My second short story is dead.
I let my creativity get ahead of my planning. The story that was developing was a good one, full of investigation and somehow blending some action in there as well. But half way through the process, I stopped and stared at it. And I realized that I had failed to accomplish the overall goal of the submission window: To introduce Xaphan the faceless to the reader.
Sure I eventually do it, but I do so at the end. And Xaphan’s reputation is covered through hearsay and rumors, which would be fine if this were a novel and I had time for that. But still I do not really introduce the audience to Xaphan, face to… faceless.
Narrativium suggested that I rewrite and improve on it, adding Xaphan in. But doing so would be a different piece whose storytelling quality I cannot guarantee. I can recycle the characters and maybe an idea or two but that’s all.
What also saddened me was that the overall technique I use to introduce Xaphan was little different from the previous short story, of which I am much more satisfied with but need to rewrite to make the story more concise. The difference being is that Xaphan is introduced early, and is constant throughout the story. That and the ending is way more satisfying with Xaphan leaving his mark on the Imperium. Not in a gigantic, universe shattering way, but large enough to be a nuisance. If I’m going to use the same approach, I might as well just use the better one.
Back to the drawing board.