I am nearing the end of the little deadline I gave myself a month ago. I have two short stories I will be wrastling over to send to Writers of the Future; one is a fantasy short story that is a coming of age tale of a girl discovering unique abilities, the other is a science fiction piece, of one of the characters in the science fiction book I have written, along the lines of a ‘what now’ struggle of an ex-soldier’s readjustment back into society. I find both concepts to be very fascinating.
The coming of age story has always been that mythical nebulous thing that nobody really understands or can grab a hold of, yet we all experience it to some degree. That transition into adulthood where we realize that life is no longer about candy, playing with toys, and doing only what we want, but now about doing what is needed and expected of us. That delayed ‘aha’ moment that we feel when everything we have been told by our elders slowly starts to click in place. The reluctant budding flower blooming slowly into vivid and exotic colors, this is the concept, reluctant and slow are the operative words. I have to wait and see what my beta readers say in terms of my overall success or lack of.
The science fiction story is completely different tone and voice. With this story I have taken an ex-soldier and tried to capture his feeling and struggle of being reintroduced back into society. Years after conditioning and training to defend his people, the stress and taxation of war on his mind, the relationships forged and destroyed by violence, and the political motivations of his commanding officers have left a large impact on the main character’s life. With these things weighing heavily on his shoulders, I hope to capture his struggle as he adjusts to a day job with a self-absorbed and impudent civilian boss. The underlining question to the story is; can a person change? Can somebody who has spent a large part of his life being one thing, change and become something else completely different? I’m nearing the end of this story (hoping next weekend).