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2.07.2011

A Fresh Approach

Sometimes a story needs to loosen up. I wrote a general-interest short story late last year and tested the waters a few times with some literary journals. A pair of editors had really nice things to say about the story, but neither wanted to publish it.

One remarked that it had a bit of a split personality.

I re-read the story last week and I agreed. In parts it's got a mean streak, in other parts it thinks it's in private school. That's a problem, so I've dumped a bunch of hours into fixing it up. I sat that story down, stuck a beer in its hand and insulted its mama a little before punching it in the face.

"Wud you do dat fo?" the story said, bleeding a little from its quickly swelling nose.

"You need character, kid, and I'm going to give it to you. Believe me, this hurts me more than it hurts you."

I cut the pretense and made the story take a few shots of tequila. By the time I was done it had a new title and a little sneer on its face. "Hey, that's nice," it leered back at me before spitting on my floor and sauntering back to the hard drive.

I've been reading some Lansdale lately. It's getting to me...

2 comments:

Aaron Polson said...

Yessir, I love me some Joe Lansdale. I even tried a story in his style. That story flopped over and died before I wrote "the end". Good luck getting this one squared away.

Daniel W. Powell said...

Morning Aaron,

Yeah, he's top shelf. Just read "Torn Away" last night and really enjoyed it. Joe's got that East Texas minimalism down pat. Whenever I get into his stuff, it lights a fire to write a short story or two...