I’m halfway home with Jack and Patrick’s latest adventure – A Rabbit, A Fairy, and a Fat Man in a Red Suit – and it’s looking good so far. It may be the best one yet. Give me a few more days and I’ll have the framework of a first draft.
I’ve been thinking some more about the possibility of, one day, connecting all these Jack and Patrick stories with some kind of through-line – thereby making each short story a chapter in a longer work.
I know it will be difficult because each piece stands alone; a vaccuum within the larger world of the friendship of those two young boys. Although all of their stories share the same two protagonists, there is very little in the way of character development or plot movement between beginning and end.
That’s fine for what these pieces are at the moment, but it may feel like it lacks depth if I ever wave my magic wand and turn them into a novella.
I haven’t done too much new writing this week, but I’ve thrown a couple of other childhood tropes into my latest Jack & Patrick tale, and it’s now rocking the rolls-off-the-tongue title of A Rabbit, a Fairy, and a Fat Man in a Red Suit. I think those three childhood ‘superheroes’ will work better as part of one story, than my initial plan to give them each their own narrative… and if you are struggling to figure out who I’m talking about, I really don’t know what to tell you!
I’ve (unintentionally) got into the habit of making each of these episodes two thousand words long – give or take a hundred – and this one looks like it will fit right in to that pocket. The nice thing about all of these Jack & Patrick stories is that I know if I get some time to myself and find the right rhythm, I could knock this piece out in an evening.
I still have to find the time (make the time) to send off some stories as well, and – more importantly – to hunt around for representation for Slipwater, because sooner or later I will hit upon someone who likes what they are reading, and sees the value in it.
I’ve been working on my latest installment in the Jack & Patrick franchise, a Christmas story which at the moment I am calling, The Fat Man in the Red Suit.
It’s just so damn easy to write. I don’t mean that the art of writing itself is simple – because it most certainly is not – but that my familiarity with these two characters after so many words together makes the process of building a story for them a joy, even when I don’t know the ultimate goal. I’m just having fun getting there.
At this rate, I should be finished the eighth episode in my Jack & Patrick Universe in the not too distant future.
Sure, it doesn’t have the box office appeal of the MCU, but there may be some legs in the JPU yet.
With the upkeep of the garden required due to the approach of summer, and the impromptu booking of a second holiday this year (more of that in a future update), it’s been a busier week than most…
… but I’ve still written a lot these last few days. Granted, most of it was for the blog post about Knight Rider that I put up yesterday, but still. Words are words. That essay is probably the longest thing I’ve ever posted on my site, and it was certainly a lot of fun to research and report. It’s a topic that will not be of interest to most, but hopefully there is enjoyment to be had for all from its analysis.
On that note, I have put a lot of effort into my site this year, and it means that even when I don’t have a story in front of me, I will at least be writing something.
And I’ll take that as a victory.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had been brainstorming ideas for some new Jack & Patrick adventures. Seasonally inaccurate, I know, but one of those ideas is a Christmas story.
I started putting it together this week and got into it a little deeper than I had expected, so I now have a good chunk of the dialogue to work with. Although I do have other Jack & Patrick pieces in development, this will likely end up being the next – the eighth one – in the series.
I plan to send my novel Slipwater off to a few more agencies this week, because I’ve had a couple come back lately with a negative. Disheartening, sure, but writers are more familiar with rejection than most, and there’s always a contingency plan.
Besides, it’s their loss, because that story is money for the editor who is able to spot its potential.
I finally managed to finish a story! Granted, it’s not a new one, but it is the first thing I have completed in 2019.
Jigsaw is an old piece of fantasy fiction. I wrote the first version of it in 2000, left it for almost the entire decade, then redrafted it in 2009. That iteration was much shorter, but a lot cleaner and tighter as a result.
I didn’t really think I would ever go back to it, but I had an unfinished attempt sitting on my laptop that I decided to throw myself into… and so, almost twenty years after the story was written the first time, I have fine-tuned it again.
Although it still comes in shorter than the original text, I have added a sizeable chunk of words, bringing it in longer than the last time I looked at it.
It’s a good story: maybe this version will make the editors smile.
I have written seven Jack & Patrick short stories since their first adventure in the summer of 2012. I have one more in progress, which has not gone very far, and this week – for no reason other than I was looking for something to do – I manufactured another few ideas for their continued friendship. These particular stories are like comfortable slippers to me, and writing them always raises a smile, so I look forward to starting those.
Not that I had any intention of doing so, but this week I also picked up an unfinished third draft of one of my personal favourite short stories, Jigsaw. It’s coming along well and should be finished by the end of play tomorrow if I get the time to do it. It really doesn’t need much work but I have been adding some stuff and tidying the language up as I go along.
Jigsaw was accepted for publication in early 2015, but the magazine folded before it ever saw the light of day, which was a real shame because it would have been a quality feather in my cap. Perhaps once this redraft is completed, I will be able to give it the home it deserves.