Yesterday, well...yesterday was a very strange writing day. I sat down to get back to work on "The Maltese Unicorn." I read over what had been written so far, and suddenly the whole thing felt terribly off kilter. For starters, I was only a third of the way into the story, at best, and yet I was about halfway to the maximum word count. Truthfully, as the story was being written, the way I was writing it, it wanted to be a 30,000-word novella. It has to be, instead, a 10,000 word short story. The biggest problem was the frame, set at the Drancy Transit Camp outside of Paris in 1941, six years after the events of the story proper. When I began work on the story, I thought the frame was necessary. But suddenly it seemed utterly superfluous. Worse, the front end of the frame had already devoured almost 2,000 words, and there would still be the back end of the frame to cope with at the end of the story. I knew that would need, at minimum, another 500 words.
I spent about an hour talking to Spooky— well, it was more like ranting madly at Spooky —trying desperately to figure out how to "fix" the story as quickly and efficiently as possible. And, finally, I made the decision to, in essence, decapitate it. Lop off the frame, the first section, then surgically remove all references back to the frame. I have never really done anything of this sort, and it's an understatement to say I found it terrifying. This morning, it's still terrifying. Late yesterday, I shortened the story by about 2,500 words, and smoothed away most of the rough edges left by the edit. I read it through to Spooky again, and it seemed to work better— though the tone had been altered, and the story was suddenly not nearly so dark as it had been (not a good thing). Today, I'm going to sit down and expand the opening paragraphs, restoring some of the set up that was originally in the "frame" section, before proceeding with that part of the story (the middle and ending) that has yet to be written.
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Last night, we watched the new episode of Glee. It's the first episode that really hasn't worked for me. Too many "what the fuck" moments, and it wasn't the good sort of "what the fuck." It was more the sort that left me wanting to wash my brain. Though, Brittany wearing her cheerleader uniform backwards, that almost made up for it. Oh, and Sue Sylvester. Later, I finished reading the graphic-novel adaptation of "The Call of Cthulhu," illustrated by Michael Zigerlig (with an introduction by H.R. Giger).