Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Shortest Straw-ry

 So that title is probably the worst play on words in history. I’ve chosen it because this update is about the first short (and shortest) story I’ve ever written. As I thought about a title Metallica’s ‘The Shortest Straw’ came to mind (it’s one of my favs) and as you can see I seamlessly blended it with ‘Short Story…’ Well maybe the opposite of seamlessly, but I’m keeping it because I think it’s funny. It’s a sign I probably need to get out more but I’m attempting to be a writer and that means being somewhere between a little quirky and totally ‘there came a tapping… a tapping my chamber door’ crazy. I’ll leave it to you to judge where you think I fall in that spectrum. Now that I’ve done my usual and rambled it’s time to tell you about the story behind the story.
 A few months ago my friend Starbuck (Sammy) asked me to write a short story for an anthology she was putting together. I haven't read many short stories and having never written one I thanked her for the offer but declined. The back story for the short story was Steampunk and one of the themes we could play with was Gothic Horror. I love Gothic classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, so decided to give it some more thought.
It wasn’t long before I remembered an idea I had that was related to one of those classics. It was for a branch off story, like ‘what if this had happened instead.’ It did feel a little blasphemous to touch such an amazing story, but it was an idea I liked. I was always going to play with it at some point, so why not now? I spoke to Starbuck and told her I wasn’t going to make any promises but would explore the idea and send it to her for her thoughts.
            Surprisingly the first draft was a lot of fun and I enjoyed exploring the ideas. I sent it off to Starbuck and she said she liked it, but as with all my writing it needed some work. I decided to just leave the story and not have it in the anthology as I felt I got what I wanted out of it.
A couple weeks later Starbuck motivated me to finish it. I didn’t want to let her down so decided to give it a try. I think the break had been good because when I went back to it the story came together pretty well. I sent it back to Starbuck and she said it would be good to have in the Anthology; once it had some editing. She cut the 11,000 words to 7,000 and said it was ready to put in. I was a bit deflated to think 4,000 words were taken out and part of me wanted it to stay the way it was. However I wasn’t going to let my pride get in the way and the 7,000 words version is better for the anthology and as a story. I will always have the 11,000 word version to enjoy and I know Starbuck was right to cut so much as people will prefer to read the catchier, less rambling version. I talked about this in a previous blog and how that vital aspect of story telling is so important. However I threw it out the window for this short story as the Gothic novels have a wordy style which I tried to emulate. Yet I probably just rambled and what Starbuck did shows her skills as a story telling. As always I’m very thankful for her help and efforts to help me in my writing.
            So that’s the update about my shortest straw-ry and I’m assuming that most of the traffic to this update has come from  where the story can be found, but if not head over there to find the anthology of short stories that I’m sure you will enjoy.
 As always there is a lot more going on and I’m working on various projects at the moment. The best thing to do is like my facebook page for my updates (link on the right side bar), although they can be very erratic. Also Kristell Ink will be publishing lots of good stories from talented authors so like their facebook page for updates
Lastly this update marks a half way point of something I’m working on and just writing this last bit as a point of reference even though it makes no sense to anyone but me. Thanks for reading and I really really hope you enjoy the Anthology.  

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