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Not just a short story

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Before I publish my next short story, The Girl in the Moon, I wanted to talk about how the story came about and a few new different directions I had with it in the meantime. As mentioned in my previous post, this was the story that really kicked it all off and started me down the path as a writer. I have written many stories since then and while I don’t see ‘The Girl in the Moon’ as being my best work, it is certainly one of my most important.

The story revolves around a nameless girl who is trying to survive in a lifeless world. Something terrible has happened to the sun and now the earth is caught in an eternal twilight. There is also danger in the darkness. Strange shadowy entities roam the streets and although the girl is deathly afraid of them, it is not clear if these things are real or just imagined. A small flicker of hope remains however…but what she will do with that remains to be seen.

While that’s the long and short of it, I feel the story has a lot more to offer than just a run-of-the-mill apocalyptic tale. It’s quirky, unexpected, and a little bit crazy. I really wanted to get inside her mind and her perception of the now dead world around her. It could also be that she is the one that’s crazy and there is nothing wrong with the world. A lot of people have also made this assumption. It’s certainly a possibility.

It wasn’t always like this though. The first iteration of the story was a straight forward end of the world situation. In this early version there were actually two survivors, each struggling to cope and survive on their own. I had them both travelling – separately – to the same destination, only for them to discover that it had all been destroyed. All that would remain were the remains of a young girl… this got me thinking about the girl and the story that popped up in my mind was much more interesting than the one I was writing! So, I started down a different path – and here we are, many months later and I am releasing it on my blog.

Once the story had been fully fleshed out, I had another idea. Why leave it as a short story? I had a feeling that it would make a fantastic graphic novel. Of course, this would involve some thinking about and some rewrites would be needed but I had (& still do!) a strong feeling that it could work. After all, I’m currently working on developing a graphic novel so I know what the score is…I felt that this was the right way forwards.

I posted a few ads and found a great artist willing to give it a shot (for free!). We met once before Christmas and were fully enthusiastic about it. We made plans, we set up online accounts to share work, we talked about creating a writer/artist agreement, we…never really did anything more after that. The will-power and dream was there on both sides, but the time and energy were not. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and yet we didn’t meet, and no progress was made. After six months, it was clear to me that it simply wasn’t working out and I cancelled our project. This process has thought me a valuable lesson – it’s fantastic to have ideas, but you need to also have the time to do it.

By the way, the above sketches are from Luise Lein the artist from Berlin that joined me on the project. She is a gifted artist and it’s a shame it didn’t work out, but I am really thankful to her for believing in the project.

So, now what? I am still writing, I now also have a monthly Meetup for other fiction writers in Berlin, and I have started writing a novel too. All in all, I am happy…but I still think that The Girl in the Moon graphic novel is a lost opportunity. Kind of like the one that got away. It would really make a fantastic novel, or even screenplay, or…what do you think?

Seriously, I am open to all ideas! For now, it will remain as a short story but I think there is great potential here. If you have a concept or want to shoot me some ideas – get in touch! Reach out. You never know, this could be the start of something beautiful. Hope to hear from you soon!

Article written by Shane O’Halloran. Have something to say? Leave a comment below or contact Shane directly via TwitterFacebookInstagram, or email. Or, you could just buy him a coffee if you like? (AKA a pint)

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