I like to reflect on what I create, and writing is no different. Here, I’m collecting some thoughts on what I wrote, why I wrote it, what was going through my mind at the time, and most importantly, what worked and what didn’t. That way, I can learn and write better stories in the future.
What the ratings mean, roughly:
★☆☆☆☆: Good lord, it’s awful. I probably only published this because I had a commitment (like the Alphabet Superset).
★★☆☆☆: Bad writing. Not the worst, but I can do so much better.
★★★☆☆: Average writing. Something’s off though; there’s squandered potential. I can do better.
★★★★☆: Pretty good writing, at least in my opinion.
★★★★★: This is the best writing I’ve ever done, and it’ll be a challenge to surpass it. How did I even write this? How can I replicate its awesomeness? It’s so good it belongs in a
Buried (2023): ★★★★☆
This one started out fairly strong, with good environment and character development. That’s the way I want other stories to be like; it makes the reader connect with the characters much more.
It petered out near the end though; I had difficulty writing the ending and it’s not quite what I wanted it to be. I went through various versions and the one I have is probably the most subtle, but I like that.
I didn’t do much in the edit, and I never really went beyond a slightly-tweaked first draft. I didn’t feel like I had the time for a proper second draft (due to exhaustion).
Abattoir (2023): ★★★☆☆
This is the first entry in the Alphabet Superset project (see Weeknotes 2023 W34: Rome where I talked about it for the first time), and I feel like I wasn’t warmed up.
Abattoirs aren’t really things I want to write about. I did some research on what abattoirs are like, what people that work there are like, but I felt like I just couldn’t relate to any of the people. Having relatable character is important, even in a short story, because emotion is important, at least for me.
The ending is also a bit weird, abrupt, and disconnected from the rest of the story. Maybe it’s also just… too big, too epic?
I also got tired of writing and revising it. It wasn’t going anywhere I really wanted it, and I feel like I rushed to get it to a publishable state.
Norr (2023): ★★★★☆
I liked this one a great deal and had fun writing it. I particularly liked how emotional it was. The characters, and the protagonist in particular, felt thoroughly relatable. I liked how small the story was.
This is a story that is almost entirely imagination, not inspired by any real-world event. It’s different from the stories that came before.
I had difficulty writing it because it was so emotional. I wrote 90% of it in a 45-minute session at the local Shut Up & Write meetup, and after the session I was mentally in a bad place, emotionally exhausted. I think that’s a good thing and it shows in the quality of the writing.
To review: Going Home
To review: Mayfield
To review: Kafka: The Eternal Guide