Ethel the Muse was working overtime on Saturday morning and by the time I got up I had a fully formed idea for a new story – Backwards Boy. The first half was written on Saturday but by Sunday morning I hated it so I ended up rewriting a lot of it. It’s pretty short – 986 words – and it’s also difficult to categorise. In a lot of ways it’s not really speculative fiction at all. But it might be, it depends on what happens after the story ends. Unfortunately, that means it will be a tricky story to place but we’ll see how it goes. Of course, it needs to sit in my unfinished folder and age for a couple of weeks before I edit it and start submitting. The addition of Backwards Boy means I have five stories waiting for me to edit them. Can you tell I’m not a fan of editing? My goal is to get all five finished and out into the wild by the end of the year. Other than a couple of hours of writing, the weekend was filled with day job and trips out and television. Specifically we caught up with the … Read More
As promised, I finished the first draft of F Bomb last night. Two hundred and six minutes to write two thousand and seventy two words and I’m pretty happy with it. As always it now sits in the unfinished folder for a couple of weeks to let it ‘stew’. As well as finishing F Bomb, I created a folder for Novel Number 2 which from now on will be known as Uncanny Freaks. I won’t actually be starting on the novel for a couple of weeks yet so it’s largely a ceremonial step but it does give me somewhere to store the notes that I need to start making. I also moved an unfinished story into my abandoned folder. That makes unlucky thirteen stories in my abandoned. Some of them are just snippets of stories I wrote years ago. Others are almost complete tales that just didn’t work. Some of the ideas are good though, including the one I consigned to oblivion last night so I’ll be returning to it at some point – I’ll just be starting fresh. As well as the abandoned folder, I have a bunch of unsold stories that I like to read through every now and again. … Read More
No zombies, but I did manage to get back to writing yesterday and I started a new story – F Bomb. An hour and a half of writing resulted 966 words which I think puts me about halfway through. It’s an interesting little story and I’m not entirely sure what genre you’d pigeonhole it into but I like it so far. There’s a (hopefully) humorous edge to it that appeals to me. I was also planning on editing Rainshine but I decided to postpone that for another few days and come back to it once F Bomb is finished. I also wrote an entry for my other blog – something I’ve neglected to do for far too long and submitted a story to the One Buck Horror anthology series – fingers crossed on that one, it would be good to end the year with another acceptance. With all the talk about music and running, I neglected to mention the new book I’m reading – Cate Gardner’s short story collection Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits and other curious things. I read the first couple of stories on Friday night and already I’ve got a good feeling about it. Finally, I’ve created a Free Fiction page and posted links to the first two stories … Read More
Aftermath “This is what happens?” said Nathan. The creature nodded. A thin trickle of frozen green pus dangled from the scratch Nathan had left in its cheek. “But I didn’t realize.” The creature shrugged. “Is there anything I can do?” The creature looked around the frozen wasteland and scratched its head. Grimacing with concentration, it poked around in its ear for a moment and then tugged a few wiry hairs free. Nathan watched the creature twist the hairs into a tiny braid. The creature opened its mouth and mimed swallowing the braid and then handed it to Nathan. Nathan shuddered. Story originally submitted to the Tuesday Tales 17 Flash Fiction competition. This is an example of a story where I took Anne McCaffrey’s advice so there’s a detailed back story behind those 100 words. Maybe one day I’ll extend it into a full length story.
Some unexpected writing yesterday, 100 words worth to be exact. I happened to catch a tweet directing me to a Tuesday Tales challenge on the Glitter Word blog. The challenge was to write a one hundred or less word piece of flash fiction inspired by the image below and including the word Twist. It happened to be lunch time and I was taking a break from my day job so I noodled around for ten or fifteen minutes and wrote a story called Aftermath. This was the first time I’ve taken part in this type of challenge and I really enjoyed it – it was a nice to be able to take a quick creative break in the middle of the day and the one hundred word limit forced me to keep the writing focused. The Tuesday Tales challenge takes place every week so I’ll be dropping back next week to see if Ethel the Muse has anything to say about next week’s photo. You can find my story, along with the other entries here.
Very little writing so far this week (apart from the blog) and by that I mean no writing done so far this week (apart from the blog) but that’s about to change, at least that’s the theory. However, I did send off the contract for The Z Word – my contribution to Matt Nord’s So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains anthology. Cover for So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains I’m not a huge consumer of zombie books (although I did recently enjoy reading Ex-Patriots and Domain of the Dead) and The Z Word is the first real zombie story I’ve written. Even then it’s a lighthearted tale rather than a post-apocalyptic nightmare. I’m pleased with the story though and looking forward to seeing it in what looks like a very promising collection. You can find the official Table of Contents for the anthology on Matt Nord’s blog.
I was able to kick off a new story yesterday, a science fiction tale inspired by a line from an Amanda Palmer song. I always churn through any number of titles for a story, this one started off as simply Rain and then became Rainshine about halfway through yesterday’s session. No doubt it will change a few more times before I finally decide on a title. I clocked up 488 words in about an hour which is pretty much average for me. This one is fairly dialogue heavy and I think it will probably come in at around 2000 words, a bit shorter than my usual stories which tend to be 3-4000. Unusually for me, I have a pretty good idea what the entire story is going to be. I don’t outline and it’s pretty common for me to only have a very vague idea where the story is going when I start; I prefer to discover things as I go along. This time though, I think I understand the whole arc. No doubt it will still take some of its own twists and turns along the way so I’m sure there’s still some surprises in store for me. Other than … Read More