I love that moment when I realise how stupid I’m being with a story, and suddenly it looks so much clearer. Let me rephrase that, I normally love the moment when I realise how stupid I’m being.
Last night as I stared at the ceiling and tried to ignore my feet being attacked, I mused on the story I spent the day writing on. I didn’t get a photo of the mess, but believe me that it was a whole pile of post it notes in two different colours and two different shapes. Him and her, action and dialogue. It was good, I liked it, but it wasn’t quite coming together right.
It’s the story I was working on for Mills and Boon’s Tempted To Write competition. Elsa is a tour guide at a stately home who spends her days in Regency costume and has discovered a liking for taffeta and corsetry, and Brendan is the scruffy photographer who takes a photo of her and steals a bit of her soul away with him. I like the mix of modern, go-get-em girl with the Regency fasions, and Brendan has a similar blend of contemporary romantic wanderer with a love of the 20s.
Unfortunately, I realised last night that the 10,000 word limit is not enough for this story. I have too much going on to keep to the short story format.
There are options, of course. I could cut out the second half of the story, which takes place months later, but that would leave my ‘the end’ with one of them about to be disappointed. He travels for a living, and couldn’t easily settle, so either he’s going to be tied down or she’s going to be left behind. I really, really don’t like the idea of her going with him right then because, really, she’s known him a week and he’s been an arsehole for most of it.
So that story is shelved whilst I figure out what I’m doing with it, and that frees me up to polishing the flash fiction story for the Writers and Artists competition and learning everything about Venus.