Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The aftermath of finishing a draft is a little like the aftermath of a fender bender.

Back in....I want to say late January/early February...I started a short story.  The first five pages just came pouring out, but by the time I got to page 5, it was after my bedtime on a work night, and I reluctantly put the computer away, figuring I'd finish it later.  Soon. 

Right.

So, it's been percolating, bit by bit, in the back of my mind for about 6 months, and the thing working in my favor here is (a) I think it's good enough to try for publication, and (b) it's a loose take on a Christmas theme, so I wanted it done by the end of August so I could submit to online magazines and maybe make it for a late-this-year/early-next-year edition.

Of course, they're probably months behind on stuff they want to publish, so I get that hoping for quick turnaround is silly, but it did help me to get the damn thing finished yesterday. 

Finishing a story, strangely enough, gives me the same feeling I remember from being in a couple of minor car accidents.  You just kind of sit there, and stare, and shake.  The pieces of the world don't quite fit together.  I think this is a manifestation of the fact that until recently I have been terrified of my creativity.  I hardly ever wrote, and when I did, I was outrageously proud, but also scared, thanks to my life-long George McFly-esque fear of rejection.

Actually, now that I think of it, he was afraid to write too, and when he finally did: bestseller.  The fact that his story is fiction doesn't really matter here.

I never wanted to finish a story because I just can't take that kind of rejection.  But I've realized a few things:

1. No draft needs to be done until you say it is.  Nothing is ever truly done - you just become willing to put it down.

2. There is no need and no reason for me to compare my fledgling writing to my favorite authors, who are by and large masters of the craft.  They started somewhere, too.

3. If someone doesn't like your work, a useful person will tell you why, what you might consider fixing, and encourage you to keep trying. If all you get is "this sucks, never write again," you're getting it from a dick, and you shouldn't care about what a dick has to say.

So, this one is called Lightbringer, and it should see final revision and submission sometime this month, I hope.