As with everything writing-related, things tend to take longer than I think they will. It’s taken me about two weeks to get one story from drafted to what I consider reader ready. That said: the first of the Tattoo Magic stories is reader ready and off to my proofreader (Jared). I’ve also spent a good amount of time putting work into my Patreon page. It’s not live yet, but I want it to be ready for launch when I need it.
One down, three to go until launch!
This week, I did both macro and micro revisions to what I think will be the first story in the Tattoo Magic Patreon Project. It’s off to my beta reader (Jared, of course) for first impressions and comments. Once I get three or four of these finished I’ll be ready to launch the project.
Finishing this first story is a huge accomplishment. This story gave me no end of trouble. I eventually had to go back and research some really basic things, like the purpose of short stories, to figure out where it was going wrong. I owe a special thanks to my friend Julius for kicking me into gear for finally fixing the myriad of problems in the story. Right now, I’m quite happy with it.
I’m working on cleaning up short stories for my Patreon project. At this point I have one story that is pretty much good to go, and another story that I’m in the macroediting stage of. The one that is finished, I’m not sure where in the story arc I’m going to place it. Right now it’s the first story, but I’m not sure that it really fits in that location, though for continuity reasons it needs to go before some other stories. I think the second story might make a better first story, but that one needs some serious work.
I also launched a writer page on Facebook and did some Patreon research. So far, this getting up early to work on writing thing is really working for me.
Sometimes I feel like I’m doing this writing thing backwards. Right now, I’m reading through the short stories I’ve drafted and I’m creating outlines for them.
But don’t you outline first, you ask? For a novel, yes. It just has too many moving parts and if I purely try to discovery write, I will get lost in the weeds and bogged down. But with short stories, I usually just have the idea that I want to do, the character that I want to explore, and run with it. That’s why short stories are fun for me.
Maybe the reason I love short stories is that I’m an outliner by necessity for novels, but in my heart I’m a discovery writer. I tried outlining with short stories, but I discover so much about my characters as I’m writing them, which invariably changes the outline because their decisions have to make sense for them. And there’s a lot less room to get lost in a short story. A couple characters, a single or at most two desires… I can keep all the moving parts in mind at once.
But this means my first draft of short stories tend to meander. And so revision is mostly tightening them up, centering them on the desire and what they need to do to get there and what is or is not getting met. This is particularly true of the story I’m revising right now for my Patreon project. It’s a lovely atmospheric bit of writing… but it doesn’t do what short stories need to do. As I’m reading it and outlining it, I realize I’m going to have to entirely gut and redo the middle.
Such is the writer life.