Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guest Post by Donna Brown author of Double-take Tales

Tales with a twist in the tail

I am not an organised writer.  I don’t sit down for a set number of hours each day.  I don’t keep carefully documented notes of ideas or potential projects.  You are more likely to find a screwed up napkin covered in scrawl on my desk (i.e. wherever I happened to drop it) than carefully written cue cards or Post-It notes.

So, how do I write?  I write entirely as and when ideas hit.  As long as it’s physically possible, of course!  I wrote the majority of my story, Round Trip, on the bus on the way to see my parents.  My scrawl was barely legible by the end of the journey but I was pleased to rescue a – decent? I hope so! – story in the end.  I wrote ‘Shelving My Worries’ in a deserted waiting room while I waited for a nerve-wracking meeting.  I’ve written on a bench in churchyard on a freezing cold day with nothing but a cup of coffee to keep me warm – because that was the last place I was when I got a great idea and I wanted to try and draw more details out.  It worked.

All of this means that I am not a good plotter.  I do not write with an ending or conclusion in mind.  Though my heartfelt thanks go out to those who have praised my stories and the twists in them, I confess I am a fraud.  Those endings and twists are often as unexpected to me as they are to the reader. 
There is a satisfaction in that, however.  Reaching the final few hundred words and the story opening up before you is incredibly rewarding.   You have guided your characters, followed their whims, seen them through the good times and bad – they have rewarded you with something wholly unexpected.

Of course, I may find this a major stumbling block if I ever write a novel.  I’m aware of this.  I’m aware that if I want to be a ‘proper writer’, I probably need to shape up.  Thankfully, the novella I’m working on is based on a short story, so the ending has already played out.  (Sorry – I never published it so its secrets are mine and mine alone!)  But I admit, I am scared.  If I abandon my disorderly chaos for a more structured style, I feel the stories will lose their mysteries.  That, although I may still be able to write tales with a twist in the tail, their endings will no longer serve as a delightful and unexpected reward for me, even if I can still deliver something surprising to the reader.

In truth, I am selfish.  I want to be the first reader to ‘get’ the twist.  Until I can rid myself of that greedy desire, I suspect I will never be the plotter I’m supposed to be!

Book Blurb from Double-take Tales by Donna Brown
Three dark, sardonic short stories that will have you expecting the unexpected:

In "Poison," a psychologically abused wife discovers that her husband's nut allergy may be the solution to all her problems.

In "Round Trip," a five pound note passes through desperate hands, greedy hands and tired hands before coming full circle…accompanied by a big surprise.

In "Ç'est La Vie," the police bungle a murder investigation under the watchful eye of someone uncomfortably close to the killing.

To get your copy of Double-take Tales click on the following link:  

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