Like There’s Always A Choice, the short story I put out a few weeks ago, this new story began life as part of a novel. In this case, I wanted to see if I could write a kind-of sequel to my Shadows series, and while the book didn’t really work out as another Shadows book (it was too different in tone), the story has potential. But, as with many first drafts, there were unrequired scenes.
This new story (Just Doing My Job) came from one such scene. It shows Deva (who previously appeared in Stowaway) once more showing how she copes when others look down on her—and that was the problem. We already know this, and so there was no need to spend time in the novel reiterating her tough spirit. But as a short story, I think it works.
You can read Just Doing My Job here, and, as always, I’d love to know what you think.
Just under a year ago, I had a (fairly long) story, Ghost Stream, included in The Power Of Words anthology (along with other great stories by MLS Weech, Heidi Angell and Richard Drake). To tie in with the release of this, I wrote a couple of short stories. One was Rumours, and you can still read this here. The other, however, I decided not to publish. Although I liked the story, I felt the ending was too similar to parts of Ghost Story itself.
But after almost a year, it’s time for this story to appear. It’s called Do You See?, and you can read it here. And if this piques your interest, Ghost Story is still available in The Power Of Words (as ebook, paperback and audiobook)—click here for more information.
It’s often said that editing involves cutting at least ten percent of the words, and while this isn’t strictly true, may words written in a first draft never reach the final product. Sometimes, whole chapters get discarded.
That is how this new short story, There’s Always A Choice, came about. It was originally part of an early draft for Dominions V, but I decided to cut it fairly early on. I liked it too much to let it be ignored, though, so I reworked it. Maybe it’s a deleted scene from an as-yet unpublished book, or maybe it’s a short story in its own right.
You can read There’s Always A Choice here. And if you like this one, you might like to compare it to A Lesson In Death, a far earlier story focusing on Rodin. I think they mirror each other fairly well.
And, as always, I’d love to know what you think of the story.
I’m going to warn you up-front that this is another dark story.
In the fourth Dominions novel (Riled Dogs), there’s a particularly nasty character called Garrick—the type of villain who enjoys torture, and who uses pain to get what he wants. He’s ruthless, and any who go up against him must have a certain kind of strength—not physical, but deeper. They would need their own kind of ruthlessness, or brutal practicality.
This story, Stronger Than Death, is based around this idea, and you can read it here. But don’t expect a pleasant ending.
Two weeks since the last short story, so it must be time for another.
This one is an alien invasion tale called Watch And Learn, and like all the others it’s under 1000 words (so about five minutes of reading). You can find it here, and as always I’d love to hear what you think of it.
Another short story for you.
This one wrote itself pretty fast, and although the story’s fiction, the setting is real (with a bit of artistic license). St Tanwg’s Church, in the North Wales village of Llandanwg, sits amongst the sand dunes (I was told that it had been buried at one point, although a bit of research leads me to believe this is a bit of an exaggeration—about 150 years ago the church was in disrepair, part of the roof fell in, and the building filled with sand). Like many church sites, there’s a lot of hidden history here—so it seemed an opportune setting for a story about ancient power.
You can read Power here, or visit this page for a full list of my short stories (all under 1000 words, so ideal for a quick coffee break).
It’s a couple of weeks since the last story, so it must be time for a new one. Not going to say too much about this, except that it’s a science fiction story, it’s called New Eden, and you can read it here.
And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.