Sunday, October 17, 2010

Current Activity

13000 words have been delicately sliced back to just under 5000 - it's surprising what can get jettisoned when you focus on the real guts of a story. All part of the learning process, with a short story I just can't spend so much time on creating exciting action scenes - if it was a full length novel I'd have that luxury, but with the short form, I have to make sure that I'm focused on what the scene is bringing to the story.

I'm currently reading "The Neutronium Alchemist", being part 2 of Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy. Each book is a mammoth 1200 odd pages, and it's not large print either. There are hundreds of characters spanning dozens of worlds - it is about the grandest space opera I've come across, and is terrific stuff - however, Hamilton uses that space to create vast scenes that suck you in, take you on a rollercoaster, fill you with wonder and, more and more frequently, scare the crap out of you. And that's fine when that's what the story demands - but my short story (provisionally called The Big Three-oh) does not have such a huge scope, does not demand such enormous scenes - and when it was filled with that, frankly, it was just getting in the way of the story.

So - The Big Three-oh is provisionally finished, and now is out with various friends awaiting feedback. And I need to trim a few hundred words from an old dark fantasy story. With a bit of luck, I'll have two stories ready to send out there in a couple of weeks. Which will lead neatly into NaNoWriMo....and what the hell am I going to write 50,000 words about in 30 days?

Today's drabble - you may be able to guess what I spent the afternoon doing. And perhaps the lesson here is to make sure the area is well ventilated, clearly bleach fumes have unpleasant side-effects:

At last, the bathroom was cleaned.
“I thought you were a vegetarian,” said the voice.
No-one was there. Must be the bleach fumes.
“No, not the bleach, this is the gestalt mind of the lifeforms you were conducting genocide upon. And you said you respected other living things.”
“The mould?”
“Yes,” raged the voice. A pinkish splot appeared in a corner. “Yes,” it said again as more dark patches swarmed behind the toilet. “YES,” screamed trillions of voices as across the world as the obsession with cleanliness came raging back to bite.
Civilisation fell; at least, the damp bits did.

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