I still have no idea what to call it. I have a bad habit of always naming my stories “The _____”: The Sacrifice, The Resurrection, The Kiss, The Blind Date, etc. (The Kiss eventually became Boundaries of Attraction, after an off-hand comment my friend, Claire, threw out during a script meeting, and The Blind Date eventually was renamed Sunny Cafe, after the diner where the action takes place.) This story has been going by the working title The Bodyguard, which doesn’t indicate that it’s cyberpunk and says nothing interesting, at all. I’ll have to work on that.
The story also needs some rewriting, of course. I don’t think it will require much, since my stories tend to be fairly polished, by the time I get to the end. It’s my habit to keep going back over what’s been written, as I’m working on it, so by the time it’s finished, most of it has been revised several times. But this one took some unexpected turns near the end, with one character revealing secrets I hadn’t known he had. So now I have to go back and make sure that’s consistent with what happened earlier.
The romance could also use some tweaking. By the last few paragraphs, I think I had the character motivation pretty well figured out, but now I need to go back and make sure all of that is adequately foreshadowed. I always hate it when two characters proclaim that they love each other for no apparent reason, other than that’s what is supposed to happen at the end of the story.
I’m also in a unique position with this story, in that it’s the first time I’ve written a story that’s too long for the editor I plan on submitting it to, so I’ll have to hack a couple hundred words out of it. That’s really not much — less than half a page. I’ll just have to tighten it up a bit.
I left the ending wide open for a sequel. In fact, it sort of ends on a cliff-hanger. The characters are safe and falling in love with each other, but they are clearly heading towards the next phase of their adventure. I could simply stop writing, right there, and it would stand on its own. But hopefully the readers will want more! I have only a vague idea what that “more” will entail, but I think it will be fun to find out.
In other news, yesterday the Senate voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell! I’m not connected to the military, in any way, but I’m very happy for those in the service who will, someday very soon, be able to talk about their partners/spouses without fear of ending their careers. Before this weekend, if a gay man or woman in the military was killed in combat, their partner/spouse might never be notified, because nobody would know to tell them. Can you imagine your husband or wife being killed in Iraq, and you never being informed? Months later, you might eventually figure out that the person you love isn’t just being moved around and can’t contact you — that, in fact, he or she is never coming home again. That, in and of itself, makes current policy insane, to my mind.
2 responses to “Finished the first draft of my cyberpunk story!”
Hello Mr. Fessenden,
I couldn’t find an email address for you, so I thought I would post this here.
Just a short note to thank you for writing and sharing your delightful story, The Meaning of Vengeance.
It was a pleasure to read – the plot interesting, the pacing smooth and the characters fresh. The setting was quite unique and I really enjoyed loosing myself within your written word.
I see you have another story due out the 22nd – I will make sure I purchase that as well.
I’ve also dropped a note to Dreamspinner Press, informing them that I would love to read more from you.
Happy Holidays and best wishes to you and your partner. I hope to read more from your masterful pen.
Much success in 2011.
I should rectify the e-mail address, so people can contact me, but thanks for tracking me down to let me know how you liked the story! And thank you very much for the note to Dreamspinner. It’s much appreciated!
I’m delighted that you found the story to your liking. The novella has a very different tone, but I hope you enjoy it, as well.