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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Band Themed Short Story Project Week 5

It's been a very bitty week writing-wise, as I've done a fair bit of socialising. On Monday I met the lovely Katie Carr in Leamington for lunch. I've admired Katie's fiction for some time now and she's a regular Write Invite contender/winner. We seemed to be very much on the same wavelength writing-wise and both have a tendency to procrastinate rather than getting our bums on the seat to start writing. We had a lovely chat and I'm sure we'll be meeting up again soon. Katie certainly inspired me to press on with my novel, which I'd put on the back burner yet again.

Monday's band was The Cure. I have a few of their albums, so you'd have thought this a relatively easy one for me. However, my story didn't take off as I'd have liked it to and I stopped at 526 words, struggling for inspiration. This is one I need to go back to.

On Tuesday I met up with an old university friend, Gary. We talked mostly about music and I think I've recruited yet another Visitation fan. It's wonderful when you haven't met someone for thirty years and you simply pick up where you left off. It was as if I'd only spoken to him yesterday. Gary is a bit of a high flyer, to say the least, and it did unsettle me somewhat that he's achieved so much and I've achieved so little in comparison. Another kick up the backside to pursue my ambition of being a bestselling writer!

Tuesday's band was Queen, nominated by two people, Natalie Timbs, a friend from home-educating days and Viv Brown, who is a very talented short story writer and appears regularly in the womags under her pen name, Vivien Hampshire. I cheated slightly with this story, because I wanted to work on my novel, so I took one of my chapters, which features the character, Queenie and used that, adding in some Queen song references as I went. It certainly got me back into my novel and made me realise that, actually, that particular scene would make a good opening chapter.

I cheated again on Wednesday by using a different novel chapter and shoe-horning in some Jefferson Starship references. What I should have done was write a story based on the life of Grace Slick, because she appears to be a very interesting character. Maybe I'll go back to it.

Revisiting my novel has made me question viewpoint yet again. Just how many viewpoint characters can I get away with? I'm currently reading Belinda Bauer's Darkside and she has several. And I need to play around with the structure again. I realise my first few chapters are far too pacy and I need a longer, more leisurely chapter to break things up a little.

Anyway, I didn't really address Thursday's band, Faith No More, because I thought I could work that in to my story based on Faithless, which, you may remember, is destined for The People's Friend. I haven't got as far with this as I'd hoped. My butterfly mind has been in overdrive this week!

I enjoyed researching Soft Machine on Friday and listened to a few of their songs on You Tube. Very reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. I wrote a novel scene, as my novel is set in 1972 and it seemed fitting.
I really enjoyed researching the McCoys yesterday and wrote a story based on their song 'Hang On Sloopy, which was inspired by Dorothy Sloop, known as Sloopy, who was a jazz singer and performed with Yvonne Dixie Fasnacht in New Orleans. I really enjoyed writing that story.
Last band of the week was The 1910 Fruit Gum Company. I'd never heard of them. They had a hit with 'Simon Says' back in the mid-Sixties. I decided to write a story set in New Jersey, featuring a teenage pool party and a boy who gets electrocuted. I need to go back and polish it, but I hope fellow-writer, Elizabeth Ann Roy will like it.

So, that's another week done. I have a lot of work ahead of me, finishing some of these stories off and hopefully, working on my novel. I want to say a big thank you to my online writing buddy, Alison Wassell, who has helped motivate me to write every single day.


  1. You really are rattling through these stories Jo! Thanks for taking up my Queen suggestion. Using part of your novel may feel like a 'cheat' but if it got you thinking about your characters and moving scenes around then it definitely counts! PS Thanks for the compliment about my own writing too.

  2. Thanks, Viv! I don't feel quite so guilty now!