Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Right Dog's Breakfast

Sometimes I can write great, my first two submissions are evidence of that. Sometimes I can make a complete hash of it, like some of my WiPs I'm close to tossing.

I've put some distance between me and a couple of my WiPs, because I felt I was being way too earnest. They needed some fresh air and fresh brainz. I liked the characters, but I didn't like the sledgehammers they were carrying around - 'care about my issue, damn you *thwack!*'.

I've been running one of these pieces through my workshop and ugh...as nice as the reviewers are trying to be, and I appreciate the effort the help they've given me, I do get it. It sucks. I've tried to write an Other, I've tried to write a disability, and I've failed miserably.

The last few nights I've been diving into my copy of "30 Years of the Locus Awards" that I picked up recently, and I read Ted Chiang's "Hell is the Absence of God" for the first time. Oh my FSM, there's a reason why this story won a Locus. Disability written with subtlety and compassion.

I feel like such a plonker.

Ah well, lesson learned, and here it was "let the characters tell the story". I was trying to shovel in some serious info dump, trying to run before I could walk. See, I'm like this - I find something I like doing, something I'm good at, and I flame like a shooting star. Then when I trip over my bloody clown shoes, I get all frustrated and chuck it.

Not this time. I'm determined to make a go of it, and I'll find my Voice, even if that means tossing some of my stories. I'll go back to telling a simpler story, one I'm a bit more familiar with. I'll go back to reading, shutting up and listening. I still want to write The Other, but I'm going to work up to it slower.

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