How A Story Changes On The Path To Getting Published

Find out how “Empty” went from a werewolf camp story to a claustrophobic sci-fi tale

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It’s rare for a story to go from vague concept in a writer’s head to edited and published manuscript without major changes taking place.

Whether a character doesn’t work in the story or a major plot point hasn’t been thought out properly, there’s always changes. “Empty” went through quite a few, starting off as a short story in a very different setting than the sci-fi novella it eventually become.

I was invited by The Scary Reviews to discuss how a story changes and the vicious, rejection-strewn path to getting published in a new guest post. An excerpt follows:

All of my work is inspired by personal experiences, with this one stemming from a disturbing encounter I had at a religious summer camp as a kid. The first version was going to be a straightforward modern day tale with a supernatural twist as a camper contracts lycanthropy and has to keep his affliction hidden. Every time I’d go to write a new page though, I couldn’t stop thinking about the moon (being a werewolf tale and all) along with all that vast emptiness out in space.

The original version was junked and I started over with an engineer on a spacefaring vessel, ostracized for breaking the rules and stuck all alone serving punishment duty in the bowels of the ship. Many of the themes and ideas from the original source material made their way in, just in new forms, as the engineer explores an ancient ship, encounters a madman on a religious mission, and discovers something beyond his comprehension that offers disturbing implications about man’s place in the order of things.

The full guest post is available now at The Scary Reviews here – be on the lookout for more coming soon examining both “Empty” and my upcoming dark fantasy novel!

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