In what may be the fastest flip in my own personal history, yesterday I wrote a story.
No, actually, that’s not true.
On. . .what was yesterday, Tuesday?
So. . .On Sunday, a story idea surfaced; nothing particularly new; I’d been meaning to get to a story kinda, sorta like it for a while now, but. . .press of other bidness, plus — no brain. This time surfacing, the idea had more grit to it, which they do accumulate down there in writer’s stewpot. I talked the new wrinkles over with Steve, and we brainstormed a little, mostly around the idea of how a certain thing could come into the hands of the main character — in fact, would it come into the hands of the main character — and in the course of that discussion, Steve came up with the shadow of a new character. We proceeded to kick the new character around some, as we do; then went to bed.
At this point, I was still intending to write the story that had surfaced, oh, sometime in the next week. Maybe working on the story in the morning, and the book in the evening.
But! On. . .Monday, it would be, as I was running errands, I bethought myself that the new character had quite the story, and! that this story and the surfaced story and, possibly, one more story that’s still hanging around at the edge of things, pretending like it doesn’t really want to be written, all hook together. So, now instead of one story that I’m gonna get to realsoonnow, I have a triptych, the first section of which wants to be written right now.
After I’d finished up with the scene for the novel that I’d been working on, I outlined the first short story — thinking to buy some time, see? Sometimes, if you give them an outline, they’ll hold off with the write me now!
Well, I found out that wasn’t going to work when, immediately upon finishing the outline, I opened a file and wrote the first 830 words.
And, yesterday, I wrote the other 5,167, which brings the entire first draft in at just a smidge under 6,000 words.
This is not a personal best, that remains the day I sat down and typed 25 pages — call it 6,250 words — of Agent of Change at one go. Still, for me, it’s pretty quick.
So! What happens now with the story is that it gets to rest until Saturday, when I’ll give it a cold read and in the process find out what it’s about. Steve and I will talk about it, and one of us will doubtless revise it. Eventually — next week, or the week after — it will appear on Splinter Universe.
And this, boys and girls, is how stories are made.
When you’re lucky.