I enjoyed this challenge, and although it was really only to motivate me to write, I am pleased that I did it, and that others have got something out of it as well.
What I really want to discuss today is the evolution of a story – I have just written another short story, this one nearly 2000 words, about a vampire feeding. When I initially wrote the story, he would meet some men in a dark alley who were about to commit a crime. He justified his actions of feeding by taking out the underbelly of the crime world. However, the story didn’t quite sit right for me.
Once I write a story, I like to leave it for a few days or a few weeks, depending on how big it is, so that I can take a step back and read it with fresh eyes when I come back to it. I find that this gives me more information, inspiration and sometimes the balls to say – no, that was crap!
This time when I came back to it, I knew something wasn’t right with it, so I wondered about making the victim a female. To be honest, I am not sure how I got the story to the final product, but I do remember a story about Jack the Ripper where he was interrupted on one of his kills by a passerby – he never got to finish off what he was doing, but he went on to attack another woman that night.
It got me thinking, with a little poetic license, why couldn’t I change my story to sort of bring it into line with the Jack the Ripper tale? And that is what I did. It is a little gruesome, which is what my short stories seem to be at the moment, but while they are coming, I will not get too upset over the genre details. If I can get more published because they are horror / scifi / fantasy, then so be it!
Writing is all about ideas evolving, moving as you tell the tale. Sometimes what starts out as a good story, can finish as a great story, because you decided to let your story move at its own pace and with its own ideas.