The First Shoe Dropped
My Trusted Reader Read the First Tale
My Trusted Reader read the first of Grimn’s Tales, supposedly an eight story set.
She thought my blurb too long, disliked my MC’s picture on the cover, and could not tell if I’d actually changed anything in the six months of last seeing it.
So…don’t get used to the picture over there. I’ll be in the market for a different picture, someone more masculine.
She will read the second story this weekend.
With all my heart I hope to hear is that it’s rough, but has promise. But what if I fail again?
Time to take a deep breath, and step back for perspective.
I wanted to turn out an eight part series using Blake Snyder’s Story Beats to form the overall arc. While each story would be complete, each would focus on a different facet . first images, story problem debate, chaos of taking up the story problem, scoring an improbable victory, becoming overconfident, crashing before having an epiphany, picking up the pieces, then fighting the final battle.
I planned my first story to introduce the characters in their natural environment. In the second story, they would encounter and debate the Series Problem. And that’s as far as I’ve gotten fortunately because I’m failing.
When I laid this out story size played a significant role. If I could write 12,000 word stories, large novelettes, readers should need about an hour to read. In that construct, the story would unfold in four equal four parts. I even boldly assigned which scene types would populate each part.
All, my Trusted Reader finished the first story confused by the characters, why they did things, and had no clear vision of their world.
Complete, utter, hold-the-presses failure right there.
Nor did the story flow well, with big jumps, and people doing things without warning.
I attribute that to my inability to clearly and concisely get things out. That meant any number of 500 word scenes, with nothing longer than 1,500 words. Though able to write within those limits, how claustrophobic, relying on telling instead of showing, and skimming along at a stratospheric level without diving inside the POV’s head.
But, I expected her reaction, for I’d already experienced it. With the second story, I agonized over my shallow writing, before biting the bullets. I added scenes, filling the gaps, and gave the scene a proper treatment. Instead of writing it in 12,000 words, I wrote it in 42,000 words.
The Trusted Reader’s reaction to the second story will strongly influence how to proceed. Just now, I’ve no idea whether to walk away, expand the first story to 40,000 words, or rewrite the entire series arc with a 120,000 word story.
So, I wonder what she will say?
I hope she’s honest.
Who wants to churn out another six, only to waste another year?
If you have any thoughts, feel free to drop a comment.