A Change if as Good as a Rest

It’s been a really peculiar few weeks and I’m afraid that I’ve been taking a break from my book in order to write some short stories and pieces for a few publications (fingers crossed they’ll go to press!).

Despite being almost 90,000 words into Relative Strangers, I had found I hit a bit of a wall with an overwhelming feeling that something was missing from almost finished ‘masterpiece”.

Following a recent lunch with a writer friend of mine, however, I was almost overwhelmed with lots of new ideas. Supercharged with how I was going to progress the story, which I felt had stalled somewhat, I put pen to pad and started working out these new and exciting avenues. This, however, did pose a little bit of a problem – I was still only half way though the edit for what I had already drafted. The thought of parking some potential ideas, in favour of tidying up what I had, filled me with dread and I have to admit I’ve fallen off the editing bandwagon (until today that is).

On the upside, mixing my work up with some smaller pieces in a variety of genres has really opening up my writing. In fact, I’ve been quite surprised by some of flash fiction and short pieces I’ve drafted. Sadly, I can’t share them with you at this stage as I have entered them into  competitions, but if I don’t get shortlisted for the finals, I will definitely be sharing some of them over the coming months. A particularly pleasant surprise has been the emergence of the recurring theme of peace and freedom, an element which you may have picked up from some of my previous postings. As a result, I’m now considering putting them together in an anthology in the future.

So today was the day when I finally had to open up the mammoth word document which is Relative Strangers, turn to Chapter 11 and start editing. I’ve got another 11 chapters to tidy up after then and hopefully I can building the piece up with the additional sections and scenes which I’ve identified. I’m sure more ideas will come as a result but coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes has made it much easier to edit. Writing short stories and some flashes (600 – 1500) words has also made me question that value of each word I’m committing to paper (or keyboard rather).

So, for a while I won’t be posting too many extracts from Relative Strangers, as I think it will simply spoil your experience of the end product.

However, just so you don’t go completely cold turkey, here are a few of the closing lines from Chapter 11. Make of them what you will.

“My dreams were a psychedelic cocktail of bursting blood vessels and my teeth falling out,
dropping into my hands to reveal snake like fangs left in their place.  I danced alone to the sound of a guitar on an empty dance floor while strange men sat at tables looking on.  When the music stopped, I fell to the floor, lying in a pool of blood, not knowing if it were my own. I reached for my face and felt blood dripping from my eyes and mouth. I screamed and the audience stood up and applauded.”

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