Thursday, February 12, 2009

A little heavy-eyed from lack of proper sleep, but I've been carrying around paper and pen, scribbling ideas, trying to keep a science fiction piece "real" while maintaining the action, and looking for a "sense of wonder" moment that will fit with the story.

I've also been reading The Knife Thrower, a collection of strange but wonder-filled short stories by Steven Millhauser. I'll read a story, then may not pick up the book for days, but I'm always studying the words of writers whose work challenges me, either because it makes me think, or because it's so well done that I want to find its secret.

To be honest, I don't usually find the secret. I'd have to think the way the writer thinks, make the choices the writer makes, and that's just not going to happen.

When I edit or critique a manuscript, I do have to enter the author's mindset as much as possible, because any changes or suggestions I make must enhance his/her vision, not mine.
Sometimes, when reading an already published piece, it's hard for me to let go of the inner editor and just read a story for itself.

Recently, a piece of my own fiction hit publication before it was truly ready. As I read it in its final form, I wished I could take it back, get a do-over, but the words are out there, and I have to let them go.

5 comments:

Phy said...

Actually, if they're in RGR, you can certainly send over an updated draft.

As electronic media, there's nothing to say that edits to the story can't be accomplished after 'release,' and if edits can updated, so can overall story improvements.

It's relatively easy to update the 'zine, both at RGR and over at Scribd. That way, you can be sure that the latest-and-greatest is what lives on going forward. It is one real advantage over print. We are able to be more flexible and nimble than our dead-tree counterparts.

Strider said...

Just checking in my friend.

KEANAN BRAND said...

Phy - I'm so accustomed to more rigid strictures on the publication process that it never occurred to me to ask for amendments. Seems like a prima dona (primo don?) kinda thing to do, to be honest. However (laugh), I will certainly take you up on it!

Strider - Glad for the visit!

Technonana said...

So the question is...Is there really something wrong with what you said in the piece, or do you feel you are being pressured to change it? Or have you just changed your mind about the whole thing?
Really interested to know.
I recently posted about an adventure that Papa and I had, I mentioned famous people's name, and had people coming out of the woodwork trying to change my mind.
I didn't say anything wrong, I was expressing my opinion. But, boy did I hear about it!!
Thought about changing the whole thing... then I decided that if it meant that people would read what I had posted... then they could make up their own minds!

KEANAN BRAND said...

Techie - I just feel that it wasn't my best effort, that I was trying to cram too much into too small a space.

As for your story, it was true, and it was your opinion. Why isn't that opinion worth expressing?

There are times--well, most of the time--when I subordinate my opinions, don't offer them, don't tell my stories. The folks in my writers group might beg to differ, though! Still, I don't say everything I think.