Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Challenge Story #1: "The Peacock's Tower"

"The Peacock's Tower" is the first story in my incredibly well-named Short Stories Challenge Practical (SSCP #1, if you like.) I'll make a graphic for the challenge when I get back from vacation.
Bonus: Amazing Cover Art! WOW!

You can pick it up via:
Smashwords Free!
...until I put SSCP #2 up.

Obviously, the challenge itself is patterned on Dean Wesley Smith's more interesting 2011 Challenge, so I'm not going to get all fancy.

The Writing of "The Peacock's Tower"

This story developed in the same fashion as all the others. First, I had some Batshit Insane Dreams with a peacock and an adobe looking thing. Purple and green throughout, a sea wall...snow. Tests. A girl. Your basic disorganized lucid dream. I woke up and made a 'bracket outline', putting all the images down on paper like so:
[peacock, purple and green]
[an adobe looking thing]
and adding a few extras as they came up.
[tower in the snow]
Then I called it The Peacock's Tower, because why not?

Once I had about ten images, I proceeded, in the finest traditions of storytelling, to Throw It All Together, starting with the line (and blurb):

The walled town of Hugfast, at the edge of the Shining Sea, within sight of the Peacock’s Tower, across from the Other End of the World, was a meritocracy

Which was pretty spooky, so I sat on that for a couple minutes, drank a coffee or two. Then I sat back down and typed at high speed for about three hours until I was called away to PARTY. I came back at midnight, typed a few sentences (although they were quite good) before I fell asleep. Then I woke up at about 3AM and finished the story after a couple hours.

The next day I rolled through and corrected some typos, but it was remarkably clean copy, then I sat on it for a week before reading it again and deciding it didn't suck. Good enough for me! I'd genre it as "Fantasy with SF characteristics".

I made the cover using the template I made for the challenge, then formatted the story up in Word and put it on Smashwords. Once I have five or ten such stories, I'll format them all up in a collection with fancy cover art and put it up for sale on Amazon and B&N. And then I'll invite you to go buy that.

probably six hours produced
"The Peacock's Tower"
about 5,000 words
Smashwords Free!

I'll be on vacation this next weekend—paid for by eBooks, and that's cool—so I might not have the next challenge story done by next week. That's OK. That just means you have a longer time to get this one free.
feel free to comment


  1. An eBook-paid vacation? Now THAT is awesome!

  2. I was pleasantly surprised, which is what comes of not checking sales numbers compulsively and instead spending that time Writing More. (I'm going to save the future profits, though, to bootstrap up the print books.)

    This is fun.


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