Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Few Little Tweaks


It's Wednesday night (Thursday morning, actually), and the deadline for the Draconic Fiction Anthology has just elapsed. I was fortunately able to attach something to an e-mail at around 11:45 pm and send it in as a submission, although at this point in time, I'm not quite sure how it's going to turn out. It'll come to be regarded as either a work of genius or an abomination of nature, I suppose.

I actually went on leave for the whole day today, slept until noon, and then spent the afternoon and the evening pounding out drafts on the computer. I went through five or six drafts before I came up with one that I finished, and so I tweaked that and sent it in. I'm not particularly satisfied with it, if anyone's wondering; it's probably workable, but I need at least one or two more days to find out what I did wrong and what I did right.

I've observed that I need a lot of "lead time" before I come up with a legible short story. Apart from the long process of figuring out the plots, the characters and the settings in my head, I need at least two or three days to come up with a succession of drafts. I don't think that this is a normal practice, mind you, but more of a personal thing -- it's akin to rattling away at a typewriter, occasionally tearing out old drafts and tossing them into the wastebasket.

Obsession-compulsion, perhaps? I doubt it. I like tweaking finished drafts, yes, but if I ever leave something unfinished, it's usually because I've lost interest in the work somehow. And if a work is so bad that I find myself losing interest right in the middle of the narrative, then I'll almost certainly leave it behind without looking back. I lose more drafts that way, yes.

And if you think that this is bad, must I remind you that the deadline for the Fully Booked writing contest is on the 28th of February? Once again, it's time to get cracking, guys.

8 comments:

kat said...

Is it the 28th of February or January?

Sean said...

Kat: It's February 28, last time I heard. The only thing I have is a statement from the gaiman_writingcontest mailing list under Yahoo! Groups, though:

"The contest deadline has been EXTENDED to Feb. 28. This goes for the ENTIRE contest, not just prose. So all those comics people can stop asking now.

"And this is official, just to repeat it. So those people asking if it's true can stop now too."

They were pretty succinct about it, yes. :)

Ferdz said...

Hey! You're joining the fully booked competition rin pala. Wow! You're a tough competition... hehehe

Good luck to your entry I'm sure it will be great.

Sean said...

Ferdz: Heck, everybody's probably joining the competition. A hundred grand is a lot of money, after all. It'll be difficult in any case.

That said, you're tough competition as well. I'm thankful, at least, that I won't be competing against your graphics. :)

banzai cat said...

Wow! That's a lot of dragon stories. Or are those the aforementioned drafts?

Heh, I actually thought of doing what you did and taking the day off but I figured I was on my last mile, I could rush it. Damn, was I wrong.

Sean said...

Banzai Cat: Believe it or not, each one of those is a totally different draft. "Dragon1" described an encounter with a twist, "Dragon3" was a stab at science-fiction told in journal excerpts, and "Dragon6a" was the first version of the one I eventually submitted.

And people wonder why I get tired easily...

banzai cat said...

Heh. That's a lot of ideas. And a lot of dragons. ;-)

Sean said...

Banzai Cat: Don't even get me started on the plot ideas that didn't make it. (shudders)