Rebecca Day

Just a Spring Clean for the May Queen

Posted by rwday on February 13, 2008

I can’t believe I’m using Led Zepplin lyrics as titles.  What’s next, the Grateful Dead?  *headdesk* 

“Blossoming” went out yesterday.  “Stepchild” will follow today as soon as I can come up with a new title.  The old one is too revealing of the plot.  It’s not a ‘shaggy dog story’ per se, but I really don’t want the reader to know the outcome of the plot from word 1.  I think I’m going to go all out and send it to F&SF – I doubt it will get past the slush reader, but it’s worth a shot, and the turnaround with them is wonderfully rapid.  Town Drunk after that, I think, since they reopen on 2/15 and I like that market.  The world needs more light and less doom and gloom.  You wouldn’t believe the number of short fiction zines that have the word ‘Dark’ in the title.

I also made a good start on cleaning out my files.  It took four long hours, but I managed to go through all my WiPs, the completed novel files, the bunny files, everything.  I deleted duplicates, moved a whole lot of stuff to the trunk, and in general did a spring clean on both my laptop and PC.  Of course, this morning I remembered that I also had a bunch of writing-related stuff in the Documents file, so just like real spring cleaning, when you think you’re done, you see more dirt…

 Finally, I got a nice fan letter on Thaw yesterday – the only quibble the man had was the degree of angst, and I have to admit, he’s right.  That book has fandom written all over it in that regard.  I’ve come a long way, which makes me somewhat reluctant to really approach prepping Ashes for submission, as it’s like, ‘ahead angst factor 12.’  I’m thinking a serious rewrite, or maybe just forget it altogether – I’ve said what I want to say in that universe.

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6 Responses to “Just a Spring Clean for the May Queen”

  1. Hayden said

    Finally, I got a nice fan letter on Thaw yesterday – the only quibble the man had was the degree of angst, and I have to admit, he’s right. That book has fandom written all over it in that regard.

    That’s an interesting point you raised as I tend to agree with the equating of Loads O’ Angst with fanfiction. Coming from fandom, myself, my earlier attempts at writing original fiction were horribly saturated with misery and unhappily-ever-after in ways that would’ve done my fandom proud.

    I remember a friend of a friend posting a great essay in which she makes specific distinctions between pro fiction and original fiction written by former fanfic writers. I should look around and give you the link.

    I still need to reread Thaw in order to review it, and I look forward to looking at it from more “experienced” eyes. 🙂

  2. rwday said

    Hayden,

    I’d love to see the article if you run across it. I really do wonder what it is about fandom that brings on the angst. I’m trying to think of some original fiction which approaches that level of misery, and I can’t. Even something like ‘At Swim, Two Boys,’ which is hardly what you’d call upbeat, handles its tragic aspects in a far more restrained manner, and you rarely see the level of character torture fandom seems to favor.

    I hope Thaw stands up to the more experienced eyes – I have to admit, I re-read it for the first time since I was going through the edits and still liked it quite a bit, though I found myself quite impatient with my writing in places, and reaching for the red pen.

  3. Erastes said

    Dont you even THINK of shelving Thaw. The very most you should do is wait until Dragons is out of Iris’ control and then rewrite and resubmit. You do this every time, you take one comment and think that that is what you should do!!! 100 readers will have 100 differetn comments. Write for yourself

  4. rwday said

    It isn’t Thaw that I was talking about rewriting or shelving – I would never do that, it was the angst fest that is Ashes. That type of hurt/comfort fanficcy sort of writing isn’t what I want to put out under my name right now, and I think that I can get rid of that without damaging the essential plot structure.

    And it isn’t one comment – I’ve heard this before, about Ashes, actually, and it goes along with my own thoughts about excesses and the type of writing fandom rewards and encourages, which just isn’t where I am anymore.

  5. Melissa K said

    Hello. I have recently finished Thaw, and was very excited to see a sequel in the works. I hate to admit it, but I do tend to like the angst if it’s well written. I know that you are unhappy with it, but I think the story in itself is worth continuing. If anything, it gives us a chance to see how you have grown as a writer in the interim. I really enjoyed the characters and would love to see their story continued.

    (and soon…please. I have ALS, so I don’t have long to wait. ;-))

    PS: No, seriously. I have ALS. Not just an annoyingly impatient fan.

  6. rwday said

    Melissa, I’m glad you liked the book, but I’m so sorry to hear about your condition. The sequel is done, actually, it’s just not something I’m particularly happy with right now. Well, parts of it, anyway. I’m not sure I really grew that much between Thaw and the sequel, but if you seriously have no aversion to angst and want to read it, send me an email at rwday at cox.net and we’ll work something out.

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