I just read a short story that I wrote in 1998. The length was good, and the pace of it was okay. I think that the story that it tells is good, and that the characters are good. I like most of the dialog. The sentences, however, are horrible. If I can see that now, maybe I’ve learned something about sentences in the meantime.
It’s called, “Lucky as Hell,” and it desperately needs a re-write. I wrote about half-a-dozen stories around that time, trying to figure out how it was done. A few of them, I recall, got extensive re-writing, and profited from it. This one obviously got little, if any. I was probably too anxious to move it to the “Abandoned” folder, to declare it finished.
I’m tempted to re-write it now, but I can’t think of a good reason to do so. Why should I? To gauge the progress that I’ve made in the last seventeen years? (That purpose has been substantially filled already.) To prepare it for publication? (Almost certainly a waste of time.) To kill time on a quiet afternoon? (This one might work, actually.) Maybe I’ll do it. It’s about 50/50.
To write things that people read and enjoy would be a dream come true. To write fiction that found an audience would be as great as waking up in a world where cigarettes were good for you. Writing just for the fun of it is okay, but if anyone were reading this right now I’d feel much better about it.