Sunday, July 4, 2010

Like colorful explosions

Good things are producing good feelings, today and they have little to do with the extra day off work. As predicted (my prediction was accurate, so that's good, too), hitting chapters 5 and 6 of the novel were good for the momentum. I'm up to 7, with plans for 8 and looking back I think to myself with some pride about how I got this far. It's so much easier now, a breeze compared to the still-fresh memory of the teeth-grinding fiasco of the first handful. In addition to that, I have another short story in mind and it makes me laugh boisterously and say out loud, "Awesome, that's awesome!" I'm excited. 

In other news, I've read the previous short story about ten times and am really tired of looking at it. It could be that it's so much longer than most shorts I write. Or it could be something else, which watching the first episode of Lost provided insight into. A friend, a certifiable "Lostie" sat me down and watched me watch the episode. I was warned to pay attention, because the firs ten minutes are "intense." So I did. I sat and stared, blinking only when appropriate, with my critic's helmet on and my inner-editor turned way up. And that was to my enjoyment's detriment. After it was over, I was able to articulate what its good points were, and how it was very evident that (at least in the first ep) the creators had very high expectations. I was also able to say why, if left to my own devices, I wouldn't put any more time into it. 

And in some ways I think the reason I've read the story a million (read: a bunch) is the same as why Lost didn't quite work for me. The bar is too high. For me, there are subdivisions to the quintessential good story. A good story, naturally, is a subjective thing, but generally leaves a majority of folks impressed when walking away from it. And this can be caused by a few things, not least of which are good writing, and an interesting premise. With both, awards are possible. And I think that my story has an interesting premise. So, I think to myself, the only short coming is the writing, so I have to comb it, and comb it, and comb it... and when something sticks out, it's very pronounced. Sort of like my experience with Lost. 

But, I've grown as a person, I like to think. I recognize there being a chance that I might edit it until it's dust, or at least until I hate it. But more likely is that I will spend a slightly more than reasonable time with it, let a few people see it, get their thoughts and send it off, hoping for the best like a mother bird. Over-editing, and having an over active internal editor can be just as detrimental as not editing at all, and having what I've heard described as a "god complex." Like with a lot of things, there's a sweet spot to aim for. Hitting it is another thing. 

Happy Independence Day, peoples. 


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