I recently tried my hand at flash fiction. It was interesting. Writing short mini fiction is not something I have ever tried to do, even my Twitter posts tend to spread over three or four posts - I cannot seem to "do" short descriptions of anything, really.
So, when the opportunity arose to write some Flash Fiction for NATIONAL FLASH FICTION day, and possibly win some money for my effort I was sold.
The task was to write a 500 word max story based on one of several prompts - for the TABLO PUBLISHING debut competition. My story was written as a stream of conscience and edited down after and comes in just under 450 words.
If you sign up - for free, and like the story it would be super appreciated, as a member you get to read and check out thousands of free novels, stories and blogs/prose for absolutely free. Free sign up, no obligation.
Check the story out and leave me some feedback below.
The novel ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA took a LONG time to write. I mean, A LONG TIME. From conception to completion it took 15 full years to come together to what will eventually be seen in the pages and between the covers upon printing.
From a middle instalment of a three piece stage play/screen play idea - which was called the PARACETAMOL CYCLE - to a short story, to a novella, to the final 150+ thousand word mini-epic that it turned into, it went through many iterations before I had found the voice that ended up guiding me home.
When it came to art direction for the book upon printing, I initially hired my brother Gareth Chamberlain of MMAG PHOTOGRAPHY who is an amazing, energetic, intelligent photographer. His brief was based entirely round a bold image of a hand holding an apple and the apple bleeding and oozing an oil like substance. A metaphor for one of the main characters who features in the story - and one of the prevailing story arcs and threads.
However... As these things have a way of doing, my idea - so bold in my mind, so brazen and brilliant in my minds eye - when transposed (perfectly as my brief required might I add) by Gareth (with the wonderful Ellie Lester modelling) - the design was one that did not work in practice as it did in planning and in my own head. I came out with some astounding photos, but nothing which captured the idea as I had imagined, and instead painted a very different story that what I was intending to portray.
The design for the book brings in four of our main characters - the God Yahweh, the fallen Angel-God Lucifer, Death of the Riders Four and - of course - our hero, James Edmunds,
Matt captured the energy and the humour of the story in a way had only dreamt could be done, and when it is all said and done, this will be a book i will be very proud seeing in the hands of people and which i will hold with stupidly high esteem and pride.
I ask you to spare a second to check out both Gareth and Matt's work - and give their pages a like. It will take a second of your time, but could will hold something that steals your heart and mind. Both are amazing artists in their own right and i can't thank them enough.
We hope to have some copies of the Photos Gareth took as limited signed prints in the upcoming store, which will be bundled in with copies of the book and som eT-Shirts we are hoping to release as well.
Before I started writing ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA as a novel, I had a string of similar half ideas from different genres laid out in incomplete forms on my hard-drive.
Some of them were comic book storylines I was working on with a friend for an ongoing series we were plotting and developing, others were short stories which had no spine or heart - and were floundering messes I had jettisoned into the "Junk" file in my WRITING folder. One was a three quarters complete stage-play which kind of ran out of juice. Unsure if it was a BOTTOM style manic comedy, or a Jack Lemon/Water Matthau whimsical comedy... And was not really very good at being either.
Then there were threads of the same story that just needed a dust and a polish until I could see the bones to put the flesh on.
One such short story was ONE IN SIXTY MILLION. Written when I had a bout of severe insomnia at college in 2001, it is a simple concept that - when filtered down - had a solid idea which was waylaid badly in my adolescence as a writer... Trying in vain to find my voice. Banging and smashing and tripping over blindly in the outhouse trying to build my style...
Bits and pieces of the idea were stolen for tiny fragments of the novel ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA, when I realised that a "SILLY" idea could be rejigged and rebuilt into a dramatic long-form project... It's the idea of a very green, very naive writer who was struggling with delusions of grandeur, but I will be damned if it doesn't hold a big place in my heart.
I have posted the story over at my PATREON page for you to read, I did not want to post here as I want to try and keep some things offsite like a hidden treasure (there is that delusion of grandeur again...) hiding things around my social media on the web, where you can find bits and pieces should you go exploring.
PATREON is a strange concept, I am not entirely sure I even really get it yet. Watching people I admire like Amanda Palmer use it as well as she has though, with the support she has received and the feedback she puts out, has made it slightly less frightening. But I am well aware how lucky I was with my Kickstarter to have the book completed and allow me to self publish - so I am also aware how I could be pushing my luck by having a page at Patreon. Still - have one I do - and if you want to check it out and the things I am offering, please follow the link and have a gander:
I will occasionally post random and unique things there, including stories I would not post anywhere else. So keep checking back and, should you wish, feel free to Patreonise me!
In the next week or two I hope to share a full chapter from the novel with you all and some short-stories written for my pledgers on Kickstarter, released for public consumption with their express and gratefully received permissions... For now. Take care and enjoy the story you crazy kids.