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Untitled Stories


Jason Rimbaud

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In the last eight months, I somehow managed to write about two hundred ninety-five thousand words over six stories. And out of those six, four are first draft complete. 

Untitled Story Number One: Set in Hershey Pennsylvania and revolves around a plot to assassinate a sitting US Senator on the road to a presidential nomination and the contract killer who decides to stop it. The first draft is 96,345 words.

Untitled Story Number Two: The story takes place in the US Virgin Islands as our protagonist deals with the loss of his parents after a sudden illness. He meets a boy at a house party and quickly falls in love. But everything isn’t as it seems and when the press catches wind of his budding romance, choices must be made by both boys that will alter their lives forever. A short story with 22,889 words.

Untitled Story Collection Number Three: This chronicles the affair between two singers, one at the height of his career and the other climbing his way to the top. The idea of this story began with my short story already posted online at Gay Authors many years ago entitled Fractured. Told over a span of five years and through four short stories, this is a tale of addiction and the struggle to find one’s identity amongst the lens of fame. Total word count is 89,545.

Untitled Story Number Four: What happens when a closeted boy gets a pride themed thong as a secret santa gift? Who gave it to him and why? Based on a writing prompt at Gay Authors and was my entry for last year's Christmas story. Sadly it was not finished in time as it was a complete mess even with help from two of our Awesome Dude writers who tried to edit it. Hopefully it will be retooled for this year's entry for Christmas. Word count 14,289

Untitled Story Number Five: In 2023, Tyler was forced into questioning his sexuality for the first time in his life. After reconnecting with an old friend he quickly falls in love. Now a senior in high school, he is pressured into raising his GPA from 3.5 to 3.7 from his father who has grand plans for his only son. As midterms approach, his barely passing grade in Calculus forces him to take drastic action on the very eve his entire world comes crashing down. Can his boyfriend save him from himself or will Tyler have to face things alone? In progress, current word count is 48,584

Untitled Story Number Six: In 1995, Daniel steals a car and runs away to the big city to escape his homophobic parents. He is caught after crashing the car and sent to a boarding school that specializes in gay conversion therapy. He returns at the start of summer and has to navigate the court ordered restitution to pay off the stolen car, his overly religious ex boyfriend who is trapped in denial that the only way he can survive is to lash out in violence. Can Daniel survive the summer before he turns eighteen or will he be trapped in a town he hates. In Progress, 22,923

Earlier this year, I made an end of year goal that I will have at least one story completed and readying for posting online. Thus far, I am well on my way to achieving this amazing feat seeing as I opened a restaurant last year and have just finished signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) on our first brick & mortar restaurant in downtown San Francisco. We have moved on to the financing stages and if all goes well, by mid August our very first restaurant will be opened and ready for customers. 

With a new restaurant opening looming above my head, I don’t know how much time I will have to focus on my writing. So to achieve this goal, I will choose one of the above stories to complete before the end of the year. If anyone has a particular one that interests them into reading more, I am taking suggestions. 

On a completely different note, in the mid-eighties, I read a book of short stories called Thieves World, a shared world fantasy series created by Robert Asprin and featuring some of the most well known writers of the seventies and eighties. My memory is that authors could use any characters already created or introduce new ones set in the city of Sanctuary. 

As the series continued, I became fascinated by multiple stories taking place in the same location independently of the other stories. Twenty years ago I tried, and failed, to mimic this by writing multiple stories set in the same small town of my youth. This would be a semi-autobiographical tale told through a fictional lens.

For several reasons, this concept failed. I was not a good writer and the story quickly got away from me due to lack of plot and/or planning. Recently I revisited this concept and two of the above stories are set in the same location. 

I guess my hope, after I finish playing in this setting, is that maybe another author might want to jump in and play around in my world. Either by continuing any of the stories I post or creating new ones. But first I have to actually finish something.

Wish me luck on signing my lease, I’m so excited to actually be able to see people enjoy my food in a restaurant setting instead of just doing take-out.

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Jason:

 

A new restaurant!  Exciting!  Is it a full-menu restaurant or another hot wings place?  I never heard how successful that was.  Is that still running?

 

You must have had a lot of time on your hands to write that much this years.

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1 hour ago, Cole Parker said:

Jason:

 

A new restaurant!  Exciting!  Is it a full-menu restaurant or another hot wings place?  I never heard how successful that was.  Is that still running?

 

You must have had a lot of time on your hands to write that much this years.

Stephen King is quoted as saying, "I try to write six pages a day, polished." Or something like that. So instead of trying to hit a certain page goal, I hit a time goal. I try to write four hours a day. 

Which takes me to your next question. Last year we opened a delivery only hot wing concept in a cloud kitchen space. I learned a lot, made a lot of mistakes, and realized the rent they were charging made it almost impossible to turn a profit. And we built up a quite a following and had several profitable months. But once our contract at the space was nearing its end, we realized we could get a 1200 square foot space for a third of the rent we were paying for a 200 square foot kitchen. So we closed our delivery only concept and choose to open another concept, still focusing on Hot Wings but expanding the menu to make it more lunch friendly as we are in the heart of San Francisco surrounded by office workers looking for a more healthy alternative for lunch. So we will have salads, sandwiches, and of course Hot Wings.  

And to your point of having time, I was at the restaurant for thirteen hours every day. And during the time between 2pm and 6pm, I wouldn't get any orders. So instead of just sitting on my hands, I would use that time to write. Spending four hours a day, seven days a week, even a bad writer such as myself can put a lot of words on the paper. All of the stories I've mentioned above, I had extensive notes, ideas, entire scenes written over the last twenty years, so once I sat down, it came rather easily. 

And as you well know, I had been out of writing for a long time, so I knew the first few stories were going to be bad as I got back in the habit. I think my craft has grown tremendously over the last year by sheer volume alone. But each of these stories would be needing heavy re-writes.  

 

J

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That's how I write: I get the words on paper, but then comes the work of refining, tweaking, adding, changing and beautifying. The final draft is rarely much like the first one.  It's in the rewrite that both work and skill, if any, come together.  If they do, you have a good story.  If they don't?  Well, that's what that upper left Recycle Bin is for.

I'm like you, I think.  I'm writing less now, but perhaps better.  I hope so at least.

You keep saying how poor a writer you are.  Balderdash!  You're well up there among the best.  Always have been.

C

 

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