On “Knit” and the Writing Process

I thought I’d try out something new here. I recently had a short story published at The Drabblecast, and I was thinking it might be fun to go into a bit of detail about my approach to the story and how it met its final form.

This is the first story I consider to be a part of my most current batch. Even though it was written in 2010, my approach was considerably different on this tale than on those previous.

What was the difference, you might be asking?

Simple: I didn’t fret about quality.

Well, at least in the drafting phase. This was the first time I can recall throwing caution to the wind and writing a story just because I wanted to. Because certain words sounded nice together. Because I wanted to tell something creepy and beautiful at the same time.

And the first draft was horrendous, as most first drafts are. It made next to no sense and was filled with tangents that took the story off course. So I focused the plot and trimmed it down. I cut out phrases I thought were cool. I killed my darlings.

Once satisfied, “Knit” was sent to 9 different markets, one after the other. I piled up the rejections. I received additional feedback from beta readers along the way and made a few subtle tweaks for clarity and consistency. Finally, I sent the story off to The Drabblecast.

But the acceptance didn’t come right away. I received a rewrite request first that required me to cut the story again by about 300 words. Much of the rewrite revolved around removing a distracting subplot involving the mother character. Basically, I had to focus the story more on the father to make it fulfilling emotionally.

They were right. I made the revisions, showed a few beta readers and off it went. Yay for acceptance!

I’m proud of “Knit” and the process required to get to the end product. I wrote freely for the first time. I channeled personal anguish into the tale–something that I’ve since done with regularity. And the story that I was left with is filled with darkness, yet there is beauty there. If sadness can be beautiful.

I hope you all enjoyed the end result.

“Knit” published at Drabblecast

Wow, I’m oblivious! A short story of mine went up on April 20 and I had no idea!

The story is called “Knit” and it’s in issue 240 of Drabblecast. It’s a part of a Trifecta. The theme is “Family Unties.” Go and listen! It’s read by Ray Sizemore, who did an excellent job. Here’s the quote from the story on the site:

We bought our first yarn baby at a garage sale. The ends of its arms were frayed and its eye buttons dangled loose on bare threads.

This is my first podcast, so as you can tell, I’m SUPER excited. Yes, I’m so excited I’m resorting to using all caps. And look at the awesome illustration by Gino Moretto!

Other stories from the issue include “Divorce in the House of Flies”  by  Dustin Reade, “Wendigo Bake Sale”  by  Leslianne Wilder, and a drabble called “How to Deal”  by  Chris Schryer

I’m off to go squee some more. And please let me know what you think.