The Quick and the Deadly

For the last few days I’ve been focussed on short stories. I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do, except they’re a hell of a lot easier to get published and a bit of name recognition can only help my novel-flogging efforts.

Maybe three days ago I was struck with a mental image that I could really get my brain around. It’s been done before, but everything has. Ideas are worthless; it’s what you do with them that matters. I sat down to craft that moment into a story. With the image came a voice, and I’m not sure why, but that voice is really stinking hard to write. The story is told in broken fragments by a broken man, but there is a transformation taking place, revealed (in retrospect) through sensory impressions, and every word is critical. Roughly seven hours in I have six paragraphs, which still need to be fine-tuned. Perhaps a tenth of the story. Hopefully the pace of writing will pick up as the story moves into the confrontation.

At roughly paragraph four I had another idea. I took a break from that story and cranked out a rather fun 1700 words about why demons are so cranky when summoned. A lighthearted tale in three brief acts, it teaches us the importance of being polite — especially to powerful demons. That story spilled out through my fingers, and after some revision today has that flash-of-light-off-the-corner-accompanied-by-the-high-pitched-bell-ring of “marketable”. (Note to newcomers: We of the Muddled Empire are not afraid of hyphens. In fact, we are doing our level best to alleviate the worldwide hyphen surfeit. As with all gluts, China is to blame.)

Now it’s back to the slow one. I’m at what may be the most challenging paragraph. Man, I wish I could get confirmation that the style is working, but it’s going to be a long haul before there’s enough there for someone to evaluate. However, I am very happy with the dark and desperate atmosphere of the piece so far. Gotta have faith, brother, and the result might even be good. Nobody said this job was easy. Well, almost nobody, anyway.

9 thoughts on “The Quick and the Deadly

  1. Er…when did that web ring thing appear at the bottom of your page? Guess I haven’t been to the bottom of your page in a while. I was looking for a response to my question about ways to find recent comments in threads. If you responded, I missed it, because I don’t remember the original episode, and it wasn’t one of the ten most recent. Kinda ironic…

  2. The answer was a rather long “no”. I have a better view, and I wish I could share it with you, but I can’t.

  3. “I’ll swallow your soul!”
    “ok she-bitch, let’s go!”

    I hope these demons have some form of dance going on! That seems to be the popular thing right now in the states. That and cooking reality shows. So if you want a hit short story throw in a dancing demon contest or a demonic version of hell’s kitchen or both.

    Nothin’ says lovin’ like demons in the oven.

  4. I once declined to abet the rise of a new cooking show. Maybe that’s why Christopher Coppola is cheesed at me.

    PG, I think you have the two sentences that would sell the WB on a series. All you need now is twenty-six scripts. Call me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *