Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Back to the bosom (of the short story)

The last few months, I've been focused almost exclusively on novel length fiction. And that was mainly because Hospital Road had such a difficult first draft as well as working on a the final (for now) copy of Belham. While I do like to bash out the odd short story between books, it hasn't happened for a while. Plus what I have come up with wasn't a great success. I've liked my recent short fiction, but none of it really got to me. Week before last, I made a determined effort to find the time to come up with something new, something I'd like.


I jotted down some loose ideas and decided to wing one of them. I didn't literally make it up as I went, but it was pretty close. The result needs a bit of a polish. Even so, it's a fair tale. With that in mind, I went after another idea which I originally had shortly after finishing Belham. Again, the result wasn't 100% but there's nothing wrong with it that a small amount of work won't fix. Then from there, I went back to an older story - one that's stayed at the back of my head since I wrote it five years ago.

It was ropey. I won't lie. It was a piece of work from a writer who, even after five or six books and dozens of short stories, wasn't up to scratch. But it did have the odd glimpse of something cool, so I went back to it, reworked it and the result is a massive improvement. And if it ever sees publication, you can thank Jenny seeing as she liked the original story enough for me to keep thinking about it.

I don't know what will happen with short fiction and me over time. I love short stories, of course, but there doesn't seem to be as much time to focus on them these days as there was a little while ago. With a bit of luck and effort, I won't give them up. After all, there's always the need for a little tale told in the dark.

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