Watch & Wait
In April 2014 I was approached by Bill Allerton of Cybermouse Books and asked to donate a story to The Watch & Wait Anthology. I had published my short story collection, The Sand Eggs the previous year, so I did not in fact have a short story readily available: I realised I would have to write a new story from scratch.
I remembered a story I had started ten years ago that had never left me – I had been in a cafe and a waitress had come to serve me who I had first thought was French but when I asked her she told me she was Polish. There was a sadness about this girl that haunted me. I watched to see how the other customers responded to her and I began to wonder how she saw the people she served. The story had begun as half a page of scribbled notes that, luckily, I had transcribed onto a computer and was able to find ten years later, under the working title Polish.
It took me three months, off and on, to complete this story. I only needed to write a story that was 2,500 words, but this story developed a life of its own, and at 6,000 words I had call a halt and go back through it to see if I could shorten it. I hoped to get it down to about 4,000 words but this was not possible and in the end I submitted 5,500 words under the title of Suppose I was to tell you......
After the story was submitted I was left with a feeling of dissatisfaction, not with the story, I was quite pleased with the end result - but I still felt that there was a further story in there that needed writing. And then I began to get feedback. This great feedback inspired me and I began to wonder if I could in fact extend the story into a full novel and still maintain throughout the voice of someone to whom English wasn’t their first language.
On 1st November 2014 I decided to try. I took up the National-Novel-Writing-Month (NANoWriMo) challenge and during November wrote the first 50,000 words.
To follow the progress of this novel, please see my blog.