Three-Sentence Horror Stories

Here at the school where I teach, the Slam Poetry/Literary Magazine Club has signs up asking the students to write three-sentence horror stories. I thought I’d try my hand at it.

Clarice folded her hands primly. Everything was ready. All that remained was for James to take a bite.

I mean, it kind of works, right? There’s a sense of dread there, a sense of anticipation. I think I can do better.

“There’s no such thing as monsters under the bed,” father said as he turned off the light.

“He must be right,” little Johnny said to himself.

“Yes, he must,” replied something.

Let’s try another one:

Charlene cackled. It was time. She lit the fire under the cauldron and waited.

Or:

She’d lived in fear for eleven years. Always looking over her shoulder. She should have done that today, too.

And finally:

James’s hands shook, and he took a deep breath to steady himself. His victim already hung from the rack. It was just a matter now of turning the screws.

What do you think? Have a three-sentence horror story of your own? Share them in the comments or tweet them at me @XEYeti with the hashtag #3sentencehorrorstory.

In Praise of Short Stories

I’ve been stalling out working on novel-length stuff lately, but I have been working on short stories.

I’ve always liked short stories. I enjoy being able to get in, tell a story,  and get out. You don’t have to worry about setting things up for the next book in the series or building a massive, epic narrative. You can tell small, simple stories that are complete in and of themselves.

I often use short stories to experiment with themes, narrative devices, and storytelling styles. The Hazzard Pay novels have a very specific tone and style to them that doesn’t allow for me to try lots of new things from book to book, unfortunately. And while I definitely enjoy writing in Eddie Hazzard’s voice, it’s fun to try out different things sometimes, different tones and genres and narrative conventions. And since they’re experiments, if they fail? No big deal.

Anyway, I’ll probably put up one of the stories I’ve written lately here on the website in the next week or so.

 

#NaNoWriMo2016

We’re a little over halfway through November, and I’ve been busy writing in my spare time.  This year, rather than creating a whole novel, I decided to work on a series of short stories in a variety of styles and genres.  Most of them will probably never see the light of day, but it’s fun to flex some different creative writing muscles and try out some styles and techniques I don’t use when writing Hazzard stories.

As of Tuesday morning, I have just over 10,000 words written across a half dozen different stories.  A few are complete, but a couple are still in progress.  I’m not really sure where most of them will go.  It’s kind of fun, creating new characters and situations completely independent of Hazzard and Arcadia.  I’m not sure how much I’ll end up with by the end of the month, but it’s a nice break and a fun way to stretch my skills.