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Tag Archives: historical fiction

Submitting the Perfect Story

The year begins with a bang and there’s been much afoot since the clock turned the calendar over from 2017 to 2018. I’ll be meeting Nicky of Chasing Dreams Publishing this Saturday to work on getting my own novella published. What I hope to be a psychological thriller horror based on a short story I’m working on.

This particular short story is an idea I want to submit to FlashBack Fiction by the end of this week. The foundation for what is to come. The problem is that I keep running into the same wall every time I get to that 500 word limit; I find the story… boring.


The Perfect Story

I sit at my desk and let the mind begin its usual marathon run through visuals and ideas until it latches upon a man in a high collar shirt, white, and sleeves rolled to the elbows. Perfectly tousled hair whips in the soft breeze as he walks through a bustling street filled with dames in flouncing dress and lace parasols. The men tip hats, lips curling up with their carefully trimmed mustaches. Others ride by nonchalant on bicycles with empty baskets leading the way. Many park against intermittent trees lining the paved walkways where cafes and curious shops have opened for the morning. Woven chairs are arranged around square tables draped in cloth, adorned with cutlery and obscure vases from the local artisans. Coffee. Bacon. Toast. Their scents fill the warm air. Accompanying the scent is the rustle of leaves from the nearby trees. The crinkle of newspaper as a man in a bowler hat turns his copy of Die Zeit. Tranquil. Peaceful. Happy.

It contrasts the thoughts swirling through my protagonist who watches with a careful smile hiding his darkest thoughts. The satchel at his waist portrays him as an artisan though none know of his particular work. Of the “museum” that awaits him in the bricked apartments right above the supposed serenity the scene in front of him plays. He knows behind the coiffed styles of both the men and woman, behind their rosy cheeks and wide smiles and oiled beards lie secrets. Fears. Worries. Dark thoughts. They aren’t that much different from him. Not much at all.

And this is where I begin my story. The above description is a cut scene from my mind and now we step into the protagonist’s shoes as the writing begins.

Only from here, as I try to slip the darkness into the serenity, I find the pacing too slow or too fast. The transition too drastic or not drastic enough. I’m failing to find the balance between writing style and effect. To add that gut-wrenching punch drawing breath from lungs as you wail “No!” in horror and squirm where you sit, glancing behind you as paranoia sweeps along your spine in cold tendrils.

That. That is what my perfect story would be. But I’m struggling here. Anyway let me get to writing the new draft and see if I can craft the perfect story so I can submit it. *Sighs

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The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian

The Harvest Man

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.

In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.

For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.

Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.

Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.


Spring Death month continues and this week is Serial Killers. The Harvest Man gave me chills, exploring the one antagonist character type that freaks me out. A 4 star rated book in my Book Review: The Harvest Man. It’s an entire series so get it from the first book.

Alex Grecian

Alex Grecian - Photo

Grecian is the author of several bestselling historical thrillers featuring Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad: THE YARD, THE BLACK COUNTRY, THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP, THE HARVEST MAN, and LOST AND GONE FOREVER, plus the original Murder Squad ebook, THE BLUE GIRL.

He also created the six-volume graphic novel series PROOF, and the two-part graphic novel RASPUTIN.

He currently lives in the American Midwest with his wife and son. And a cat. And a tarantula.

Goodreads: Alex Grecian

Personal Site: AlexGrecian.com

NaNoWriMo 2016: Morafe wa Lesedi – The Tribe of Light

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is upon us again and it feels like just yesterday I was posting something about it and all the excitement, drama and joy that it entailed. This time I approach the month ahead humbled.

franz-kafka-quotes-sayings-non-writing-writer-insanity

 

It’s no secret that my goal in life is to become a full-time author, and that won’t happen unless I actually write; it is one of the reasons I eagerly anticipate the month of November. For 30 days, I will be expected to churn out 1667 words a day for a word count of 50 000 words, which is the average word count for a novel.

Writing for Gamecca Magazine is also a fantastic writing avenue I am thankful for, as its consistency in my life ensures that every month I have dedicated writing to do, with deadlines and word counts and all the necessary boundaries that build discipline.

My previous unfinished novels were Junk Yard Angel – a Steam-Punk story focusing on the pros and cons of technology. Last year’s novel was a Political Thriller about a rising political party that was not afraid to do whatever it takes to rise to power. This year’s novel will be a South African based Historical Fiction Fantasy based on the people living in Southern Africa during precolonial time.

Southern African history is so rich, and the fact that we have so many cultures, languages and Peoples living here makes me feel out of depth when it comes to research. Internet has been my bestest-friend these last 20 days, and in these final 11 days leading up to NaNo, I have a feeling I will have to adopt Internet out of the friendzone.

If you are in Jozi and doing NaNo, join us at the Write Ins, meet fellow writers and share in the local writing community for one Saturday a week during November. A truly insightful and inspirational event I will be attending again this year.

 

 

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