Monday, September 18, 2006

September 18 Part II

I’m being such an effing Pisces today that I can’t stand myself. Mooning about a dilemma which has a very practical solution. And wrestling with “Ris an Abrar.”

There is no way I can do justice to the story and keep it at 10,000 words. I’ve already skipped a huge chunk of journeying and reacquaintance and other development because I’m running out of room. And using the Red Machete on too much of the previous words (I can probably cut 1500 without too much damage) will destroy the sense of place and time in the piece.

I don’t have 2500 more words to write on this. More like 25,000.

I’ve already given short shrift to the character of Talen, who’s both wonderful and important, and it’s not fair to him. Plus, the god and goddess characters who need to be front and center right now are throwing off the balance of the piece in trying to keep it under 10K.

I can either blow the deadline completely and give up.

Or I can go back and take the first 31 pages (approximately 7700 words) and fashion the first section of whatever this will grow into as a stand-alone. Iola’s realization that she has a different calling than what she’s pledged, and how she gets back to her true path. That might work. Emphasis on might.

It’s also the only possible way I can salvage this opportunity. If I continue to keep writing, cutting as many story scenes as possible before they’re even written because I conform to a word count, I disjoint the story. Iola and Neil, the focus of the piece in the first 31 pages, have said exactly two words in the past ten, and that throws the story out of balance. But to change that in order to keep them the focus for this particular section disrupts the story even more. The ending won’t make sense without this section, and a changed ending perverts the purpose of the piece. Even if I manage to only write 5K more, that will bring me to 13K and I’ll have to cut 3K. If I’m pre-cutting, then where can I cut? It will read like a badly put together piece, with characters and scenes robbed of necessary parts to make it whole.

Okay, so my definition of “epic story” doesn’t fit into 10K. Good to know.

Even though the first 31 pages set up the rest of the piece, the focus is tight enough on Iola’s internal and external dilemmas so that I might be able to fashion it into a stand-alone.

Damn it.


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Lol, my stories never stay in any limit below novel size. I've given up on short stories, novelettes and such. But now I have 7 novels-in-progress.

Anyone got a plotbunny gun?

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Lori said...

Breathe, darlin'! Sounds like you're just having a bit of a "ack!" moment. You're a smart woman - I have no doubt you'll find a great solution to this. :)

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

I haven't written a short story in quite some time. There's something very challenging about it and I enjoy doing it. But I always feel like I should be working on my novel to GET IT DONE. So what's a writer to do? :-)

At 4:43 AM, Blogger Diane said...

Perchance it's screaming to be a novel(la)? Sometimes it's best to listen to what your story's trying to tell you, and it sounds to me that this is far to big for 10k words - as you say, it's an epic. Over here, "epic" and "10,000 words" just don't go together.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Bernita said...

Diane may be right.
Maybe the story just WILL NOT cram itself into a word count.
I usually have the opposite problem.


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