I just finished the second full revision of my suicide story. Several parts have been revised multiple times, but as a whole, this is the second revision. It took me a week to write the story, and about two months to get to this point XD Originally it was 3,000 words, but now it is 5,500. There is still some more pruning to do, but hopefully all of the major edits are out of the way. That means I’m mentally available to work on something else 😀
So my new goal is one short story a month, writing and editing. I probably won’t meet my goal, but that’s okay. If nothing else it will help focus me a bit. I used to set word goals for myself when writing fanfic because I often lacked motivation. I haven’t had that problem with short stories though, but when I write another novel I probably will.
I guess part of the reason it took me so long to edit my suicide story is that I’ve had a lot going on in my life. I mean it is what it is, life happens. Everyone has this problem though XD Also, it doesn’t help that I’m the slowest writer I know :$ Some people can type 1,000+ words in an hour. For me it’s about 200 words an hour. It’s not that my typing speed is slow, it just takes me a long time to formulate prose. I feel like I’m getting a bit faster, but I doubt I’ll ever be fast
A bigger factor contributing to the long editing process was the fact that this is the first piece of creative writing that I have actually edited. I sort of edited for fanfic, but nothing to this extent. It took me a while to find a literary critique site I liked as far as feedback was concerned. Literary critique sites seem to have their own personality, but my favorite so far as been Critique Circle.
There were a lot of things I didn’t even know I didn’t know, like development of a theme or abusing filter words and adverbs. I had to revise this post multiple times to eliminate unnecessary adverbs. It’s a bad habit, I know :$ It’s one I’m
really really really working on XD
Thanks go to Dr. Sylvester’s Theme Post for opening my eyes to a very important important literary device. I guess that sounds kind of ridiculous, I’ve been writing on and off for five years, and didn’t know what a theme was. I had a general idea, but I couldn’t define it for you. My first reaction after reading Dr. Sylvester’s post was, wait my story has to mean something? it’s not enough to have non-awkward prose, consistent POV, decent characters, and an interesting plot? Damn XD
The theme of my suicide story did end up changing a bit as I deleted scenes and added new ones in. It was originally about not being able to obtain peace if you have guilt, but that wasn’t strong enough. Now it’s about learning to forgive yourself when bad things happen that aren’t really your fault. I think it’s a stronger message. While it’s interwoven throughout the story, I hammered the point home in a new snippet, which is a bit weird so I don’t know if it will work.
That brings me to my next point. Writing a non-linear story from the POV of a dying man is hard. There is no right or wrong way to do it. No matter what I do, some people are going to object to the layout of the story and the clarity of his memories and delusions. It’s been hard to analyze what things really need to change. Although when I have 2-3 people saying the exact same thing, the decision is easy. I won’t be writing another non-linear story for a while I think. I had fun, and I really pushed myself, but a non-linear story is not something I want to do frequently.