I completed my second short story last night. It’s shorter than I would have liked – only 1170 words – but it _feels_ finished. And I know from practical experience that when a story feels finished, it’s best to just let it alone. Otherwise, you risk making it less than the tale it ought to be. From here I am going to put it aside for awhile, turn down the heat and let it simmer, and come back to it in a few days or a couple of weeks so I can read it again with a fresh perspective. Maybe it will decide that there _are_ a few more details to add, a couple of things it forgot to mention that will make it a better story. For now, though, it needs to think about it, and when some time has passed, we’ll sit down and talk again and decide where to go from here.
One of the most valuable tips I’ve learned in writing is that when telling a story, you are an actor. Except that in storytelling, you act out every role and get to be multiple characters. I have discovered, though, that writing a megalomaniacal character is not as easy as it might seem. I had to continually ask myself, What would I say? How would I view the world, the universe? What opinions would I have of myself and of everyone else around me? How insane would I be, and would I be aware of my own insanity? No small task, to write a character that sees himself as bigger than life (quite literally).
So, time to move on to the next writing project (or move back to one of projects sitting in the queue). I want to end up with two or three stories that are complete and that I am satisfied with, and then I want to submit them concurrently to different places – I have a couple of SF&F magazines and writing contests in mind. With any luck, I’ll sell one, or at the least, get some feedback. Here’s hoping, at any rate….