Aftermath of “Home…”

©2022 Michael Raven

I’ve only done the barest minimum of editing and revision to the story I just posted, so please forgive me if anything is wonky. It might be — I will need to go cold-eye it later to see if there really is a tale to be told and fix any of the more glaring mistakes.

But you’re here, reading this, and wondering why the hell I am bothering to write about writing instead of going on with what I had started.

That’s just the kind of guy I am.

Actually, I have been having a bit of insomnia lately due to what I guess they call a “frozen shoulder” — essentially a screwed up rotator cuff — on the left side that I didn’t know I had. I thought it was just a persistent muscle spasm, but my chiropractor set me straight. Essentially, I need to get more flexibility into the darned thing and then strengthen it or I’m due for a whole lot of hurt or surgery later on.

Anyway, it’s been keeping me up for at least part of the night most nights and last night was no exception. While I enjoy writing, I do find it draining to write prose. Combined with lack of sleep, and well, I need a break from the creative side for the time being and, yet, I am still compelled to write.

I’m sorry about that.

Home by the Wood is not a very creative name, or very good one for that matter, for a story I just wrote. But it works until I can think of something better, should I choose to expand upon the tale.

See, one of the things you may not have caught while skimming through my decision-making process with respect to reinventing/reworking Gloamfell, is that I had a suspicion that the base story could be told as a modern thriller/horror story instead of a alt-history/fantasy/not-dieselpunk. I had planned to have elements of horror in the original story, so it was just a matter of changing the backdrop and some of the motivators for the main characters to do a test-swatch of writing on it. That’s what this is — a test weave from the loom of storytelling to see how it felt to open the story in a different manner. In ways, I kind of like not having to do worldbuilding like I would have in a SFF novel — worldbuilding can be as much a trap as a liberator, in my experience. For everything you think of, you need to justify it at least to yourself, even if you don’t share it with the reader, so you can be logically consistent within your storytelling. If you take the world as-is, but tilted, then you don’t have to keep your lies straight. Or as many lies, anyway.

I had named my protagonist Zelda, but, if I go back and revise this to be a part of a larger tale, I think I may go back to calling her Winter, as Gloamfall originally had her named. I like it.

Plus, I was also trying my hand a more subtle suspense building, just as I had said I might when I linked to Anne’s prompt/post. I’m not sure if I created suspense, or if it was more along the lines of tedium — you’ll have to let me know. But know this: I tried. Whereas the original story started off with a big bang (one child saved from wolves, others left to die, and blood everywhere), this attempt at suspense did away with the action and gore and went for more of an impending “dread” target. Again, someone else will have to let me know if I succeeded or failed in that. But, the main character is similar although I imagine this Winter to be less pasty-white ashen blonde and more mixed-race of some type with black or dark brown hair, possibly with residual kink to her curl. Maybe Native American. She hasn’t told me what she is quite yet, if she ever reveals who she is. I know she is strong, resourceful, and not one to give up early. She don’t need no stinking white knight in shining armor.

Anyway, I felt good about the direction this was heading. I’ll sleep on it and decide if “it has legs” and explore further. Or, have someone comment with an extended “hahahahahahaha! writer! ha!” and call it quits.

And, honestly… I had no idea where it was exactly going when I sat down to write it. A woman, a wooded area and house with secrets. Small-town insular community. And the woods considered taboo at night by the locals (I hadn’t gotten to that part, but I envision the State Forest extends over to the township, several miles away. This is a Minnesota/Wisconsin Northwoods feeling place: lots of old growth timber that might not have ever been fully explored except by young boys looking for adventure and willing to overlook the taboos against such excursions until they decide that there is reason to listen to the old folks with their stories.

Some tweaks to the story and it could very much a “awful, terrible, no good, very bad things that happen to the MC” kind of tale. Maybe only if someone else wrote it, but it has potential, I think.

5 thoughts on “Aftermath of “Home…”

  1. There is certainly suspense in this – I like how if is broken by your description of the agent as it distracts and thus heightens the image which is being created in the reader’s mind. I would have said earlier (but didn’t (don’t know why)) but I would change the name Zelda – it tends to make me think ‘oh, yeah, something weird is coming’. Winter is a good choice I think because it is a bit more ‘usual’ if you get my drift ( Summer and Autumn are unusual but not uncommon and don’t really carry any connotations. Hope this is helpful and not treading on your toes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You missed my toes. While it has been a very long time since I sat down with people interested in constructive criticism of writing (last real experience lacked the constructive elements), I grew very thick skin back when it was happening on a more frequent basis.

      Unfortunately, I think the other type of people are easier to find and it is hard to find a real good in person writing group. At least in my experience over the past couple of decades.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that you are probably right. Personally I like the process (and the fact that it’s solitary) more than engaging with a group, and if someone is interested in what I write then that’s a bonus. Too many critics anyway these days…and very little if it constructive.

        Liked by 1 person

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