Monday, October 02, 2006

Short story goes to a loving home

People often ask me, "Isn't it hard to foster dogs?"

And I say, "Holy Herd of Herefords, yes!"

And then they finish their sentence: "because you get attached and have to let them go?"

Then I try really hard not to laugh, because the hard part is not the letting go. That's the easy part, the rewarding part, as they trot off into their new owners' car, never once looking back at the people who took them out of the pound, sopped up their pee from our carpet, and taught them how to sit, stay, and stop being such a freak.

Handing in my short story, "The Wild's Call," to my publisher today, I finally had that feeling, of being attached to something that left too soon.

Not that it's not finished. I revised that puppy down to the word, refining every moment, a luxury not available to most novel-length projects. The 500-750-word chapter limit meant I had to make every sentence count.

The problem is, I've gotten attached to the characters. Their personal histories are complex, and their world is deeply troubled. The short story has a soundtrack, for cryin' out loud.

I'd love to flesh it all out in 115,000 words instead of 15,000 (14,261, to be exact). Maybe someday I will. Until then, I'll wave goodbye and hope the editors and readers love it and feed it and brush it every day.

Okay, that's where the metaphor breaks down.

UPDATE 10/11: Editor loved it, no revisions suggested. Score!



What's on the soundtrack?


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/02/2006 4:48 PM

Congratulations, Jeri. My book, on the other hand, is more like a lazy freeloader sticking around in his parent's attic for years after he's finished college.

Talk about yer wheel of karma...

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 10/02/2006 5:14 PM

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