Jarsto's Writing Blog

June 29, 2006


All of a sudden this is threatening to turn into a short story blog. Two entries ago I found myself writing a short story. Today I found myself editing they only other short story I ever finished. I won't go into my natural preference for novel length this time. I'll just point out that I wrote two short stories in the same time it took me to write 6 first draft novels.

This short story actually might have been a chapter one if I'd been able to take the premise further. When I was writing it originally I was struggling to keep it interesting, to keep things happening, at 1500 words. In the rewrite I did last night and today, a sort of spur of the moment thing, I managed to stretch that to 2500 words. But the premise (I know you're not out to steal it but I'm paranoid so I'm not going to say what it is) really limits itself to a short story, there's not enough going on otherwise.

Now that I've finished the rewrite (pretty much writing from scratch with version one as the outline) I'm trying a different editing technique on it: the famous reading backwards edit. If you're not familiar with it this edit is basically to make every sentence work as a sentence. This is done by reading the last sentence first, then the second to last and so on, until you reach the first sentence.

Right now I'm three quarters of a page (single spaced) from the end, which means there's more than three and a half pages to go yet. It's a little early to be judging this thing, but I have to say that so far I do like it. I have to force myself to just do a sentence and not go back a couple of sentences each time, but it does force you to look at things almost totally out of context. Now I just have to hope it'll actually be noticeable to the readers, when I get around to letting people read it.


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