I’ve already written about my story, but Aaron gave it such glowing compliments (and the man doesn’t give out compliments too often, especially to me :D) that I thought I’d mention something.
Ash and I spoke about my last blog post about how I think this story is very good, and she gave me her take. It was solid, but probably not my best. Then she started going into it, and almost all of the points she gave were directed at the technical writing itself, not the story or the plot. I thought that was interesting. This project was always about writing new stories, and hopefully being a better writer. But in my head, that meant a better writer as in writing more interesting stories and more complex characters. It never really had to do specifically with the nuts and bolts of the writing (the grammar, the word choices…) I mean, I figured that would come with it, and much of the feedback we do actually get is about the technical writing.
Aaron and I see this the same way. To us, story and characters and plotlines are more important than the specific words. That will come, and that can be tweaked. Hell, if I had my way, I’ve have an editor to help nudge me along in that capacity. But the ideas are why I’m doing this. And in looking at my August story, the ideas in it are very good. Aaron says it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. I don’t agree with that, but I would say it’s one of the stronger entries in this short story project at least.
And now for Aaron’s story. He was dreading discussing it, fearing it sucked. And it didn’t. I put it pretty much along the lines of July’s story, but actually with a little more promise. I felt like this one had a nice gem somewhere in there, but it had to be scrubbed up to find it. There was an element (and he agreed) of it seeming rushed and choices were made because they were easy and not necessarily because they were the best. He had had an issue with free time this month, and it showed.
My problem this month was something that hadn’t been a problem in the past (which is in some ways a good thing – it’s not like he’s falling into the same pitfalls each month – it seemed like the characters would behave in ways completely out-of-the-ordinary for either their temperament or the situation. In talking with him about it last night (we got together to discuss them last night), he noted that some of the discrepancies were holdovers to an older draft, and lord knows I’ve been guilty of that in the past.
This will be his deepest rewrite. Yesterday I suggested that he either try to tackle a huge rewrite with only 4 days left, or just go back and touch up the story, and then gut it after the project is done. But why? I think now he should do the full rewrite, and even if he doesn’t have time to go back and do a 3rd set (anything rewritten in that short a time is bound to have grammar mistakes if nothing else), I think that’s fine. This project is about growth, not necessarily turning out polished works. I mean, if we did manage to make them polished (and I think a few of ours are), great. But if not, that’s part of this process too.
Also, his name for the tennis clinic is awesome.