Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

I do not refer to the Dallas Cowboys.

My first reader, namely my wife, finished reading my VP short story last night. I sweated it out in another room while she read, and finally couldn’t take it any more.

I walk into the next room and she’s done, the pages stacked neatly on the end table next to her.

“Well?” I ask.

“I liked it,” she says.

“Wo-hoo!” says I.

“Except I don’t get it,” says she.

Excuse me. I must go stick my head in the oven.

So something about the end not making sense, blah, blah, blah. Worse, I couldn’t explain it to her after she’d read it. I mean, with handouts and voice-over I couldn’t make it clear, for crying out loud. Even Dune managed to do that!

So we revise. Stupid readers and their taste and wanting things to make sense and to be “readable”. Nonsense I say!

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Ouch

I’m rereading my VP critiques for the first time since I left VP. As a certain doctor from a certain campy scifi tv series used to say–Oh the pain…

Sure, there are kind words in the critiques.

And there are story elements that work.

But man, the stuff that doesn’t work gets nailed to the freaking wall.

Must. Read. More. Despite. Brutality.

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Fear is the Greatest Motivator

…and I am afraid of not being able to write for a living. So I churn away on my VP story. It makes some degree of sense now, I’ve structured the sentences somewhat decently, and I like the main and supporting character.

But still. Eh.

I may have to let it breathe, despite my interest in wrapping this story. This is much easier to type than to accept. I sooooooo want to be done with this story, because once I’m done with the short I get to return to THE BOOK THAT WAS RAVAGED AT VP.

And I have critiques to do for other VP’ers.

And a little thing I’m working on that might fly at McSweeneys.

A smart man would stop blogging and write.

I’m going to watch TV.

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VP XII Pictures

Art not of my manufacture. Credit hermetic with these pictures.

Odd seeing them out of their cages, n’est pas?

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Day One of Real Life

Well this sucks 😉

Back to work today, the paying kind of work that Scalzi said we can’t quit. He’s right, but still, the day gig ain’t sitting around talking about writing and staying up all night actually writing. As brutal as it was, I miss it.

On the up side, I started writing again today. It only took a few days to recover from what professionals call “a critique” and what amateurs call “a kick in the nuts”. My apologies to those of you with delicate sensibilities. I’m cleaning up the assignment we got at VP. I fixed one bit already, although there are more bits remaining.

Back to the salt mines.

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