Happy Blog Day Everyone!
So this weeks topic is a bit more...sombre. I felt like it was the right thing to do, meaning a post-mortem on my failed entry to the 2019 Crossing the Tees Short Story contest. It had been my original intention to post the story itself here as well, but given it’s 3000 word length, it would have made this blog even longer then it is now! Anyway, onto the Weekly Briefs.
Harvey Duckman Presents…Volume 3
We’re now in September, and you know what that means...Volume 3 of Harvey Duckman is round the corner! Yes, Volume 3 launches next month in October, and I’ll of course be sharing pre-order information with you all when I have it. I will tease you all with a five word explanation of the story...
Brennan, Riz, Valarie hate clockworks...Mysterious eh?
Don’t forget, if you write Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci Fi or Horror (or a mix of the genres), then feel free to submit your work to this growing anthology! Click here for submission guidelines.
Brennan and Riz – A Boy and A Rat
With Chapter 26 finished, things are looking a little better for this to be finished before November as the story is virtually writing itself at this point. Which is a good thing as my workload keeps increasing!
Good news everyone! We record this coming Sunday! That is if all goes according to plan and we'll be accompanied by a special guest! Wonder who? Well my lips are sealed. Just know they are a wonderful strong person with two excellent books to her name...All with be revealed soon.
A reminder of who the rest of Creator Chaos are:
Me – I don’t think I need to explain myself…
Kelvin Rodriguez – Fans and followers of the #vss365 tag will recognize this fellow and his creations, a master of the pun. He also has a mighty fine singing voice.
Zack Brooks – Author of the ‘Charlie the Cupid’ shorts and ‘The Trials of Amaford” novellas, the audio book version of ‘How Not To Be A Rogue’ is out now! This is a perfect chance to get in on this series, with a great narrator. A great guy and the defacto leader of our rabble.
Pete Hartog – Author of the novel Bloodlines, and currently working on its sequel. A great guy with a great taste in music and a fantastic name. He also has a blog you can find here, give it a read! He’s currently working on a sequel to Bloodlines.
Click here to listen to all the podcasts so far and look out for us on Spotify and Apples Music Service!
Vector Unit Regen Orphan’s War
Did I say September? Silly me, I must have meant October! Finding time to work on this is very difficult at the moment. So I’m just going to go ahead and say, I’ll be working on it, when I’m working on it.
To catch up on the series so far, click here!
Looking for newer stuff?
Click here to order ‘The Yeti in the Snow’, the standalone Brennan and Riz Christmas story. Only available on Kindle. It may be collected in a paperback version in the future.
Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 1 which includes ‘A Walk Through The Pleasure Gardens’
Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 2 which includes ‘The Black Cat on the Prowl’
Click here to find me on Goodreads
And now…time for our main feature presentation…
Crossing The Tees 2019 Entry – A Post Mortem
Have you ever had that cockiness that just because something has gone a certain way two years in a row, that it will a third year? That feeling where you don’t want to say it out loud because you know how much of an idiot it will make you look, but believe it anyway? Yeah, until the other day, that was me and the Crossing the Tees Short Story Competition. Ever since I handed my entry in, I’ve had the deeply rooted belief that I was going to get short listed, and that this year would finally be my year, and I may of actually won the thing.
Well, fate had other plans for me, and like Icarus flying too close to the sun, I came crashing back down to the ground. The email saying I didn’t make the short list devastated me more then I cared to admit. I laughed it off in public but was driven crazy in private.
Unable to see why I wasn’t chosen, I went back to the entry and read it again. This time, it’s flaws were open for all to see and my failings clear. The basic premise was a guy sets off from home one night, planning to kill himself by jumping into the River Tees. Before that though, he does a lap of honour of sorts, going to old locations from his life and seeing ghosts act out scenes. The scenes are childhood memories, forcing him to revisit old events. This has the effect of forcing him to change his mind about ending his life.
This was a very personal matter for me, and as such, the childhood events were ones that are based on my own, and it lays bare my desire, that at one point, I wanted to end my own life. You’d think that based one these factors that the story would have been a must read in the making, something that could life the lid on mental health awareness. Why didn’t it turn out that way?
Let’s break it down shall we:
First off, the draft as it was written, didn’t get a proper time in editing, because that draft was only finished a few hours before deadline. This should not happen. Ideally, you want to have the story finished a fair few days before it’s due to be in, in order to let you edit all the kinks out, and allow it to be the best draft it could possibly be. Would have finishing earlier helped this? No.
Next the story I started writing about a week before the deadline, was not the story I entered, it wasn’t even the second one. My first idea was similar but had a more of a ‘It’s a wonderful life’ vibe, with the main character going through with the plot and ending up in the afterlife were he revisits memories, in the first instances to prove his own points, and then another being using them to counter them, to ultimately prove that he has a life worth living. This would have then sent him back to the moments before he jumped off the bridge, allowing him to go home again. I just couldn’t get a grasp on the story, everything was feeling flat and it was just unworkable.
The next idea is one that I genuinely want to work on at some point, and that’s a story where social media has taken over the world. The problem I had while working on that story was, well, the story. There wasn’t one. This led me to abandon it, and look over the first idea again, but altering it. Of course this is how the story turned into the third draft, and it’s problems set into stone.
So what other problems did I have? Well the story...just isn’t good. Looking back at critically, it was amongst my weakest stories. The pacing is all over the place, the events unconvincing...even considering there’s ghosts involved. The ending as well, was rushed.
End of the day, I admit I wrote it, I’m never going to shy away from it. Instead I’ll keep going forward, and use what I learned doing this and from tearing it apart. This is the only way I’ll learn.
That’s all for this time folks, next time, I’ll have another short story set in the Drache Arm Luna universe, as I work to grow their world. Till then, keep writing!