Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned

Yes, it's true.

I finished my short story and after a quick edit of the first draft I sent it out to a few people for comment.

The resounding feedback from Jen I got was not enough detail in the ever so bad things that happened to the three guys in the story. In fact, the only blood in it was from one of them who got punched in the nose. Now for a short story with a mysterious beast that basically rips them to shreds (although is never explicitly stated) well this is something worth pondering. Thanks, Jen. Your feedback AGAIN is invaluable.

Today over lunch I was also talking to my friend Cravon and he commented to me, the same as Jen did, that he felt there should have been more description for the bad things: blood, gore, general painfulness, that kind of stuff.

From both Jen and Cravon it's a valid comment seeing as there really is no description of those things at all.

So I said to Cravon, I said, "I think I was avoiding it being too chunky because I might want to submit it to a writing competition one day..." *WHAM* There it was. Instead of writing the story I think I wanted to write, I pulled my punches being all concerned about whether a magazine might look at it or not based on the bloodiness.

Naughty naughty naughty!

It is supposed to be a horror short story for crying out loud. Horror. Does horror worry about namby pamby magazines? No! Does horror worry if someone might think something is too gory? NO! Does horror worry about the body count? NO! I say NO!

One of the number one killers of an interesting story is writing to a perceived audience. Or writing in caution because your thinking about who might read your book one day, such as your mother. Barroom brawls are less violent, cussin' and a fussin' is not as effective, and raunchy sex scenes basically stop before anyone can get started.

So I'll be going back and doing a third draft of this work - to be honest I actually hesitate to call what I sent a second draft - and I'll be pulling out the stops, as I should have done from the very beginning.

So forgive me, I will try harder next time. Honest I will.


Jennifer Talty said...


So glad I was helpful. Writing is such a learning process and even after three books that will be published and god knows how many other books/drafts I've written, I'm still learning I have a lot to learn.

About writing to an's not necessarily a bad thing. I write my romances to an audience. And there are "rules" I "should" follow. But knowing the rules gives me permission to break those rules, with good reason.

And you are stretching your writing talents by trying something new and different and experimenting. This is all good. You're a talented guy and I'm just glad I found you, you found me...whatever. Glad we're friends.

OzWriter said...

Can understand what you are saying, and if you are writing to a specific genre there will sometimes be a perceived audience in mind.

But I blew it, I let thoughts of where the story might go hold me back and for that I was bad. When you see my novel you will find some blood and gore in that, don’t worry…

I don't know about writing talent, but something sure is being stretched LOL.


Jennifer Talty said...


Geez, I'm a romance writer first, that last statement send my mind right to the gutter...

Yeah, I'll agree you kind of blew it since I know you held back since I have a general idea of what goes on inside your mind (probably a scary place than mine), but you are talented, and don't ever forget it.

Now go forth and rewrite so I can read it again.

Barbie Jo said...

Ooohh, sin and blood and guts..Oh My! (yeah, okay... it was funny in my little corner of the world!)

So Jen sent me the 2nd draft. I was just getting ready to read when I thought to check blogger-land.

Based on this latest and greatest post, should I read it or WAIT. I'm flexible! (mind out of the gutter again, Jen! :D )

I can tell you the 3/4 of a page I did read definitely had the eerie feel to it. I was going to put a comment of "cue the menacing pipe organ" but didn't know if I"m just reading, or am I to comment??

I already have a feeling that it's going to bring back my Friday 13th/Crystal Lake fears. I hated those movies. Freaked me out to go camping for YEARS!!!!

Just remember, you need to write the book that's in you. Use the power of your words to create the vision. Do you think Steven King stopped to think about who would be reading his books or watching the movies?? Nope. He just wrote them. Pet Cemetary is still my fav. Book freaked me out. LOved the movie!

okay, I'm rambling. I guess I'll go read....

*strolling thru the woods whistling to keep away the freakish monsters.....*

Jennifer Talty said...

I loved Friday the 13th! Great movie. When I went to summer camp we used to tell the story of the H Man. Oh it was so scary...I loved it. Why do I like to be scared?

OzWriter said...

Hi Barbie Jo,

I'd still like your opinions so read this copy if you have the time, at 2,500 words it won't take long. I suspect how it is now might be more your cup of tea compared to how it will become...


Barbie Jo said...

Hey!!! so just because I live in bunnyland where everything is happy and the sun is shining and there is love and joy everywhere... you don't think I could take the blood, guts and gore???? Should I be insulted??

I mean, geez, it's not like I'm going to go screaming into the night all freaked out or something. Right? Face it, you know you've done it right if "Lil Barbie sunshine" gets totally creeped out.

So yes, I will read and comment on what I've got. And as far as your re-write???

Bring it...

OzWriter said...

Oh ho, so has Barbie Jo got her back up? LOL

Yep, still want to know your opinion of what you've got now. If anything it's an exercise of not writing what I should have and hopefully seeing if I can fix it.

Now, what to call the creature? For some reason BJ keeps coming to mind...

*walks away humming, "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine"*

Jennifer Talty said...

BJ? Oh god no. Please no. Can I say it again...No to the name BJ.

Barbie, Lets me remind you of how you didn't get the "red sharpie" thing? Yeah, you live in bunnyland alright.

Jennifer Talty said...

you need a new post!

Amanda C. Barton said...

Evening Glenn,

I know that this entry has been copiously commented on already, but I have to say that there was something in your comment that I really empathized with. In my current projects, I've found myself completely paralyzed with great bouts of writer's block, contemplating what "will sell." It seems as if I've hyped up the actual sale in my mind to such a huge thing, that I forget the real reason I write: because I enjoy writing and telling stories.

I realize that enjoying the process of writing won't reach any eventual goals of sales, but I've found that it's much easier to write straight through, and then go back later and edit it for sale, then it is to self-censor as you go.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. And yes, I do tend to read a bit of science fiction. I'll definitely add Peter F. Hamilton to my list of recommended authors. I have quite a bit of reading ahead of me!

Good luck with those edits.