Short & Long

So I’ve been working on this novel.

The first draft is almost finished. It’s rough and raw. I’ve used two alternating narrators, sort of like Gone Girl, although I actually took the idea from Success by Martin Amis (worth a read if you like misanthropic tragedy).

Unlike most of my short stories, in this WIP, there is a clear protagonist and a clear antagonist. Writing a nice character in first person isn’t something that comes naturally to me (if you’ve met me IRL, you’ll understand). But once I started on it, once I worked out their personality, they became less of a dull cypher with which to drive the story and they grew into their own, quite interesting person. I like my protagonist so much I’m even considering not killing her off.

Another thing I’m pleased with is that there is tension. By switching narrators, you can make it a wonderful game of cat and mouse. You can also add Easter Eggs within the story. For example, a scene set in the same place, at the same time, but told from two different points of view.

Do I prefer writing short stories? Tough to say.

A short story is like knocking back a shot of tequila. There ain’t much room for subtly. A swift blow to the gut and then onto the next one.

Writing a novel is like a fine wine. I’m not much of a connoisseur, but I imagine when people say wine has hints of beetroot or petrol or whatever, it can be likened to the depth and layers you can give a novel (unless you’re James Patterson, of course, in which case the analogy here is necking a pint of Tesco Value vodka).

Right now I’m using the short stories as a palette cleanser.

You can become a little myopic whilst writing a novel. It’s nice to take a step back every now and then. Plus, there’s so much death, heartbreak and bleakness in the novel that my short stories seem kind of light in comparison. I mean it’s still blackly funny (at least I think it is), but the villain is so horrible, that I get a little weary if I spend too long wallowing in his mind.

I think Perfect Anastasia will be the last thing I’ll put out of a while. I want to concentrate on finishing the novel and getting this collection of short stories together (so far there are about 25, about 15 of which are good-to-go).

I also have a science fiction thing I’m working on, but that’s a whole other blog entry, a whole different thing.

And there’s the cocktail book, but … well …


Sometimes, you know, I wish my brain would just shut the fuck up and give me some peace.

All I really want to do is drink Scotch and listen to Mazzy Star.




  1. I love the switching narrators (as you know). I once read a novel that was three sections: the exact same story/set of events from three different narrators, and it blew me away I loved it so much. All the little details that one person misses that another one fixates on. Anyway really cool. A tip – I read that if you run a cheap vodka through a carbon filter (like Brita water filter) it will taste as good as Grey Goose. Go Tesco!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just read the PDF of Dog in a Suitcase. You are one sick bastard but I mean that as a compliment. I only say that to my favourite artists. Stelarc was the last one to receive that accolade. He laughed hysterically in a high pitched pixie demon way. Fun!

    It was probably a bit too black for my normally coquettish, girlie tastes but it had enough humour and intrigue to keep me reading. I need to recover a bit before I delve into your dark world again. But I will.


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