I’m writing a short story for my fiction seminar, and I’m not happy with the first draft. I sort of skated through a fuzzy part of the narrative to get to the final confrontation, and while it’s not deus ex machina, there’s nothing really inspired there, either. So in an effort to break out of the old trope, I tried an exercise yesterday where I had my characters talk to one another to work out what they should do in this situation.
And it was working. They’d already figured out a few things that wouldn’t really work upon close inspection. But then they started talking about me. And they had a lot to say about me. They debated whether I should have broken myself on the altar of Mammon the way I have over the past year or two. (They definitely think I’m overdramatic.) They concede I probably should have taken the grad school offer I intended to take last year, but now that I’m still here, there’s more wiggle room. I am part of an amazing creative scene in this town, and they can understand my wanting to take advantage of it. But Sawyer in particular thinks I need to get west as soon as I reasonably can.
I still don’t know how I’m going to improve their story. They haven’t told me. So we’ll keep talking.