Sunday, 28 December 2014

Creator Destroyer

Yesterday I completed what is hopefully the last draft of my current story. I have sent it to a friend for final feedback. It’s been a beautiful beast, weighing in at way over the word count in its first incantation. I felt bad but I had to brutalise my baby. It’s one thing sculpting a little excess away but it’s quite another hacking limbs off.
My circle of critics have been brilliant. Some of them are splendidly harsh, some so supportive. They are all constructive; they have all helped me carve. These people are not necessarily my best writing buddies, they are my best critics. I’m not a natural critic but I make a bloody effort for these particular people because I know they do that for me. My course is making me better; I’ve always done the feedback sandwich but now I don’t just do words and sentences, I do plot and structure and sense and sometimes suggestions.
This story is not in my normal tone; it’s harsher, bleaker with less whimsy so I have felt more exposed collecting opinions. We were encouraged to incorporate an autobiographical element and I used my job. This, along with a first person voice drags me closer to my protagonist. I feel like prefixing my attachment with ‘This is NOT ME’.
What is wonderful is that I still have time. The deadline is luxuriously distant and I am on holiday. Two weeks off work. Nice, strange, unnerving. I suppose I should hunt for my next story and not surrender to daydreams again.