Friday, March 28, 2014

Blathering On

So, Winter's Regret has been out for a few weeks now. Hopefully, you bought it, read it, and liked it. Hopefully, you liked my story, "An Unexpected Reunion." Being somewhat brain dead this week, I thought I'd share a little about how that story came about. I don't think there will be any great revelations here, but perhaps it will interest you. If not, have a nice weekend, and maybe I'll have a little more functionality next week.

Back in a time that's embarrassingly-long ago, an idea was born, an idea that grew into a manuscript I have mentioned here far too many times (hint: it's called PARALLEL LIVES). During the first two or three months I was drafting that novel, I was on fire. It seems new ideas and scenes were popping into my head constantly. It was almost like living with a movie or tape recorder inside my skull. Whatever else I was doing, the story was playing out, and when I had writing time, I was essentially transcribing what I had seen/heard/thought earlier.

At some point, the ideas dried up, but that was fine, because the story itself had run its course. And I did have a story (I should point out that a lot of these scenes just seemed to play out in my head independently of what had come before or what might come after; they were just ... scenes). But I also had too much. There were some scenes that were, functionally speaking, duplicates of other scenes. And some scenes that just didn't fit the way I thought they would when I first wrote them. Finally, there were some that I thought had to come out just because the thing was too long. "An Unexpected Reunion" fell into this category. I liked the chapter as it stood in the manuscript, but on further review, it wasn't essential. Out it came.

The tough part of turning that excerpt of a deleted chapter into a stand-alone short story was the fast that I still have plans on getting its parent published. So, I could have changed the names of the characters so they weren't people represented in the original manuscript and pretended it was its own thing, but I really didn't want to do that. Instead, I had to find a way to leave it open enough that, should (when) PL gets published, it all makes sense, but with enough of a story and conclusion that it leaves readers satisfied. I think I managed to do that.

That's it for me, hope you all have a nice weekend.

Hey! Because I'm always bad at this, if you're interested in buying Winter's Regret, it can be found

At Amazon or Smashwords or Createspace. Enjoy!


  1. I've written a few short stories that are part of the world of my novel. One of them is in an anthology a bunch of us did to help a fellow blogger's son. In that one, I didn't use any character names so I wouldn't give anything away in the novel. I think it's a great idea to take a deleted scene and round it out into its own story.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Your writing process fascinates me. I'm a plodder - er - plotter. (No, really it's plodder.) But you're so impulsive and full of enthusiasm! That must be exciting. Good luck on getting Parallel Lives into shape! :)

  3. I've used back stories of my characters and turned them into short stories. Some good, some not so good. It helped me understand my characters in any case! It' s nice that you got to share a cut scene and didn't have to throw it out.

  4. You took an extra chapter and turned it into a published short story. That is quite an achievement Jeff.

  5. I am so behind on news! Congratulations on the publication, my friend. I can't wait to read your story in the anthology! :)

  6. L.G.--that's a good approach to take. I remember that anthology--I hope it did well.
    Lexa---I suspect the chief difference between a plotter and a wingman is that wingmen do their plotting in skull, plotters do it on paper. There's a fair degree of in-brain sorting out that happens before I sit down to write. And thanks!
    Stacy-thanks! Sometimes we have to cut good stuff--might as well use it!
    Sheena-kay--thank you!
    Carrie--thank you, Carrie. How CAN you keep up? You're way too busy! (well, maybe not TOO busy)


Alas, due to an overwhelming tide of spam from Anonymous commenters, you must now be a registered user to comment. Sorry, folks, I hope it does not cause inconvenience.