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Writing: "Anywhen"
anthonyjfuchs
Redraft (v.): to "take the typing you have done and toss it away, then write the story again from your memory of the idea."

In my last post, I mentioned that my short novelette "Finnegan's First Time" was one of fiteen stories being considered, pending revision, for one of the nine remaining slots in the Kindle All-Stars Presents: Resistance Front collection.

On Saturday the 15th, I dug in and started rewriting the story. Except that I did more than just rewrite what I had. I reimagined the story. I plucked out the characters of Jack Finnegan and McKinley Ross and Rodger Downing, and I created a new story for them. Because I'm of the mind that a story is really just a delivery mechanism for an idea. And the more I read through "Finnegan's First Time," the less I felt that that particular story was effectively delivering its ideas. So, in Smith's parlance, I redrafted the idea.

And in a seven-day blitzkrieg, I wrote an entirely new 8,035-word story. I ultimately decided to go with the title "Anywhen," even though the phrase "first time" actually did appear in this version of the story. The story is still first-person for intimacy, and still in the present tense for immediacy. I really did want to keep this draft to about 6,000 words, and by day four, I actually thought I was going to end up within that neighborhood. Then I just kept going, and wound up right back at the 8,000-word mark. This version of the story is infinitely less meandering than the first, though, and I think it delivers the ideas of "FFT" far more effectively than did "FFT."

Perhaps the length of a story is like the height of a person: an 8,000-word story can't be made into a 6,000-word story any more than a six-foot-tall person can be made into a five-foot-tall person. Ultimately, I felt good enough about it to submit it as-is. I emailed the manuscript to Bernard J. Schaffer literally minutes after finishing it. So we'll see how that works out for me.