What To Do When Old Stories Refuse To Go Away


Back in October, I mentioned the story “Deepest Shade” while discussing the Terror of Titles:

Deepest Shade is a story I’ve struggled with for close to 10 years. It’s been many things during that time but one thing is absolutely certain: Deepest Shade has always been the title. Or, at least I think it is. I’m still not entirely happy with Deepest Shade as a story. I think I really have two different tales going on not to mention the fact that I completely over edited the thing and now it feels sort of lifeless. Yet, I wonder if I haven’t hobbled the story by forcing myself to stick with a phrase that keeps clinging to my brain.

Of course I couldn’t just let the story go, or rather it simply refused to go away.

I don’t know what it is about this story that I like so much. Perhaps it’s the artistic struggle or maybe the interplay between Ali and Barbara. Maybe I just like the idea of blurring the possibilities of super high-end technology with the spiritual world, a bit of unexplained strangeness in an otherwise logical (and depressing world). Maybe I just like typing the word shikkoku.

Whatever it is, it’s probably a good idea if I stop talking about the story. I can think of no better way to ruin the pleasure of reading fiction than by talking the story out of it. So maybe the thing I should say here is nothing at all. Just share the story and by that example show that when old stories “return” they’re just stories that are not yet done and as a writer you should welcome that… though your readers may tire of messing with the same fluff again and again. 🙂

Click here to download the “latest” version of Deepest Shade.

Note: I’m sure that even though I try and try, there are still typos. I know what all the books say, but sometimes you have to face facts – I’m just a horrible proofreader.

6 thoughts on “What To Do When Old Stories Refuse To Go Away

  1. As I’ve said about most of your short stories that I’ve read-
    This is a great first chapter, where’s the rest?

  2. @Kevin In my head of course, where else would it be? 🙂 I suppose I’ll never write a proper short story, but then I want to be a novelist so maybe that’s not so bad.

  3. Hi Jamie,

    I downloaded the chapter and will read it later today. I have had ideas or bits of stories that won’t let go and eventually they work their way into something…although there are a few waiting their turn. I love your stuff and am sure I will enjoy this chapter.

    Karen Swim´s last blog post..Close Encounters with the Dark and Scary

  4. @Karen Thanks, Karen! I hope you like it…. On the bits, I say each story in it’s own time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that stories can’t be rushed – or if you do you just end up rewriting them again and again. 🙂

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