Bricking a story

Every week, I’ve tried to write the story around an avenue from an instructor conversation: I bled all over a story after Kress, I wrote two narrative/voice pieces after talking to Lai, and this week I attempted a structure piece where I wrote only the essential scenes… and it clanked. Last week I worked on it for ~3 days and it didn’t get better until Friday, when I was sick, I threw the towel in and sent it in. And today it came back around for critique.

In retrospect, if one of the things I’m wrestling with is clarity, experiments in minimizing the story might have been exactly the wrong thing to do, but the problem with a story-a-week schedule that on day six in this situation, you’re pretty much passing that week or turning in the thing that isn’t working.

So in critiques today, I was taking my notes and nodding along, and then smiling. Yes, you’re right, that didn’t work. Yup, that didn’t tie in. Yup, I didn’t connect that either. Sorry. And that? Yeah, that’s confusing, too. And yeah, I have an answer to that, but it’s not in the text. Sorry.

I knew that if I tried stuff like this every week there was a good chance I’d put up an airball every week, but it’s another thing entirely to actually put the shot up and wince even as it leaves my hands, then watch it miss.

The good news is I got a lot of excellent critiques on how to improve it if I revisit it for a rewrite.