Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

Dies Caniculares
End of Dog
The Final Days of Man's Best Friend

These are just some of the names I was throwing around inside my head last night for a short story that I wrote a few months ago about a 'canine apocalypse'.
Indeed, once I'd decided upon a title, I was seriously thinking about publishing it via Smashwords so that I could offer it is a 'free taster' of my work and hopefully entice people to download 'The Book That THEY…'
I've even got the cover ready (it's based on the new profile picture of my Facebook page, I've Read It, Have You?)

But, by the time I was calling it a day last night, I'd changed my mind.
Why?
Well, when I was reading through the story for the first time in a few weeks, building into it some really good ideas provided by, amongst others, my fellow SF Masterworks aficionado, Dan-the-Man, I suddenly began to realise that I wasn't…it took me a few minutes to come up with the right word…engaged in the story, didn't feel immersed in what was going on; it was something which the lovely Jeanne had mentioned when she had read through it a couple of months ago, but which I had only come to realise now that I had come to re-read the text with the benefit of not having seen it for a while.

Of course, there was nothing wrong with the premise - it was fantastic, naturally.
It was just the style that was wrong. I had originally intended it to be read as if reading a newspaper article, and in many ways, I'd achieved that - it was just that such a style seemed to result in too much detachment from the story.

When I'd finished reading it, I found myself thinking 'So what?' because the absence of any characters in the tale left me without anything or anyone to either have empathy for, or even dislike; that, in turn, meant there was nothing to 'pull me in'.

So, it seems that a trip back the drawing board for this particular tale is required, which may be no bad thing in the long run, if what comes off the drawing board at some point in the future is better.
I'll keep you posted on progress.

As for the free taster idea - it's something I still want to do, but instead I may have a look at my other 'long' short story, The Seven Questions of Daniel Keys.