August 28, 2016

WRITING ADVICE: Can This Story Be SAVED? #3 “One Million Nine Hundred Thousand” (Submitted 8 Times Since 2008, Revised once to “A Choice of Sunrise”)

In September of 2007, I started this blog with a bit of writing advice. A little over a year later, I discovered how little I knew about writing after hearing children’s writer, In April of 2014, I figured I’d gotten enough publications that I could share some of the things I did “right”. I’ll keep that up, but I’m running out of pro-published stories. I don’t write full-time, nor do I make enough money with my writing to live off of it, but someone pays for and publishes ten percent of what I write. Hemingway’s quote above will remain unchanged as I work to increase my writing output and sales, but I’m adding this new series of posts because I want to carefully look at what I’ve done WRONG and see if I can fix it. As always, your comments are welcome!

ANALOG Tag Line: Out of death can come reconciliation even between the most bitter enemies.

Elevator Pitch (What Did I Think I Was Trying To Say?): Nothing is going to change in space, even when we genetically engineer Humans for specific environments, insist that Human means some specific percentage of DNA…even when vast empires collide and reconcile, it will all come down to basic Human interaction – love, hate, and talking things out. Even in the clouds of a gas giant some 350 light years distant among people who live on the back of hundred-kilometer-long semi-sentient blimps…

Opening Line: “Tarand Leland Karr didn’t hear the screams right away.”

Onward: The grandson and granddaughter of the woman who forged a peace between the two sides that grew out of the Fracture oh Humanity survive their grandmother’s death and must reconcile themselves in order to plan a funeral. They must also avoid making it into a media circus which it is likely to become. The granddaughter plans to have it on the premises of her own cloudwhale. Her brother doesn’t like the idea, but swallows it. In addition to their family fracture, the architect of off the Reconciliation of Humanity to forge the Confederation of the Human Genome. In this universe, there are no aliens. At least the Milky Way is a Humans only club, not by choice but by chance. The “aliens” are the genetic constructs that were counted not Human by the Empire of Man. The Confluence of Humanity took genetic engineering to new…heights or depths. This the story of the reconciliation of the grandkids and Empire and Confluence.

What Was I Trying To Say?: Exactly what I set out to say…though I hadn’t thought through how much I was trying to deal with.

The Rest of the Story: …but again, I tried to do far too much. There is SO much going on here that once I start it, it will become a novel. The first book’s going to be IN THE SKIES OF RIVER, and I have that one already thinly plotted out. This will be the second, and most likely take the name above, A CHOICE OF SUNRISE…I tried to introduce readers of a short story to a new world, then I added a brother-sister conflict, layered on an “end of empire” story, and a reconciliation between retired “major players”. That was all rolled up in everyone joining hands, swaying and singing “Kumbaya”…Hmmm…

End Analysis: This story takes place in the same universe as “Hūmbūlance” and like that story, I tried to do far too much – read about it if you want to, here:

The takeaway after analyzing two stories is that my writing often lacks focus. I have a very grand idea, then add another idea, and then another, and another. The scope grows far beyond what a short story can comfortably cover. Maybe instead of lacking focus, I have focus – but it’s on too many stories and I don’t complete my thoughts. If I could pick one story then detail that story, I might be able to create powerful pieces that engage readers, and breathe real life into my characters.

Can This Story Be Saved? Simple answer: yes – by changing it into a novel. The more complex answer is that I can break this story into parts and just follow one person and do one story. In the long-run, I can START stories with focus, narrow the scope of the story, and aim at showing a single incident with a limited number of characters.

No comments: