The First Shoe Dropped


The First Shoe Dropped

My Trusted Reader Read the First Tale

Read about finishing the second Grimn’s 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?

Read about the second shoe dropping.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to drop a comment.

Happy writing.



4 thoughts on “The First Shoe Dropped

  1. So I have a few words. Maybe more than a few we’ll find out.

    The cover as it appears on my screen here looks….terrible, not becuase he deosn’t look masculine enough, but the actual picture quality is really unfortunately bad.

    Now onto the actual, maybe useful things, or hopefully encouraging things.

    The first good thing – you have some idea as to why things didn’t work out as well as you would have liked. Knowing what’s wrong is half, well maybe a 1/3rd of the battle. First third knowing what’s wrong, second knowing how to fix it, last third actually doing the work.

    The rest of my thoughts are questions to ponder and maybe answer, or bounce around with me if you feel it would be helpful.

    1- Is the approach right. Are you trying to tell to large a story in to small a space, I ask because this is my problem 99% of the time I get as frustrated as you sound with short fiction.
    2 – Is the lack of clear, brief, and concise scenes something that can be fixed with editing, or is this a matter of a poor fit for you? I’ve read you’re writing, I’ve read the odd bit of micro fiction you’ve written, you have the ability to say much in not much space.
    3- What is the purpose of this project?

    • Yippers…the cover was laughably bad.

      And, am I trying to fit too much into too small a space? I think so.

      And that gets back to what do I want out of all this? And I’ve decided on want to write a series arc. I will save the shorter form for another try.

      BTW — I talk about some of this in the next post, which I wrote before seeing your comment.

  2. Pingback: Then The Second Shoe | Simply Silent

  3. Pingback: Draft Of The Second Grimn’s Tale | Simply Silent

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