I’ve written short stories for many years as I love the immediacy of a short tale.
As I drove over the South Downs I recalled the day I’d hit a deer. (It was a harrowing experience.) But my story telling mind kicked in and I began to wonder what if a character had been up to no good… been with somebody they should not have been with… how would my character break the news that her car had been written off?
This new short story was written and several people at writing group told me it was the opening chapter for a book! And so I took on board those comments and began to develop the idea. And my second novel grew and grew, from that initial short story.
But I’m surprised because my short stories are often light and fluffy whereas my novels are quite dark and often have tough story lines, but maybe this is because with in the structure of the novel there is more time to get to know a character. And I’ve fallen in love with my characters. I wanted three women to be at point in their lives where everything should be sweet, but life isn’t simple and things begin to go wrong for them, for a variety of reasons.
And this is the way my mind works: I’ll be standing at the sink, washing the dishes when my mind will drift off and I’ll start to reflect that if my lead character does this…then what’s the impact on other half/family… and how will he/she react? I pose endless questions to myself and so my plotline grows. And that’s how novel No: 2 were developed. Its working title is: ‘The Trick to Loving is Letting Go.’
My first novel
However I wrote my first novel back in 2008 in a frenzy of activity that had me quite worried as I was totally obsessed by an event that took place and I experienced an urgent need to write. I felt like I was caught in a sand storm! But that first novel (I’m certain was naively executed) sits, languishing at the bottom of a drawer. One day I will return to it as I love it but I’ve evolved as writer since then and it will need a major edit and rework. It’s working title: ‘Love on the Rocks’ and yes Neil Diamond’s track plays in my head when I think about it.
I belong to two writing groups and these have been long established arrangements so I trust the feedback that I’m given as being fair and warranted. I often review what has been said but ultimately it’s up to me to decide whether a suggestion is valid or fits.
Novel No: 3 is knocking at my door! The storyline is developing in my head and I want to ignore it but I know that’s as dangerous as starting to write it. I need to keep my focus on completing the second novel and polishing it ready for the potential editor or publisher that may respond to my query letter.
Yet I’m beginning to wonder if the creative process actually goes in straight lines and maybe I can run both alongside each other as the characters are clearly defined and have different lives. But then again, common sense suggests that I should at least finish one novel.
To date I’ve been published by EtherBooks, a digital domain in the UK , as a short story teller. Getting published in Dec 2010 was an amazing feeling of euphoria that I still experience each time Ether releases another story and I hope this feeling never changes, because it’s very pleasant.
And now I’m getting braver and pushing my work out to other platforms and countries as I would like to broaden the base for my published work which has resulted in a new experience: I’m beginning to receive ‘Rejection notes’ it’s good but tough, although I’ve been exceedingly lucky that they’ve been extremely courteous and helpful.
My ambition is to be a published novelist with a best selling novel in the book listings, so I’m going to keep pursuing this dream. And I will keep writing short stories as these seem to offer gems of great ideas.