Adios to the gun

Two Thursdays ago I submitted to my writing group for critique my short story “The Intruder” now renamed “He’s All She’s Got.” As usual, my submission generated a fair amount of “positive criticism.”

Our facilitator, John, pointed out that I had “not fully imagined from the inside” the main scene that involved the gun, the intruder, and the tying up to the newel post of my protagonist. I have since attempted to immerse myself deeper into this scene only to discover that I have imagined it to the fullest extent possible. I just can’t write any more realistically about guns and tying up people.

I’ve given my story a hard look–a VERY hard look–and decided to rewrite it with more of a focus on the relationship between the mother and her daughter. I think it best to say adios to the gun scene. What a relief. Eleanor, who has worked tirelessly on a gun scene for possibly years suggested an alternative to my opening scene that does not involve a gun and I’m going to give it a try.  Naturally, this change will ripple throughout the story. It’s all for the good. I am better at writing about relationships than guns.

Once again I am thankful for the input from my writing group. Without their advice, I’d–well, I’d be a wannabe writer without any possibility of publication. With them, my odds are slightly better. When we concluded the discussion of my short story, I made a negative comment about it. Immediately, thousands of miles away, I heard “it’s a good story” and “I like your story.” That was enough encouragement for another go-round. Thanks, guys!

What I find of interest is that when I am working on one project, my short story in this instance, all sorts of ideas for my other current project, (my book, “Anne”) erupt unbidden. I do wonder if all other writers have this problem, or if it just belongs to us procrastinators, for whom it is a means of getting out of what we are supposed to be doing.

Last week I took a break from my writing group and writing as my mother, sister and IMG_0630 - Copybrother-in-law visited from New Hampshire. We relaxed by the pool at their resort, did a few tourist activities, and ate out, naturally. We were pleased we could reward them for their long flight with sunshine and some record-breaking temps in the 80’s. Too bad they had to return to temperatures that were nearly 100 degrees lower (with wind chill) than what they enjoyed here.

Now I will have time to write–the grandkids will be in school, Joy will be working, Steve will be golfing, and, oh, darn, the sun will be shining and temps will be even higher….

 

 

 

 

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About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I consider NH "home," spending the summer through Christmas there with my husband. My youngest daughter and her family live nearby (as well as my mother and other family members). January finds us venturing to VA to visit our middle daughter and her family before we make our way to sunny AZ to live with our oldest daughter and family. We spend time in VA on our way home. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own! My 87 year-old mother asks if I will finish my novel (which one, I wonder) before she dies.....Even with that for a goal, I manage to excel at procrastination!

Posted on February 15, 2016, in blogging, Karen Whalen, Uncategorized, writing, Writing Group and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Jot down those ideas for other projects that pop up when you’re working on something else. Don’t let them distract you, but don’t let them get away. They are like those stars that can only be seen in peripheral vision because their light is detected by rod cells rather than cone cells. And three cheers for writing groups!

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    • Not losing sight of those other ideas is definitely a challenge–just like those brilliant thoughts you get as you’re drifting off to sleep. And I can’t imagine where I’d be without my writing group. Oh, I already said that….

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  2. And it IS a good story, gun or no gun. Honesty compels me to say so, despite that photo of your weather forecast. Low blow, Whalen!

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