I knew the odds when I took this job…

This week, I got two reviews of my novella Clockworks Warrior. The first one came from a fellow Hatracker. He said the story was too tight and needs to be expanded into a novel (not the first time I heard that about my stories). He also said that a certain “deus ex machina” appears in it, solving a really desperate situation with in a too easy way.

I can understand why he got that impression. I also know why it made sense to me. I am prone to creating monstrously large stories. When I try to put it on paper, the only way for me to do that is to cut the story in pieces, writing each in turn. What he called a “deus ex machina” is in fact a connection to the other pieces of the aforementioned monster. The next story in line will reveal the same events from a different point of view. This is where that “deus ex machina” will come into contact.

At this point, I sound like that classic bit of defence rookie writers usually make when someone tells them their story could be written differently. “No, you didn’t understand the point I was trying to make.” No, I’m admitting the fluke, plain and simple, because if I couldn’t persuade one reader what my point was, I didn’t do my job as a writer. So yes, I made a fluke. It happens. At least it wasn’t a plot paradox like the one I found an hour before saying: “OK, now Clockworks is done.”

I mentioned two revies coming in this week. Interesting that my brother-in-law who usually doesn’t read books, let alone books in English, decided to give my story a read. He loved it. He could not stop telling me how much he enjoyed that story. He also commented on that same “deus ex machina” and said he loved that too because it came at just the right moment to relieve the desperate moment and that in the epilogue there is a hint why this salvation came along at all.

Today, I have more confidence to write than I did yesterday. The story doesn’t have to be perfect to entertain and to give someone a good day or two. Or three. And there nothing more satisfying than to have someone tell you with that sparkle of madness in their eyes: “Write another one, quickly!”

2 thoughts on “I knew the odds when I took this job…

  1. I wonder if you expanded the story a little if you would resolve the “deus ex machina” issue. Sometimes these things just need proper hints and foreshadowing so that it doesn’t feel as if it comes out of nowhere.

    Congrats on getting the “Write another one, quickly.” Nothing is better than getting that response. 🙂

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