I have always enjoyed writing short stories and flash fiction pieces. They require me to rethink my writing approach. Which if you have read any of my novels, you’ll know can be quite wordy. I don’t use a great deal of long, big words, there’s rarely a need, because with a novel why use one long word that half the people on the planet will have to look up when you have the space for two or three much more common words…
This is why Terrorific Tales and Tales to Read Before the End of the World both exist. I enjoy writing those sorts of things. They push my boundaries. I’ve already started thinking about my next short story project; a book of ghost and monster stories – not like Terrorific Tales.
However, Terrorific Tales did give me the ability to do something I had never done before. I asked readers for prompts and got some. Then I constructed stories around them. That was both fun and challenging. Every prompt I used is credited to the reader who gave it to me.
As I continue to work on Triggered Reality, I realize that taking the time to write Terrorific Tales gave me a bit of a break that I was needing. I didn’t know I needed a break from the D&R world or the Dysfunctional world, but I did. That has annoyed most creative writing teachers and mentors I have had over the years. They always told me to pick a genre or a series or a style and stick with it.
Only, I can’t. I’m sorry. Occasionally, my brain just needs to shift gears. Because keeping my brain focused on one thing or one genre or one set of characters lulls it into a sense of complacency. Especially since for every novel I have written I have at least one novel, maybe six or seven short stories, and a few dozen flash fiction pieces not written. Call it Writer’s ADD if you need to have a term for it.
Even when I’m not plopped in front of my computer, my brain is still writing. It is either composing prose, coming up with new ideas, or creating new characters. This is why sometimes, projects stall.
Of course, my life factors into it as well. Innocent Dreams and Flawless Dreams both stalled due to my having a great nephew born and the decision to get married, along with some health setbacks. I tried to write around them, but I stress out really easily – meditation makes me anxious, so don’t suggest it, I have a fear of boredom and clearing my mind is like to trying to contain a nuclear reactor during a meltdown, so meditation actually stresses me out more – so I had to move away from them for a short while.
Triggered Reality only sort of stalled. I got the first part written, started the second and decided I hated it after putting nearly 8,000 words on it, and decided to revisit it after writing the third part. The third part gave me very little trouble, but that second part is still annoying the shit out of me. It just isn’t right. I’m going to scrap it and do another story. That one may be revisited at another time, I don’t know yet.
However, since I know everybody is jonesing for a fix of Aislinn Cain, Nadine Daniels, and the promised Death Demon Trilogy, I added a story for each of them to Terrorific Tales. Two are explanatory stories that will probably surprise you. Consider the third a prologue and taste of things to come.
Also, keep in mind that as I move forward with Movements in the Shadows, I might go ahead and ask for more prompts. What sorts of ghost or monster stories do you want to read? Not just what ones do I like to write.