Week 3: Practice Stories

Another kind of successful week — 3,237 new words, bringing the years total to 10,404.

I’m still struggling with revisions. I got critiques back on two of my stories this week. The crits were brutally honest, the way I like them, and resonated with things I’d been trying to figure out myself. One thing I’m uncovering is that I don’t read critically enough. Having a third party point out an issue is great. I don’t always agree, but I usually see their point of view. It’s not easy but I’m trying to be honest with myself about the stories I’ve written.

The story I’ve been trying to edit? Broken. Not hopelessly so, but it’s going to require enough work to fix, and my voice has changed enough since I originally wrote it, that a rewrite is in order. Off to the salt mines it goes, until I decide it’s ready to play nice again. I’m accepting that there are practice stories. I don’t remember where I saw the term mentioned recently, but it stuck with me. These are the stories written that were useful to move from one phase to the next but are critically damaged as-is. You can either spend the time to rewrite and fix them, or stick them in the trunk and move on. The option to revisit is always there later.

Part of this process is re-evaluating my goals on a regular basis. If something doesn’t work, change it. I’m going to give myself a break from stressing over revisions this week, instead focusing on finishing the new story I’m working on and the essay that I want to write. February is going to focus more on revision. Fixing what’s broken, instead of putting a pretty coat of paint on a broken plot or weak characters.

Adam Israel
Author ꞏ Genealogist ꞏ Software Engineer

My interests include genealogy, cloud computing, and all things open source.

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