Halfhearted Harpies / by Matthew Marchitto

The story that I started working on for Camp NaNoWriMo was tentatively titled The Harpies Den. Unfortunately I only got to the twenty thousand word mark before I decided to shift focus and try writing some short stories instead. The odd thing was that I had started writing The Harpies Den to get my mind off my current work in progress novella that I was having trouble with. The Camp Nano story was intended to be silly and fun, and I didn’t take it seriously. But the more I wrote the more I started to really like it, and the more I started to like it the more it started to flounder. It felt like I should just put it aside and come back to it later. 

It might have been because I’d never meant for it to be taken seriously. As the story grew and became more complicated, and as I realized it needed more work (and that I wanted to make it work) the more I wanted to set it aside. It had become the foundation for a big project, one that I didn’t want to tackle now. I wanted to try and make it the best it could be and that would’ve taken a long time. 

This was the first time I started something with the intention of it going nowhere, and it turned out to be the wrong approach. I realized that one of the things I enjoy most about writing is trying to make something good that others will enjoy. 

But it did help me get my mind off that other novella, and some good ideas popped out of my subconscious during the Harpies Den. By the end I was ready to tackle it again, but wanted to wait the full month before diving back in, which is why I started the short stories. It was a way for me to keep writing but on something that I could come back to and polish up for possible submissions. I didn’t entirely abandon The Harpies though, I made a rough outline with some notes for where the story was going, so when I finally get back to it there will be some direction. Hopefully at some point I can release The Harpies Den as a full novel. 

For now I’ve gone back to that novella, and will be talking about it soon. I’m aiming for an Octoberish release, so stay tuned to my twitter, Goodreads, and blog for updates.