top of page
  • nataliejep

Two steps forward, one step back

It has never taken me so long to write a short story as the one I’m writing now. I know the storyline, and so far it is doing everything my imagined-on-the-bus version did. In the old days these were the stories that would trap me at my computer for five hours and I’d write 8,000+ words in a day to get it finished.


I’m trying to work out what has changed. This story is meant to be an allegory for something pretty ugly. This makes the writing process a tough slog, because while the overt story is nothing unusual, the meaning behind it is vile. Every time I write some of it, I feel like I’ve rolled around in a sewer for a while. It gets too much and I have to step away.


I’d like to believe that this means when I do finish it, it will be a great story with solid emotion behind it that readers can sense. A story should make you feel like you have rolled around in a sewer if it is covering a shitty subject. But I don’t even know if people will see the metaphor and at worse it might read like a bunch of 500-word sections (about the number of words I’m managing each session) of bland vampire tale with a minor twist at the end.


I guess the only way to find out is to write it. Besides, I don’t really have a choice. I won’t start a new story until I finish or abandon this one and I don’t want to abandon it. And with the flutter of ideas swimming in the back of my mind, I know there are some cool stories waiting to come in. I really want to make space for them. Wish me luck!   


Recent Posts

See All


There’s a great trick for blocked writers; if new words don’t come, edit some old ones. I took that advice recently and dusted off an old story which I wanted to set free. I’d sent it off in the past,


I got a nice rejection today. I’m going to paraphrase, but it went something like this… Hi Natalie, thanks for considering [magazine name]. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t quite work for me, but I wi


bottom of page