I’m certain that there are many writers who know this one.
Today I realized that I’ve been contending with a specific story, off and on, for three years this month. This is far too long to be stymied over a story that maxes out at 3,000 words.
Why is it limited to 3,000 words? This story was and still is slated for Assignment # 9 of a correspondence course. Breaking into Print from Institute for Writers is a challenging and rewarding program. I’ve accepted this challenge and I’m determined to complete it.
Why has it taken so long? There has been a lot of comments, critiques, and reviews of this piece. A lot of people said things that, while I”m thankful for the responses, they added to the strife. So, I kept doing the one thing certain people kept telling me to do. Take a break, step away from the story and focus on something else.
Well, time passes when you keep setting the story aside.
The story is not much better off than it was last year, or the year before.
I have decided to revise the story, switch the focus of the POV character from talking about her friend’s situation. She’s now going to focus on herself. I’m also switching to 3rd person. Tried as I might, I’m just not comfortable with 1st person. To me it feels like it’s too easy to violate the show don’t tell rule. And as far as I know, this is one of the golden rules in writing.
So, in the coming weeks, I’ll be focused on ‘Schooled’. Yes, it finally has a title, so that’s some progress. I am hopeful that the revisions coming to mind, ( thanks Muse) will cure the stymie and get my writing flowing again.
From this lesson, I can share my sense of learning. If you feel stymied by a story that just doesn’t seem to be going right or ‘behaving’ as some like to say. Considering revising it, try switching the POV character’s focus, switch the 1st / 3rd person ( try the one you’re not using).
In my contemplation of ‘Schooled’ over the last few days, I came to realize that the character that’s been the focus is in a prime mental state to be the antagonist.
I can work with this.
Now, can I get this revision done before my move? June 3rd is less than 5 months away.
Here’s a link to my portfolio on writing.com and the story as it is now.
The title is tentative (working title), it may change. This has happened for me while working on stories. I start with one title and during the process a new, sometimes better one comes along.