Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

And she’s off

with 3 comments

This morning I wrote 1000 words of a new short story. The incentive is a competition with a deadline of 13th February 2017. There is no theme and no chance of me winning. However, I am still committed to writing upto 2000 words and sending them off. Procrastination is my greatest problem, ideas float around in my head and there is always some reason, usually something inconsequential like housework, that prevents me writing. In this instance I had a vague idea on Monday, scribbled on some paper on Tuesday, and sat at my laptop this morning turning those two initial paragraphs into my character’s background. I haven’t quite worked out how sinister she is, or whether she is at all. The story hasn’t ended, there are two deaths and a visit to A&E to describe, so with only 1000 words left, I suspect the story will grow quite a bit before I do some much needed paring. But the point is, I have started and could be halfway through. More importantly, I didn’t want to stop writing, but also didn’t want to run out of words or get to a point where I couldn’t see which way to go, got bored, or didn’t like the character any more. Instead, I noted down some possible plot developments that I can pick up when I go back to it.

I am not someone who can carry too much at a time. I take on too many tasks, spread myself too thinly, and end up getting nothing done, so while there is a list of things I want to get done, I am starting small. As well as the competition story, I want to write one inspired by a friend’s print. Many moons ago a visual artist friend, Janice Hume, and I decided to collaborate on a joint project – I’d give her some stories to illustrate; she’d give me some pictures to write stories about. We both made the exchange, and I worked up a story to one of her pictures, although I wasn’t happy with it. At the moment I am working on the picture below and have two character names – Elena and Pavel – and a comment about it always raining in the UK, and that’s it, but I know it’s going somewhere. There is something about the angle of the shoulders, or the way the men are sitting, that tells me there is a story here waiting to be written. The other things on the list can wait until these two pieces are done and dusted, or at least have each reached their fourth drafts.


Copyright Janice Hume


Written by Sarah Ann

January 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I so recognize this.. I’m currently writing a short story together with other authors. I did the fourth revision this weekend and fixed up a couple of things. Hopefully its only editor remarks left now. The story is close to 5000 words though.. I actually recommend a writing group rather a competition to get on with writing.

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    January 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    • It’s good to know I’m not the only one. How is it working on a short story with other authors? I did do a book once with another writer. However, our styles were so different and life intervened so it came to nothing.
      I agree with you about the writing group. I did have a look for a local one to our winter mooring but the two I found had folded. It’s been a year since, so time to look again and hopefully have better luck. I’ll let you know how I get on.

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      • This is the second book with the same set of authors. Basically we took the same course on creative writing and thereafter we formed the team and did the book. I think it’s important that the stories have some common denominator. But since every story can stand by itself we just had small references to each other. In our second book the stories are more connected, but still they should be independent stories. So far we have worked with group feedback and self editing… and now we are going into the final stage with editors.

        Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

        January 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm

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