first draft follies

On the first day of summer I finished the first draft of “Spring Fever.” I mentioned yesterday that I’d made good progress on the story, and over the weekend I finished it.

Which is good since I was about to give up on it. It was taking itself in a direction I didn’t want. The first half of the story is light hearted, almost frolicsome, but I was sifting in hints and foreshadowing for the second half of the story. All the while it was getting longer and longer. (I’ve noticed lately that most of my stories are shut out from many publications because they exceed the maximum word count of a thousand or two thousand words.) And the transition point between the first and second parts was too cute. It was one of those darlings that beginning writers are told to kill. And it wasn’t taking the story where I wanted it to go.

So I cut out the darling bit (clever innuendo about the size of two men’s “cars”) and dropped the scene that would have resulted from the bit altogether. This allowed me to both shift the tone and bring in the crux of the story without delay. It weighs in at 4,200+ words, and there is more work to do, so it’s going to be one of my longest stories.

I mentioned yesterday that “Spring Fever” precedes one of the chapters in One-Match Fire and that I needed to get the story worked out so I could revise the chapter in the novel to make them align. What I’ve found, though, is that I need to revise “Spring Fever” more than the chapter. I pretty much spent the whole novel building to that chapter. (It’s effectively the end of the novel.) So its reality was more solid than “Spring Fever.” (Which is intended to be the opening chapter of the sequel novel to One-Match Fire. I’ve written several of those chapters, and one, “Fire Sermon,” is already published.)

Anyway, satisfying progress. And progress on an interruption. I’m hoping once I get this story m/l finished, I can get back to Finnegans Fogbound and sprint to the finish line on that one.

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