I bought a ring binder.
“Whoop-de-doo” I hear you cry. “Medals in the post”.
But there’s more to it than that. For me the purchasing of stationery forms a symbolic start to a project. I bought a ring binder, a 400 page refill notepad and some plastic wallets. £5.00 of TESCO stationery and I’m ready to go (in a tidy and organised way).
With a title picked for the collection (to be revealed at a later date) and seven stories of varying length for me to mould into something people might like to read, I have set off from the starting line.
Yet I’m bothered. In fact I’m a little annoyed with myself at this early stage because I’m spending more time on the planning than the actual writing. When I’m sat at work or taking my son out for a walk I’ve been thinking about which stories to use, what order they should go in and what to pick as a clever title.
I’ve even started writing little snippets to go at the end of the collection that tell you where the idea for each included story came from and why I wrote it. I know some people don’t like that much information about what they’re reading and they don’t have to read it. But I like it. Stephen King has done this in some of his books. I find the stories about the stories just as interesting.
When I’m not thinking about how I want the collection to look I’m writing a blog about writing. I won’t skip this though. It is as important as the stories I’m putting together, I feel. This will only work for me if one helps the other.
But it’s not getting my stories written, is it?
So what lies ahead of me?
I’ve picked seven stories. Two are pretty much finished and just need a final draft to tidy them up and iron out the kinks.
Another two are at second draft stage and need typing up so that I can give them out to friends and colleagues for feedback.
Two more have the most work and need to be pretty much written from scratch. I’m annoyed that one of these two has the first couple of pages in existence but I think they are boxed away somewhere while I’m moving. It’s a shame because I really like the intro to the zombie story I started several years ago but now I have to start again.
The final story is being rebuilt from its original, word count limited form into something a little bigger. This one is titled LOVE BITE and is about a man trying to come to terms with his wife’s new ‘condition’.
It was originally written for the online writing group I was part of but the word limit stifled it. That’s my fault though. The story wasn’t right for the purpose. But now I’m free of limitations so I’m currently expanding the main story and filling out the two main characters history together.
So the journey carries on. I’m going to plough through the current draft of LOVE BITE and get it into the hands of beta readers (you know who you are). While that’s doing the rounds I’ll get to work on the two that are lingering close to finished and then just keep going until I have a nice, well written, end product.
I just have to keep in mind two very important rules I’ve just thought of this very second.
“Every end must have a beginning”
“The number one rule about write club? You gotta write!”
So basically this just means that I can’t have a collection of short stories if I don’t write them. That’s quite obvious when you think about it.
See you in seven.