Rewrites and the value of feedback

So, the first draft of ‘Sleepers in the Sand‘ has been done. That was relatively easy; the story pushed itself out into the world, creating something nasty which will hopefully appeal if you’re into horror, at least on first glance. It’s not a classic, but I want to be proud of it.

The gist of ‘Sleepers in the Sand’ (working title) is that a boy is on holiday at a fishing village with his parents. He meets a girl and after a while, even though he’s a bit sick of her, he decides to go with her to a secluded spot where they can make out. Then it goes slightly Wicker Man.

I’ve shown it to two people I trust and the feedback seems to be:

Character motivation. It wasn’t clear why the boy acted the way he did.

Setting. Emphasis on the location of the story, more description

More buildup. This ties in with creating the setting and establishing a greater sense of atmosphere, perhaps making the setting for the horror contrast more with the holiday setting

Too nasty. While this is a valid criticism, ‘Sleepers’ is a horror story, but the criticism involved me doing ‘more with it’.

There were other criticisms more specific to moments in the story, which would be fairly spoilery to relate now. Suffice to say, I’m still thinking over the feedback and a reworked, buffed up and sweetly despicable new version is percolating in my head.

I have other stories to work on, as well. Some are horror, some are more fantasy-sci-fi based, and I think one is going to dabble in crime or noir fiction. More on that lately.

What I really should do is redraft ‘Asteroid Blues’, as not having it complete is giving me heartburn. Now that’s a thought…

Rewrites and the value of feedback