5: Flute - Part A
I've posted my latest short story, 5: Flute - Part 1. Like the last one, this is a two parter.
Also like the last story, and will be with the one upcoming, this is based on my memory of an old story of mine. I have not read the story, but will read it and post the original one after I finish this one.
I'm running a bit behind schedule this week, but I'm planning on getting the final part to this story out by Friday.
I've been watching things happen online in regards to sexism, harrasement, and in general the treatment of women. This distrubs me greatly as a human being, and as a father of three girls.
As a man, I've been thinking about how I can change things. What I have come up with is that I've decided to take two oaths. With one hand raised and the other on whatever holy book matters to you I speak:
I solemnly swear that I will only write stories with a female protagonist or in cases of multiple protagonists that at least one is female.
I also solemnly swear that I will predominately, if not only, hire women for my studio.
All of my stories as of this writing (1 - 4) fit or just barely hit the line of these oaths. When I have time in the next few months I will go in and fix these stories to more accurately reflect these oaths.
4: The Guardian
I have finished the second half of my fourth short story. I just added it to the first part and you can now view it in its entirety.
I have also posted the original version I wrote sometime in the 1990s for comparison's sake.
I would appreciate if you could let me know what you think once you read it.
4: The Guardian - Part A
I've posted the short story for this week - 4: The Guardian
This week’s short story I consider the first failure of the run. It’s late and incomplete.
Story 4 will be in two parts, the first part you can read today, and the rest I will post next week. I will simply update the story next week to include part B.
I would love to hear what you think!
Story 1 Postmortem
This postmortem covers my first short story, Tale of Forgotten Tale. If you have not read it yet, you should do that now before proceeding.
This was the first story that I had written in many years. I'm always coming up with plenty of ideas, working out scenes, or developing characters. But for many years it just percolated in my head or in hasty notes so I would remember1.
In many ways I've always scoffed at people saying this type of stuff is hard. I've always had an easy time with writing my stories.
That is until now.
I've always written when the mood struck me. During my earlier years this was easy since I had all the time in the world to do with as I pleased. It was only until recently when I decided to do this rain or shine at specific times that it truly dawned on me just how hard it can be.
Being creative on the spot is hard. It takes real mental work, especially when there are distractions, you're tired, or you only have a small window in which to do it. It's not so much the actual work that is hard as it is "forcing" myself to write and stay focused on what it is I'm doing.
During the several hours I sat there writing this story, each line was almost painful to write. I would think, write a line, look at it, think, write another line, and so on. Each paragraph took several minutes, and I tend to write short paragraphs. This only got worse as the story progressed.
When finished I was drained! I was more than ready to call it good!
All in all I'm extremely proud of this first story. Not that I think it will win any prizes in its current form, but that I was able to accomplish my goals. Plus, I find the story interesting.
Here is a bit of trivia for you.
What gender do you think the protagonist is?
If you responded with your own gender, then I must clap myself on the back. If not, well, I tried. By removing any reference to the gender I hoped to instill a bit of either mystery or self projection into the story.
Just so we're on the same page, the character is actually a young girl.
Things that went right
There are several key things that I think went right:
- I completed the story (don't knock it, just finishing this first story is a testament).
- I was able to get back into the flow of generating ideas in a short time. I was up and going with the story within the first 30 minutes of sitting down to write.
- Regardless of the slogging it only took a few hours to actually write the story.
- While writing the story I decided to drop any reference to the protagonist's gender. Thinking that most people don't constantly remind themselves of their sex.
Things that went wrong
I hit a wall throughout. I just was not able to really get into a groove and write without catching myself all of the time. I took time away from the story during the day a few times which really put me into a bind later. So much so I had to wait until the following morning to actually reread the story in full before calling it ready to post.
In all honestly, this thing is a mess! I think I changed tenses (first person, past or present) many times, it's got typos, and it sometimes just quickly "jumps" ahead (especially later in the story).
Work that needs to be done
It's too short and I can see where some really good scenes could be inserted. Of course, there is the technical issues such as grammar, word choice, and the like.
I also need to plan more of the story up front, and save more time for revision later.
How I feel about the work
As I said, I'm really proud of this piece. It needs work, and is a bit shorter than it should be, but I was able to do it.
- On a side note, I have a terrible memory for specifics. Sometimes it's a curse, but in creative endeavors it's actually a blessing. It's easy to let things go when you can't remember them!
Short Story Postmortems
I'm going to be doing postmortems on all of my weekly short stories. These will typically show up during the week after I post the story.
I'm a few behind, so watch out for those throughout the week. The first one is going up this morning!
3: A Messy Encounter
Apparently I missed doing my typical, albeit quick and computer aided, spell-checking on my first short story.
Normally I would let this slide since that's not the focus of my short stories here, but well, it was pretty bad. I've gone through and quickly fixed all of the actual misspelled words. As for any wrong word usage, improper grammar, or other technical bit I make no guarantee.
2: Old Man
1: Tale of Forgotten Tale
Weekly Short Stories
I've always been a very creative type of person. Always dreaming up stories.
In all of my endevors over the years, I stopped expressing and writing these stories. They mostly starting taking on the form of notes, if even that.
I got so wrapped up in trying to do everything else I simply lost sight of being creative for the sake of creativity. Of building and expressing these stories. Of actually gaining experience writing my stories instead of well... thinking about them.
So last week I decided to start writing again.
To do this I came up with an interesting challenge. In one day, every week, I will write a short story of 1000 to 2000 words.
While I'm working on my larger projects, or doing a day job during the rest of the week, I pick one day (currently Fridays) and devote that day to coming up with and writing a short story.
Generally every story will be something new. Most of these them will be raw, and may end up in a completely different place from when I started.
The goal is to let loose. To explore both ideas and writing.
I wrote a short story last week, and I'm finishing up one today. I will be posting a link to both of them shortly.
Welcome to Forgotten Tale!
Just setting things up so it's a tad light right now.