<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Theoretically Speaking

So, let's say you were given a deadline to work on a story. Let's say you were given seventeen days. And let's say that during those seventeen days you had to work full time, attend two optometrists' appointments, and go to a convention. Just to spice things up, let's also say that you caught a cold.

Are you with me?

Right. So, it took you three days to come up with a suitable story idea--not because you didn't like the theme, which was actually rather interesting, and not because you were lazy, but simply because your mind was caught up in a wholly other story. (Let's say the other story was about bagpipes, because wouldn't that be funny?) Then it took you a week to write the story, because of all the aforementioned things, but really, you were feeling excellent about the whole thing because you were left with so much fabulous time to revise and edit before slamming into that very inflexible deadline.

Then let's say you read the story and you hated it. Let's say you gave it the nickname "terrible story," and weren't even joking. You are a smart person, so of course you have some friends read and offer their suggestions, and while they think it's salvageable their comments really let you know that when they say "It's good" really what they mean is "It's okay."

What do you do? Of course. With only five days left, you throw out everything you've worked on and start completely from scratch. New concept, new story, new everything. And let's say that a combination of inspiration, desperation and a day home from work (because of that aforementioned cold, yes, but also that looming deadline) mean that you're able to write the whole thing in two days, under word limit and everything.

What would you do if the thought of actually re-reading what you had written was terrifying, because you know that there's no way in hell you can write a third story, and so if this one is bad you're screwed? Or have a lot of rewriting ahead of you. And only three days and a cold and work.

Let me tell you what I'd do: I'd write a blog entry. I'm just clever that way.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 4:09 PM


I say, don't reread. At all. Submit to the editor, make a cup of tea, and when the editor takes the story, let *her* edit the damn thing!

And if the editor doesn't take the story, *then* reread it and go through the whole obsessive rewrite phase.

And of course, through it all, continue blogging. So we get to read new posts. :)

By Blogger Beth Adele, at 11:03 PM  

Ah, but I have until Friday, you see. That's still another full day of editing time! (And it's a good thing I read and began editing, too; while I like it, I also found it necessary to totally rewrite the last 4000 words--aka, two-thirds of the story.)

But yes, more blogging. :) Just have to make sure that the writing always comes first.

By Blogger Karina, at 1:44 PM  

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