A Short Return to Writing Fiction

Click here for the PDF
I‘ve been trying to get back to writing fiction for a long, long time now. In fact, I’ve spent more time trying than I did actively writing fiction from 2000-2003. It’s not that there’s a dearth of ideas or that I have suddenly lost the ability to string two sentences together, quite the opposite. In the past six years there have been short stories that turned into long stories, long stories that didn’t go anywhere; several aborted novels, even more never begun; scripts and outlines and treatments and everything in between, but not a thing among them has been finished.

Well, today that changed. If only in a small way.

Giving myself the most miniscule of writing deadlines — five hundred whole words — and the challenge of trying to fit an entire story with a beginning, middle & end in that space, I set out. Instead of attempting an isolated scene or a standard flash fiction short, I thought I’d try and stretch my muscles. Could I possibly condense an entire action thriller novel into 500 words? Would it read as anything more than an outline? Would it just be a gimmick and nothing more?

Well, you tell me. Click on the image above or here to download a PDF of the short story/micronovel Pendragon. I’ve released the story on a Creative Commons License, so feel free to pass on the PDF file via email or the link to this page to anyone you think may be interested in reading.

I’m fairly satisfied with the way Pendragon has turned out. I don’t think it quite achieves the ambitious ‘novel in 500 words’ goal I set for it, but it does have a beginning, middle, and end. Perhaps in one thousand words I would have been able to squeeze in as many thrills & spills as the average airport thriller.

But you can be assured of two things. One: I am back to writing fiction (and soon, in ways that are bigger than you might think).

And, two: Dirk Cleft will return!


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.