Old Haunts

by Jan Michal Lucki, August 5th, 2021

As I was rewriting the short story I'm currently working on, an old short story I wrote nearly ten years ago popped into my head. I took a detour to dig it up. My archives are a mess, so the quickest way for me to find it was to search my email. A few quick keystrokes and there it was, nestled soundly in one email to my then writers group, and another to a literary magazine, followed by their rejection.

There are a lot of problems with pacing in the story that can be worked on. It starts too slowly, and the perspective is confusing to the reader. You need to engage the reader with more dramatic tension to make them want to continue reading.

Ouch! I re-read the story. I remember thinking it was great when I wrote it. The perspective immediately confused me. I wrote it in third person present tense. I sprinkled in third person past tense flashbacks for good measure, without any sort of clear demarcations between the two.

Once I got past the beginning of the story, and understood the perspective, I was sucked in. I know what I was trying to achieve, but it definitely could have been written a lot better. All of the feedback was right, and there were other problems still. The dialogue was stilted, and some of the narrative descriptions made no sense. Nevertheless, once I reached the end, I couldn't help but think the story had a lot of strengths, too.

Maybe one day I'll have a go at re-rewriting it.

bo August 7, 2021 at 8:37pm

good for you... feedback, even very critical or coming from ignorants, ought to be received with open mind and lead to improvements... there may be a grain of wisdom in every single one of them...

Write a Comment

Register an account to reserve your name!

Already have an account? Click here to login.