Last week I took some time out and remapped everything with Hope Town, and the outcome was 3 years’ worth of short stories. The majority of these are standalone, but since they share the same universe there are links and ideas seeded in one story which pay off in another down the line. In addition, my idea to have 2 novels in there as well has been repurposed and absorbed into the monthly timeline.
I had done something similar before, but as some new ideas for stories had been forming over the past few weeks, i wanted to make sure they could be incorporated. Plus, I thought that this exercise should have a finite life, not because I felt I would grow tired of it all, but because I knew I will want to write something else as well and this project will need a lot of committment to reach the outcomes planned.
Anyway, looking at the sheet which details 36 monthly short stories is a little terrifying, I’ll admit right now. The thought of writing and editing circa 10,000 words; getting someone to proof and edit (if possible); completing a cover; publishing and marketing for each short story, each month is extremely daunting. Especially so when I have a full-time job and a family.
Still, there are positives.
For example, I’m not planning on publishing the first one until November this year which gives me about six months worth of lead time. Also, two of the stories are complete, albeit they need some editing and polish before publication. Five other short stories are mid way through being written, all around a third to half way through – with the caveat that one of those isn’t due to be released until the second year.
So, if I keep plugging on and finish off six stories by the time I release the first one, then I will have some slack built-in in case of any unforseen developments which could cause delays.
Since there will also be a repetition or rhythm to the ongoing creation, I am planning on kicking that off from 1st June. That means that from then, I’m looking to create one ready to publish short story every month and, if I can polish off some of the ones that are part way complete, then by November I should have between seven and nine stories in the can.
Take that procrastination.