I’m still alive

As usual, it has been far too long between blog posts.  I intend remedying that – my intent is to post something at least once a week – if only as an update on any current work.  Apparently engagement is one of the (many) watchwords of this connected age of ours.  Too connected, I say, but there you go…

Of course, if I’d had more published recently, I would’ve posted more, but it has been a very fallow period of late.  I had a couple of stories come out recently, as more recent blog posts would indicate.  Looking at Submittable, I’ve a heap of short stories that have been sent out I’m waiting to hear back about (given my recent track record, REJECTION  appears to be their foreordained fate).  I sit down and look at these stories and wonder if they’re any good.  I mean, they’re okay, but they seem a bit one note – single protagonist, usually male, faces up against something…odd, that usually ends badly.  I mean, it doesn’t really leap off the page, does it?  And as for any sort of unique ‘writerly’ voice…is there one?  The writing needs to be more focussed, less wordy, beefed up and…well, you get the picture.  One day, I suppose.

As for current writing:  I’ve completed a first draft of a sword and sorcery story that was meant to be around 4000 words, but ended up being 20,000.  Yes, you read that right.  Which means that virutally no market will touch it, understandably. And I’ve just finished a 10,000 word horror story – again, the length is problematic, and some of the issues in the previous paragraph pop up.  I need to get in the groove of having multiple characters interacting.  I can do half decent dialogue so coming up with stories that fit is the key here.

I’ll spend the recent of the month fixing those two stories, but my main aim is to start on a novel/novella I’ve been thinking about and outlining since last year.  Again, a sort of dark fantasy (that’s a fancy 90s marketing term for horror, best exemplified by Feist’s Faerie Tale which wasn’t that much chop, to be frank, if I rely on my increasinbly chancy memory), but with sowrd and sorcery elements.  Anyway, the main problem I’ve identified today is the lack of any real tension in the plot I’ve constructed.  Two groups, one hunting the other in a subterranean environment, beset on all sides by strange creatures, don’t really come into contact until near the end.  Of course, if they’re forced to team up, and that truce lasts until the end of the story, then yes, I’ve just fixed the problem while I’ve been typing this!

Well, that’s good, then.

I’ll leave you then to ponder this blog post by the underrated horror writer, Brian Keene, who has decisively moved into elder statesman mode with this blog post.  Enjoy…



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