I am revisiting a story I wrote several years ago with plans to submit it to the Y-City book for the Arts Festival. Revisiting, and revising. The tale has a lot going for it, yet it also contains embarrassing diction and syntax crimes that I accuse my own students of commiting: wordiness, confusing pronouns, overuse of the verb to be. Yikes. Thoughts like, “Did I really write that?” Run through my head as I edit and revise. Overall, I like this story. Short stories do not come naturally to me. I think only really GOOD writers can write them. It takes me three hundred pages to get to the point, so writing short, complete tale is a small miracle. I’d share the story on this blog, but I only have part of it. Unfortunately I do not have a complete copy saved on my hard drive. What I have is the beginning of a redo from a hard copy that is now buried in one of the million boxes stacked in my house as I get floors refinished.
Rewriting a story is a little like refinishing hard wood: stripping off the old, stained layers, filling in the chipped areas, and pulling out old nails to create an elegant sheen. I knew when I first composed the story almost a decade ago that it lacked the right furniture. I had to experience a few more years of life in order to assemble the story’s rooms. Cross your fingers I find the hard copy, otherwise I will have to lay an entirely new foundation, and that will take more time.