Go Jump In The Lake: August Writing Update Part 1

Thanks to an extra Tuesday this month, that means I get to divide my monthly writing update in two. Whereas next week I’ll share some in-depth information on how the editing for Skull Daddy is going, this week is all about From the Lake.

As you may or may not remember, this project started off as a short story for AutoCrit‘s Destination Unknown challenge. We were given an opening line, a closing line, and the twist that our story could not contain any physical violence. That last one is certainly a challenging twist for me, but not impossible.

At the time of the challenge, I had recently visited my dad and his girlfriend, who both live in a cottage by a lake. So with a phone full of pictures and a head full of natural inspiration, I started to write a cosmic horror story about a lake. Unfortunately, as I continued to write, it became clear that I would far exceed the word limit for the AutoCrit challenge. As a result, I did not finish the first draft. I certainly wrote a lot of the now novella, but eventually moved on to other projects when I hit a wall.

This is one of those stories where even though I am not entirely enamoured with the first draft, I love the premise. So once I left me part-time job and started to set more serious writing and editing goals, I made sure that one of my goals for August would be to finish draft 1 of From the Lake. At the time I’m writing this blog post, the draft is not yet done, but with 9 days left in the month after today I’m confident I can finish it in time.

But just because I’ll achieve this particular writing goal, doesn’t mean that writing has been going smoothly. This is likely because this is my first time writing a longer piece of cosmic horror and I want to make sure I include all of the necessary tropes as well as set the mood. But also, I’m not entirely in love with all of the characters and will likely make some drastic changes in later drafts.

Also, although the first draft will be without physical violence, as per the rules of the Destination Unknown challenge, I’m not sure later drafts will be the same. There is something wonderful about being able to deliver a scare without showing everything that’s happening to the poor soul being consumed by a monster, but I’m not entirely confident that this particular story should be set up that way. Maybe later drafts will provide me with the ah-ha moment I so desperately need, but right now I keep thinking about going back over certain scenes to add some blood and gore. It’s hard to resist the temptation of having my tentacle monsters rip everyone to shreds.

We’ll see how it goes.

After letting draft 1 marinate while I work on other wiring projects over the next few months, I will be going back in to do some aggressive edits on From the Lake. The story shows promise, but like any early draft it needs a lot of work.

I can’t wait to see how the final product turns out!

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