I finished writing the first draft of my new story, now called Bottled Lightning, last night.
It’s a science fiction story – a first contact science fiction story in fact – and it’s a lot longer than I’d originally envisaged. My first thought was that it would be a sub-1000 word vignette, then I thought it would finish up around the 2,500 word mark but the story just kept rolling until it hit 5,498 words. It would have actually been longer but while I was in the gym last night I listened to an old episode of Writing Excuses that talked about ending your story in the right place and I ended up (do you see what I did there?) stopping several paragraphs earlier than I’d originally planned and integrating some of that material into the beginning of the story.
My next step is to try to turn the story into something that I actually like because I’m not particularly happy with the story as it is. I think the concept is okay but the opening 1,500 words feels sloppy and directionless and…well, crap. In a day or two I’m going to dig out my virtual red pencil and chop out a good portion of what I’ve written. This isn’t a case of killing my darlings, I haven’t even got to that point yet, this is just to get to a piece of writing I’m not too ashamed of to show my wife. Then the editing really begins.
[The article Bottling Lightning by Philip Harris first appeared on SolitaryMindset]
Thankfully, the Arctic inspired storms that have engulfed Canada over the last week didn’t really hit Vancouver. It did get cold – down to -11c and not that much higher in the day. There were a couple of days of snow, just enough to cause chaos on the roads but it’s pretty much gone now. Plenty off snow on the mountains though, which makes the skiers and snow boarders happy
As demonstrated by my lack of blogging, this week has been dedicated to day job work – we’re just wrapping up our latest project which means lots of planning for the next project. There was also two trips to the dentist (one aborted, one actual) and lots of running. I did manage to scrape together a spectacular 292 words on Monday though. Not an auspicious start to the writing year but still…better than nothing. That was my meager attempt at the story Ethel the Muse dropped into my lap a few days ago. I’m happy with those words though and the story is pretty short so I’m hoping to get the first draft wrapped up this weekend. No title yet though.
Oh, and I fixed our bathroom tap.
Not a good day today – hence the late post. I decided to go running this morning but picked a route that was longer and tougher than I should have so the rest of the day has been a bit of a disaster. The only good point so far has been re-reading three stories from Cate Gardner‘s Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits. I was planning on posting a review, but that will have to wait until later in the week.
Luckily, yesterday was a productive day. I finished editing Backwards Boy and submitted it to a website. It came in at 1117 words and I’m pretty happy with it. Unfortunately, the speculative fiction element is very subtle so I think it will be a hard sell. I have another story with the same problem – Hidden and it’s difficult to find anywhere to submit it to.
I also wrote the first of a series of longer blogs I’m calling Meaty Mondays. It’s about my attitude towards self-publishing and will go live tomorrow morning.
And because that wasn’t enough writing, I also wrote the first 643 words of a new story. Its working title is Origami Man and Paperboy but that may well change.
No zombies, but I did manage to get back to writing yesterday and I started a new story – F Bomb. An hour and a half of writing resulted 966 words which I think puts me about halfway through. It’s an interesting little story and I’m not entirely sure what genre you’d pigeonhole it into but I like it so far. There’s a (hopefully) humorous edge to it that appeals to me.
I was also planning on editing Rainshine but I decided to postpone that for another few days and come back to it once F Bomb is finished.
I also wrote an entry for my other blog – something I’ve neglected to do for far too long and submitted a story to the One Buck Horror anthology series – fingers crossed on that one, it would be good to end the year with another acceptance.
With all the talk about music and running, I neglected to mention the new book I’m reading - Cate Gardner’s short story collection Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits and other curious things. I read the first couple of stories on Friday night and already I’ve got a good feeling about it.
Finally, I’ve created a Free Fiction page and posted links to the first two stories - Insect Girl Climbs to Paradise and Aftermath. I’ll be posting more stories over time and any comments or feedback would be much appreciated.
I was able to kick off a new story yesterday, a science fiction tale inspired by a line from an Amanda Palmer song.
I always churn through any number of titles for a story, this one started off as simply Rain and then became Rainshine about halfway through yesterday’s session. No doubt it will change a few more times before I finally decide on a title. I clocked up 488 words in about an hour which is pretty much average for me. This one is fairly dialogue heavy and I think it will probably come in at around 2000 words, a bit shorter than my usual stories which tend to be 3-4000.
Unusually for me, I have a pretty good idea what the entire story is going to be. I don’t outline and it’s pretty common for me to only have a very vague idea where the story is going when I start; I prefer to discover things as I go along. This time though, I think I understand the whole arc. No doubt it will still take some of its own twists and turns along the way so I’m sure there’s still some surprises in store for me.
Other than the work on Rainshine, yesterday was a perfectly average Wednesday – mostly day job and running.