Progress on ‘The Portrait’.

Ok, here’s the real post for today. The earlier one was just a silly fangirl overtaking my blog and running wild whilst foaming at the mouth.

Ahem.

The matter at hand, is the short story project I’m working on.

I’ve finally got all the handwritten bits typed up, and I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s a lot of material to work with. 4,356 words, which in MS Word is 16 pages. Now, for most publications that is still considered short fiction, but in Brittany-land, that’s HUGE.

Well, for a short story anyway. All my other short stories are between 800-3,000 words. But, this story is completely raw. A conglomeration of scenes that need some serious reworking before I even begin editing. I’m sure it will be smaller once all the editing and pruning is over.

Add the lurking problem of publication. This story is a genre piece. A ghost story, and a pretty sexually graphic one at that. At least for me. I don’t typically write sex scenes, or really even sexual tension, but that’s what really pushes this story along. I’ve had some friends read bits of it back when I first thought of the idea, and the response was quite positive. But, I’m still a bit embarrassed by it.

So, most literary magazines don’t consider publishing genre pieces. Placing this story will be hard. I’m prepared for that. But, what if it does get picked up? My entire family will read it, and will be shocked at its content.

Not looking forward to those conversations…

Anyway, now that the typing is done, I’ve had to get my brain thinking about what the story’s current problems are.

Here’s the list:

  • Tense–> I need to decide between past tense, which is familiar, or present tense, which allows for a sense of immediacy and the lurking unknown. I need to read and study this in order to make a decision.
  • What is the Main Character’s motivation? What does she want? What is she trying to accomplish?
  • Time—> I like the jumping- adds to the sense of disorientation. How to keep story continuity if time doesn’t flow chronologically? Also need to read more to study this.
  • Unreliable Narrator—> how to make it apparent that the narrator isn’t seeing or understanding everything. And how to make the reader understand that the Main Character is slowly losing her mind. Another thing to read and study.

Right now, calling this a story is a bit generous. Its a grouping of words that, with some tweaking, will become a story. And it’s getting closer. It’s the closest this piece has ever been.

So, this is coming along nicely. I’m excited to get it to a point where printing and hand editing are a reality. But, the new novel idea is trying to push itself forward. There are a lot of exciting possibilities in that story. There’s so much writing and working to be done!

And now that the first draft of ‘Vessels’ is done, people keep asking me what’s next.  It’s a bit daunting to be honest. People on Facebook message me links about Self-publishing, which is helpful, and I appreciate, but I’m nowhere near that step yet. People ask me when it’s going to be published, when can they buy a copy. The honest answer is probably never. I think people assume that once the rough draft is done, it obviously gets sent out into the ether, spends some time in this mysterious place, and then suddenly appears on the shelves in their local Barnes and Noble.

HA!

This is my FIRST novel that I’ve ever completed. Brandon Sanderson wrote 11 or 13 (I can’t remember which, and am too lazy to google it) before he ever got published, and he’s a mad genius/potential writing God.

So let’s be real. ‘Vessels’ will likely never see the light of day. And that’s ok. It will always hold a special place in my heart, as well as in the hearts of my closest family and friends that get to read it. It’s a stepping stone. A start to something bigger. And I’m excited to start this adventure.

After I finish and submit ‘The Portrait’, ‘My Final Frontier’, and start the rough draft of ‘Cards’.

Like I said, there’s a lot of writing and work left to do. And I’m excited to start really developing my portfolio as a writer. But for now, I’m really excited about ordering lunch!

Have a great day, Blogland.

 

BZ

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