“The Dark Bookcase”

“The Dark Bookcase.” Such a good title for some mystery or ghost story! Can’t you picture something tall in old, dark wood, maybe hiding a secret passageway, maybe haunted by a ghost in some old manor house? I am overcome, my friends. I want to write a story worthy of such a classic title as that.

I’ve been having trouble with my novel – a scant 3000 words long at this point and refusing to throw me a fucking bone – so I retreated to my new favourite thing, writingexercises.co.uk. I’ve been playing with a number of their little toys, and actually made something out of one of them and put another couple of ideas away in my little writing folder for the future. Tonight the quick plot generator had me reaching for my notebook to scribble away for three pages. It’s not finished, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it once it is, but it’s solid work and of quite a different type to my normal oeuvre. Leave it a while, then edit and perhaps submit it somewhere, I suppose.

The thing is, there are a lot of places – that is to say, a lot of literary magazines – that accept prose, but not nearly as many that accept poetry. I have, at present, more poetic gems lying around than I do pleasing short stories. I need to maintain enough writing momentum to build up a stock to send off to places (after all, it’s often unwise to simultaneously submit) and to have enough to keep regularly posting here. I’m crowing that I’ve got a third of a story written that could get fleshed out into something, if not brilliant, then at least halfway readable. Getting more done in the way of short stories is an aim that is, frankly, higher on the to-do list than my novel.

Which seems to suit my novel, damned thing.

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