A Right Good Spannering…

For the last couple of weeks, I have feverously been writing a short story for a SciFi/ steampunk/ fantasy anthology been put together by Sixth Element Publishing I was asked to submit to.  Sixth Element is the home of C G Hatton among others, so I was only too pleased to be asked. But it did leave me with a bit of a quandary over what to write, because the brief was SciFi/ steampunk/fantasy between 2and 5K words long, and having gone through my scraps folder I had a whole raft of possibilities.

My scraps folder is a file on my drive full of little bits and pieces, half-baked ideas and random bits fo writing that has yet to go anywhere because sometimes I just start writing when an idea occurs to me to see where it takes me. They tend to be around a 1000 words or so. Its the equivalent of an artist sketchbook, and there is a lot of little bizarre bits and bobs in there.

So I had lots of ideas to work with, and spent some time scribbling notes on all of them. Then I decided to try my hand at writing in a Lovecraft’s style and got a couple of thousand words into a tale, before putting that into the scraps folder, because Lovecraft is only SciFi/ steampunk/fantasy in a very wide sense. So naturally, I ended up writing something else entirely and starting from scratch, almost.

It wasn’t entirely from scratch as it used an opening paragraph I had written before in the earliest incarnations of Hannibal Smyth. One of the first little segments I wrote in fact, which also appeared in early teasers I made for the whole Hannibal Smyth concept. But which had long fallen by the wayside as the stories took other directions. Which led to something of a legend, the lost story of a dual Hannibal found himself fighting while under the influence of psychotropic drugs…


The teasers still exist, even though the story itself didn’t, and those words which don’t appear in ‘A Scar of Avarice’ somehow got used in teasers for the novella as well, because it’s pure Hannibal…

So this was the perfect opportunity to write that actual story, and as all stories do, it is a tale that grew in the telling and went over that 5K brief,  because I got carried away with a new character in Hannibal’s world, Henretta ‘Spanners’ Carthurst, who took over the story to an extent. But then Hannibal is never really the hero of his tales…

the chease cake dicotomy

A new character stumbling across your consciousness is always a wonderful but slightly strange thing. They inevitably are not who they start out as being. Hettie, a female member of ‘The Ins and Outs’ Gentleman’s club, became something of a force of nature in the telling. As opposed to a few lines that were nothing more than a lever on which to rest the tale. An engineer, warrant officer in Old Iron Knickers Royal Air-Navy, and one of the ‘Chaps’. Hettie became the central focus of the short story, and I have no doubt will ‘spanner’ her way into the novels further down the line. If only to call Hannibal an idiot and give him a slap once in a while, if he gets off lightly, or a right good spannering if he doesn’t. Our ‘Hero’ is I think just a little bit afraid of her, but then he never has much luck with the fairer sex…

She may well also make an appearance in a story of her own if she wanders through the doors of Esqwiths Passing Place at some point. Which there is every chance she will as I was making notes for Something Red (the sequel to Passing Place that is in the planning stage) last night and found I had pencilled her name in the margin.

The Cheesecake Dichotomy will be appearing in the anthology soon enough, along with stories by a lot of other writers well worth a read including C G Hatton, and Craig Hallam, among others, and I look forward to my own scribblings appearing alongside such fine compony.

I’ll keep you informed, I am sure you will be unsurprised to learn.


This entry was posted in amreading, amwriting, Esqwiths, fiction, Hannibal Smyth, humour, indie, indie novels, novels, Passing Place, reads, Uncategorized, writes, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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