“The Wager”

I’m on a roll, I guess. After revising and expanding and basically rewriting most of Ogallala, I realized it was too long to send to the market I was hoping to send it to, and so I decided to rework another story I’d been saving up for criticism. Be warned, spoilers, so if you’re planning on critting it, read no farther.

I actually reworked this story (about a happy, silly bet turning scary and sending the protagonist in an unexpected life direction) pretty heavily; in the original draft, it was in slightly ham-handed 2nd-person, and the reader had to put up with being told things like, “You fish the keys out of your pocket” or “Roshan’s short, curly beard scratches against your face”, and so on. Now, there are only two second-person addresses left in the story, and even those, I think, are dispensable if people react allergically to them. Most of the story is written in this very hedgy almost-second-person or maybe-self-reflexive-first-person voice. Only thing is, I think it’s a little too hedgy. I think I might need to go back and start laying in a few of the you-do-this and you-do-thats because, while for most of the story it’s not awkward, there is a point where I think the reader’s sucked in enough that I can get away with it, and I think that the hedginess does get a little awkward toward the end.

Anyway, I’m waiting for crit feedback from anyone who’s able to get to it quickly enough, and we’ll see what I’ll do with it. I’m hoping to send the story out on the 30th, which may be a day before I leave for Beijing, and that’s kind of intense, isn’t it? We’ll see, anyway.

Next up for revision… “Realer”. But I’m taking the rest of the day off to watch a movie called Tsotsi.

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