Friday, August 24, 2007

Batching it, and writing

Well, Lana is out of town for a few days to visit relatives and friends in Canada. The house seems awfully big without her. And it sure is quiet. Not that Lana is loud, but there's no background sound of TV or music, no footsteps in the kitchen (except for that ghost and he doesn't bother me much), no sound of Lana cursing the bird-seed-eating squirrels as "rat bastards." I sure have become accustomed to her coming into my office on occassion to rub my shoulders or bring me a drink or popcorn. She's such a sweetie, but I imagine I'll get through these next few days all right. It'll be good to have her back on Wednesday.

I was rereading an unsold piece of mine called "A Curse the Dead Must Bear" the other day and I think I understand what the problem is. It's not badly written, but there's no real payoff at the end. The "revelation" isn't surprising enough; the stakes are too small. I've sold a few pieces like this before but only if the prose was poetical. This story is more hard boiled and doesn't lend itself to that type of prose. I think that we have to remember that whether we're writing novels or short stories the end has to be both surprising and it has to pay off on some large scale. My next post is going to deal with how to determine the "large scale." I haven't given it enough thought yet. But I will.

9 comments:

Bernita said...

Please.
Your take is bound to be valuable.

Kate S said...

Aww... you two are so sweet.

I look forward to your "large scale" post. I know that is one of my weaknesses - not enough conflict, not enough at stake.

Christina said...

I have those moments too, when Emory isn't around, the house just suddenly seems empty. I have to make a little extra noise just to write because I miss his company. We don't have bird seed feeders out here, but a lot of humming bird sugar water bowls.

It takes me a few months to reread something and determine what needs to be fixed.

Happy Writing!

the walking man said...

I agree with the bang at the end but if I have to stretch to find it I don't think it's the right ending.

will be waiting for your take on it.

Peace

mark

Lisa said...

Definitely looking forward to that post -- I had a few days not long ago when Scott was away on a painting trip. It was so odd. The cat and the dog stayed within six feet of me at all times and even though there are only the 2 of us (4 of us?) here normally, those short visits from him to my office and me to his studio help to break up the isolation. On the other hand, it was nice to have long stretches of uninterrupted time to write too, but it's always nice when they come home :)

Rachel said...

Yeah, those second and third looks are sometimes valuable.

Erik Donald France said...

Here's to substantial payoffs.

And to distaff diplomacy ;)

Michelle's Spell said...

I haven't given much thought to writing payoffs, but I think it's a great topic. As for being alone for a few days, it's always good when your beloved returns!

Lana said...

I'll leave you a tape of "rat bastards" next time I go anywhere. ;) Missed you, too, baby. Glad you got lots of good writing done. *kissy kisses*