I’ve been jamming tons of text into my eyeballs lately, flash fiction and short stories, novels and craft blogs.
I also told you how I really feel when I wrote Things I’m Sick of Reading About in September. In it, I railed against stories that lack a proper ending. TL;DR If you misuse authorial power so blatantly, this is you:
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in real stories; stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Stories that leave the audience satisfied, rather than befuddled, upon reaching the end. When someone writes a story with no end, I wonder, did they have a purpose in writing at all, or did they just want to waste my reading time? In 100% of apprentice writers, 99% of journeyman writers, and 95% of masters, the inconclusive ending flops.
The stone pillars to each side of the dirt road had been overgrown with moss, and lichen covered the fenceposts. The old farmstead had fallen apart once he’d left it. The sheds where the sheep wintered lay in shambles, and the animals grazed in overgrown flowerbeds. Ol’ Mag, the cow that had been ancient before Barrett had left, gazed at his carriage as it rolled up to the entryway and bellowed before returning to her grass.
Wil huddled on his cot, peering through a crack in the wall that admitted starlight and rooftops. The straw mattress couldn’t hide the hardwood underneath from his bruises. He tried to ignore the tearing sackcloth sounds his Father’s snores made. He tried not to think about the old drunk at all.
Curling tighter to keep out the cold only drew his mind to the aches. His hands clenched around a normal looking tooth strung onto a necklace. To him, the tooth seemed to shine through his fingers, but he knew that it didn’t. Continue reading Short Story – A Jalt’s Tooth→
For its weight class, Dagon is a strong contender. It packs good tension, a solid narrative structure, and a close lensing that allows us to get solidly behind the protagonist. No spoilers ahead, but still providing a break.