I think every writer has a story they want to tell that gives them trouble. It challenges them in some way. It’s a story that they can only tell when they’re ready. For me, that story is A Simple Request. Back when I first started writing, it was one of the three stories I tried to get published. The other two stories were The Gift of Fury and Fall from Grace.
After listening to David Drake and Robert Aspirin during a panel at DragonCon, I wanted to tell a different type of story. It was going to be a character driven piece that was as much about the choices they made and their repurcussions. I wanted the reader to put themselves in the shoes of the characters making those choices and wonder what they might have done in their place. It was a lofty goal, one I didn’t meet with the first incarnation of the story. The feedback I got from Baen’s Bar and the other places I submitted it to was less than encouraging so I put the story on hold.
A year later, I revised the story with the feedback I was given. The changes I made turned the story into something it was not. Too much of it was left open for the readers to fill in the blanks. It wasn’t a story, I could really stand behind. Again, I set it aside.
With the completion of Crossroads and The Court of the Two Sisters, I wanted to do something else before finishing up Skindancer and the next Count Albritton story, I dug out A Simple Request and took a long hard look at the story I had written. It was still a story I wanted to tell but I needed room and space to tell it. Since I’m no longer trying to submit short stories to magazine and contests, I decided to expand the story and flesh it out.
It’s been a little over two weeks since I started work on it. The story has been coming along nicely. I’m more focused on telling the story and not some lofty concept. I could go into detail about the characters and settings. The story is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. With any luck, I’ll have it done before I leave for Atlanta. While I’m there, I’ll have time to work on the next project before DragonCon begins.
Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll post some news and information later on this week.