First of all, many congratulations to Hugh and Gwen on their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Love to you both and I hope the celebrations went well.
For the rest of us, I’m afraid it means you’ve got me to do the post this week. Sorry.
As I started typing I had no idea what I was going to talk about and thought I would probably end up just posting the story reviews and an apology for my total failure. (probably still end up with the apology). It did though make me think about that old chestnut – planner or pantser. I’m a total pantser. I begin a novel with the first words that come into my head and go from there. I always have done. I have no idea who is going to take part in the shenanigans (I make names up on the hoof as well which can cause trouble when you end up with Susan, Sarah, Sharon and Steve all in one book) – Thank heavens for Word ‘seek and destroy’. For anyone who hasn’t come across the booby trap in there don’t do ‘Replace All’. If you do that you will find that not only has Len been nicely changed to Steve you will have camera Steveses, and relent has become reStevent – which isn’t even a word – DUH. Sorry off at a tangent. As I was saying I go with the flow and let my fingers make up the story.
Over the years I have come to realise that there is a lot to be said for doing it the other way – you can plan out the whole story and then it’s only a question of typing the words – yes I can see how that would work and let’s be honest JK Rowling doesn’t seem to have any trouble with it. But what of the magic? (okay Joanne aside – she just has the magic anyway) It never fails to amaze me that I will insert some seemingly unnecessary fact in one chapter – an aside if you will, and then two chapters later an event takes place that simply wouldn’t work without that tiny mention a couple of thousand words earlier. I love the surprises when a character ups and does something completely off the wall and then of course the delight when it all starts to come together – usually in the middle of the night in the middle of winter which sees me scurrying to the writing desk and sitting shivering in my nightie (please don’t try to imagine that – it won’t end well). At the moment, I am five books (almost) into a series and so I have to keep a little list of characters, their eye colour, relationships, make of car and so on which is quite fun. It makes me feel a bit like a writer having sheets of paper on a notice board but all in all I prefer to just get lost in the words.
So here it comes – what are you – plotter or pantser and why? – Discuss.
Okay – I know that wasn’t as fun as Hugh’s usual posts but I am a fill in after all.
Now then on to this week’s stories. I wonder if they were pantsed or plotted (there, at least I can do the really dreadful segue!!!)
This week we had two newcomers – hello and welcome, two regular contributors and the legend that is Tom. A nice mix I reckon. As always some of our original comments are included.
Monday saw the return of a regular with an amazing imagination and individual style and we are thrilled to see her back again with ‘Ship‘ by L’Erin Ogle
I think the only thing I can say to this is YES
To write like this, I believe, requires bravery and confidence
No hesitation at all.
Next was our first newcomer and we wish him welcome and hope that he has some more for us in the future. ‘A Few Ugly Humans‘ by Hareendran Kallinkeel was Tuesday’s offering.
It was very dark and did have a cutting piece of social commentary about levels of acceptance.
I honestly thought it was a happy ending and then you think was it??
I enjoyed this.
On Wednesday we had the return of our most published friend. ‘Stranger on the Gradient‘ by Tom Sheehan was yet another cracker from the legend.
It was well done and handled perfectly.
The guy’s manipulation was horrific but as always, clever and calculated.
This is such a statement on abuse as it is all bastardised. These freaks can take trust, love, reward and interest and pair every one of these with their own manipulation, power-trips, pain and perversion.
Another friend on Thursday with ‘Her Father’s Ghost‘ was Harrison Kim who has become a regular on the site and we thank him for his continued support.
I first thought this was a simple story on obsession through guilt, but it also became something a bit more spiritual and really ended up into fantasy realm.
For the thinkers, there are probably many a metaphor for them to coo over and discuss but for me, I just enjoyed reading the weirdness.
Really crazy, daft story but enthralling and entertaining as well.
And on Friday we had another newcomer – again thank you for submitting and we look forward to more from you Barbara Diggs author of La Vie en Rose.
Well written, well thought out piece with great prose and a strong message and the ending was perfect.
The thought of ‘Is this drugged peace the same as being happy?’ is a brilliant look at all forms of escapism.
Even with the complexities in this it all came down to a mother doing what she had to for her kid.
So that’s it now. Before we go one quick reminder. If you are new to our site and you are thinking of submitting work – we would be delighted to see what you have for us but PLEASE read the submissions guidelines page first. If you send us something that we can’t handle in our system we can’t publish your story even if it’s brilliant and that’s a shame. Oh yes and a second reminder – please don’t submit a piece with all sorts of indents and odd formatting. Unless it’s essential to the story they have to be taken out manually because WordPress doesn’t handle them the way that we have made our style. If they are essential let us know and we’ll do our best to present the work the way that you want. Okay – I’ll stop nagging now. Hopefully back to normal service next week you’ll be glad to hear.