Eventually I realised that no matter how grim and serious the underlying message of the story was, it was still about a huge great cow with an attitude. So I went for broke with a far more bonkers story of mutant possums - which turned out to be far more fun, certainly for me as a writer and, as far as some feedback is concerned, for a few readers.
And this is exactly where I find myself with my latest story - the big 10,000 word monster that I started with is bogged down in grim and violent detail, and, having re-written the opening section, I've managed to make it a reasonable 900 words as opposed to 3000...
There's still a lot of work to do before its ship-shape and ready to submit, but now, I can see something that will hopefully be fun, sparky and a bit satirical but without being too damn grim.
Am I going to have to do this when I write a novel - as in churn out some dark, weighty tome of 300,000 words before starting from scratch again and distilling the one decent idea in it to about 100,000 words? Yikes, that's a lot of work....
Ah well, 100 words is a little easier....
The alarm was going off and slowly burning my brain into mush. Was anyone listening? Who knew what the alarm was alarming people about? TURN OFF THAT BL**DY NOISE!
I had to finish the report and the procedure about writing the report but still that BL**DY NOISE carried on.
I grabbed my gun and stormed out of the office.
It wasn’t a car or burglar alarm. It was a trap.
The only sounds I hear now are the strange shrieks and moans of the other inmates when they open the padded door to feed me. It’s much more peaceful here.