Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Short Story and its "Problems"

"There's always someone around even if you can't see them."

That's a quote from my short story "Rodney."  I thought about offering it up here for 99 cents as an experiment in self-publishing.  It wouldn't matter if no one bought it.  I'm more interested in the process of getting a story ready for sale on Amazon than anything else.

The problem is I had it critiqued two more times and both times the story was shot down as having problems so I've set it aside and focused on other projects.  I'll work on the story later but this brings to mind how difficult it can be to hear other people's comments about your work.

People keep telling me my character is too emotional.  Hrrumph.  Under normal circumstances I would say fuck it and post it here but I feel like if I really want to do this experiment and offer it for 99 cents then the damn thing better not have "problems."

I had an interesting conversation with one of my friends at a recent writing group.  She said she was no longer interested in making money off her writing and finds satisfaction in sharing.  I have to agree with her.  There is something nice about having a small readership who looks forward to your stories.

I keep thinking I should work on "Rodney" and make it less...problematic so I can get on with the experiment but I love the way it is even if my character is too "emotional."  The first time I had the story critiqued, I got great feedback that made the story way better than when I'd drafted it.  Subsequent critiques have been close to useless.

A couple of weekends ago I had an enlightening conversation with my Mom where we talked about this short story and its "problems."  I read it to her a while back and she thought it was fine even the parts that were gory.  Still, talking it through with her was helpful.  It made me see that perhaps there were things in the story I needed to bring out more.  For example, the early part of the story is gory but it's not clear to the reader why the story has to be that way.

As it is, I have other fish to fry but this story remains on my radar.  Maybe I'll try something radical like do a podcast reading of the story as it is and then redraft it and offer that version up for 99 cents.  We'll see.

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