Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Manuscript Progress

News arrived from the editor of the literary journal where I submitted a short story. The editor remains interested in the piece, but I have additional work to do prior to publication. She made two key suggestions. It was her judgment that my story read more like an essay than conventional fiction. Additionally, she highlighted instances in the text that, in her opinion, told rather than showed. According to her guidelines, the story will need to be completely reworked.

I'm left with a bit of a quandary. I began blogging eight years ago, whereupon the short essay was the preferred medium. First person narrative is my strength, and now I've been asked to go outside my comfort zone. I'm unsure of precisely how to proceed, but I've been giving it thought. This same story is in competition elsewhere in its current form. I have faith in my original vision. Being that I have other options available to me is my ace in the hole.

Telling versus sharing was of paramount importance to me when I was in college writing workshop. Believe it or not, I began my writing career as a poet. My mentor while in undergrad was a poet by trade, and I took two of his very challenging workshops because I respected him so highly. My natural form, I quickly came to understand, is prose rather than the poetic form. And yet I have retained my affinity for clever wordplay and irony.

For the next few weeks, I'm going to post here a little less frequently. I have a thousand loose ends to tie up. In particular, I spent yesterday taking a one-page outline and expanding it to a four page story draft. I have about five rough outlines that need completing, most of which I post here in embryonic form. That said, away I go.

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