Tag Archives: writing

What I’ve Done This Week #43 (and #44)…

With this little writing challenge I set myself a couple of weeks ago I reckon I have stumbled upon a trifecta of (potentially) good stories. It may take some time to get them done, especially at this busy time of year, but perhaps I will stick them under the tree and offer them up as Christmas gifts.


Admittedly, the stories took a while to get to where I wanted them to go, but I now have a clear direction for each of them and it’s just a case of joining the dots and finding the picture that they make.

My biggest hurdle will be once I present the final products, because I can see the narratives putting a few noses out of joint in my closed audience.

It’s fiction, people. Try to remember that.

What I’ve Done This Week #42…

The printing of all my stories is taking a long time, not least of all because the connection between my laptop and the printer seems to be extremely temperamental, and it forces my computer to blue screen and shut down every once in a while. But I’m doing that a little at a time while I get on with other stuff.

I unintentionally started another Jack & Patrick story this week. I was doodling and coming up with ideas, and before long I was putting something down that will probably end up being the next tale in that series.

I also set myself a little writing challenge. I asked The Fiancée© and her two children to each give me a genre and a word to act as inspiration, and I would pen a story in which they were the central character, and the other two would also appear as supporting players… and with varying degrees of success, they all gave me something to work with.

It’s tough, but the gauntlet has been thrown down (by my own hand, no less) so that’s where my efforts currently lie.

What I’ve Done This Week #41…

I used to print out my stories as I finished them but somewhere along the line I stopped, and as a result the only hard copies I have of my work exists in the magazines and books that I have via their publication.

At least, that was until this week…

I decided that I wanted to have everything there in front of me, filed away on paper. Yeah, it’s a little old fashioned, but there is something satisfying about stories on the page, as opposed to double-clicking a word document. It also means I don’t have to boot up my laptop to look at something I’ve written.

So, I bought a couple of ink cartridges, a heap of plastic pockets, a few lever-arch ring binders, and a shit-ton of paper, and started the process.

And it’s a long process.

I am working back in time and have gone through two cartridges of ink already, which has only got me the last seven years of work… so I’m going to need another trip to the supermarket soon.

But it’s nice to have a physical record of what I’ve been doing. On that note, I discovered that I was missing a first draft of a story I wrote in 2013. Can’t find it anywhere. Fortunately, I have the redraft stored (and now printed), so all was not lost.

What I’ve Done This Week #39 (and #40)…

Last night I finished writing the short story I first mentioned three weeks ago. From first word to last it’s a fairly quick turnaround for me. After my initial struggles I found a title that fits what I was trying to accomplish. It’s called More of a Wednesday Girl.

The tale comes in at just over 2000 words, which – give or take a word or two – is exactly the length I had anticipated, and that’s another thing that is unusual for me, because I’m very good at grossly underestimating just how damn long my stories are going to be.

It’s good, and I’m happy with it, but I let The Fiancée© read it about five minutes after I put it down, and she made a suggestion about the way the story unfolded that I am annoyed never really crossed my mind. Sometimes it really is a case of not seeing the wood for the trees.

Oh well… maybe in the next draft.

What I’ve Done This Week #37 (and #38)…

Unsurprisingly, I did not do any actual writing while I was soaking up the sunshine and scenery in Croatia. I say actual writing because there were quiet people-watching moments when I tried to absorb a lot of what was going on around me. That kind of thing always comes in handy when I least expect it.

I’m back on track now though, and that story I was working on before my holiday is my current priority. I expect to finish it in short order – probably around the 2000 word mark – before getting back to my growing list of stuff in progress.

It is still without a title, which is a little concerning because usually by this stage in the process I have that part nailed on. I don’t think I have ever reached the end of a piece and still not known what to call it. I have a couple of ideas but they are either too on the nose or trying to be too clever, but as long as something comes to me by the final run-through, it’ll be fine.

What I’ve Done This Week #36…

I work alongside a sixteen year old girl who is having a difficult time in her personal life. She left school this year, and this is her first job. She is currently caught up in a situation that no teenager shoud have to experience – hell, no adult should either.

I say this because it is her story (for want of a better phrase) that has passively inspired the last couple of days of writing. I didn’t even know I wanted to write something about it… but 1300 words on a document on my phone later, and I realised I had something to say. It started out as stuff that I wasn’t sure I had a place for, but over the course of that feverish flurry I managed to come up with a structure and glue the tale together, so less than forty-eight hours after I started writing, what I have so far is a fairly cohesive narrative that won’t take long to close off.

So, while I do sympathise with this girl in the real world, her distress has allowed my imagination to wander and perhaps gifted me a pretty good (dark) short story in the process.

What I’ve Done This Week #34 (and #35)…

We’re now into the final third of the year, and it’s about this time on the calendar that I begin to reflect on what I’ve done since this twelve month period began…

… but it makes for a depressing read, so I’ll leave that alone for a while.

I spent one afternoon this week sending stories out for (potential) publication. And while it’s true that one of them came back as a rejection before I had even finished up for the day, I still see every attempt to get my work out there as a positive one.

I never send a story out into the wild just to make up the numbers, because the only person who is really interested in those numbers is me. So, on the other end, when that response comes in, I’m always hopeful for good news, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve had an acceptance. And yes, it has been a while.

My standards are (admittedly) quite high and, although my recent output probably doesn’t justify that bar, I have had many pieces published in non-paying markets over the years, and I think I deserve to be a little further along the food chain by now. As a result I have neglected to even look at a lot of markets that may want to carry my stuff simply because they aren’t going to pay me. Occasionally there is a non-paying market that grabs my attention, but not very often.

Anyway, I’m going to have a soft reboot of my writing to give things a shake-up. I was going to wait until the turn of the year, but that is such an arbitrary time for resolutions, so I’m just going to do it now instead.

I don’t exactly know what I mean by that, or how this soft reboot is going to manifest itself, but I am going to do something.