Short Story Openings

January 28, 2010

Here are the first paragraphs of several short stories I’ve written in the last few months. I’d love to hear comments from readers. Would you read more of the story? etc.

After Midnight by Steve B. Davis
After midnight, that’s when they came out. That’s when Kole went hunting. He couldn’t find them in the daylight, he could only find them and kill them at night.

The mutants lived deep underground in the ruins of the city. Kole roamed the remains of the city during the day scrounging for food. He was always on the lookout for others of his kind, but so far hadn’t found any, other than skeletons. For some reason he survived the holocaust.

No Mercy by Steve B. Davis
The night was pitch-black except for the small fire burning low in the trees ahead. It was quiet, too quiet. A horse snorted, Cain stopped and listened. No movement, so he kept walking towards the dying embers of the campfire.

The Beach by Steve B. Davis
Whenever I walk along the beach the azure water breaking gently on the fine sand always amazes me. On stormy days the transformation of the gentle waves into monsters trying to eat the sand and pull it back into their mouths makes me shiver with terror. The crashing and retreat of the ravenous waves forces me to keep my distance to prevent them from dragging me into the endless ocean.

The Silo by Steve B. Davis
The family were parked along a lonely stretch of Montana highway staring at the innocent-looking fenced area a hundred yards or so from the pavement. The boy had to find out what it was and demanded they stop. His father was trying to explain it to him without alarming him.

Something Wicked by Steve B. Davis
Henry used to wonder what he’d do if he encountered something or someone truly wicked. Not just bad, but genuinely evil. Many people don’t believe in evil. The same people on the other hand believed in goodness, God and Heaven. Henry knew better. If you believed in Heaven, then there had to be a Hell. Evil existed.

Serial killers are pure evil. Henry knew because he is one. As he walked down the train platform no one realized evil was next to them. These people went about their daily routines unaware of the demons beside them.

** Comments on these are appreciated. Thanks

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Crime and Mystery Fiction – Published

January 6, 2010

One of my stories was published yesterday in an ezine. Most of these don’t offer pay, but it’s an excellent way to get exposure. Also the writer still retains rights to have it published elsewhere.

Ezine Header

“Darkest Before The Dawn” is an ezine specializing in hard-edged crime and mystery fiction and publishes many excellent stories.

The story accepted for publication is titled, “Cruising”.  Here is the link if you are interested in reading.

http://www.darkestbeforedawn.net/

Warning! – Contains explicit sex and coarse language. Please don’t read if this offends you, but after all it is a realistic tale about two felons who really are bad to the bone.


Writing – 2009 A Year in Review

December 24, 2009

The year 2009 was a good one for me. First of all let me give you some background. I’m still employed full time, but approaching retirement in about four years. Although I’ve always had an interest in and dappled in writing over the years, this was the first year I got serious about it.

I’m also a do-it-again dad with an 8 year-old son and 5 year-old twin daughters to tend to. My eldest daughter gave me the gift of a grandson this year. All this consumes my time, but also gives me lots of ideas for writing.

I made an effort to write at least a page a day. This was fairly successful for me. Writing for my blog helped, it gave me motivation.

So far in 2009 I have written over 25 fiction short stories and a half-dozen nonfiction pieces.

I was published four times this year. Once in a mainstream magazine here in Canada called Saltscapes, The East Coast Magazine. This was also a well-paid gig. The others were fiction pieces published in ezines for little or no pay, but resulted in excellent exposure.

Lots of rejections, but this is normal. After all Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected over 500 times before it was published. The rest is history so to speak.

The results of my writing efforts have been most satisfying. Not only am I getting published, but the ability to create stories and articles is a total high for me.

I love writing and can’t wait to see what 2010 will bring. For sure it will bring me another grandson. If I can just learn to love rewriting a bit more…..


Fiction Writing – Excerpt

August 7, 2009

After reading some writing books, I’ve started making an effort to write at least one page a day. So far I’ve been pretty successful. Once I start writing usually I end up with a short story in draft form. Here is the introductory paragraph from a short story called, Arachnophobia, that I completed a couple of days ago. Now for the editing and submission process. Word count on this one is 980.

tarantula“Bobby Drux was afraid of spiders. Ever since he remembered this was part of his psyche. Other kids found out and teased him. Whenever they caught one, it was put in his desk at school or his backpack. They laughed as he ran screaming at the sight of the little creatures. That was then, but now even though he was an adult, the fear remained.”

excerpt from “Arachnophobia” by Steve B. Davis


Book Review: The Writer’s Little Helper

July 31, 2009

LittleWritingBookCoverThe Writer’s Little Helper is the best reference on writing I’ve found. It’s the one book I carry everywhere with me. 

The author James V. Smith, Jr.has published more than a dozen novels. His more recent material is published under the pen name John Harriman.  His objective in the book is to give the technical aspects of writing fiction to readers wanting to write a bestseller. In his words he wants to inspire, answer technical questions, and provide tools to assist the writer. 

The size of the book makes it easy to tote along. It’s 5 x 7 1/2″ and about an inch thick. 

By the way the subtitle is, “Everything you need to know to write better and get published”. There is no doubt in my mind I’m a better writer for reading and using this book. It can be read start to finish or just to focus on areas for improvement in your writing. The reading is easy and straight to the point. He uses excellent examples to illustrate. The book is an easy read. I hate books that use long-winded verbage to illustrate a simple point. 

The entire spectrum of writing is covered from ideas to publishing. Some examples include character, point of view, plot, editing, dialogue, creativity, beginnings and ends, and everything related. If you read this book you will learn something, be inspired, and have fun writing. I highly recommend it. 

The books publishing details are: 

The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr., F+W Publications, Inc. (Writer’s Digest Books), 2006, ISBN 13: 978-158297-422-4


Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry

April 23, 2009

leavingcheyennecover-l-mcmurtrayLately I’ve been doing lots of reading. I’m especially interested in reading those authors who focus on character and setting.

I just finished “Leaving Cheyenne” by Pulitzer Prize winning author Larry McMurtry. He wrote “Lonesone Dove” for which he won the Pulitzer for fiction. You may remember it was transformed into the great TV mini-series some years ago starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones.

In this his second novel, he tells the tale of three unlikely western heroes. Gideon Fry, a serious rancher; Johnny McCloud, the free-spirited cowboy; and the woman they both love, Molly Taylor.

She loves them both and being independent refuses to marry either one of them. Tragedy follows them as their lives intertwine. The story plus the characters made me want to find out what happens to them. The reader cares deeply about them. Dialogue is used to great effect to advance the plot and define the character traits of each of them.

The tale is set in West Texas around the turn of the twentieth century. McMurtry is so adept at description he doesn’t have to go into long detail. Short but very sweet is an apt way of describing the result.

An extremely satisfying read by a truly great author. As a writer I was thinking “oh to write like this”.


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