The Making of “Shadows” – From Story Prompt to Finished Product

Back at the beginning of lockdown – that’s over a year ago now – I went to the countryside for a few months with my family, accompanied by a writing prompt I’d come up with.

This prompt had been kicking around in my head for a while now. I had an idea of how to tackle it.

The Emancipation of Shadows

Story prompt

One afternoon, I isolated myself in a room and ploughed through the first couple of thousand words of what I thought was a pretty good idea.

Then I struggled with it for 24 hours.

Then I threw it away and started again.

What went wrong?

This is the story of a story, that took far too long , and took far too much effort to write, but which turned out fairly well in the end. I guess that’s what they’re all like in the rear-view.

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Short Story: Rare Gifts

I don’t do all that much horror, but sometimes that’s just how a story turns out. Not that my horror is all that horrifying, but this story very clearly veered towards that genre about a third of the way through the writing process, and there was no clawing it back after that.

At about 1350 words, it’s pretty short, so it’s quick to read and easy to digest. I hope you like it.

Here is “Rare Gifts”.

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New Fiction – “What You Might Find”

The Christmas holidays are – despite appearances – an impossible time for me to write anything substantial. I have made zero progress on my more substantial projects (other than call into question everything I’ve written so far), and I’ve been unable to find the time to write any more of the short story or novella series that I’ve been working on.

Without the routine of home, there isn’t any time to sit at a keyboard and hammer out anything more sophisticated than a very short story.

But I have managed that, a very short story. Particularly in response to prompts over at Reedsy.

This particular story is a reaction to “write a story about a very skilled pickpocket”. It’s about an immigrant pickpocket in a big city. Unusually for me, there are no fantasy of science fiction elements at all. I did have some in mind, but as the story decanted onto the page, none of them made the transition.

The story is downloadable for free, in a number of formats, by clicking here..

You can comment on it below.

I like writing in response to prompts because it allows me to generate a short story that’s hermetically sealed away from the longer-term projects I’m working on. Writing straight from my own imagination, without a prompt, results in my cannibalising bits from my stories-in-progress. I currently lack the mental discipline to write a spin-off of an unfinished story, instead I compromise the story itself as my imagination goes off in new directions with an unfinished universe.

Short Fiction : Snow

The Ortholan’s crew barely survive their crash on an icy moon, and they owe their narrow escape to the least popular member of their crew, the Navigator, whom they call Blue. But they will need him again if they are to survive, because he is the only person aboard capable of flying the ship back to civilization. Unfortunately, without access to their medication, Navigators become somewhat unstable, and the crew’s only hope of salvation may well be the one who kills them all.

Available on Amazon by clicking here .