Story #14 is another sword and sorcery, same characters as 12 and 13. It was inspired by a reference on the Science Channel to a map which had the following phrase: “Buried Shipwreck.” (They didn’t find the shipwreck). The story is called Ship of Dread.
Behind the scenes
I ran across a blog post that inspired me to write the story fast (the site is down, so sorry, no links). I did the first scene in on setting. Then I walked away and inner critic started talking, because it likes to keep me straight.
Inner critic: “You described them arriving at the ship, but didn’t spend hardly any time on the interior of the ship.”
Oops. That needed to be fixed. The action scenes happen inside the ship, so I have to do the legwork before those scenes describing it. During the action is not the time for it!
So I made a note at the end of the scene to jettison the hill and add more ship interior. And went to bed.
The next day, I started writing at that point, simply starting with the characters going on board the ship and doing all the detail of the interior. Inner critic tried to nag that the first scene was messed up, but I wanted to get the story done. So I wrote straight through and finished the last three scenes. The ending felt a little weak at that point, but I always have to circle back and make sure it works. Endings are a known pantser issue because they have to go back through and make sure the validation happens.
Slept on the story overnight, revisited it the next morning. My goal was simply to remove the section where the characters were on the hill and do a final cycling pass.
Well, inner critic was horrified. It thought the story was horrible, grating.
Okay…so I took out the hill section, ran Grammarly to catch the typos, and stopped.
The next day, it looked better than inner critic thought. My cycling pass was mostly cleanup, and then the story was done.
Additional news: I bought a second computer for writing. That turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. The salesman had a lot of problems with the idea of a second computer and me being knowledgeable about computers. I literally looked at three laptops and picked the one on sale (17.5 inch screen).
Salesman: You’ll need a extended maintenance warranty. You’ll get free tech help if anything goes wrong with the computer.”
Me: “No, thanks.” I’ve purchased those warranties in the past. Never had a computer that required any maintenance during the warranty period. Complete waste of money.
Salesman: “We can get you set up with Microsoft Office.”
Me: “No, thanks. I have Office 365.”
Salesman: “If you bring your old computer in, we can copy your hard drive.”
Me: “No, thanks. I’m not replacing a computer.” And he wasn’t listening. Office 365 has OneDrive.
Salesman: (Circles back around): “These batteries lose 80% of their charge in the first six months. It’s a really good idea to get the extended warranty.”
Me: “No, thanks.” Seriously, dude, you’re talking to a person who has a laptop more than 2 years old. Battery still works.
At the counter, he had to try one last time for that extended warranty, this time implying that I would be out of luck if I had a technical issue if I didn’t.
Fed up, I said, “I work for the IT department. I can fix it.”
I suppose to be fair, a lot of people are tech-stupid. Kids today don’t know they have to reboot their iPhones so it runs properly. But seriously, if someone says no, stop trying to guilt trip into buying.
Most salespeople work on commission, so it’s not surprising that he kept trying to get you to buy more than you need. Doesn’t make it RIGHT, just makes it not surprising.
I really appreciate how you articulate the negotiations with the inner critic. I’m still learning how to negotiate with mine, and your example helps.
I always am learning about my inner critic. Everyone largely presents it as a negative thing (a site I ran across called it a parasite). But it does have an important role. It might be what prompts a writer to get to the desk to do writing, or even take on the role of getting stories out to magazines or publishing them.
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