How much I have learned

If you read my Monday blog post, then you know that my plan was to work on editing a short story called “Let’s Make a Deal.”

Lets Make a Deal front cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Zegers06

 

Now mind you, I wrote this story about 20 years ago and it has been hidden away in a drawer for that time. Not that I didn’t think it was good or worthy, but it just didn’t have a market. Or so I felt.

Thank goodness we are living in an entirely new age now!

I have been working on it this week, and boy am I glad that I didn’t get it published. Or even try to. I’m also glad I didn’t just scan it in and slap it out to book form. 

It’s still not a bad story, but I can see how far I’ve come as an author. I see shades of the author I am now, but I also see how I was trying to force myself to be a better writer and it was stilted.

There are some weak flaws to it; part of the story structure is wrong. I have an attack on my hero that turns out to be all illusions. I was enjoying reading the battle scene until I realized that it wasn’t real. Talk about my own disappointment!

I also saw where I needed to put in more setting. I’ve learned over the last 20 years, I hope, to get better at this and I’ve been weaving it in. I still could go deeper.

My try/fail sequences in the story aren’t pushed hard enough. My villain lacks a certain depth to his motivations. And the story, while having a clever ending, just is flat — I walked away from it wondering why I should care.

Yeah, that was me 20 years ago or so. I’ve learned a lot since then.

I should mention that I’ve only added 325 additional words to the story from it’s original count this week. That’s not a lot, but what an improvement they make. Going back through this story is interesting because I get to pump up the story and make it better. I’m certain that I will learn a lot about writing as I resolve the structure to it. It really is an interesting perspective because I can see where I was at then and where I’m at now and what I still need to learn.

It makes me want to write a story now and intentionally put it away for five, ten, or twenty years just so I can do the same thing again in whatever time span I choose.

Considering that I spent a lot of time feeling as if I had plateaued and hadn’t learned anything new, I’m glad to see I was wrong. I am definitely still getting better at my craft. May I never stop.