And by finished I mean not really finished and not even close to finished and now the hard work must begin because it’s hardly finished at all. But finished as a first draft. I wrote the last words of “Little Gray Birds” over the weekend and “finished” the last story of the cycle. (Except now I have this short coda I want to write as well, but that will be easy. *sardonic chuckle*)
It’s pretty good, I think. Ties everything together sufficiently, though the subsequent thousands of readings I give it will refine that a bit. And the rewrites of all of the other stories, in light of the narrative revelation I had some weeks ago, will strengthen those bonds.
The draft I have comes in at* just under 2,000 words, and my notes for it still contain about 5,000 words, so there is much material I have had to leave out. Most of it just didn’t fit with the plot as it evolved or with the tone I was trying to achieve. Some of the notes were for a different “Little Gray Birds” I might have written at a different time. Some of it I may still find a place for, if not in “Birds” then perhaps in one of the earlier stories. Who knows. Maybe as I muscle my way through the entire cycle I’ll find some hole that needs to be filled and write yet another story.
As things stand right now, the first two words of the cycle (in “The Death of Superman”) are “My father.” And the last word of the cycle (in “Little Gray Birds”) is “everything.” That should give you a good idea of the subject matter of the stories. And I didn’t even plan it that way.
I’ve just about given up the notion of trying to get any more of the stories published as discrete pieces. I think they’re good enuf, certainly, (and I really should get “Fathers Day” out there for consideration since that holiday is coming up, plus a couple of stories are currently under consideration), but I know they’re all going to come under fundamental revisions (even the already-published pieces), so I guess they’re not finished either.
These are good problems to have, by the way.
*”Comes in at” – idiomatic expressions are really odd when you pause to consider them.