I’ve been reading, writing, critiquing short fiction for the past few years, and reached the following steps by trial and error. This is what works best for me today.
- Write the story.
- Write several drafts until you think you can’t make it any better.
- Put the manuscript down for at least a month and work on other projects.
- When you pick it up again you’ll see the draft wasn’t so great. Edit until it’s a lot better.
- Don’t stop. Work on the story until you think it’s the tits, and importantly, you’ve pushed yourself to the limits of your ability.
- Ask your writing group to critique your masterpiece. Oh, and tell them to rip your work to pieces.
- Go back to step 2.
Another writer’s opinion could be a chisel or a sledgehammer. Either is a tool. Use it well.
First draft finished! I also have three possible titles for my werewolf story: Autumn, My Hero, or Hashtag Rewilding.
Which one is the most evocative?
A rather old Cupid has discovered a way of disposing of his long-suffering wife, Psyche. Find out if he succeeds in ‘What You Wish For’, an exceedingly dark tale of matters of the heart, published in ‘Trysts of Fate’ magazine by Alban Lake Publishing. Available here.
Maddie followed the path straight to the Goddess; she knew the Goddess took care of her own.
‘Pigeon’ is leaving readers “breathless”. Find it among twelve other wicked tales of witches and the occult in the ‘Wrapped In Black’ anthology. The book is the latest in the ‘Wrapped’ series from Sekhmet Press LLC.
Read an extract from Pigeon here.
Here’s what Vix Kirkpatrick at the FluffyRedFox had to say about ‘Pigeon’:
“Maddie has removed her amulet and now Jack, ex-lover/married another woman/living the wonderful life Jack, is literally in melt down.
I really enjoyed the fast pace set by the author, there was no let up, pushing, pushing, pushing….until, Bang. Glad this was fairly short as am sure I was holding breath for the entire read”
Buy Wrapped In Black at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
If he lives in your street, you’ve probably passed the time of day with him. Just an ordinary bloke; a family man; a working man. You would never suspect him of committing a murder – yet he claims to have killed at least seven people. The Handwritten Journal, published by JWK Fiction as part of their anthology Serial Killers Quattuor, is a series of extracts from this man’s diary, originally handwritten by one of his victims.
Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US
cover art by William Cook ©2014 image courtesy of JWK Fiction