Posted tagged ‘Spring Fever’


August 6, 2018

You’re too polite to ask, but I’m sure you’ve been wondering: what’s the status of “Spring Fever,” that love story that ties in to the One-Match Fire universe?

Well, I’ve pondered it, revised it, shortened it, deepened it, and more or less struggled with it, and now, at 4,300+ words, I think I’ve finished it. I introduce a new character and a new relationship (one that might threaten the dynamic of my One-Match Fire family or one that may broaden and enrich it).

But it ain’t that simple. The story ripples and I still need to revise “Little Gray Birds” (currently the penultimate story in One-Match Fire) as a consequence.

And if/when I do that, I’m finding that I’m left with some unfinished business in that novel. There is a consequence to “Spring Fever” that can’t be left unspoken in the story line. So I see myself writing yet another story for One-Match Fire. (Recall that I had not been trying to submit the novel because I had this nagging notion that it was “not finished.” And here I am, not finished with it.) I’ve already begun making notes for that new story, and I even have a tentative title for it: “Deadfall.”

“Spring Fever” was meant to be the first chapter of a sequel to One-Match Fire, resolving the great mystery in the relationship between a father and son there, but now I’m thinking that maybe “Spring Fever” just needs to be added to One-Match Fire as its own chapter. There’s a place for it. The story would fit nicely in the narrative and it would add its heft to the novel, a novel that I always thought was a little short in terms of word count anyway.

And if I write that “unfinished business” story and add it to the novel as well, I’ll have a bit more heft and substance.

The trouble is that all of this requires a fundamental rethinking of the “resolution” of the conflict in the novel. Rather than being implied, it will be stated. I’m becoming more comfortable with this, but change is not always easy.

productive weekend

July 16, 2018

I wrestled mightily over the weekend with that story of mine: “Spring Fever.” I thought it was finished, but not so. I’ve mentioned before that in the chronology of these stories, it occurs before “Little Gray Birds” and affects what happens there.

I thought I had the two sorted out, but when I looked at “Birds” again, I realized that two characters there were more or less having the same conversation they would have had a month or so before in “Fever.” What to do?

I debated revising “Birds” heavily, but the point of that story (a point) is a resolution of much of the tension that had been building in One-Match Fire. What’s in it belongs in it and not in “Fever.” So the slash and burn had to take place in “Fever.”

And so I got to it. I eviscerated cut out several hundred words (from what I had thought was a high word count anyway), removing the “same” conversation that appears in “Birds” and substituting it with something more revelatory for one of the characters and his relationship with his father. It’s not finished, and neither is “Birds,” but I think I’ve got the fundamentals in place.

Writing is rewriting, as they say.

first draft follies

June 26, 2018

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┬áboth 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.

ferment of spring

June 11, 2018

So I’ve been in NYC for the last few days (home again soon) and wondering if lightning might strike twice, that I might write a whole story because there must be something magical or psychological about being out of my routine and my element, the way this has happened a few times in my past.

And so, without much in the way of specific intent, I opened the file of notes I’ve been keeping about a love story I want to write as part of the collection that will comprise the sequel to One-Match Fire. (No developments there though.) So the story has had the working title of “Spring Fever” (to somehow companion with a yet-to-be-written story I’ll call “Cabin Fever”), and this story, which I intend to be the first in the collection, will make clear what the central conflict was in OMF (if the perceptive reader doesn’t figure it out). And I think this is why OMF has been languishing; I’ve needed to nail down some bits in this story in order to refine the ending of OMF so that I can consider it finished once and for all.

So on my first freakishly early morning, in the house that was still quiet despite a latent frenzy in the form of a toddler and twin nearly one-year-olds, I began the story. Exhausted after writing about 113 words, I figured my ambition was unrealistic. But the house remained quiet and the laptop remained open and some further words followed. I ended my first day of writing at more than 600 words. I hadn’t even introduced the love interest yet, but I achieved a kind of momentum.

And so on the second morning, I returned to the story, added even more words, brought in the love interest, and doubled my word count. By the third morning I had more than 2,000 words, many of them pretty good and in decent order. Even so, I don’t think I’ve gotten to the meat of the story yet; it’s all lighthearted so far.

Regardless, it’s begun and I expect I’ll stay with it (even after I return to the Midwest) and get the thing whole written, just not all outside of my comfort zone. And that’s a good thing.