On this most delightful of Saturdays, I have a new short story to add to my list of publications :-D.
This particular story is an interesting ‘first’ for me, because this is the first time I’ve written a story as a sequel to a previous story. Does anyone remember Waiting Room? Yeah: this is the same Samantha. Her character survey is located here if you want a refresher as to who she is.
Working with already existent characters (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) is nothing new for me. I’m a rather clingy author, and frequently pluck my characters out of retirement to write drabbles and such, but I’ve never actually written a full story before. A few months ago, I decided to do a writing exercise of a character writing letters, and I was immediately curious about Samantha. She relies so much on other people’s body language and vocal tones that I thought letters would be really difficult for her. As I played around with reasons why she might write a letter, and what it might say, I discovered this scenario of an old friendship that faded, and ultimately liked the idea t0o much to file it with the other writing exercises and move on with life.
Then came the editing which was an interesting (aka – full of headaches) process, because I needed to keep Samantha true to herself in her original story, but also do what was best for this story. And–full disclosure, here–there were times that I wanted to drop Samantha out of it and make a new, similar character so that I could go in a slightly different direction with the letters story. But ultimately I just didn’t feel right about doing that. The plot originated from her individual struggles. I don’t have too many stories that begin with the characters, so I felt I needed to honor that. Has anyone else dealt with this kind of thing before? Do you normally choose plot or character?
(Also, just a side note here, the Editors at Every Day Fiction are SO wonderful!! This is my third time working with this webzine, and I always come away from the experience feeling like I’ve grown as a writer because of their feedback.)
Anyway, I’d love to know what you think of the letters story if you read it! You can comment here, or there is also a nice commenting feature on EDF’s website.