What would I do without critique partners? I thought I'd whip up a 10K piece for the Aussie gals' anthology and yes, I managed a first draft in five days of hurling myself at the computer between the washing up and story time. I'd been pot boiling this story for months and it was destined to be about a 50K novella. However, the bones of the story lent itself to a poignant reunion story with each partner of the now dissolved couple believing the other guilty of a betrayal which had sent them on a downwards spiral until their unexpected meeting.
Essentially, the story is only two scenes and there's a lot of emotion to incorporate which must be laid bare without backstory getting in the way. Yet back story is essential. It's what ups the pace and makes the reader keep turning the page asking, 'But why...?" I think that's where my true love lies: perfecting that page-turning response, upping the ante and feeding in tiny snippets of backstory to create suspense.
However, it's my brilliant critique partners, Jess Dee, Bernie and Frances who give me the honest low down on where there's too much of it - the dreaded backstory! - and not enough emotion.
I'm on the home stretch now. Just a few more hours and I'll have it nailed. But my dreams of uninterrupted writing hours to get it done today are just that: I have school volunteer reading for my 6-year-old's class and my Vic Uni Short Story class to teach.
Anyway, here's to those great gals who tell me the unglossed truth and inspire me with their feedback which helps me always to 'make it better'.
I'll get there soon!