May 9, 2024

As you may remember from last week (and if you don’t, I’ll wait while you bring up the post to refresh yourself) I teased you with a bit about the prompt I used for the Story of the Week, saying I’d explain my latest idea. And, since I have them so infrequently, they always call for celebration. Here’s the new project.

And before you ask, the answer is “no,” I’m not putting my novel on hold. That will be my primary writing focus moving forward, but the idea for FAST FICTION Vol. 3 has been floating around in my cavernous skull for a while now and since I have time while I wait to hear from my editor, I decided to get busy, so I started working on FAST FICTION Vol. 3: Sequels & Prequels.

Occasionally, readers will finish one of my stories and ask “What happens next? I gotta know.” I thought it was a brilliant question. Some of these little 101’ers end on fun cliff-hangers, and sometimes they start at places that clearly aren’t the beginning of the story, so now, instead of taking a prompt from you, my semi-dedicated readers, and using said prompt to inspire a tale, I’m going to mine stories from the first two volumes and use them as inspiration for new stories. Some will be sequels (probably most) and the rest will be prequels.

The first one I wrote was the sequel to “A Most Unexpected Gift,” which opened volume one. I won’t repeat the ending here (in case you happen to be THE ONLY HUMAN ON THE PLANET who hasn’t read it yet), but it was an obvious choice for a sequel. The second story I wrote was a prequel to “Where Else Will You Meet People Like This?” (Also from the first volume). Based on these first two attempts, I’m finding it to be a new and interesting challenge. In the prequels, I can’t give away anything fun that will happen in the original story, while in the sequels, I have to bring the reader up to speed quickly so they know anything that may be essential from the first story, while not boring those familiar with the earlier work. Finally, there’s the challenge of making each of these prequels or sequels sufficiently entertaining so they work as stand-alone pieces. If I can write them as I believe I can, readers who only see these stories may never even know they’re based on other material.

I’ve mentioned my plans to a few people already, and some have asked if I will be including the original stories they are based on. Absolutely not! That would be marketing suicide. What I will do is cite the source—ya know, in case people are curious enough to run out and buy the volume containing the previous stories. Also, when I mine stories from volume two, I’ll only be using my stories—not their A.I. equivalents, thank you very much.

OK. That was a lot to unpack. Let’s get to the Story of the Week.

        Do-It-Yourself Street Cred

Wes and Carmen loved Hillary’s parties, despite always being intimidated by her fascinating guests.

Driving to her latest bash, they devised an amusing prank.

Wes would pose as an American Idol talent scout, Carmen, an FBI profiler.

“Quantico’s great,” Carmen said, mingling at the party. “The Behavioral Sciences Unit is just like TV.”

“Isn’t it Behavioral Analysis?” Wayne, a partygoer, asked.

Carmen froze.

“Don’t sweat it,” Wayne laughed. “I only know that because I was an FBI guy at Hillary’s last party. Tonight I’m a Batman expert. Nerd alert.”

“Wait. Hillary’s guests are—”

“Frauds? C’mon. Nobody knows this many fascinating people.”

One final ask before I let you go… This is the audience participation part of the performance. If you’ve read stories from either of my first two books and you have suggestions for stories that you’d like to see me address with a sequel or prequel, please let me know. You can even suggest if you’d like to see the “before” or “after” for your nominees. I’d love to hear from you.

As always, thanks for listening.

Scotty out

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