Beachside Blogging

cover art, Stories from Bennett Bay 01
Stories from Bennett Bay: Collection One

I’ve been dealing with a bit of writer’s block this month as I finish up the first draft of Return to Cooter Crossing. I seem to have a hard time focusing in the home office so I’ve tried writing in different venues. Last week I spent the day at the local library and knocked out a chapter I’d been stuck on for weeks. Today I decided to head to the beach. The picnic shelters down in Bradenton Beach have power outlets so I am good to go. My laptop doesn’t hold a charge that long and I write slow, so I really need access to the grid.

The draft is coming along. I’d say it’s about 80% done. A few major chapters left and I need to finish weaving in the sub-plots. And I need to decided how to handle the shootings. The story is mostly a family drama/saga neo-southern-gothic kind of story, but there is a crime mystery running through it. But I definitely didn’t want it to be a crime/detective story. I love those kinds of stories and just devour them on TV. However, what I always wonder about is the story of the actual people in the story. The victims and their families so often just seem to be puppets brought on for stage dressing for the sleuths. I had a very close friend murdered and yeah we wanted justice and needed to understand why. But that was very minor to dealing with the loss; adjusting to life without that person. Because regardless of the outcome of the investigation or a trial, your loved one is gone and there isn’t a damn thing that will change that.

So in Return to Cooter Crossing there is murder, violence and cops but I want the story to be about my characters dealing with the reality of trauma and death and not so much about the crime. And yet, I gotta keep the readers happy, so there has to be some resolution. I hope I can pull it off. We’ll see what the beta readers think. I can say one thing at this point, I think I’ll stick to novellas from now on. The plotting of an 80 thousand-word story is feeling a bit overwhelming at the moment. But we’ll see how I feel when the blasted thing is done.

And speaking of shorter fiction, I’ve just bundled my short stories and the novella The Three of Us into one volume: Stories from Bennett Bay, Collection One. The electronic version is on Amazon now. The print version will be out in a few weeks. I had a few request from folks that really aren’t into ebooks yet so I thought it’d be fun to play with print. I have to say it was fun to hold the first proof in my hand. I love ebooks and think they are the future but the stories seemed to read different on paper—not better or worse, just different, maybe analogous to the difference between seeing a movie at the theater or at home on TV; still the same story but a different experience.

Well, that’s the blog update for this week. Thanks for reading. Now back to writing and I’ve got to hit the water later. Life is good in Florida.

Pax,

Stephen

 

Author: Stephen del Mar

Stephen del Mar lives in the Tampa Bay area and writes in the Southern Literary tradition. His stories are character driven with rich settings. They often have a touch of the paranormal, supernatural, or magical realism. Although he writes about serious subjects, they are sweetened with humor and wit. He says, "It's a southern thing."