204. Prose And Cons

(completed A Time To Love earlier this afternoon. Major edits are underway. If all goes well, you’ll be able to read it in Unpublished Stories on Friday)

I had the benefit of receiving some of the most honest feedback possible on Noir Blues earlier this evening. Hint: it wasn’t good.

(pro tip: any time anyone prefaces their feedback or comments with “Can I be honest?”, brace yourself for negative feedback)

One of the points communicated was the trouble with pacing and tone the story had, that it seemed simple haphazard from start to middle (he didn’t manage to complete a full reading). Which I could understand – I didn’t even do a proper read-through to fix those things before sending it off to feedback.

(and now you know. Continue reading the stuff that I send you anyhow, please? Pretty please?)

I used to be a very self-conscious writer. I still am, I guess, just to a lesser degree, after the hundreds of thousands of words churned out numbed my senses. Back in the days when I first started taking this writing thing seriously, I used to obsessively read and re-read everything that I wrote: every word, every punctuation, every paragraph break had to be just right.

(I like this spin on the quote by Mr. Twain: “The difference between the right word and almost right word is the difference between dead and almost dead)

Kind of like how first-time chefs are always obsessed about how their food should look and taste just right. Invariably, they despair at their inability to create perfection. Luckily for me, writing is far less costly than cooking, and requires little to no cleaning up after. I would have never survived 2 days in the culinary arts.

At that time, I also used to write only when the mystical public bus of inspiration arrives, and I used to write very short stories, averaging at about 400 words in length. The results was 3 days of editing following 30 minutes of writing. It worked, I guess, but over time I’ll learn that I’ll have to change my technique in order to write longer works.

After 7 years of writing prose, the bulk of which was written in the last 2 years, it comes as no surprise that it’s the format in which I flow most naturally and am most comfortable writing. As opposed to scripts, which I have only learned how to write in 2012. To a certain extent, I’m editing as I’m writing prose because of my familiarity with the medium. When it comes to scripts however, it’s just one challenge on top of the other: having to think in scenes, having to communicate visually, having to take note of the format… I guess it takes more of a toll on the quality of storytelling than I’d dare to admit.

I’ll be taking the rest of this week to clean up Noir Blues, a work which will most likely spill over into next week. I hope that out of this might come something respectable; and more importantly, money.

(yes, I’m a sellout that way. But remember: I make money to write stories. I also write stories to make money. It’s a positive feedback loop kind of thing)

Wish me luck.


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