So I’ve been working on this little story called Fractured Echo which is now released in electronic and audio versions. I won’t be doing a print release yet; I want to be able to compile several stories together for a print version.
While I was writing this, I figured it would be a story I would release (or even – gasp – try to traditionally publish in a magazine) after I released Dragons of Wellsdeep. Instead, it decided it wanted to be the forerunner for the novel, something to prepare readers for what is coming.
Oh, I had better start at the beginning and take a moment to reveal the story behind the story.
I’ve often said that anything and everything that happens in a writer’s life is fodder for a story. Let me share how Fractured Echo begins:
“Hey, that was the car!” The boy riding his bicycle across the street turned to look back at Echo’s white Purreal as she sat at the stop sign. His words along with how he looked at her made fear punch her into the gut. She knew she’d done nothing wrong, but what if she’d missed something?
A smaller, dark haired boy pedaling along shortly behind was now in the middle of the intersection in front of Echo. “Huh?” he said, swerving to miss his friend who had slowed down. He then corrected quickly to avoid hitting the curb.
Echo thought the boys were going to stop. Fairly certain that the intersection was now clear, she stepped on the accelerator and turned right, the opposite direction the boys were heading. What have I done now?
That is exactly what happened. I was on my way to lunch one day and had taken a different route over to where I had been planning on taking a walk that day. Two little boys rode across the intersection and the boy in the lead turned around and said, “Hey! That was the car.” His friend almost crashed into him. I really was afraid they were going to stop.
As I drove off, I started wondering why I had panicked. Why indeed? I hadn’t done anything wrong. Right? What if I’d missed something?
That’s when Echo emerged in my head. I couldn’t get to my destination fast enough at that point. I instantly started writing, trying to hold the birthing story in my head long enough to begin getting it down, first in a voice memo, then on paper.
It took a few days to write and finalize this story. While working on it, it was hard to not become invested in the characters. While I was talking to my youngest son about it one day, I mentioned that I felt I wasn’t done with these characters, and that I had more stories to tell with them. He just grinned at me and said, “Of course.” Maybe that’s why the ending feels so abrupt to me. I will warn you know, the outside influences of the story don’t get finished – they are still going on. Okay, some of the internal issues aren’t fully resolved either, but I get Echo to a place she needs to be. The story told me to end it there. Literally, it screamed at me not to go on. So I didn’t. It leaves it hanging, as I’ve found most short stories do. But, I feel that at some point I will be back with these characters.
And that’s what makes writing such a joy ride!