That’s a deliberate typo, in honor of my revision work on my short story “Erosion.” I could have gone with “erision” but that actually looked more like a real word. Or a brand name.
It looks like this is going to be my workshop piece for the next semester. I thought the first draft as about five pages too long — about 2500 words — and my advisor thought it could drop down another 500 more. I don’t think in word count when I write, I usually don’t even check unless there’s a reason, but it did feel long-ish.
Because I threw in the kitchen sink. It’s a pretty broad piece of YA humor and I was interested to see what stuck. First major cuts included: the marijuana farm, the environmentalist conspiracy, wife cloning, the history of California wildfires, and the odd little one-liners that interrupted the tone.
The thing is still too long for workshopping. I need to play with margins a bit because the workshop pieces have a page maximum. It’s only a page and a half, so that’s a fraction of an inch all around. No sweat, I’ll make the page count.
I need to work on the motivation of the two main characters. That means adding words. Which means I’m going to have to go in and tighten paragraphs, shaving sentences her and there, maybe even a bit of over-cutting just to make the page count. I hate to work that way — things should be as long as they need to be — but perhaps I’ll feel differently once it’s sculpted into fighting trim.
I’ve got two days. That’s plenty of time. I like it the way it is, and it can’t really get any worse.
When is it safe to start thinking about shopping a story around? I only ask because I’m worried that once I get into the workshop it might feel like it’s impossibly bad. I’m looking to inoculate myself in advance by thinking positive.