Monday, June 27, 2011

RIP Fiction Blog

After debating the pro and cons of it, I've decided to get rid of my fiction blog. The reasons for this are fairly straightforward - firstly, it's been a while since I've had any new material to put onto the blog and, secondly, I've decided to publish a small e-collection of my work and am going to include some of these older stories.

The collection is more by way of an experiment in e-publishing than anything else, just to see if I can do it. Links to my other online fiction can still be found to the right.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And Other Such Delights for Best of BSC

Just recieved word from Scott Andrews at Beneath Ceaseless Skies that And Other Such Delights, which appeared in BSC last year, has been selected for inclusion in The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Year Two.

The e-anthology should be available in the autumn.

To say that I am rather pleased would be an understatement of sorts.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting Unlocked

The Great(ish) Fiction Experiment continues on apace, with my still as yet unnamed story up to 15,000 words, making it the longest piece of fiction that I have written so far (there's an unfinished novella that comes close though).

The mission statement for this has been fairly straightforward - to write 1,000 words of fiction every day regardless of its quality - and although real-life work sort of got in the way this week I've managed to stick fairly closely to the rules.
One of the things it has taught me - or rather retaught me - is how much fun writing can be when you just let yourself go. It's also helped to get my creativity flowing again, and I've been making loads of notes for new stories as well as thinking very strongly about how I can make the current untitled piece actually work as a decent piece of fiction (a lot of editing and rewriting is the relatively straight-forward answer).

But its also helped to focus a few thoughts that had hitherto been rather scattered if not downright fragmentary, mostly to do with the setting of the story which, currently, tales place in Thule Before The Ice - and will continue to do so - that until now was just a phrase in a notebook that kept coming back to haunt me.

I'm not entirely sure that I've completely gotten over my bout of writers' block, but I at least feel that I'm getting there.

Roll on the next 1,000 words.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Great(ish) Fiction Experiment: Week 2

The second week of my attempt to write my way out of my recent bout of writers' block has begun.

So far I've managed to stick to the self-imposed rules of my Great(ish) Writing Experiment, producing no less than 1,000 words a day (except Sunday, when I decided I needed a break). In truth, I have written some terrible rubbish in the last week, but the rules dictate quantity over quality and hopefully some odd phrases have managed to glitter among the dreck.

For those who want to keep count I have written just over seven and a half thousand words of this still-as-yet unnamed tale about the warrior Xlaxas Duv and his quest to find Death.

One of the strange things about it is that the story started off as one thing and has morphed itself into another. Initially, the whole thing was vaguely patterned after Clark Ashton Smith's The Seven Geases but has started to become a little more Moorcockian as it has progressed (Xlaxas Duv has acquired a piratical sidekick who is a sort of Moonglum to his Elric, for instance) possibly because I've just finished reading Stormbringer once again.

It's also become clear that what I thought was going to be a short story has begun to change itself into something much longer if not necessarily more complex.

Thankfully, this is not intended for publication of any sort but rather is to help me get to grips once again with the mechanics of writing and - maybe more importantly - the habit of writing.

I've found myself actually looking forward to sitting down at the keyboard again and even starting to connect with the characters (cardboard cutouts though they are) in a way that hasn't happened for a while.

I still don't know what will happen next, or even if this literary experiment will help to get my creative flow back on course, but so far its been a blast.

And I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Great(ish) Fiction Experiment: Day 3

On Monday I decided to try and cure my writer's block by employing the relatively straightforward method of writing any old crap that came into my head for the next week. The only rule for this experiment is that I have to write 1,000 words a day - I can write more if the mood and muse take me, but certainly no less.

On Tuesday morning I sat down and wrote the following words:

"Alvannah is gone, and with her any reason I may have left for remaining in Salmu Alu, the Black City. Gone, too, is any reason for continuing to live - for what is life without her? - but I am determined to sell my life as dearly as poss ible, among the abominations of the Flint Wastes and Rippling Mountains and in the embrace of death I may know peace and in oblivion may find once again my beloved Alvannah"
So wrote the warrior Xlaxas Duv, champion of Salmu Alu, before his departure from that great city."

So far I have written nearly 3,900 words of this nameless and somewhat rambling tale, making stuff up as I go along and doing my level headed best not to worry too much about literary quality, strained metaphors or overly complex character motivation.

I have been having a ball doing it.

So far, Xlaxas Duv has faced three sorcerors (one good, one bad and the other fairly indifferent) a group of shape-shifting warbeasts and is currently on his way to the First City of Calgorum in order to confront the Golden Breed. He has discovered that Alvannah awaits him on the other side of the Veil of Life but that if he dies before fulfilling certain mystical criteria then he will be doomed to wander through limbo forever and never find her again.

Oh, and he has also broken two of his weapons and gained the magical heart of an Atlantean sorceror named Keritos.

What will happen next? Who or what are the Golden Breed and why is someone or something trying to prevent Xlaxas Duv from joining his beloved in the afterlife?

Damned if I know but I'm going to enjoy finding out.