We all had fun at the Ghosts at the Gladstone event on Saturday.
It is always a fun afternoon but this year, due to time constraints (editing book two of Bunch Courtney and writing book 3) I looked through my back catalogue of supernatural fiction for something suitable. But my trouble is that I am somewhat verbose!
The majority of my short stories are at least 4,000 words long, with most topping 5 or 6k. So I turned to an old story, ‘Nanna Barrows’, which first saw publication in the BFS magazine, New Horizons #54, way back in 2009!
It is always good to get old stories out for a dusting now and then but looking at it I soon realised that at 1500 words it was still far too long for the slots available.
So an edit was required. With a certain amount of sweating I managed to cut it down to 1,000 words. Editing 30% from a story of tough going and required some considerable rewriting in order for it to still make sense whilst retaining the feel of the original./
I am told by several people that it still made sense and was enjoyed as a ghost tale so I seemed to have managed it.
What is it about this story that makes it so durable? I am probably not the best person to say, but perhaps it is that it is about people.
Set in the 1930s it revolves around a girl invalided by diptheria who dwells on the memory of her twin sister that she never knew. Simple enough but gratifying to be told that it was chilling for many and in its longer form even brought several people to tears. (Hopefully in a ‘good writing’ way!)
Recycling stories is never a bad idea. Nanna Barrows also appeared in its original form in the Authors Electric anthology One More Flash In The Pen Vol 3 and in my supernatural collection Leinster Gardens & Other Subtleties – which is available on Amazon. I shall have copies at Fantasycon in Chester this week.