Hack n’ Slash

I snuck up on it and stabbed it in the back. There was lots of screaming and a little bit of gore. It died stubbornly, and when it had stopped twitching, I set it on fire and let it burn down to a pile of smoldering ash.

I had to; there was no other choice. It was the only way it could be reborn.

The manuscript was hideous. I couldn’t believe I’d written it, so bad was the prose. It reeked of high school campfire stories, where the storytelling was terrible even though no one really noticed. The goosebumps crawling up our arms had us all distracted.

I looked the pages over briefly, hoping to salvage _something_ from them. A valiant notion, to be sure, but only a fragment still glimmered. This I rescued with a bitter grain of hope, dusting off the soot and polishing it until it sparkled again.

It is the seed of new life, reincarnated into a new world. The people are different, yet the same. The view out the window is black and dark, but then again the deep recesses of space hold little light. The chain of events is going to play out differently, but the end result will look much like it did before – the terror of invasion will be unavoidable.

3 thoughts on “Hack n’ Slash”

  1. Nice.

    Sometimes the only thing to do is murder your work before it murders your readers.

    It hurts because we created it. Hell, even cutting a mere sentence can hurt, but it has to be done.

    I’m glad you didn’t toss the entire idea away though. It’s a great idea to go back to older pieces and rework them once you’ve grown a bit. I do it all the time.

    A great idea is a great idea, no matter how it was executed at the start.

    Let us know how this one evolves.


  2. I read somewhere (Twain?) that the first draft is for your joy and the final ms. is for everyone else’s joy. Which means that you have to do what you’ve done and murder your work. Which is a lot like killing a part of you, but I think it’s great that you are approaching this with a good attitude.

    I do know what you mean by looking back at your work and finding it juvenile or high school-ish. that pains me too.

  3. Well, I’m hopeful about it. It needed to be reworked, and I think it’s a good story. It just needs the right context in order to bring out its full potential. I saw a “prompt”:http://creativeprod.blogspot.com/2006/07/aiming-your-story.html the other day about rewriting a scene in a story currently in progress, placing it in a different genre, and seeing how the story changed. That’s essentially what I’m doing with this one, changing the genre a bit, and the story, as a result, has to change to fit. So far I’m liking what I see.

Have anything to add to the conversation?