Thirteen Ghosts

In the aftermath of finishing Bleeding Empire, we had a couple of days of not writing then immediately got bored. We’d been planning our Bleeding Empire board game, beta reading and editing our Calamityville Horror episodes, but we weren’t working. Boredom does terrible things to us. If we’re lucky, we just feel frustrated. If we’re unlucky, the darkshines descend then we spiral into a pit of hating our work, feeling despondent, despair and utterly hopeless. So boredom is a bad thing. Ryan said to us “why don’t you relax? Read something, or watch TV?” Our response – “we’re like sharks. If we don’t keep moving, we’ll die.”

The idea of spending the day watching TV when we could be working fills us with horror. Actually, time spent not working, caring for the pets or exercising feels like time wasted. So we did the only thing that would keep the darkshines at bay – we wrote two new ghost stories. One is written for Writing Magazine and is about a woman who’s waiting for the ghost of a headless smuggler and the other is about two guys in a band who stumble across creepy wraiths in a graveyard. Then our mum reminded us of an idea she had a couple of months ago – to put all of our ghost stories into a collection. We liked the idea, but didn’t think we had enough for a collection. Turns out, we have 11. We’d like to have 13, so need to write a couple more. There’s only one problem – so far, all the stories only add up to about 30,000 words. Half the length of Disenchanted. As we’d like to bring this out in print, it needs an injection of words. We haven’t yet set a date for when it will be released, but it will probably be around June/July, which is when Disenchanted was released.

So this week we’ve been redrafting all the stories we’ve earmarked for the collection (which is going to be called Deadly Reflections). We’ve already added 1000 words to two stories and redrafted two more. One of them, Deadly Reflections, was published by Dark Fire Fiction two years ago. We’ve always liked that story. It’s one of our oldest and we thought it was as good as we could get it. We were wrong. Two years has taught us a lot more and when we read it, we were disappointed. It wasn’t as good as we remembered. There was too much telling rather than showing and it just didn’t feel right. So it’s been put under our surgical knife and had an overhaul. It’s not ready to have its bandages removed yet, but when it is, it will be completely transformed, whilst retaining enough of its original features that it will be recognisable.

Then we started to panic. In another two years’ time, we will have learned even more about writing. So will we look back at our collections and novel and think “how the hell could we let them go out looking like that?” Probably. But we can always rewrite them in two years. That’s the beauty of self-publishing.