Short Stories

So, on a whim, I declared it International Short Story Month, and decided I would try my hand at short story writing. With the month coming to a close, I have to say it has been an adventure.  It has actually been harder to write this collection than it was to write any of my first 4 books. Fortunately, the sun is beginning to set on the Month.

Sunset – Bill Jones, Jr.

Short stories bring with them both freedom and challenges. On one hand, given the brevity, the idea of plotting becomes silly. Unless you are going to drag it to the length of a novella, there is hardly space for three acts, which seems to be a prerequisite before plotting is a worthwhile endeavor. My short stories pretty much spawn from an idea, and little else. In most cases, I figure out where the story is going as I write. Not surprisingly, those stories where I did have a specific ending in mind have turned out to be the hardest to write.

Regardless, it has been a fun and challenging month. Today, I interrupted a short story I was writing in order to write a different short story. The hardest part of the month has been coming up with ideas. However, this last story popped into my head as a result of an old news article I read. I think I like it more than anything I’ve ever written.

My current plan is to tighten these up, and then release them in a short story collection titled The Juice and Other Stories. My ex and favorite model has graciously allowed me to use a photo of her for my cover art. It was “… and Other Lies,” but I’m afraid folks will have no idea what I mean. I plan to release it as a free collection on my imprint, Panthera Press.

For anyone interested, here’s what I churned out so far:

  • Remembering – a displaced people are lead to their new homes, and surprises
  • Crazy Magnet – a government security consultant, with a penchant for attracting women with mental health problems, interviews a potential government operative, and begins to think, perhaps, he is the crazy one
  • The Juice – a woman with an addiction like few others, tries to survive on the streets
  • Reggie and Rocky vs. Space Monsters from Beneath the Bed” – two small children travel into a dream to find the source of a three-year-old’s nightmares
  • Mrs. What’s-Her-Name – an amnesiac tries to come to grips with her lost memories and repair her fractured life
  • From the Black, the Blues – (previously published in the Literary Underground’s short story collection, Time) – a scientist at the Antarctic’s South Pole station learns that time is not always constant
  • A Brief History of the 21st Century – by Dr. Trint Sandahl – A lead character of my upcoming Science Fiction novel, Hard as Roxx, details the major events of the preceding 100 years, collectively known as the Great Apocalypse.
  • He Aint’ Heavy – twin brothers – one a perfect kid, the other decidedly not – find their lives headed in surprising directions

The stories comprise a number of genres: Sci Fi, Suspense, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Dream Fantasy (my core genre), Horror, and Inspirational. I hope you check them out when I’m done. I have a few more to write, including my favorite title, “Fool O’Clock,” the story of a man with an unfortunate job.

By the way, Discovery and Awakening at both available in paperback form, for those who like tree books. (Like me.) They retail for $14.95 each. Info is on the “My Books” page. I can ship signed copies purchased through Paypal, if you contact me for details. Panthera Press in business

Selfie in Sepia and White
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14 Replies to “Short Stories”

  1. Ray Bradbury said a writer should complete one short story a week for at least a year. In the end, it will be impossible to have fifty two bad stories, and the practice will be invaluable.

    Short stories are becoming a medium of practice for me, and they spawn much like yours, with an idea or a point to make, rather than a traditionally structured story. I’ve felt the change of pacing has in turn been very refreshing, and it has put enough wind on my sails to do start another novel.

    Was the children’s story the hardest to write for you?

    1. Oddly, because I’ve written stories with children, it was one of the easier ones to write. The hardest one has been “He Ain’t Heavy,” because I haven’t tried to write anything the horror genre before. What was fun is discovering new writing styles. I’ve fallen in love with 1st person as a result of doing these. I never had the guts before.

      1. First person perspective is a perfect medium for horror, for very obvious reasons. You can work on the fears of the narrator and the limited range of his/her senses to set up a good ambiance.

        Horror used to be very difficult for me. Then I learned I should not write just to scare people, but to delve on what makes me afraid.

  2. I like your whim, declaring national short story month for June. I’ll be sure to mark my 2013 calendar… For me, the most satisfying part about writing a short story is finishing it. While I’m sure it’s satisfying to finish a novel, I’m still working on that one. And unlike my magnum opus, my short stories are much easier to edit, too.

  3. Tons of work and i am also interested in how you tried different genres too. just to challenge yourself. very cool and i imagine immensely satisfying. Now Bill I want to buy both Discovery and Awakening in the paperback form. I read in bed, I need to have the books. So this evening I am going to click on the click and see where it takes me. Plus of course I would love to have them signed so do let me what I need to do to arrange that! Have a great day! celi

    1. Celi,

      Thank you so much. Since I don’t have an automated publishing house to process my signed copies, I do it by hand. Folks can purchase via my paypal account, and I can sign and send copies. Otherwise, the ones from the printer come directly to you, but they are not signed.

      Let me know what you would like to do. It’s around 102 outside, so I am sitting here in the semi-dark, thinking of writing. I’m hoping that somehow the words will show up on the screen if only I think hard enough.

      1. Ok where is your paypal account. Is it the link in todays blog? I am so looking forward to reading your words. At the risk of sounding sycophantic, I like how your mind works. c

        1. You are assuming that my mind works. I’ve been trying to set up a PayPal button, but this stupid site won’t accept the table-based html code. You can use my PayPal account (billjonesii@msn.com). I only use that account for PayPal, so I never see spam from it. If you like you can email me your address at bill@billjonesjr.com, and I will get the books to you pronto. Thanks. 🙂

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