Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Discovering my Thing

Eureka.

I have found my thing, my place, my recurrent character/theme. Or I hope I have. I guess I will have to write more than one story to confirm it of course. I should add that I am referring to short stories and not novels. I have no problem convincing myself that a novel requires a sequel (I’m usually wrong).

I think Natalie has constructed a place where she has set several stories (or will set) and I know she has a recurring character; I’m also almost certain that Aaron and Jamie have done similar things. Stressing the words almost and certain. And of course Jodi Lee has her fabulous New Bedlam, which she has allowed a few of us to enter.

So onto my thing, which it turns out is a travelling circus called ‘The Chalkstripe’. I first encountered the circus last August during a mad fortnight when I wrote about 702 short stories (I may be over exaggerating by a few hundred). They appeared in ‘Lazarus Jones & the Carnival of Corpses’, which received a rejection from Necrotic Tissue offering valuable feedback. Well the feedback would be valuable if I’d used it. I ventured as far as posting it to a critique group (lots more help there) and then left it to stagnate. It’s one of those stories that you never get back to, but it has, at last, found a small place in the world.

Anyhow, the first story to feature my creepy little circus is in the editing stage-- ‘Parasol Dance with the Chalkstripe Man’--and I have an idea for my second. Phew!

17 comments:

Jamie Eyberg said...

I have only written about the same place twice, and they both were written this year. It was most definitely fun. Good luck on your stories.

Aaron Polson said...

I have themes, one recurring character, and two YA novels set in the same sad, (possibly unpublishable) universe.

Chalkstripe has a great sound. Lovely.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I thought you both had, but I was too lazy to check. :D

K.C. Shaw said...

I absolutely adore your titles! I hope the story goes well, and that's awesome that you're revisiting characters and events from earlier stories.

Matthew Baugh said...

You DO have great titles.
"Parasol Dance with the Chalkstripe Man" is wonderful!

Catherine J Gardner said...

Thanks, guys.

Jodi Lee said...

Yay, Cate!

I agree with Aaron - Chalkstripe. That just rolls off the tongue. :)

Catherine J Gardner said...

Cheers, Jodi.

katey said...

I love recurring themes/characters/places in an author's work! I get recurrent characters the most when I write, but lots of time I jump them from one sandbox to the other as a kind of exercise in-- er-- insanity, I guess. Funny how worlds start to take shape too, after a while. It's a freakishly organic process.

Also, yes, awesome title.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Ah, Stewart Ct. You won't find it on a map ; )

Catherine J Gardner said...

Katey - me to, that's why I had to have some of my own.

Natalie - and I bet it's not a nice place to live.

Danielle Ferries said...

I love recurring themes. I created a small town (Indigo) and have used it in two stories, then I created a lake (Lake Superstition) which I'm using in a current short story. Indigo sits on one side of the lake and the town of Superstition (where the novel I'm currently working on is partly set) sits on the other side. Everything about these towns I've created is somewhere I'd love to live.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I hope to read many stories set in Indigo and Lake Superstition.

Andrea said...

I think the first time I used anything reoccurring was last year during Nano. I used the same place and theme in several short stories.

Chalkstripe sounds awesome. I wish you tons of luck.

Kim Kasch said...

So cool - to find your own thing.

And with such creative titles too.

Brenda said...

I love your titles! Best of luck with finding new twists amongst the old ones...

Catherine J Gardner said...

Thanks girls.