many of you know that I belong to a couple of different writers groups. I also talk about how you will hear different advise when you are there, and how this information is something you always need to filter and decide what works for you as a writer, not what the majority have to say.
last night I presented a short story called “Ship 13 – the silence of space” its a story [part of a collection] that is centered around a multi-generational ship. this setting is fascinating, because it puts a microscope to humanity, when you have only enough materials and space for a set number of people – how do you deal with the most basic of problems? when you have a very finite pool of resources, how do you decide what to spend where on who.
The story is about a man whose daughter is discovered to be deaf. There is a ship wide vote to her fate, and the story tells the results of that vote. While fascinating in its own right, I will leave the details about it for you to discover when I publish it. what I would like to focus on for this blog, is this: I passed out 8 copies of the story for review. as always when I hand out my raw work, it comes back with several grammar Nazi issues, and some glaring ‘WTF’ issues that I should have caught but didn’t. the interesting thing to me is that the second paragraph of the story and the third were marked on every single copy! 4 people put down how they thought those needed to be edited, chopped. They did little to ratchet up the tension and were extraneous words on the page. the other 4 the reviews/people said they loved the hooks, those paragraphs helped both foreshadow the conflict and give an insight to the main character.
me, I like them – and am going to keep them in, cleaned up a bit of course, but still….
so the moral of this entire post is this, if you want to make everyone happy don’t write, because once you write, someone will not like the words you put on your screen/paper. If you do insist on writing (like I am doing, and will keep doing) just remember to stay true to your voice and your stories, let the critics make suggestions and be open to them in case their ideas are better [all 8 people hated the last 2 sentences of my story – good sign it needs to be reworked] but don’t let start letting the crowd dictate your story to you.