P.9: Check Out Wendy Nikel’s Rain Like Diamonds, JT Gill’s Full Circle, and Other Things I’ve Read

  • Aidan Mohler of A Dribble of Ink says goodbye. I’m terribly sad that A Dribble of Ink is getting put on the shelf. It’s one of the first sci fi/fantasy blogs I loved. I wish I found it years and years earlier.
  • Rain Like Diamonds by Wendy Nikel. Daily Science Fiction. A really nice spin on a story about a queen and a dragon, with a really strong ending. Loved Nikel’s descriptions. I also really enjoy Daily Science Fiction’s propensity to include a brief statement about what inspired the author to create the story. DSF should be required reading for aspiring authors.
  • Short Story Elements don’t have to be Confusing, a blog post from Kat Hutson. Here’s some good tips on writing clear stories. I liked these. It offers a great approach for writers to take on writing high quality stories — though I think stories can work without all these elements, if writers are prepared for them to be a bit more niche.
  • Full Circle by JT Gill. Every Day Fiction. Strong writing. I really liked how he painted society discovering clear evidence of an alien vessel. It was in an entirely mundane way — there were water cooler conversations, cognitive dissonance in the face of clear evidence, and a guy worrying more about his girlfriend than whether there’s an imminent invasion coming. You get the sense that if the story continued for a few more days, aliens would become old news fast and people would be on to the next story that dominates the headlines. Ah, 24 hour news cycles.
  • io9 thinks Killjoys is an okay B-TV show that suffers from an overstuffed plot. I don’t necessarily disagree with the criticism that Killjoys unloaded a lot (maybe too much), especially in its early episodes, but it was never a huge issue for me — it never distracted me from the show. The only real problem with Killjoys is that SyFy didn’t know what it had. It’s an amazing, fun show — but it’s a B-TV show that needed an A-TV budget. Imagine Killjoys with Firefly’s or BSG’s far better production values and more intricate sets, and maybe a slightly more fleshed out cast. I think it would have easily stacked up with those shows.

P.7: A Story in a Day

I’ve been reading some tweets and blog posts from short story writers, talking about how they challenged themselves to write a story a day for runs of a week or even a month at a time.

I’m not so sure I’d ever want to do that, but thought it would be fun to take on the challenge today.

I have a long list of files, digital and otherwise, filled with story ideas… but, like more often than not, couldn’t pick one I wanted from the bin.

However, I was listening to a Hozier album when I felt a little inspired to start fooling around, jotting down a few sentences of nothingness. It was one of his dark songs, where hell and sin mixed with beauty and temptation, and as I wrote, the story came to me. The story isn’t anything like the plot of the song, but the places my story went, touched with a dash of hope, ended up being helped a lot by the song’s dark tone.

It’s just 600 words, but I finished the whole draft in a day, and it’s a solid draft, too. I made it very plot centric, and yet I managed to actually create a character who grew along with the story, and it already feels pretty polished. It’s always easier to get something clean and polished when you’re working with flash fiction, but I’m still really, really happy with it.

I’m going to sit on it for a few days and then see what I think, but I actually like it enough at this point that my guess is it’s just about ready to go. We’ll see.