Apologies for not getting to you sooner. It has been one of those months. I hope you don't mind but I won't be doing an in depth analysis of your
story but rather, I will highlight certain aspects of writing while going back and forth between your first and second drafts.
Voidmaster had a point in that your first attempt was interesting but didn't really go in a specific direction.
While you have addressed that in version 2.0, I feel that you have lost a little of the original flavour or the intent of the story in the original
Which brings me to my main point I want to address, the dreaded 'editing'.
Editing is... how do I put this nicely - hmmm. Editing your own work is not a 'nice' experience. Yes, there are a few sadistic people out there that
actually enjoy cutting up their own work and relish the activity like I relish cleaning out my garage. Then again there are people who enjoy having
colonics. Same thing - almost.
Editing other people's work - not bad - challenging and gratifying to help someone else. Editing your own work - changing, removing, cutting or
adding to your beloved 'baby' is HARD!
Done improperly, you can lose everything you were trying to say in the first place. I don't know how many times I've spent days fiddling around with
a paragraph or a page and then changing everything and then back again and then on the floor in anguish at the monster I've created.
And guess what? It doesn't get better. What does get better is your own understanding of the writing process and the importance of version control
and being kind to yourself when you are pruning.
In your case, while you have added names and some character motivation -it is my opinion that in your new version you are now telling us too much. I
prefered when it was more subtle and mysterious. It had a bit more bite to it. I was drawn. With this one here, you did all the work for me and so I
no longer had to do anything but read it. Call me difficult, but I like a little challenge. Makes me feel smart and as if the writer respects my
Saying all that, do NOT panic. What you have written here is what we like to call 'back story'. A file (s) of info on your character and for your
eyes only. This thing is sometimes bigger than the story itself and contains all the things you wrote toward the story but not necessarily IN the
Writers - those egotistical sorts, are keen never to lose ANY writing if they can help it, so anything that doesn't get added into the story, goes
into this large and ever growing file that is really quite helpful when you need to know the motivations or the 'background' of your character.
There is a saying which goes along the lines of, if YOU know who your characters are and where they are going, then you are alllowed to remain silent
and not tell us a thing. We may NEVER see those characteristics but YOU know and that is all that counts. It will be translated in the writing. When
you don't know and you are just writing and writing, hoping against hope that some direction will become clear to you, we CAN tell.
Yep, we can. It is helpful therefore, to have a list or a page of things you know about the character. You can still offer your reader only 1 or 2
lines, but boy those lines will transmit to us everything we need to know.
It is an issue of confidence and authorial ownership. Like showing us your good hands and being adept at it. And this develops with time and lots of
So my suggestion - and you don't have to take it - is to look over the first piece you did again - pinpoint what you liked, use your OWN criteria
regarding what YOU like and what you want to say.
I think you had some nice bits, work on strengthening them up. As Voidmaster suggested, make it go somewhere - it doesn't have to be extremely
obvious, it doesn't have to be predictable, have fun thinking of where it could lead. Have different versions and see which one you like.
And take this redraft - 2nd attempt - and use it as your background notes. Now you know her name is Gizelle - do we really need to know? If it helps
tell us, if not keep it hidden. Same for 'Dirk'. I think 2.0 lost a little by explaining too much.
Anyway - I hope this gives you something to think about. Please feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree or whether you need further
explanation on anything I have said. I hope this wasn't too painful.
ps: I have absolute drawers full of stuff that never got off the ground and then I put them away for a while and they STILL didn't go anywhere. I
like to use the concepts I really like in other things later on; so just keep that in mind if you aren't happy with how it is working out.
Also ultimately this is YOUR piece. Even if no one agrees with you and you like it, you should take pride in the fact that it is something crafted by
you. That is always a great feeling.
Good luck with the writing and it is really great that you are willing to struggle with your work.