Asia, the Time After

Usually I post my stories for The Red Dress Club in the other blog, Under Loch and Key. But this prompt, besides being memoir, fits much better in The Inverness Press because I wrote it as I opened up one of the random stories from Kingdom Come that I never finished.

The prompt was “The first time I ________-ed after _________-ing.”

The first time I open the Word file after leaving it sitting in the virtual dust of my laptop for more than two years is surreal. This was one of those stories I set on Kingdom Come and never finished.

The first thing I notice is that I began it by telling instead of showing. I should have started by giving some glimpse into the personalities of these characters, instead of setting the stage and stating blandly where they are and what they are doing.

The next few things I notice are inconsistencies. Not mistakes, necessarily; they are simply small details that have either changed because I made the conscious decision to do so, or because I simply forgot.

The characters are sisters. I remembered their rivalry as cousins, and I might change this. I’ll read further and see if there’s any particular reason to decide one way over the other.

I’ve also specified the time as The New Duchy. Since that happens once every ten years, it means I have to decide which Duchy this is. I’ve spanned just over ten years in the stories I’ve written, so there are two choices.

I describe a sabbatical year instead of a semester or season. Season is what was finally decided in other books, so if and when I edit and finish this story, that little detail will be revised. I just hope I can do so without glossing over… it might be wiser to use the find/replace function so I don’t miss one.

Oh look! I mentioned bubble houses in this story. I described them differently in others, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I love architecture, and I enjoy inserting little details about future buildings into my stories.

There’s one more little paragraph that mentions something nifty and sci-fi like, and I debate whether to keep it. I will for now, because it’s easier to keep the questionable stuff in the early stages, and cut it out later. I’m always torn between demonstrating some of these advanced technologies to show that the story is set hundreds of years in the future, but when it’s just flavor and has no real impact on the plot, it might not be worth keeping.

Oh, look. It just ends. I stopped writing after 825 words, and the rest is either playing with the virtual dustbunnies somewhere in my computer, or I never wrote it. I didn’t even make notes at the end of the document, like I do now. Fortunately, I know where this particular story was going, and it won’t be hard to recreate.

I put the story back into the virtual drawer. I like this one. I will return to it someday.

Just not right now…

The shortlink for this post is

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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6 Responses to Asia, the Time After

  1. Interesting prompt. I lost so many of my older stories to old computers/never backing things up. We learn.

  2. My main issue with backing up is when I upgrade technology. I used to back up files on 3″ floppy, but those have come and gone now. Sometimes I use overkill and I have 20 versions of the same story. There are stories from years ago I’d love to dig out, but fortunately most of the stuff from the past few years is still relatively organized… somewhere!

  3. Carrie says:

    I opened up a few older stories a while back and read through them. Some I might revisit again if I have some free time. Others will probably stay in that virtual dustbin 🙂

    visiting from RDC

  4. For some strange and unknown reason, tonight I’m re-writing one of the old shorts from memory. I didn’t even bother to go look for it; I don’t remember if it’s in the computer or the longhand notebook. I have other new stories I’m in the middle of, yet this particular scene just begged to be told tonight. I’ll probably share it later.

  5. i have a few of those old forgotten “things”- usually they were set aside cause i got busy or thought they were terrible….. maybe they deserve a re-over

  6. Galit Breen says:

    Love this take on the prompt- LOVE! There’s nothing more interesting {or humbling} than revisiting old work!

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