In my last post, I shared a short story I was particularly happy with, called “Shadows.”
I also explained in a previous post that this story had originally been very different. The first time I considered the concept of people losing their shadows, my imagination had taken me in a very different direction.
That original story, that I discarded because I wasn’t happy with it at the time, is available at the link below.
I thought it might be interesting to see how the same initial concept and basic building blocks can be taken in a completely different direction. The story, although it clearly exists in the same world as its twin, is nothing like it.
Rather than explain how, I’ll let you read the story, and comment below on which you prefer, and why, and what the stories mean to you.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been writing some short stories (and a much longer story) for a while now but they’re not ready. Sorry.
They’re a new direction for me and they’ve taken a lot of time to get off the ground as I frequently bring them to the shredder to start again.
New beginnings are painful.
I was, however, browsing the web recently when I came across Reedsy. There they have a competition page with writing prompts, and one of the prompts for the month bounced off some random thought, which resulted in a quick and cheeky short story. Which I submitted.
They’ve put it on their website, so I invite you to take a look at Rewind, and let me know what you think, either over there or over here.