All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – Rattletrap by Jennie Boyes

Leila is back with Jennie Boyes this week and another scary piece. Grab a cushion to hide behind.

Rattletrap was the first Boyes’ story I had originally targeted for a rerun, a little time back, when I was being haunted by the feminist ghost of the second First Lady of the USA (long, essentially incoherent story there; consider yourself spared). But on the way to it I was stopped by Ms. Boyes’ equally good Wishbone (look it up if you already haven’t). So Rattletrap had to wait a little longer.

The circuitous path that Rattletrap had to take on its way here for a second turn in the spotlight is in keeping with the piece’s personality. It is frank yet elusive, friendly yet menacing–all at once, and is not the sort of story you should show your back to.

Q: The MC leads and the reader follows willingly, even though it is painfully obvious that they are not going to a Happyland. The writing compels you to come along. Although I can’t see such, was there any place during the writing of this story that was especially difficult to write, where it was hard to maintain its leading, singular tone?

Q: Was the end always in your mind, or did it arise or change during composition?

Leila Allison

***

Rattletrap

Jennie’s Responses:

Q: The MC leads and the reader follows willingly, even though it is painfully obvious that they are not going to a Happyland. The writing compels you to come along. Although I can’t see such, was there any place during the writing of this story that was especially difficult to write, where it was hard to maintain its leading, singular tone?

Hi Leila, thank you for giving Rattletrap another outing, and for your questions.

Rattletrap will always hold a special place in my heart because it started me on the road of writing short stories. I’ve always loved writing fiction but I struggle to compose a comprehensive story within a few thousand words (I also struggle to write a comprehensive story with a higher word count, but anyway…).

Before Rattletrap, I’d never tried to write in second person. In fact, I’d never tried to write anything like Rattletrap at all.

To answer your question (finally), the voice, tone, everything just sort of happened. I wrote Rattletrap in two hours after a sad and frustrating day, and it just came together. There were a couple of sections where I added an extra question from the second character (or reader), to keep that engagement, but other than that I didn’t really do much editing.

Sadly, this hasn’t happened to me since. Most of my writing is quite heavily edited, and even then it doesn’t always make sense…

Q: Was the end always in your mind, or did it arise or change during composition?

I’m not very good at planning stories – I usually throw things together and see what happens (for better or worse). Rattletrap was a spontaneous, cathartic exercise, and the ending occurred naturally during composition.

7 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Rattletrap by Jennie Boyes”

    1. Thanks again for choosing my story, Leila, and for your generous feedback. I didn’t realise that Rattletrap had previously been considered for a re-run. I’m so pleased you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Leila,
    Your usual brilliant choice. I love all of Jennie’s stories so it was a joy to see this one back out in the sun.

    Jennie – It was interesting to read that you wrote this after a sad and frustrating day. I think that is something folks don’t realise that they can tap into.
    I’ve heard people say that they weren’t in the mood to write. If that is due to feeling strong emotion, that should never deter – Pick up a pen and see where it goes. Never write the cause or the specifics but use the emotion. Atmosphere, tone and mood are there, the story will find itself.
    To anyone reading this, check out all of Jennie’s work – You are in for a treat!!

    Thanks ladies.
    Hugh

    Like

    1. Hi Hugh, thanks so much for your feedback; it’s really encouraging.
      I think it’s great when emotions can be channelled creatively, whether that’s writing, painting, music, or whatever. It doesn’t have to be a strong emotion either. Even if you’re just bored out of your skull, you can use the boredom to write something that interests you.
      I haven’t quite got the hang of using writer’s block frustration, though!

      Like

  2. Terrific story, Jennie! And great job on the “re-run”, Leila! Now I think I will check all my doors and make sure I can turn the handles to get outta here!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Read the story. It was dark and chilling and that’s always delicious. I think good writing comes on the worst days. Wonderful to read the author’s responses. Looking forward to more. 🙂

    Like

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