Missoula Night Hikes – new werewolf story on Flashes In The Dark

My story Missoula Night Hikes has been published at Flashes In the Dark as part of Lori’s lycanthropy contest. Missoula is my hometown’s sister city, but we don’t have wolves here and they figure in the story (well, wolves aren’t really around Missoula so much, but they might wander down from that other country north of the US whose name escapes me). It was fun to write, trying to build tension and hint at werewolves. There are some awesome entries in the contest, all definitely worth checking out.

When to abandon a story

In my last post I talked about working on the first-draft manuscripts of ten stories – how some were close to ready, others needed a lot of work and one had been “abandoned entirely”; the ideas were worth revisiting but the manuscript itself wasn’t . I’m keen to write a story for the Southern Horror Writer’s Club, since I’m, technically, from the south, so I really want this story set in New Zealand’s South Island to work. I tried a rewrite from scratch last week – similar ideas, but kept two of the characters together so their conversation can do some of the explaining (“telling”) about the situation. It was much more pacey, action oriented and flat out – the new draft opened like this “Connor pushed the stolen Range Rover up over 160, barely slowing for the corners” (that’s 160 kph, which is about 100 mph, I think). (The original draft had been much more introspective and gazey – “Jeff stepped back off the jetty, cradling his twisted wrist” and so on). The rewrite didn’t work – too much pace, not enough character … I just couldn’t get a feel for it. But I still want to submit to the club, the deadline is approaching. So I sat down with the characters (I like Jeff and Connor and Sandra, naive as they are) and put them in a new scenario. I’ve been writing that story for a couple of days and I’m about 1500 words into it and this one doesn’t work. So the three manuscripts are going in a drawer for probably six months and then I might see what may be salvageable from them – who knows, that stolen Range Rover might make a reappearance sometime.

Meanwhile, still wanting to make that deadline, I’m starting a new story – “Doubtful Sound”, with different characters and a way different scenario. We’ll see how that goes.

Flashes in the Dark – Worst of Love contest results in

Jodi MacArthur’s extraordinary story “Spindled Souls” has won the Worst of Love contest for flash fiction at Flashes in the Dark. Jodi’s story is complex, dark and very multi-layered – absolutely a clear winner. Laura Eno’s wonderful “Ironies” came in second and my own “Fiancees Among Us” made third. Well deserved honorable mentions to Graeme Reynolds and Erin Cole.

Thanks to Lori and Bob for running such a challenging contest. Writers – check out Flashes in the Dark for their next contest: Lycanthropy. That contest closes on March 21st.

The Stinger, by Asher Ellis on Flashes In The Dark

(If I’ve figured out how to stop trackbacks, finally, then this shouldn’t appear on the Flashes In The Dark site like this. If it does, I’ll have to come up with another way for posting links to blogs … )

Asher’s wicked flash horror story has just appeared on Flashes in the Dark. This is a very cool story, which reminded me of inadvertantly waiting until the end of the credits in Zombieland, just way creepier.

Asher builds the tension so well … you’ll just have to read it yourself

Grrrrr trackbacks/pingbacks/whatever

… so I thought I had set the option to have no trackback and pingbacks when I write a post here, but my last post has put itself up as a comment at Flashes in the Dark. Crappy. I like to put the direct link in on my post, but it looks naf, I gotta say, and I feel like a fool when it happens.

I found another checkbox buried in the options today which might have been doing it, so hopefully it’s fixed.

Fiancées Among Us published in Flashes in the Dark

My latest story ‘Fiancées Among Us’ has been published in the fabulous Flashes in the Dark. It was intriguing to write something more supernatural again, lots of my recent stories have been a bit more reality based. Or not. Anyway, this is my entry for their Worst of Love contest.

Yay, I think I’ve figured out how to stop the pingbacks happening – if this appears as a comment under the story, sorry I really didn’t mean it to. Whew, technology (wordpress having been invented after I was born).

Torn asunder … well tutoring just about over

Well today is the deadline for getting my creative writing tutoring back to the university. It’s done, bar one student who had an extension, and once that’s done the summer is mine to write and create. Current plans involve a new project of stories and inter-linked stories and a new blog to separate the writing out from the music.

Meantime, check out this cool new flash story from Joshua Scribner – Closer to pure – on Flashes in the Dark. Very creepy twist on the vampire idea.