29 July 2011

Story a Week!

I've been off the blog for a bit, so it has missed an important announcement I made IRL. For the summer, at least, I am attempting to write a story a week. Yes, Jonathan Coulton is a bit of an inspiration here. For the purposes of this goal, I'm defining "story" as a flash-sized piece of fiction (>1000 words). Thus far I've kept it up for three weeks, though last week was a bit of a crunch, and it looks as though I am on track to keep it up a fourth week.

So far I've written mostly all horror, though two pieces have been a distinctly dark fantasy sort of horror about thieves going into the crypts of these necromancers. Those pieces are entitled "The Pendant of Zeklin Kha" and "Jabeld's Casket." Zeklin Kha has already received one rejection, but with a positive note, saying the story was "fun, but not quite for us." This was from MicroHorror.

The piece I squeezed out last week is less a story and more a fictional real estate ad, but its contents tell a story in their own way. It attempts to sell the reader on a tomb "in a quiet neighborhood underground" with a table "ALWAYS expecting visitors" and other such slightly off things you'd probably never want to read in a actual ad (I suppose it is not often on Craigslist that one sees listings that assert particular rooms have "no bloodstains").

I was actually inspired to write the previous three pieces by the Dracoid ruins in Lands of Lore II! It's so atmospheric, definitely my favourite part of the game. I s'pose I'll have to update on LoL:GoD again soon. I've stopped playing it on the hardest difficulty, though. One of the things I started doing as practice was to park Luther in front of some strange thing and then write down a re-contextualized description of the object for use in later stories.

This week, I'm shifting gears slightly in that my story is to be about a cat. Aaron has been staying at our mutual friend Helen's place while she is away... apparently he is not a fan of her feline companion. He recently referred to it as "that damned cat," and my mind went instantly to Ambrose Bierce ("The Damned Thing") and H.P. Lovecraft ("The Rats in the Walls"). Although I don't think my story will end up anything like either of those great works, their authors do provide inspiration...

I've also been doing some work getting these stories into different formats for publication. It's not so hard, but I have to think of a better way to organize my stories so that all the versions floating around don't get mixed up. Mostly I've got copies in either standard internet format or standard manuscript format. All of the publications I've been looking at submitting work to have different rules for presenting work, but most seem to want either of these two formats, with stories either sent in the body of an e-mail or attached as a .rtf.

Also, I recently discovered Darkmarkets.com and Duotrope's Digest, which should prove useful additions to Ralan's Webstravaganza in connecting me to more and more people looking to publish the sort of junk I write.

I'll end this post with a small note of thanks to the kind folks who saw my little comment about "A Ruined House" on Facebook and commented on the story. It's much appreciated.

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