Truth – Author’s Notes

My short story Truth was published on the Spontaneity website a wee while ago however due to a lack of internet on my end I haven’t been able to write my Author’s Notes post about it until now.

I love the idea behind the online magazine Spontaneity and like all great ideas it is very simple. Basically very piece that is submitted has to have been inspired by a piece that the magazine has already published. To see the piece that inspire my story Truth and to find out more about the tale you’ll have to click below.

Truth - Author's Notes

Light the Way by Leslie Moroney

The Original Idea

The story of Truth was inspired by the image on the right called “Light the Way” taken by Leslie Moroney. When you read Truth hopefully the start of the second section of the tale will remind you of this photo – the trip Menzies takes up to the house. This was originally the start of my tale with the sequence with Eilidh added in the final draft when I realised she needed to be included.

The fact that the start was such a late addition reveals how I wrote the story as I went along. I wasn’t sure what the main character, Menzies wasn’t named until the final draft, found when he reached the mansion. At one point it was going to be his mother he found involved in some weird sex party. This was dropped, as you can tell, for the more interesting relationship between Millicent, the Blonde and the Old Man – who is meant to be Millicent husband although there is no way for Menzies to know that.

Names, Names, Names

I always wanted the names in this piece to mean something starting with Millicent. I wanted something that sounds like magnificent. When I put this request onto Twitter EilidhL_ suggested Millicent which worked perfectly. As a thank you I named Eilidh after her. I’m not sure I told her but I’m sure she won’t mind.

While I was writing the story I felt it had echoes, and not more than that, of an Iain Banks‘ family epic and I wanted a name similar to one of those such as Prentice (from The Crow Road) or Alban (from The Steep Approach to Garbadale). However, coming up with such a name is harder than you think. In the end I went back to my inspiration and borrow Iain Banks‘ middle name of Menzies as it for filled my requirements.

A Few Final Things

Like the start of the story and a few of the names, the title of the story came late, after it had been accepted for publication actually. I was struggling for a suitable title and almost reused A Mother’s Love as it fits this story just as well. In the end I submitted the tale under the tale A Mother’s Truth which Ruth at Spontaneity suggested changing to Truth which I think is an excellent title and I wish I could claim credit for it.

For the first time when I was writing this story I had actors in my head for particular parts, however, as this post is long enough I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

Let me know what you think of Truth below. If you’d like to read more of my short stories you can do so here.

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