I’ve been making good progress in the past week on my writing goals. I mentioned the two short stories I’m writing to contribute to an upcoming anthology. Happily, I’ve been able to finish both of them in the last few days.
One is about a woman venturing (magically) into The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, and I needed to write a mid-section where she finally manages to meet the Phantom. That started slow, then took off with a burst of inspiration to finish in a couple of days. It was very satisfying too, because my character surprised me. I always thought that when she finally met Leroux’s Phantom she would be afraid of him; instead, she ended up being angry! I thoroughly enjoyed that.
My second story involves a boy venturing into Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, and I also had a mid-section missing here, trying to add in a kind of sub-story of an adventure in Neverland. But it just wasn’t working and wasn’t working and I finally realized I was better off cutting the whole thing and just sticking to the main arc of the story. So when I finally accepted that, all I had to do was tweak a few bits to knit either end of it together without the story in between. Not what I planned, but much simpler!
Right now I’m doing some light editing on both stories, and I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do next. I might write a couple more short stories (with a different premise!) and then turn back to revision in April, this time for The Princess Beyond the Thorns.
Here’s a bit I added into the Phantom short story, to work with my new title: “Ghosts on the Page.”
So what was my next step going to be? And just how long did I think I had?
I wandered through the Opera’s halls as I considered that troubling question. It was so easy to get lost in the world of the book, but I had to remember this wasn’t my life. This was just a story, and all these people I was meeting, Christine, Henri, the ballet girls, were only characters. Ghosts, in a way, but even less real than that; they’d never actually lived. I had to keep that in mind, and remember my real life was much more important.