Finally, NaNoWriMo is over and I have 60,000 words of a first draft completed. Well done if you’ve read them all!
Of course, this doesn’t mean the book is also finished and I’m ready to publish. Oh no – there’s much to be done yet. Now the real hard work begins!
Firstly I need to go through all nineteen stories and edit, amend and proofread. In fact I’ll be inviting beta readers to do most of my proofreading because it’s always easier to spot spelling and grammar errors when you’re not the one who wrote it originally. If you turn out to be one of those I call on and accept the challenge then I will make sure you’re named in the acknowledgements and receive a free copy of the book.
Then I also need to keep writing the stories. My original plan to write one story per day went out of the window by the second week as several stories came to much more than the 2,000 words I tried to write each day. Rather than give you bits of story far from complete I ended up taking two to three days to publish several of my tales.
This means I still have at least a dozen stories planned for which still need to be written. Some will simply be used for publishing in other magazines around the world. A few, however, will make it into this collection.
As I edit and compile stories, so I will begin to remove them from the writeoutloud blog so if you’re intending to catch up you need to do so soon! Only the stories which don’t make it into the book will be left up. The rest will change – possibly dramatically – by the time they are published.
So if you don’t manage to catch up you can, at least, find the stories in the book – but you’ll have to buy it! If you did catch up then the book will still be worth reading because there’ll be at least five previously unpublished stories in the collection plus the stories will be in a proper order which will make sense of the whole narrative.
On to the stories themselves then. What did you miss this week? Here’s a summary:
Harvey is Dead was the last of my trilogy of stories featuring the boys, Harvey and Jimmy. This was a particularly hard story to write based, as it is, on similar things which happened in my own childhood. You’ll want to read the previous stories (The Bombing Raid and Into the Dark Woods) before reading this one to really get the tale.
Insignificant Woman No. 3 is the third of a series of five or six stories about women in my life who, in themselves, were very insignificant in that they achieved no greatness, held no great import to society yet were very important to me and were far from insignificant. These are fictional accounts of very real people – amalgamation in places, significant alterations in others – and are probably the stories which most blur the line between fact and fiction in this collection.
The Head is another teaching story (I will include at least one more in the published version) and combines several true events together. The inspiration for this – The ‘Amazonian’ who is the centrepiece of the tale – is based on a very real, equally as impressive and terrifying woman from the first school I worked in as a professional teacher.
The Pendulum was the story I wanted to write last because it was the one which inspired the idea for the whole book in the first place though I doubt you’ll be able to see why very easily. Inspired by both Franz Kafka and Edgar Allan Poe (fairly evidently from the title) this is, by far, the most allegorical and metaphysical of all my stories in the collection as it currently stands. It’s also the one most pertinent to where I am right now and where I have been for a long time (though I couldn’t say exactly how many days or nights 😉 ). It’s moody, so be warned!
Thank you to everyone who joined me over at writeoutloud during November. The stats (which you can’t see) show that hundreds of you took the time to read the stories every day and I hope that the many hundreds who follow this blog and haven’t taken a look yet will go over and take a peek at a few before it’s too late. I’d still love to hear comments and crits (kind ones – no trolling!). That will help me improve the stories and decide which ones are good enough to stay in the collection and which ones need to find another home. So please – leave a few comments here and there. Thanks 🙂
Best wishes and may this month bring you many blessings whatever you religion or creed!