Well, I said I would try to start work on my next story pretty soon, and I have fulfilled that promise.  I’ve started some preliminary work on a short story that I’m calling “What Happened in August Valley”.  I’ve got a character list, most of a small plot outline, and about 500 words of prose written.  It’s a semi-autobiographical story that’s heavily altered with some contemporary fantasy mojo.

And that fact makes me wonder.  I can imagine a world in which both this story and the story I just submitted both get published.  That story is also a contemporary fantasy.  If both of my first two published stories are contemporary fantasy, do I threaten to typecast myself as a purely contemporary fantasy writer?

I suspect that the answer is no: two short stories do not a career make nor, for that matter, a trend.  And the splashes I’m likely to make with either story, in the event they are published, will be small at first.  So, that thought is a relief.  Because I don’t want to write just contemporary fantasy.  I want to write epic fantasy, and heroic fantasy, and maybe even occassionally some space opera and science fiction.

So… I’m toying with some very preliminary ideas for my third story… it’s a bit early to think about that, but so it is.  I don’t have a plot, just a milieu in mind, but that one, if I do it, will mix things up a bit for my writing resume.

In the meantime, I have this story I’ve started writing.  It’s proving a little bit tricky.  I have what I think is a nice opening.  I know what the closing line will be.  But… I’m struggling with the climactic moment.  The problem is that the story is loosely based on some events that actually happened to me (events that were, in fact, a little surreal).  But in real life there was no climactic turning point.  (And in real life no one died.  Don’t worry.  The character who dies was volunteered to that fate by the person on whom the character is based, in the same conversation with that friend when he suggested I turn those events into a story.)

I’ll figure it out, hopefully, in the end – though it will be slow going because my focus, right now, is on other, more time-pressing things.  But hopefully, when I do finish it,  it will be as fun a read as the real events were to live through.

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