Thursday, August 7, 2014

Broken Mirror Shards - Dr. Claw Post-mortem Post

Well, I'm pretty pleased with how this went.  I've finished another story.  That makes three this year (one of which is so bad no one will ever see).  I know it's sad to say this, but I'm closing in on a personal record here if I keep this up.

My best year ever was 2008, the year we started the Dunesteef.  I wrote six stories that year, and, had we not started the Dunesteef, I probably would have written more.  I suspect this is the case, because I wrote almost all those stories in the first half of the year, and the production of the podcast consumed the second half of the year on me.

So, six stories is the most I've ever done in one year.  If you asked Rish, he'd probably say that the most he's ever written in a month was six, but we two seem to have different obstacles keeping us from being real writers.  My biggest obstacle is actually sitting down and doing the writing.  I'm always coming up with story ideas, turning them over and over in my head, but when it comes to actually putting them down on paper, I never seem to get around to it.

That's why I'm so pleased with this Broken Mirror Shards thing.  Having just finished one story, and a big old long one at that, I was challenged by Rish, and actually managed to complete the challenge.  I suppose I still need to crank it up, after all I've only written two stories in two months' time, but at least I'm still at it.  What has always been my biggest issue is getting my nose back on the grindstone. When I finish one story, I have a tendency to take a break, which of course kills my momentum, and I never get back to it.

Is Dr. Claw a great story?  Is it even one of my best?  I don't think so.  It's a passable story, but not amazing or exciting in any way.  I don't know if that comes from the fact that I came up with the idea and started writing it that same week or not.  Usually I polish an idea in my mind for a long time before ever writing the first word.  I think Fireflies is a much better story than Dr. Claw, but that might also be because it's so much longer.  I just don't know.

Also, I'm not really pleased with the last line of Dr. Claw.  It just didn't seem to close things off very well for me.  I don't know how I'd change it, though.  I guess I'd have to give it some thought.  I did consider having Brody hear the Round Table employee laughing from somewhere distant or maybe in his head.  But I didn't know if I wanted to go there.  The Round Table employee had really done nothing more than warn him off, and I didn't want to make it seem like he was behind it all per se.  I preferred to leave that open at least a little.

It makes me think of my story, Moonlit Confession, in which the last line said, "People say dogs don't smile, but every dog has his day."  When Rish, Abbie, and I performed that story for the podcast, Abbie burst out laughing at that final line.  Not, obviously, the effect I was going for.  She suggested that I drop it completely, and have it end when the girl calls back and says, "Woof."  But I still like that line, for some reason.

The last line in this story not so much.  Maybe I should drop the last line from it, and have it end with him curling into a ball and crying.  I don't know.

Anyway, this is the time that I open it up for all comments and suggestions.  Also, if you saw any typos or sentences that didn't make sense (because that happens a lot when I'm writing.  I start writing it one way, change my mind and decide to do it another way, but don't manage to get it completely changed over), let me know about them, so I can fix them in the master file.  Any suggestions about how to change the story to make it better, I'd love to hear them.

Lastly, thanks to Jason Kivela, Tena Kolakowski, Bria Burton, and Andrew Rakowski for reading, following along, and donating to the Dunesteef.  I hope you appreciated seeing your names in the story, and didn't find my characters (or entities in the case of Andrew) to whom your names were given to be too disagreeable.

Okay, now it's time to get back to the grindstone.  I promised I'd write another chapter of Sunny and Gray, in between each short story I write, so I guess it's off to get started on that.  Then, next will be a story that I think I will call Do Over, at least to begin with.  Another time travel tale, my favorite.


  1. I liked this story, Big. As Bria said, a true cautionary tale. It reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode, and I do mean that as a compliment. I could almost hear Rod Serling come in at the end. I liked the main characters naive understanding of novel writing. And being mistakenly acknowledged as a gay friend, ah, who hasn't that happened to. I'm ready for the next story.

  2. Cool, I didn't even notice that the Jason in your story was in reference to me, but very neat, thanks. I liked it too. I see the lesson you are trying to convey, enjoy what you have and don't expect handouts without paying a price. A bit dark, but not too much.