Getting Luna and Leo Out of Limbo

“The first draft of anything is [not always] shit,” but most things can turn into crap if not properly cared for.

I hope Hemingway doesn’t come back from the grave to poke me with a fleshless finger, and yell, “I know you didn’t stick a ‘not’ in my fantabulous quote, woman!” Although, it would be pretty awesome to meet a minimalistic zombie, wouldn’t it?

Don’t get overexcited, my Wicked Luvs, this post is not about Hemingway going fleshless, but about the first draft of “The Haunting,” existing in some kind of limbo. Did you notice that the environment of the story is a little bare? There is no real sense of vegetation, weather conditions, world rules… I need to write those in. I also need to fill many glaring holes.

But there is rationality behind my latest surge of madness, “The Haunting” is an experiment inspired by Gina, from Daydream Believer. She doesn’t know this yet, but I hope this post tells my dear friend how much I appreciate her influence and admire her work. Gina’s stories are told with brush, pencil, colors, canvas, paper… yes, she is a painter who loves to share her creation process—mistakes included. In her blog, Gina also shows how she corrects slipups.

The last two sentences were what motivated me to share one of my short stories from beginning to end. So yes, my Dark Fiction Loving Darlings, what you’ve read of Luna and Leo is my very first draft of their story. It is raw. And to keep my OCD from wanting to edit, I forced myself to write each part the same day it was to be published.

When you read the polished story, in a couple of weeks, it will be tighter—I hope!—and it will probably have a different feel to it. Seriously; a tree or two, architectural clues, streets, and reasons why a couple of crows won’t stay quiet, can do wonders for a story.

I plan to publish “The Haunting,” along with the results of “Being a Drake,” on Amazon and perhaps Smashwords as part of my final project for a digital publishing course. I think I’ll title the twosome, “Tales of Pre-Chaos,” for I’m planning to write more short stories set in the same place, and my work in progress, Under the Witch’s Skin, develops in the same world.

That’s enough about my creative rambling. I would love to know your thoughts about sharing ideas when they are still in the raw. How do you feel about showing your babies in their unruly—and not always so pretty—early stages?

By the way, just so you know, some elements of the first draft might not make it to the final story. For the editing and rewriting process involves the unsavory matter of having to “murder [one’s] darlings.” In Gina’s sage words, “To get from “ruined oil pastel sketch” to “Mixed media Goddess” you got to get nasty!!!”    

16 comments:

  1. SQUEEEEEEEEAL!!!!! What a compliment!! And it's a long while since anyone called me a sage. I am deeply honoured by this post :D XXX

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    1. Well, the fact you see it as a compliment makes me feel super honor, too. Hooray! Good feelings all around. But yes, I do love the freedom of your sharing style, and your colors ;-)

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  2. first...wanna say congrats to GINA for being anb inspiration to you...and her art you included here is amazing!

    about your story...i think it's great to 'put it out there'...no matter what stage it's in. rough. rougher. edited. sometimes seeing your work...or art...in progress...getting the feel from others...helps to shape and reshape.

    also...my feeling...was that while i was reading...ALL the chapters...that i could definitely SEE what was happening...SEE the landscape...FEEL the grass, trees, cement, stone walls...feel the sky...the air...it was real. for me. :)

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    1. I feel very lucky to have people whose are is so unique and amazing, you included, for I love how you bring live back to the bones you touch. And when I found out that you heal people with your hands for a living, I was like "Wow! this woman is a dream."

      I agree with your 'put it out there' theory. I have many writer friends who are always complaining about not having any beta readers or anyone who critiques their work. And when I tell them to put some of it online, they look at me like I'm on crack. Yes, I understand that not every person who reads will leave a comment that will help me reshape my story, but out of 13 readings 9 tell me "I love this" it feeds my ego reserve, 1 tells me "I don't get it, this sucks" that keeps my ego on check, and the 3 people who tell me "I love where this is going, can I know why x, y and z happened? I wonder if character a could be developed a bit more..." those 3 individual are my unofficial critique partners. I need and appreciate all 13.

      Yay! You SAW and FELT!

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  3. For me, when I read a Good Story I also see it happening (in glorious colour) happening. Right now, the surrounding environment is limited to a circle around the main characters, not placed into a world. But then, in a short story I don't expect a World. In a book-length story I do. When you publish these, I don't have an e-reader just a laptop. Will it work?

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    1. Short stories do limit worldbuilding, they are also a great wait to push a writer--okay, me--to choose between the things I 'want' in the story and things that 'must be in it.' When I edit and rewrite, I make those choices. I will be nice sharing the completed before and after with you and everyone else.

      And yes, Kindle, Nook and other readers have free applications for reading on computers. You know what? I will write about it, for I've been asked the same questions several times. It is a shame that the technology is out there, but many people don't know they have access to it.

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  4. My dear Magaly, You have fantastic talent as a writer, and I love seeing a story come alive from the start!!! If Hemingway should come back to see you, he may poke that fleshless finger at you and say he jealous of your writing...

    Big Hugs,
    Jan

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    1. You rock! I know a few people whose hearts would stop at your words, and not out of excitement lol

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  5. Thank goodness; I was worried I was going to be stuck with the mystery of those crows forever!

    A small note for you on the kindle and nook for laptops; they don't work with screen readers. My Dad helped me download the kindle for windows thing, and I can't use it. Though kindles have their own speach softwear the downloads for computers don't, and Jaws apparently doesn't work with them. There's a possibility an update in the future may come along to change this, but that's how it stands at the moment. Just something for you to bear in mind when deciding the formats to make your book available in. :)

    Anyway...

    When it comes to sharing work, I like sharing early drafts to get a feel for how people react to it. One of the benifits of this is that if someone makes a comment about seeing a character or situation in a way you didn't want them to, then you're aware of it and can try to remedy it.

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    1. I would never torture you like that.

      That blows that JAWS can't read the Kindle and Nook applications, thank gods for Smashwords that has PDF and other formats.

      And I agree 100% with the last bit of your comment.

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  6. Gina is an amazing talent and I love the way she shows the process of everything on her blog! Magaly, I would have never known that your story was a first draft! You are truly an amazing talent, like Gina!! xoxoxo

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    1. I'm all giggles right now ;-)

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  7. I am still trying to digest that you wrote these without edit(s) on the day they were to post. Are you certain that you grasp how amazing this truly is? You are the goddess of the written word! I can only imagine what this delicious story will be like after it is fleshed. And if anyone has to ability to get nasty, it is you, my wicked love. ;-)

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    1. I'm excited about the editing and rewrites, too. I have to let it rest for a week or two though, if not I can't find the uglies or know where I need to stick what.

      And you know that getting from enchanting to nasty is a witchy requirement lol

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  8. Oh i can't wait. I've done reviews, interviews but I have never seen a 1st draft all the way to the final cut. Make sure you get us the links.

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