Wednesday 6 May 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 17: “Time To Get My Edit On”

2015 WORD COUNT = 23834 words

I have just 19 days to get my Anthology stories written, proofed, and sent in to FDHQ so that they can be included in the second FlashDog Anthology.

·         19 days.
·         456 Hours.
·         27,360 Minutes.
·         1,641,600 Seconds.


Right, that’s that out of the way.

It’s been more of a struggle working on this second Anthology. I had a complete lack of ideas back in the first few weeks and I’ve talked previously about the ‘second album fear’ I suffered. But, despite these silly problems, I’m seeing the light at the end now and I think I might just do it.


Last year’s anthology includes four of my stories but only two were especially written for it.

IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY is a 150 word piece of Flash Fiction I wrote back in July of last year. Despite the fact that it was short (350 words off the allowed word count) I wanted to include it because it means a lot to me. I have a lot of pride in it.

GLASS OF MILK was a failed competition entry that I thought would be nice to include due to its Christmas theme. The Anthology was coming out in December, after all.

MY NEMESIS was the first of the two original stories I created for anthology. I spent an afternoon brainstorming this one and was determined to have one of my contributions be a superhero story due to my love of the genre.

And then there was TANKS FOR THE HELP, my prompt entry. I had struggled to get anything from the prompt and started three different stories before this one popped into my head. I love that it’s silly but serious.


When the second anthology got started, when the four prompts were revealed to us, I was just going to do four separate stories, much like last year. But then my brain stepped in and said ‘No. Let’s do something crazy.’

At first I thought about a single story in four parts. I spent lunch breaks with the four photos laid out in front of me, every few minutes changing the order. But nothing happened.

Next I tried four stories linked together and something actually came from this. It started with the tale of the father losing his son in a terrorist attack. This led to story set in an AI controlled world where crime and terrorism are nearly eradicated but freedom was fading. The third story showed the war between man and machine before all being tied up in the last piece set in a future where mankind finds a second chance without relying on technology.

I liked it and it took a lot to walk away from it. Four separate points of view at moments spread across an epic conflict. But man vs machine has been done before, the end story didn’t really have a solid plot, and 1000 words per story was a little too short for what I wanted to do (although I know a few Flash Fiction writers out there who could easily manage it).


Last week I made the decision to let go of one of the prompts. Since day one I’ve had an idea for a story (in those barren first few weeks it was the only idea I did have) but it’s not fighting to be told. Its clichéd and I don’t think it works. I won’t write the prompt off completely; anything can happen in the next two weeks. But for now it’s gone.

The story I have closest to completion is a piece titled COST OF FREEDOM, which I’m quite happy with. It’s recently come back from a fellow FlashDog with quite positive feedback. It just needs a few tweaks and another look over and then I’m sending it in.

Next up is a story called POTENTIAL. I’ll admit that it’s a little flawed at the moment but I’d guess this was to do with its ‘birth’. I originally planned to send in a different story for critiquing but I was having problems with it. So instead, I ingested a whole 250g bag of Fruit Pastilles and wrote a 1000 story from scratch in forty minutes. But, something irked me. It was only once I got it back with notes attached that I realised what I already knew; the ending stank. Some authors might be annoyed being told this but the feedback I got actually put a smile on my face. I wasn’t being told something I didn’t know but something I wasn’t admitting. It was like being caught out. So now I’m going to fix that ending and hopefully improve the whole story.

My final piece is the trickiest. I’ve started it from scratch four times now. It’s a follow up to a piece I put in last year’s Anthology. Originally I didn’t want to do sequels but this bends the rule a little. It’s set in the same world as the previous story, a world I wanted to go back to, and includes some of the same characters but it’s told from a new characters point of view. The only problem I’m having is the start point. I know I can do it in a 1000 but I keep starting slow. Fingers crossed it’s ready in time because I really like it.

Hopefully, with the deadline looming, and the pressure pushing me forward, I will get these done and they will be of a standard I’m happy with. I want to look back at this anthology and know that the stories I contributed belong there and meet with the standard of the tales they are surrounded by.

Hopefully, when the book is released, you can let me know.

See you in seven.

(art work courtesy of Tamara Rogers) 

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