I decide that the anthology book of my short stories should come first because I mistakenly thought it would be the least work of the two. So, I halted work on the ‘Fomalhaut’ novel to start the anthology, mainly because a new section from the book had become a short story in it its own right (“Seduction Games”), and also because a completely new story (“Death Ship”) was screaming to be written.
Back in November, the short story collection didn’t even have a name. Then one day in mid November, when driving to work, it just came to me - "Memes of Loss and Devotion". (Tell me what you think of the title!) ‘Meme’ because I hope they become mind worms. ‘Loss’ because a lot of them seem to be about loss, especially the noble agony of break ups. Finally, devotion because it took a lot of devotion to create this book and because some of the characters display it.
Around this time I created my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/darrenwhit3). Why have only 21 of you liked it? I then stupidly announced that “Memes”would be released later in November. Which at that point gave me just 12 days to write the new stories, brush up the existing 13 stories, get them edited, make a cover, create a kindle account, convert the file to .mobi etc, etc. I didn’t make it. In the next month I did write three new stories though, two of which are amongst the best things I’ve ever written…
A month later I came to the inevitable conclusion that I’d have to push the release date back into the ‘New Year’.
A month later, over the xmas break, I finally, finally completed all 15 pre edited versions of the stories. This weighed in at well over 65,000 words. Almost a novel length in its own right. I finished them then did absolutely nothing with them for over six weeks. Mainly, because I spent the whole time working the ideas behind a new short - "We Love The Legacy". It’s no exaggeration to say that the concepts and ideas from this story could possibly completely reset the context of "Memes.." and even the "Fomalhaut" novel. When will I learn to stop tinkering? So far, I’ve not made any changes to the shorts, but I will definitely make changes to the novel.
I have a vague plan to use “Legacy” as a competition entry to gain publicity for my other writing. We’ll see if it’s good enough...
At the start of February, I pulled my finger out, and decide to find an editor (more to come about that in the next proper actual blog). Twelve short days later I had an editor and they had the first two of my stories delivered to them for editing.
Just two weeks later (25th Feb 2013), the first edited story, "Hope", had been returned by the editor, covered in red pen, and I had re-written the story, revising it from the editors notes. Along the way, I’d lost 200 hundred precious, hard-fought words. It felt like killing your children but the story was better for it and every single change was fully justified. (Like I said, I’ll tell you more about how this felt and the editing process in my next blog). I even gave away the story on my website (http://www.darrenwhite.co/free-stuff.html) as a free Kindle file sample. Please let me know what you think of it. That felt like real progress, and maybe I could start to think about light at the end of a very long tunnel? Oh well, that’s one short story down, and just fourteen more to go...
At the beginning of March, I uploaded the short story "Hope" to 5 websites. (Bookrix, Booksie, FreeStoriesCenter, ShortStories101 & Wattpad – you can find links in the News section of my website - http://www.darrenwhite.co/news.html ). It had at least 60 reads in the first day alone! Which was great but it would be even greater if I could get a comment/feedback, a Facebook like or even a new mail list member from this! So far it’s had over 200 reads as per 8th March 2013. On one site the current stats are: 204 reads and 5 stars from 2 people. (http://www.shortstories101.com/science-fiction-short-stories/hope-3203.html).
I then added the Free Stuff section (freebies, downloads, samples, excerpts, etc.) to the website. (http://www.darrenwhite.co/free-stuff.html) There’s still more to come... In fact, if you look closely, there’s even an entire short film script hidden somewhere in the site…
My second edited short story ("Seduction Games") was returned by my editor at the beginning of March. Once updated, I decided that I’m going to also give this one away as a free sample in the Free Stuff page of my website, because I'm nice like that. Delayed by many changes to the website, I finally completed the re-write three days later. This is a new story and there was a lot less to correct, so ultimately it was just five words shorter at the end of the editing process. Although, I added and removed a lot more than just 5 words! I immediately posted it to my website. That’s now two down, thirteen to go... Come on editor, keep them coming!
And that’s where I’m at. Rest assured that I’m working as hard and as fast as I can to get these stories out to you as soon as possible. My next couple of blogs should also be far more ‘meaty’ and more than just a diary updates, but I wanted to let you know that I’m still working, and also how long and hard the process is.
Anyway, I just wanted to keep you in the loop.