I went to visit my copy editor this weekend. When I arrived at her house, it was filled with moving boxes and stacked furniture. My reason for going there in part was to urge her to go a little quicker. I didn’t have the heart to do it. So, my plan to have it on CreateSpace by the end of this month is out the window.
Likewise, Anthem III will be delayed. I finished it tonight. I will delay sending it to her until she moves into her new place and is settled.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. That’s why this post is in categories ‘my experiences’ and ‘works in progress.’ I thought all weekend about how to end my last short story on Anthem. I had it planned out, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked my ending.
I met with one of my readers last Thursday. We had lunch and talked about a different story, Heddalig’s Break: The Making of Sgian Dubh, that’s found in Anthem II. He didn’t like the ending. He has told me several times he didn’t like the ending of some of my short stories. I finally understood what he was talking about. He has a Ph.D. in English (a good reader to have if you can find one). He explained the difference he expects in a short story and in a chapter in a novel. For a short story, he expects the story to be neatly tied up and completely ended. For a chapter in a novel, he thinks it’s okay to leave things open.
He feels like too many of my short stories are open ended. I see what he means now.
So, I changed my ending to Anthem’s Defense. I don’t think I can claim it is entirely closed as he would like, but it is more closed.
I had thought about killing the character. The last time I did that, I had a reader hit me in the parking lot at a college where I teach. She liked the character and didn’t want him killed off.
I though her critique of my work was one of my best compliments.