21 February 2017

I finished my short story today. *confetti*

I had been writing – rather putting off writing – the first of a series of novels for over a year when the idea of this short story came to me.

A friend and I were going to participate in NaNoWriMo last November and I needed a story to write. And it came to me in the shower, which is where all good ideas are born.

We ended up not doing NaNoWriMo, but a few months later as I was looking to re-start writing as a regular hobby I remembered the idea, and decided to put my novel aside and get started on it.

It was going to be a book, but then I thought of how I was struggling to motivate myself to finish a novel and realised a short story might be more realistic. Writing short stories, apart from being easier to finish, also has the added advantage of allowing me to practice different styles and get feedback on multiple pieces of writing.

So I decided to make it a short story.

I also decided to write it online (Google Docs) rather than on Word (my chosen medium) so I could work on it on my phone. This turns out to be a wise decision as I ended up writing most of it on my commute to town. I owe this story to the purple line; it is so slow I can usually finish a chapter before I reach the end of the line.

The short story is about a dragon and a boy. It’s 12-page long and is divided into bite-sized chapters. The aim is to explore the relationship between the two without directly reporting their interaction. The story is told through the voice of the boy. The challenge here was to develop the characters – a major flaw that has been pointed out by an experienced author of my unfinished novel.

I’m not sure if I like the finished work. Some days the story flowed and the dots were miraculously connecting to one another (today was one of those days), but some were a real struggle (yesterday was one) – I just couldn’t string the words together or control the direction of the story.

It’s only the first draft though, and knowing me it will go through many more until it reaches the first external examiner. I’ve asked a good friend to read and comment on it.

Once it’s truly finished, all varnished and shiny, I’m hoping to publish it somewhere. My first thought was to put it on my main blog – it has been dead for too long. But on second thought I’ll ask my experienced writer friend for recommendations on how to get a story out to the public. The ideal would be to get it published commercially, as part of a collection of short stories. I have no idea if it is that good, but you never know until you do.

But first, revisions!

Oh joy.

To all the writers out there, I hope today is one of the good days.

Happy writing!

Love,

Val

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