Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Experiments are always tricky

I am writing every day on "Three Sum," a piece of short short fiction and trying to post to quillpill, a new site that allows folks who are on the beta (lucky, I guess,) to post 140 characters or less. I have posted three times out of ten attempts. Twice it was intentional. The other times were frustrating because some sort of glitch is keeping me from posting dialogue, even though it is well under the character count. This is extremely frustrating because short dialogue is one of the things I do a lot of. Here is an example that I keep failing to post:
“Joe,” Lee asked, “Do you think she loves me?”
“But, Joe, she slept with me.”
“She’s not that way.”
“They’re all that way.”
This little exchange advances the plot, tells us Lee is in love and that his confidant, Joe is a cynic. It reveals the state of the love affair and how Lee feels about his lover. I hate to hit this sort of wall so early in the process. I had about a dozen of these little bits and they are all stuck in limbo. I am rethinking how to approach it. I tried different punctuation, substituting < & > for " & " but this created a page where only two words "Lee asked" were shown. That really made the story fall apart and the author look dumb. Part of being "published" that is exposing your creation in "public" is the opportunity for embarrassment. None of us likes to appear stupid. I am wrestling with my eagerness to put more work out in this form because it is both an experiment in progress and an opportunity for failure. I guess everything is.