Today, a story post, because my latest one is being a pain.

I like stories with elements of the fantastic, but where the fantastic is just part of how the world works.

Tamed fantastic.

The kind of fantastic where a man can be followed everywhere he goes by a cloud of yellow butterflies, and no-one remarks on it. It’s just his thing.

I think this is because I like the stories I read (and write) to have something to say… they’re entertainment, sure, but they’re not just entertainment. They’ve also got a message, that you can take on board or ignore as you choose. And I like stories that use fantastic elements because you can be so much more creative about how you deliver that message.

I like science fiction and fantasy for this reason, but best of all are the stories of a world that either is this one or works like this one, but has a few small twists that throw everything else into sharp relief.

Do it well, and you can write stories that change lives.

Do it badly… and you’ve just got a bad story. Having any of this stuff isn’t as important as how it’s used.

That’s part of the problem with the latest one – it’s just not as good as I thought it was going to be. But I’ve got to finish it, because until it’s finished I won’t be able to concentrate on any of my other ideas.

Unfortunately, writing a story you’re no longer fond of isn’t particularly fun, and that breeds apathy.

What I need to remember is that while this one isn’t going to be my best story, my next one will. I’ve just got to get there.