I wrote a short story and posted it in four parts on Scribophile. (Actually it’s a novelette because it is 12,500 or so words long.) I might have mentioned, in a previous post, that Scribophile is something like a virtual water cooler, where writers and wannabee writers gather to discuss and compare stories. Now might also be a good time to mention that I have a website with the URL of The Virtual Writer. Seems like a perfect fit, doesn’t it?
A man who identifies himself as Memphis Trace read Part One of my four part story and said, “Hooo, boy, you got the beginnings of a good story here.” His critique was so good and helpful because he told me stuff like “instead of saying ‘in comparison to’ say ‘in contrast with.” May not sound like much but it was like one of those moments when you are trying to put a piece of jig saw puzzle that has three tabs and one pocket into an open spot on the semi assembled puzzle, and it just doesn’t fit right, and the picture on your piece of puzzle doesn’t quite match the scene surrounding the hole, and someone, usually your husband or wife, walks up, looks at the puzzle, picks up a piece from the unused pile and places it (viola – pronounced waa – laa because it’s French) into the hole like any child (including your cousin’s really stupid one) could’ve figured that out.
So, this man who calls himself Memphis Trace reads the remaining parts of my novelette and tells me I need to fill in the back story (that is a writing term meaning ‘before this happened, this other thing happened’) and convert this novelette into a full-fledged novel. I tell him I had plans for 10 novelettes in a series (sort of like Longmire – but I ain’t going to admit I am copying off Longmire with the 10 episode series thing). He tells me what he wants to read – how this happened and how that came to be – and so I am now working to convert my novelette into a novel. Today, I get an email from him telling me I got enough ideas for a number of novels. I am, if nothing else, motivated to write novels provided I can convince my wife that writing novels and drawing stuff is more important than fixing the gaping hole in the family room ceiling or remodeling the ‘en suite’ (also French) bathroom which I had to gut when we moved here because of the black mold, or finishing the back drop on the kitchen counter, or finishing the ceramic tile work in the main bathroom, or finishing the trim on the floor, or finish painting the living room and foyer (another damn French word), or fixing the lighting I screwed up.
Truth is, I probably ought to replace those broken panes and put some stairs on that upstairs front door.