Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Sometimes, I do complete stuff

I’ve just completed the first draft of a short story that has the filename of “Huxton1” (I did think of a working title - “Mr Huxton Goes Camping” - but that seems counter-productive now) and I’m really chuffed. Why? Well, this is my first short story since “Risen Wife”, back in 2004 and came about because I realised that as a horror writer, I had to write something. Since “The Day It Rained” fell over last year (30+k words in) and because I can’t quite get into “Project Gash”, I needed to do something. So on Sunday night, I was on the Net and saw some reviews for The Black Book Of Horror and it got me thinking - why not try getting back into shorts? Not as a full-time thing, but it’ll keep my hand in and I can submit them and it’d be nice to have something else accepted.

I wracked my brains but had no ideas (for short stuff, anyway) and, as ever, I worried that my short story engine was conked out. On Monday, we went to Northampton on the back-road and as we re-joined the A43, I saw the field across the way. It had been ploughed and bird-scarers put up - old white feed-bags on broomsticks. For some reason, this struck me as a creepy image and by the time I got to the Moulton Park roundabout, I had about 25% of the story in my head. By the time we’d finished in Northampton and arrived at Irchester, I had another 25%. I started writing that night, terrified but excited.

Progress was better than expected and, on occasion, I employed a technique I’d used with “The Mill”, of writing out of sequence. I don’t like to do it often, but it does sometimes make sense. I had a rough concept of the ending from the start and it evolved as the story did, but it’s not too far away now (though I’ve made it more oblique than my original idea would have had it), yet I’m not sure it works. So I’ll let this rest for a little, work on the second draft and then get some ‘first-readers’. I’ll take my kid sister and my friend David, as they pre-read virtually everything, but I might also target some fellow writers because I’m so unsure about that ending - it’s either bloody brilliant or bloody rubbish and I’m too close to tell which.

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