It’s been a wild journey with this story and, despite my love and intimacy for this character and this universe, I’ve decided tonight to pull the plug once and for all on Undertaker. What started off as a short story about a funeral home in a post post-apocalyptic world became an 11 year journey that helped me grow and shape my technique and voice as a writer. I’ve learned a lot about characterization, story telling, and found my voice within Charlie’s misanthropic view of this strange world that I built. The problem has come down to something so simple, so Charlie, as burnout. The story I wanted to tell is mapped out, etched really, into my mind but I’ve run through these grooves so many times that I can’t get any traction. I’m planning to finish up the current novelette Those Thing’ll Kill Ya’ by the start of fall and seek either a magazine/online venue to publish it or at the very least release it through Amazon. I’ll also likely go back to HPOTD where the original drafts of the short stories that would become my Undertaker project were first read in the fiction forums, revise them maybe and release them as a short story collection some time down the road.
The overall plot for the novel will likely be revised and used as another story somewhere down the line but, as for Charlie Stone and the folks of Berry Hill, this is the end. Didn’t realize how hard that would be to say until I reread that sentence and felt tears welling up in my eyes. These people have been a part of my life since I was 20 years old struggling to sell a flash piece and it feels like saying good bye to an old friend. Truth is, I just can’t bog myself down anymore in a never ending story, not while so many other great tales are waiting to be told.
Charlie, from me to you, all I can say is I’ll take it from here, boss.