I finished writing the first draft of my new story, now called Bottled Lightning, last night.
It’s a science fiction story – a first contact science fiction story in fact – and it’s a lot longer than I’d originally envisaged. My first thought was that it would be a sub-1000 word vignette, then I thought it would finish up around the 2,500 word mark but the story just kept rolling until it hit 5,498 words. It would have actually been longer but while I was in the gym last night I listened to an old episode of Writing Excuses that talked about ending your story in the right place and I ended up (do you see what I did there?) stopping several paragraphs earlier than I’d originally planned and integrating some of that material into the beginning of the story.
My next step is to try to turn the story into something that I actually like because I’m not particularly happy with the story as it is. I think the concept is okay but the opening 1,500 words feels sloppy and directionless and…well, crap. In a day or two I’m going to dig out my virtual red pencil and chop out a good portion of what I’ve written. This isn’t a case of killing my darlings, I haven’t even got to that point yet, this is just to get to a piece of writing I’m not too ashamed of to show my wife. Then the editing really begins.[The article Bottling Lightning by Philip Harris first appeared on SolitaryMindset]