The start of my writing year kicks off with the release of Year Four: Dark Moments and Patreon published by Black Hare Press.
This anthology is a fantastic compilation of all the Dark Moments and Patreon stories published online throughout 2022. It has over 200 stories from a long list of fabulous authors, and includes all my drabbles, plus two short stories that appear for the first time in print.
For those who follow me here and on my socials, you’ve probably figured out I love writing drabbles. You’d think a story that’s only 100 words would be quick and easy to write. Right?
Wrong. Crafting a story in EXACTLY 100 words is challenging, frustrating, but lots of fun. A drabble is still a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end. That’s roughly 30 words for each section – with a few words left over, but most of the time the first draft is over the word count.
And then the cutting begins.
It’s always exciting when you slice out words and hit that magic 100. The most words I’ve had to cut is 68 after the first draft, and you quickly learn how to shorten two words into one for example: I am, becomes, I’m, or they will, becomes they’ll. That’s the easy part. The hard part is condensing the story to its barest bones, without losing the structure or story arc. Like any story, the first line is crucial. In a drabble, every line counts. There is no room for fluffy, descriptive writing, or dialogue tags, or multiple characters. You hit the page running, and sprint hard to the end. If you’re gasping for breath when you finish, you’ve probably done it right.
However I’ve managed it, I’m proud of my efforts last year. I had nine drabbles accepted for online publication in the Dark Moments monthly challenge, all with different prompts. One drabble was accepted for the Patreon Monthly challenge, along with two short stories, one a dark dystopian, the other a creepy horror. That’s twelve stories now in print in the Year Four anthology, one per month. No wonder I didn’t sleep much last year.
Now for the fun part. A whole year of stories including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and deadly romance, plus some wickedly dark comedy, is packed into a brilliantly presented anthology (with a really cool dragon on the cover). You can grab a copy here:
Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.
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