Monday, 19 March 2012

How I Wrote A Short Story In Five Days

I know that a few people read the short story I wrote and published here, in five parts, last week. Thank you for reading it.

It was the first short story I have written for a few years, and that one, which I wrote sometime in 2009 or 2010 (I can scarcely remember it and I don't have it saved on my current computer, thank God, because it was probably terrible) was the first one I had written since I was at school. I had never been into writing short stories, although I have always enjoyed reading them.

Why did I choose to write one now? Well, the idea came to me. That was all.

If you haven't read it yet, you might want to read it now before you go any further.

I started thinking about American diners because I had been to one with my partner a few weeks ago, in west London. I then started to remember the diners I had eaten in a few years ago, in the States. Within a few minutes, I had drifted into thinking about the time my car had broken down and I had to call someone to tow my car to a garage. From there, I decided to place a tow truck driver in a diner, add a guy in his mid-20s who had some kind of history with the tow truck driver, and write a story in which the twentysomething guy exacts his revenge on the driver (who has obviously done something bad to him).

That was all I had as a plot idea. I decided to make the waitress an integral part of the story, so that made three main characters (named after old British cars, if you spotted that).

I thought I would write it in a couple of days but I was very busy last week, so I thought I would write a bit every day and serialize it. The trouble was, how could I keep the reader interested? I thought of soap opera-style cliffhangers. Job done.

So there you have it. My first proper short story. It was an enjoyable experience. I think I'll write some more.

What of the revenge? The scatological ending I had envisaged just didn't seem to fit, so I changed it. A fight didn't seem realistic, nor did a confrontation of any description, so I didn't put one in. Having looked at it again, the story reads like a psychological thriller along the lines of Duel . This was one of my favourite films when I was a teenager!

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