Thursday, May 22, 2014

So about Those "New" Short Stories...

BFFs - Completed on May 27, 2011

Of "New" Short Stories

I’ve been finding it all-sorts of intimidating trying to figure out which “new” short story from my original world I’d like to share first. Over the years I’ve written thousands of pages about places, characters, plots and more, and I certainly have a backlog of older short stories and novellas to choose from, but since about this time last year, I’ve been grasping trying to write that “perfect” short story to use in order to introduce readers to my cast of characters and their world.

Since last year, I’ve also started (and then eventually halted) no less than six such “new” short stories, each time insisting to myself that they didn’t encompass enough of what I wanted to say, or in the correct flavor. None of this new batch of short stories were so awful as to be worthy of being tossed away entirely, certainly, but none of them felt quite fitting enough to stand on their own as the first figureheads in a new era of my writing.

Among others, I’d written out two fairy tales from the world, one of which expanded upon a lesser-known culture and their curious history. Others detailed the backstories of side characters from the primary novels, and still others sought to delve deeper into the motivations of characters who were only glimpsed at in passing. While all fine in their own right, none of them really felt like the “right” short story to start out with at this particular juncture.

Then, during my recent trip to Hawaii, a bunch of things suddenly fell into place. While plotting and scheming on some rewrites of the first novel, I realized that the answer to the question I’d been chasing for the last year was staring me in the fact. The whole time I’d been working to dig into new juicy territory (for myself as well!) and I’d been completely ignoring the fact that there shouldn’t be any reason at all for me to avoid some of the characters I knew best, and who had been around in one form or another for well over twenty years.

You see, characters have to “meet” somehow. While all-too-many books fall back on the “they met in a tavern…” trope, two of my characters have long-since been an almost inseparable pairing that, well, that’s just how they are in my head. _I_ know how they met, but I’d never really stopped to sit down and think if that was a story that would really warrant telling because it was so long before the events of the main novel.

But upon closer inspection, it seemed “just” like the sort of short story to get things rolling in both my own mind, and hopefully for new (and returning) readers as well! And, hey? By actually putting it out here in the open reaches of the internet, I’m telling myself that it might also assist me with getting rolling on the second draft in earnest. ;)

"Secrets of an Accord"

Below is the quick note I jotted-down to myself in February regarding the initial “jist” of this new short story, which will introduce readers to two longtime characters who are very near and dear to my heart, and who are from very different walks of life. Did I mention that at first glance, one appears to be a horse?

From there in my story journal, I laid out the basic plot in a few pages, and started to flesh it out. I don’t have a precise ETA on when it will be complete but… there you have it! It will happen, because I said it must be so! And I’ve spent far too many months chasing my tail around in circles, and not NEARLY enough time getting down to business writing!

The piece of art below was created by the immensely talented Emma Lazauski, and I want you dear readers to know how these two characters met, and would later become so inseparable and ever-so-close to my own heart.

Enough well-intentioned procrastination: Let’s get down to writing and do this! 

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