Rough Drafts and Epiphanies

Maybe I should put a number on that title.  I expect I’ll be writing more posts like this in the course of writing this blog.  Much like Mattias’ post, this one is meant to keep you up to date.  First, some housekeeping notes: I’ve set up additional pages such that you can more easily find my creative content simply by mousing over the Our Fiction tab.  My choose-your-own-adventure is still hidden a little deeper in there, so you’ll have to click on the tab itself in order to find it (I should probably fix that too, just to make my other work more accessible, no?).

Also similar to Mattias’ note, I’ve got news on more adventures for Jerome!  My Jerome, not his.  I’m afraid there was some cross-pollination after Mattias briefly used the name “Jerome” for all of his RPG characters.  Now we’ve both got main characters named Jerome in our stories, which certainly doesn’t help you, our readers.  Just remember that my Jerome lives in a world of fantastical alternate history, while Mattias’ Jerome lives in a straight up fantasy world.

Anyway, the news is this: I expect that there will be another short story installment in the next two weeks.  I’ll post it when it’s mostly done, but let’s call it September 9th just to be sure.

Would you like to know more?

Here’s the story about the story… I’ve been having a hard time with this particular installment.  I only just recognized part of what was confusing me last night when I realized that I was writing parts of two different short stories.  I’d screwed up the bundling of events, which meant that I was trying to write a story by starting with the climax of a previous story.  I usually do my best to follow a modified three-act structure for these short stories: the protagonist finds trouble, gets into more trouble, and finally gets clear at the last possible moment.  This way the tension should feel as though it is building throughout with only short lulls.  Starting with the climax for another story makes building tension beyond that point somewhat difficult, as you might imagine.  And without proper pacing or properly ordered tense events, the story felt flat.

So now that I’ve recognized the error of my ways, I anticipate having another short story coming out again soon.  I should have another one coming some time after that, since I solved my problem by making more work for myself, but I won’t commit to a specific release date for that one yet.  Also en route is a follow-up to my previous choose-your-own-adventure, though I won’t yet commit to a specific date for that one either.

Anyway, now I have to go back to plotting out stories and refreshing my memory of the Hero’s Journey.

Oh, and just in case you wanted a little bit of Jerome, here’s a tiny piece from what used to be the beginning of my next story.  I don’t know in what form it will make its way into the next iteration, so you might as well enjoy it right now.  Let me know what you think?


Jerome had never known that the world could move like this.  He was ensconced in darkness, planted in a corner where a bulkhead met the deck and the hull, his legs splayed out in front of him and his hands clinging to the rough wood around him.   Somehow, from one moment to the next, “up” had gone from somewhere over and behind his left shoulder to a place closer to his right foot.  This, he thought to himself, is the worst experience of my life.  The ship moaned around him, creaking with the weight of the waves that lifted and pounded its hull.  Mother, if I live through this, I swear, he swallowed against his nausea as the world rolled in an ungainly arc again, I’ll serve our family as the most faithful housekeeper, steward, wool merchant everJust don’t make me go on any more sea voyages!  The snores of some of the crew were vaguely reassuring, coming from where they lay in their hammocks, but Jerome was certain that they would sleep through a raging battle after all that they had been through in the previous days.

Vaguely, Jerome could remember the first few days of the trip; it had all seemed so wonderful, so fresh and new.  He’d been sure that his voyage would be exciting and fun, a happy alternative to the long, dull and damp trips that he’d made to the north for the past few years, trading for sheep and wool from the Clans.  What could be more interesting than traveling to the New World and establishing trade with some sugar plantations?  Sugar was worth far more per pound than wool was, and his family wouldn’t have to process it any further once it had been delivered to their factors in London.  The trip was a perfect idea.

But then he’d been sick as he tried to get his sea legs.  The weather had grown sweltering hot as they sailed south to find the trade winds, and they’d only finally found their wind off the coast of the forbidden lands of the Elf-home.  And then they’d been becalmed as they tried for the crossing, sweating and cursing their luck as they were left without any wind for their sails out in the middle of the Outer Sea.  The wind had finally returned, but with it had come this storm, driving them on their course even as it tried to sink them.

For the past few days Jerome had been sequestered down below, trapped belowdecks by the storm’s winds and waves, told that he could do nothing to help.  His world had shrunk into an ever-rolling set of walls, the space between decks so short that he nearly had to bend double to move without bashing his head as he moved about.  He’d already lost his stomach several times, but he was pretty sure that no one noticed any more.  The smell of the lower decks was rancid with fear and stomach acid.  Jerome knew that he wasn’t an experienced sailor, but he couldn’t see how anyone could grow accustomed to this torture.  And he was absolutely sure that this ship was going to roll too far over, and then the whole thing would fill and sink.


As always, this is my material.  Please do not reuse or misrepresent it.  Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA.


One response to “Rough Drafts and Epiphanies

  1. Pingback: Bait and Switch | Fistful of Wits

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