Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Oscillation Edition

Over the weekend, I received a rejection for Rock Gods & Scary Monsters that kind of inspired me. I've been kicking around a new YA idea (well, vamping some of my old ideas into something new, anyway), and said rejecting agent suggested he/she might be interested in seeing my next "thing".

But my problem: plot development...namely development of subplots.

This, I believe, is where short story writing hurts. My longer work is too focused (at least too focused to be commercial, I guess). My WIP is character development for the new novel. I've written a few thousand words, too.

And then I had another "must write" short story idea.


('s a winner...really)

So, from the as yet unnamed YA novel (in which there are ghosts, sort of):

After he describes the other "weirdos" in his senior seminar...

And who was left? The lone ranger in the circle of the damned? The only sane member of LeClaire’s inner cabal?


Me. Six feet nothing, piggy-tail corkscrew hair in brown, like some uber-happy six-year-old found the acrylic and went Van Gogh on my head. If you straightened my hair, it might have been half a foot long. Curled up, it poked out about three-quarters of an inch. I wore a pair of fat-rimmed glasses with lenses wide enough to ignite an ant hill on a cloudy day, a baggy, black t-shirt, and jeans. The hole-free variety.

And then "Shovel Man" (the dastardly short story):

“The others are coming, and I want to be ready. I’ll need your help.”

The word
others stoked the sliver of fear lodged in the boy’s chest, but he moved to the ladder, dropped his pail and started to climb. He climbed because the stranger’s voice, like the exotic smell, carried a sweetness to it, benevolent and intoxicating. The wood rungs groaned as the boy’s weight shifted and fell on one after the other, step by step.

I'm playing around with not naming the characters in this one, giving them a "fairy tale" quality. Rest assured, it's a Grimm's fairy tale. The truth is...I think I'm more of a short story writer.

Whew. I said it.

Have a lovely Wednesday.


Jamie Eyberg said...

It is weird how being used to focusing your work can hurt a longer narrative approach. If we are determined we shall overcome this obstacle.

Rebecca Nazar said...

Nah, you're a novelist. Just takes some getting use to, stretching, branching out. You know, short stories only waaaay longer.

Me, on the other hand, I'm the short story writer. : )

Fox Lee said...

Now, now, I'm sure you go both ways.

Katey said...

Having not seen your longer works, I suppose I can't make an educated statement about this... but I'm fairly sure Nat is right.

Or maybe I just think everyone goes both ways. *cough*

I really love the descriptive bit from the YA. It's so cool when PoV characters describe themselves-- what they focus on and how they relate it says so much about them. We're all so intensely aware of ourselves in that way, particularly at that age, but no one ever really writes about it.

Unless, of course, they're writing Mary Sue or Gary Stu. But we won't get into that.

Cate Gardner said...

An agent saying they'd be interested in seeing your next book is awesome. I am very, very jealous.

Love that new novel excerpt. Well both are good, but I'm ignoring the short story to encourage the novelist in you.

Danielle Birch said...

Great description.

Andrea Allison said...

We will embrace you only if you truly believe you are a short story writer and are not hiding from the novelist within. Oh what the heck...come on in. We have lemon bars and tea in the dining room. :)

Aaron Polson said...

Jamie - To quote Boxer from Animal Farm, "I will work harder."

Becca - Until that novel is finished, right? ;)

Natalie - 'nuff said.

Katey - My problem is patience. Patience to let that novel unfold, patience in revision, patience with myself. *cough*

Cate - The story is done, so novel here I come...(charge?)

Danielle - Thanks.

Andrea - I'm a slut for lemon bars.

Katey said...

I have that problem too, but it manifests differently. Patience with waiting on submissions. Patience with a novel comes easy after that-- at least I have some control!

So maybe it's really more of a control issue. Hmmm...