Triumph of the short story

Firstly, Happy New Year, everyone (While today is not New Year’s Day, this is the post of mine that you are reading this year) This must be the most dramatically titled post of mine so far. This is driven by the fact that I just completed the first short story in my life (technically untrue but let’s say my adult life) this week!

It’s not a solo effort and in fact comes about precisely because it’s not a solo effort. I’ve talked about how I’ve joined the epub group at my writer’s home the Citadel and how I decided to discontinue the short story that I had spent months working on for it. I had even gone so far as to notify everyone that I would only be only collaborations from now on for the venture. But guess what? I got back into this enterprise last week when I suddenly got this story idea in my head based on a world setting that I had constructed on a broad sketch level (not my Zia setting but another one, it’s called Kalimon). As it happened, it didn’t work out after I started doing an outline for it because it doesn’t have a clear conflict but have two hidden conflicts. Add on top of it the deadline now in place for story submissions- 15 Jan, I decided to ditch the story not wanting to start another and then abandon it. So I spent a whole day tearing my hair out and spewing insanity in the chat box of the Citadel and finally I said I would go with a cheesy Chinese folklore adaptation if I can’t think of anything. That was last Friday.

As it turned out, another member of the writer’s group was available to chatting and he helped me iron out a simple straightforward plot out of one of these Chinese folklore type of information that I had compiled from the Internet. A collaboration was formed and he took the first draft in his hands. We agreed that we would do alternate revisions and each revision would be a total relinquishing of control onto the other’s hands. And he basically did the entire first draft in one day! It was only about 1000 words and mostly just laid down the necessary skeleton of the story (my co-author being more inclined to write poetry and having a shorter attention span as both writer and reader especially with the length of works). But it was exactly what I needed! So ta ta, my second draft of this story was completed just yesterday. While it’s not a personal masterpiece, I’m quite content with it and I released it out in the open to be commented by everyone in on this venture.

And does the story stops here? No, it doesn’t. I thought up another short story yesterday (okay, the idea snippets came a little earlier, sometime during this week when I was writing up draft 2 of the collaboration) and today I’ve already finished scene 1. I only planned 3 scenes for this and I had a little hunch that I might need to think a little more about the transition from scene 2 to scene 3. But since the deadline’s place, I’m doing a little cheat wherein I decided to put this story into 2 parts and I’m only writing up to the completion of scene 2 for the deadline. So everything’s sunshine with my writing short stories.

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