I’m not a huge fan of short stories. I think the reason I wouldn’t go out of my way to read one is because I like to get to know the characters in some depth, which is unlikely when reading – and indeed writing – something so short.
Having said that, earlier this year I came up with one, The Trap, set in a Victorian mine in the early part of the 19th century before the Mines and Colliers Act of 1842 made it illegal, amongst other things, to employ women and children under ten working underground.
This is about a young girl who must work in horrendous conditions. I had “created” her back in 1992 when I first discovered that there had been a warren of such mines up until the early 1900s, not far from where I live. Having “carried” her, now, for more years than she has been alive at the time of the story, I know her rather well – far better than it is possible to show in such a brief window into the past.
I have now converted The Trap into a ten-minute screenplay that can be read here. There’s an enormous amount of back-story concerning this girl and I think I will be working with her again before very long.