Once before, I did it. This total rewriting, remaking of a story.
The story in question was the third segment of a trilogy. I knew how I wanted it to end, but somehow the ending always fell flat. I kept sending drafts to a very patient writer friend, asking if it worked because I hoped desperately that it actually did and I just wasn’t seeing it. Except she saw exactly what I saw, namely that it didn’t.
Finally, I took what I’d written and set it aside, and I began again. This time, instead of beginning with a quiet, dull scene where family members talked about their depressed family member, I went to the other extreme. I plunked him down in the middle of a bar fight, one he’d started. At once, the story was alive, with people doing instead of merely discussing.
“Big deal,” you think. “You’re a writer. It’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Except to be honest, I’ve been struggling in recent months to come up with something that—in my humble opinion—is worth writing.
Maybe I’ve gotten pickier. Or maybe it’s that I’ve written some stories that I truly think are good, and yet they’ve have struggled to get off the starting block, and so I question my own judgment. One story has been a finalist in two different competitions and was highly praised by the organizers of one of those competitions–but as I sent it off today, I noticed that this was its seventeenth launch. It’s already awaiting judgment at three publications, but I submitted it anyway, albeit with more stoicism than optimism.