lesley_hastings: The words "Lesley Hastings" on a parchment background (Default)
[personal profile] lesley_hastings
I sent "The Demon Catcher" -- my original short story -- off to Dreamspinner last week. I'm extremely pleased that I managed to do this, regardless of whether or not it is accepted. I'm very grateful to everyone who took the time to offer me constructive criticism via email -- I found the editing/re-drafting process to be rigorous, and very beneficial.

I am also continuing to work on my new story set in the same 'verse, with the same characters, which is challenging but enjoyable. One thing that I'm finding new and slightly disconcerting about writing these original characters is waiting for them to reveal their motivations to me. I need to keep writing in order to get a sense of the characters, but then when I discover something new about them, I need to go back through what I've already written to ensure that it's consistent. I also find that I'm a bad judge of how much information that I need to give about what a character is thinking and feeling -- often, I like to leave that stuff implicit, but this can have the effect of making my characters seem rather detached and emotionless. This early on, I think readers need a little bit more. Of course, part of it is that I'm still not sure exactly what motivates my characters 100% of the time -- right now, I'm sketching the outline, and I'll have to come back to colour it in as things develop.

In the context of the short story, dealing with motivations was simpler. Euan (my POV protagonist) and Leon (my dashing hero) were immediately attracted to each other, they had a specific set of issues they needed to work through in order for that attraction to go somewhere (Euan's religious upbringing), and then at the end, it seemed believable enough that both of them wanted to stick together in order to explore their relationship further. Now, I need to work out how they feel about this thing lasting longer -- how do they perceive each other over an extended period of time, and how are their perceptions affected by their past experiences? I also want to avoid setting up a dynamic between them where one party is desperately in love and the other is cold and distant -- basically, I want both of them to be pretty well into each other, and for any tensions in their relationship to come from somewhere other than non-mutual-affection.

Another thing that I'm realising as I continue to write is how much I'm structuring this like a TV show, rather than a novel -- which makes sense really, given that most of the fiction I consume these days is television based. In many ways, "The Demon Catcher" is like the pilot episode, while the story I'm writing now (which I think will be novella-length) is like a three-episode arc in the context of a larger series. I imagine that this would pose some problems for traditional publishing platforms, but since I'm open to non-traditional platforms -- well, we'll have to see how it goes.

First, we'll see if Dreamspinner accepts "The Demon Catcher", and if they do, whether or not they'd be interested in more stories in that 'verse. If not -- well, I will find my own ways of getting the stories out there. :)
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lesley_hastings: The words "Lesley Hastings" on a parchment background (Default)

March 2011

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