new story!

March 16, 2016

I have a brand-spanking new story for you to read.

“That Game We Played During the War” is now live on Go forth and read!  I hope you like it.

This story will always be special to me and here’s why:  So, I’ve been in various critique groups and writing workshops for over twenty years.  I joined a local in-person one in 1995, stayed with them a couple of years, went to Odyssey which was 6 weeks of in-depth critiquing, did some online workshops for a few years, had a really slam-bang telephone/conference call critique group from about 2001 to 2007, and since then, every year or so I go to a one-off professional workshop where, again, in-depth critiquing.

Every so often a story comes through the group where no one has any suggestions for improvement.  All the comments are some variation of “This is fine, send it out right now.”  Maybe one or two dissensions, but the story is universally praised as being fine just the way it is, and trying to change anything would ruin it.  This kind of a critique is rare and deeply sought after.  Mainly because we all wish all our stories would be deemed perfect as is, but that’s rarely the case.

One of my goals has been to someday write a story that gets that kind of critique at a workshop.  Get the perfect, “This is great the way it is” comments.

“That Game We Played During the War” is the story that finally did it when I took it to Rio Hondo last year.  Good job, little story!

(This isn’t to say I didn’t make any changes.  There were a couple points of confusion and a couple places where I massaged things to make it cleaner and smoother.  But mostly, I tried not to mess up what everyone had responded to so enthusiastically.  And that — not messing up what’s good about a story — is as important to learn as how to fix the problems.)



4 Responses to “new story!”

  1. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Congratulations on another writers goal achieved!

    Was there a time in your writing when you could not edit but had to just rewrite your short stories?

    Second question: When writing a short story do you ever have to fight or guard against, what I would call novelitis.

    Novelitis: The drifting of short story narrative into avenews only need in a novella or novel, over description of character or setting, info dumps, needless back story or other time wasters.

  2. carriev Says:

    Yeah, I still have to rewrite stories sometime. It depends on the story. I rewrote this one before I took it to the group.

    That thing where a story grows into a novel never happens to me. I set out to write short stories, so I limit the scope before I start. Most of those details aren’t necessary to get the point of a short story across, but you have to be clear what that point is. That you have a point that can be described briefly, and the point isn’t to describe the entire world in detail.

  3. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Thanks for your answer. And the new story was great, it may be from recently reading Gentlemen Joel and the red Queen, but it did seem to waft Bujold.

  4. Iris Says:

    Thank you for this very good little story. I finally found the time to read it in peace as real life was butting in.
    My only problem: I want more from this world and these characters!

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