Darkness at Noon: Finished

Posted: February 23, 2014 in Living and Life, short story, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Great book if you’re interested in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

You know you’re a writer and a college student when you manage to find ways to make your writing count for a grade. And that was kind of the point of this latest short story, which I wrote for one of my classes. Called Darkness at Noon, it’s not a horror story despite the title. Instead, it’s more literary/historical fiction. Why the heck am I writing that sort of story? I’ll explain.

The class I wrote this story for is my Deaf Literature and Culture class. Our teacher gave us an assignment to bring in some artifact (a book, a painting, a TV show or movie), something that represented deaf culture and do a presentation on it. I chose to write a short story, partially because I didn’t want to repeat myself by bringing up the episode of House where he treats a deaf teenager (I’d used this for a previous assignment), but mostly because I seriously wanted to write a short story and get something from it, such as a good grade. After getting the okay from my teacher, I started on the short story immediately.

As with most writing, getting started and keeping it going can be difficult. The style of story was also difficult for me, as I prefer horror and with no serial killer, ghost, or even angry wild animal, it was sometimes slow going writing this one. However this evening, after getting home from watching a movie with some members of my study abroad group and taking a shower, I set down to finish the story. I’m happy to report that I finished it at 4,652 words, at about a quarter to two in the morning.

The story itself follows a young woman living in the Dust Bowl during the 1930s who is deaf. She’s unhappy with the direction her life has taken, and it takes a terrible dust storm to make her realize that things aren’t as bad as she thinks.

I got most of my research from what I’ve been learning in my Deaf Lit class, as well as from the book The Worst Hard Time by Tim Egan, which I finished last weekend for another class. Both helped me visualize not only the world my character lived in, but also taught me what might go through the mind of a young woman who has to live in a town where she’s the only one who can’t hear. I like to think my character has a lot of baggage to her. She feels alone and isolated because of her deafness, and has some understandable anger towards those who’ve looked down on her because of the fact that she’s deaf.

Anyway, I like how this story turned out for the most part. I think the ending will need a little tweaking to make for a smooth finish, but I feel confident that when I turn it in on March 21st, I’ll get a very good grade for it (and possibly a recommendation for some Deaf Lit magazines or somewhere else I could publish the story).

Well, that’s all for now. I’m probably going to go to bed soon, so I’d like to wish you all good night and hope you have pleasant dreams. See you tomorrow, my Followers of Fear.

  1. Darkness at Noon? That’s the title of a seminal Arthur Koestler novel.

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