Sunday, March 20, 2016

Letting Go of A Story

Here we go again......

Progress is continuing on The Assassin Prince, but more about that later in the post.....

The tile of this post comes from what I have been doing lately. I was asked to submit a story to show I could write a longer story. So I did --- A Novella.

A novella is a story between 17,500 --- 40,000 words, and this particular novella is on the upper end of the word count. Now, I have no promise this story will be accepted, or published. I stepped out of my comfort zone somewhere, but I feel the story is solid.

And in that lies a danger that is an insidious one for a writer --- seeking perfection in a story. "Perfection is the enemy of Good" is the quote that fits my mindset at the time. Writers work and work on a story, looking for those imperfections that scream "Change me!" A writer wants every word to be perfect, every sentence to grip the reader, every minor character to be vivid and clear as the main characters, and the story to be spell-binding to any reader who reads it. A perfect story.

There is no such thing as a perfect story.

All story has flaws --- minor ones, hidden ones, the wrong word here, a sentence too long there. Most are either too small or camouflaged by what's around it to be noticed. Other flaws that reader accepts as part of the suspension of belief all readers bring to reading fiction. As long as the flaw doesn't overwhelm the story, they are invisible, spotted only by those who look for them.

In my case, I found myself going through the story several times, tweaking and trimming lines, adding a scene here, a chapter there, and pushing the limits of a novella word count. I had a friend read through it, make his notes and I made changes here and there, moved chapters around like a magician doing a card trick, and did a few other things. After the fourth pass through the story, I said to myself, "I have to let go of this or I will never do so," So, I sent it and I now wait.

There are parts of the story I'm not certain about, and if it accepted, there may be changes needed. I hope the changes, should they be required, are minor ones. We shall see, and I will let you know if and when I hear back.

There comes a time in every completed story that all a writer is doing to it is cosmetic polishing. It comes down to confidence --- is the story, for all it's perceived flaws, a good one? If it is, it's time to send it and get to work on the next one.

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.” ― Salvador DalĂ­

If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

The Assassin Prince is now outlined through Chapter 23 and into Chapter 24. But my Muse, being the perverse type (and lazy -- she lays on the couch with a bag of potato chips , yelling every so often, "Keep writing!") has decided that one novel is not enough, so I'm now outlying three novels.

In addition to The Assassin Prince (Fantasy), I am outlining The Darkness of Shadows (Science-fiction), and Operation: Broken Chains (Action/thriller). Three different genres, all designed to keep me working with whichever one is speaking to me at the moment. As a way to force myself to keep on track with this, I'll give you an update on the process of all three. So, starting tonight, a progress report on all three to keep you updated.

The Assassin Prince --- Outline (through Chapter 23)
The Darkness of Shadows --- Outline (through Chapter 7)
Operation: Broken Chains --- Outline (through Chapter 12)

Lets see how this goes. Any feedback will be welcomed.


Both Outcast Ops novels I co-authored are on Amazon and are both part of the Kindle Direct program. African Firestorm is here: Outcast Ops: African Firestorm on Amazon! For those in the United Kingdom, Outcast Ops: African Firestorm on Amazon UK!! Red Ice is here: Outcast Ops: Red Ice on Amazon!. and for those in the UK, Outcast Ops: Red Ice on Amazon UK! For anoyone else, please check your country's Amazon Website (if there is one) Read and please leave a review!


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