It’s overcast here in the Crescent City today; rain in the forecast and a slight damp chill in the air. I didn’t sleep well last night, so am more tired than I should be; not as focused and alert as perhaps I could be. But it’s my short day, which is absolutely lovely, and this afternoon I can get home early and do some cleaning, maybe even some editing or (gasp) writing.
The two currently-in-progress short stories, one a Chanse and the other the Italy story I’ve been itching to write since I was there, have stalled; I know what I want to do with the Italy story, and the Chanse needs to be figured out. I know where it went off track, so I am going to have to go back and start writing again; changing things while keeping the base structure of what I’ve already done. I realized last night what’s wrong with it; it’s very important for me to know the character who is the murder victim, and I don’t know him at all; what I had amorphously had swimming around in the fog of my brain is too cliche and too similar to other things I’ve written; something I’m taking away from The Archer Files, the further I get into them, is how breathtakingly similar Macdonald’s short stories are to each other, which makes reading more than one of them at a time problematic. They are, on the other hand, a master class in writing the private eye short story, as are Sue Grafton’s. The most important take-away from reading them is not just the story structure, which I am starting to understand better, but the importance of the character voice. Grafton and Macdonald had those character voices down, and I worry that part of the issue, the things I have wrong not only in the Chanse story I’ve already written but this unfinished one, is that I am not getting the voice right. But that’s what rewrites and edits are for.
I also know how to fix the one I finished a draft of, which is lovely.
Tomorrow is one of those awful days where I have to run errands throughout the day; I am doing a favor for a friend (I know, right? Who am I?) and that includes leaving Orleans Parish; but I also have to go out there anyway to order new glasses and contact lenses; the rest of the day will involve doing the cleaning and organizing I don’t get done today. I managed to get all my tax info to my accountant yesterday, and I still have a few things left on the to-do list that don’t involve writing/editing; I want to finish the Bouchercon anthology this weekend and get it sent off to the publisher on Monday.
I also need to get back on track with the Scotty book and the WIP. I was thinking of spending the rest of this month working on the short stories, as well as wrapping up some other loose ends, so I can get back to work on both in April and get them finished. We’ll see how that goes. I also have another y/a manuscript to revise, rework, and do something with; and then there’s the gay noir I’ve been wanting to write for years.
And on that note, back to the spice mines.