to grow up. Poor soul. But the interesting thing, for me, is that in giving the story a definite ending -- a sense of purpose arising from the tragedy of his life, I mean -- meant that I figured I was making it an AU sort of thing. But the more I consider it...no. Maybe I can work this into the story. It would certainly make it richer, and would also make Seth a far more interesting character.

So, apparently one of the novel projects for 2011 will be yet another attempt at Newton's Cradle. Hmm.

Still, what does all this have to do with the email of this morning? Well, after my burn out last night -- at one a.m. I was about three hundred words out from the first reworked draft of Blank Canvas, but I just couldn't bring myself to do one more word on it -- I figured today would be a no-writing day. I'd basically planned to watch the rest of the first season of True Blood and then begin my baking experiments (I've never made leavened bread before in my entire life; quite why I thought now that I'd be able to do so, we may never know). However, I had two emails that caught my eye, both from Mitzi. The first I figured would just be an acknowledgement of her receipt of Tea For Two; the second I was not so keen to read. I figured it would be the inevitable rejection. It just...seemed too soon, you know? I'd have liked a few days to live the dream of having something in the submission ether! So, I dragged my heels as I ate my yoghurt, then opened her up.

I've read your story - I really like it, the writing is lovely, and you can really feel the atmosphere.

...whoa. I did a little happy dance there, I can tell you. First time I've had some real positive feedback on a submission. I still figured we were seguing into a rejection, but instead? She asked if I would consider tweaking some things and having a "minor redraft," in order to make it more suitable for what she needs it for (being that it was light on the erotic side). So...I accepted the challenge. It's not any sort of promise on her part, of course; she just wants to see if I can make it more suitable for the anthology she is editing. But...my god, it's something. Mostly not an outright rejection, but it's something. So, happy dance now aside, I have to go back to work tomorrow, so today, inbetween watching my bread rise with fretful ignorance, I shall be rewriting Tea For Two and talking more with Seth about the potential murderous uses of palette knives.

...yes, so far, it's a good day indeed. ^__^

No comments:

Post a Comment