Hurts so good

Only a couple of things I’ve written have come hard for me, which I find a failing.  I take it as a sign that I’m not pushing myself, or the story hard enough.  Every story, “little” or “big”, has a place it wants me to take it.  Kelly (a fully operational Deathstar if ever there was one) pounded into my skull that your first ending is a safe ending, a low hanging fruit.  It’s the ending that’s expected, worn smooth and safe and absent of power from the number of times your reader has already been there with someone else.

The story I’m working on now is hard.  Every rewrite is a reveal, a lesson to carry on to the next draft, a reason to ditch those words, those characters, and find better ones.  Which is why I’m blogging, instead of writing it.  My Afghanistan story and I need a couple of hours break from one another.


2 responses to “Hurts so good

  • Laura E. Goodin

    Yeah, Kelly’s “don’t use the first ending” has become a mantra for me, too. I apply it all through the story, actually, in the form: the first thing you think of is never the thing you should use.

    At least as far as stories are concerned. I’m sure there’s some sort of zen thing that suggests that the first, intuitive reponse is the best. But I reckon that’s only true some of the time. (The trick, apparently, is figuring out which applies in any given situation.)

    — Laura

  • christophergreen

    I’m with you, the low hanging fruit thought is with me always. I think its relationship with “gut feeling” is as follows. When I’m hiking, my gut tells me I should keep pushing West, let’s say, but the first place I choose to put my feet isn’t always the best place for them.

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