I have been working on my short story this week. As promised, I took it to my critique group on Tuesday and they had some good comments. Unfortunately, one of the comments require me to start over from the beginning and add another character. This will take the story in a different direction, but in the end it should be a better tale.
The original idea was this: Demons have invaded and destroyed most of civilization. Most of them are gone now, but then, so are most of the people. A young woman is out bow hunting, using an old building as a vantage point to take her shot. She takes down a deer, but then a demon appears and chases her, so she goes from being the hunter to being the hunted.
The new plan will be that there are two hunters, both women. They have been rivals for years, but are forced to work together for the good of the tribe. They set up on opposite sides of the parking lot to take their shots, each on top of an old SUV. The younger one brings down a deer, but the demon appears and they run for the cover of the building. The demon eats the kill before chasing after them. The older one was slightly farther away from the building and is caught as they climb the stairs. This allows the younger hunter to get to the roof, where she takes cover in the maintenance penthouse. Now she is trapped, alone, and the demon is trying to break down the door for dessert. Even though they were rivals, she feels guilty about the death of the other hunter and is terrified that she will be killed as well. I haven’t figured out yet how she is going to escape.
So I had to start from the beginning and try to figure out what I could keep and how to rework the story to make it fit the new plan. I had to make the hunting part start in the parking lot because I learned that the distance from the building would be too far for a bow. There are also several themes dealing with fear of the dark and concern about tetanus from the rusty vehicles that I will have to minimize due to these revisions.
I had about 4000 words before I started these changes, and I’m still around that level now but I have a lot of work yet to do. I’m hoping to be at least back to where I was (with the hunter holed up in the penthouse) by next Monday. This weekend is going to be busy!