A Heart that Burns

Blog, novella: bloom, writing

I finished the second draft of my novella, Bloom. It’s just under 57k. I may have to do some tinkering with the third draft and consider designating it as a novel.

I do feel accomplished, but I also feel relieved. I’ve been chasing this ending for what feels like forever, and I am ready to be done with this draft.

On the other hand . . . I have never completed a second draft of any long piece of fiction. So this is a big victory for me.

holmes yeah

I’m going to put it away for at least a month and go work on short stories. But when the time comes — look out third draft.

The Sense of a (Queer) Ending

Blog, meta, reading

I was digging through some of my old graduate school manuscripts. One of my instructors had commented that the story I’d submitted should have a more ambiguous ending. I have no doubt she was right, but this got me thinking about endings. I couldn’t help but reflect on my current work. Did the ending need more ambiguity? Could I make the ending of my novella more ambiguous?

I suppose I could. I suppose there could be more of the unknown or unknowable there. I suppose I could have some mystery hovering over the relationship of the protagonist and his lover.

But I think it would be more subversive to have an unambiguously hopeful ending. This is because the novel is a queer story; the protagonist is queer, and so is his relationship with his lover.

Queer stories, for anyone who knows, are impossibilities when it comes to endings. You have two paths and two paths only: the one which leads to a happy ending, and the other which leads to an obscene tragedy of some kind,

Guess which ending is most common, even today.

So I prefer the unambiguously happy ending. It’s more powerful, more subversive. And it gives queer people much needed hope. 

Ambiguity can have its place in fiction, certainly. But, when it comes to endings, I think queer people deserve more than tragedy or ambiguity.

#writelifemay Day 2 – WIP

Blog, excerpt, novella: bloom, writing

So day two of #writelifemay is “WIP”, aka, work in progress.

I wasn’t sure what to post and so settled on posting an excerpt from my work in progress.

The official blurb for my current work in progress is:

“Men ought to love men, and do.” Ben, a straight man, falls in love with his best friend, a gay man. Ben must navigate the precarious waters of friendship and love while exploring his sexuality.

In this excerpt, Ben has just kissed his friend, David, for the first time. Ben is, as per usual for him, having a “freak out”. Seeking guidance, he calls his sister Jess. This scene, which takes place at a small bistro, is between Ben and Jess. There might be typos and the like, since this is an unrevised draft.

#writelifemay Day 1 – May Goals

Blog, meme, real life, writing

I have to not give myself too many goals, because then I inevitably have more than I can handle, which means I won’t finish and then I’ll spend a few days hating myself over the not finishing of things.

So. Goals for May:

  • Submit all my short stories to one market or another. Send some of them out multiple times to different markets, depending. Just submit short stories.
  • Read one book. I know that is not a lot, but I haven’t had much time to read over the past few months. Reading a whole book will be a triumph.
  • Finish the last four chapters of my current WIP, thereby completing the second draft. I know I can do it. It’s within striking distance.
  • Keep reading about and writing poetry. Even if it’s just a little haiku during lunch.

I think I am going to call it good. This is plenty for me.