Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dreamflying and Head Colds

The title may make it sound like I've been taking too much cold medicine, but I haven't. Promise. In fact, I've hardly slept soundly enough since Saturday to have dream cycles at all. Why do colds wait to strike me in March? I was clean, all through the bad winter months, but now that spring is just about to burst free and the weather is too gorgeous to stay inside, I get laid up on the couch with a head cold. Go figure. Whenever the cold medicine begins to work its benumbing magic, I know it's pretty useless to try to focus on the bigger writing projects. Does anyone else suffer short-term memory loss when taking cold medicine? Well, maybe it's more short-term memory fuzziness.

Point is, I dragged out a short story that's been lurking on the des
k for a few months and decided it was time to give her a thorough going-over. A critiquer and an editor agreed that there was too much backstory dumped in the opening pages, so I'm trying to speed things up a bit, weave the important details in later and more gradually. So here's the progress report for yesterday and today:


Project: "Dreamflier"
Pages Revised: 22
Pages Cut: 1 (goodbye, my darlings! *sob*)
Bad things that happened: A team of dreamfliers get lost in the realm of dreams
Good things that happened: Ambryn, our heroine,
is allowed to help rescue them

I'm still happy with most of this story, obviously, and was able to speed through much of the text without altering too much. The tale was inspired by a contest prompt at LegendFire last summer. Unfortunately, I was reading Amy Tan at the time, which means I wanted to write a gorgeous, flowing narrative that bloomed as gradually as a lotus, and opened this piece in that style. But it's wrong for the rest of the story, which is quick-paced, frantic, and bizarre. Had I been reading Gaiman or Martin, perhaps, I might've made a different stylistic choice. But I still have high hopes for this piece. I just have to weave the narrative differently.

If I could choose an artist to illustrate this story, it would be Josephine Wall. Her paintings capture the color, movement, and bizarre imagery I see in the dream realm of this story. A picture is worth a thousand words.

by Josephine Wall

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