Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG and A to Z: Short Beginnings E

2016 THEME: Short Stories - at least the beginnings thereof.
YOUR PART: Throw out names, themes, random words or situations using the letter of the day and I'll pick some of them to include in the opening paragraphs of a short story.
WHY: I'm most inspired when there's a challenge involved. Usually that means an opening line or a theme. This month: your words.

My creative blender awaits your E word suggestions in the comments section. Stop by tomorrow's post to read the story you inspired.

Looking for more great blogs? Check out the massive list of A to Z Challenge participants.

D story:
Darcy sipped her dandelion tea and fought to keep a straight face as Nathan continued his rant.
"What if I wanted to marry Dukes?"
Tea nearly shot from her nose. Darcy coughed until she had things set back to rights and set her tea aside before it happened again. "Look, I understand you have tastes that most might call odd, but really, Nathan, your dog?"
"I'm not saying I do want to, but if I did, I'd have to move to a different state. The damn churches control the entire government around here and they smile and call it democracy. They claim that everything they do is for our own good, that they're taking care of us. I want choices."
"So disestablishmentarianism?"
"Exactly, I knew you'd understand."
"And you plan to find that where? Because I doubt anyone is going to allow you to marry your dog."

Wow, another month has passed. It's been a productive month at least. I managed to wrap up the first draft of Bound In Blue in time to have a couple days before April to play with edits on Sipper, a sci-fi short story

Which brings me to the conundrum of the month. I ran Sipper though my usual critique process and got good feedback. Edits were made and the story was sent out into submissions. The editorial feedback I've received along the way indicated issues with the flippant and snarky main character. So I tamed her down a little and sent the story back out.

Then comes the feedback that pointed out at major logic hole. It was a severe headdesk moment on my part. How had not only I missed this, bit the whole critique gang had also overlooked it? No idea.

A third of the way into a major rewrite, I read through the feedback again and realized a major issue that negated all the work I'd just done. Yes, there was a detail that desperately needed to be fixed, but the whole reveal at the end hadn't worked for this particular person. As in, they totally missed it, and the majority of the rest of the feedback beyond the logic problem was worthless because it was all answered in the reveal. The reveal had worked for everyone else.

Ah feedback, it can be frustrating and confounding. And this is why we all need many sets of eyes so that when one misses something, hopefully another will catch it, or go about reading it differently so that issues come to light before it burns through half my usual submission list. But even the best of systems occasionally fails and then, well, after recovering from the headdesk forehead bruises, we have to take a deep breath, edit yet again, and send that sucker back out there until it finds a home.


  1. Great job! And I love the way you worked "disestablishmentarianism" into it!

  2. Feedback can be both invaluable and maddening sometimes. Going through the process is tough because you have to decide what to do with it afterwards, and you can't guarantee how it will all turn out. Best of luck with everything!

  3. Sorry you keep having to rewrite it. Better to catch that all now though. And yeah, feedback can make you nuts, especially when you get contradictory feedback.


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