I wrote a story and you can read it

17.30, Monday 4 Dec 2017

I’ve mentioned here before that I’m part of a writing group called Upsideclown. We take it in turns to write short fiction, and I’m up today!

It’s a gentle tale of extraterrestrial visitations, and of rekindling old friendships. Here’s a taster:

Petr held the Scotch egg still between thumb and forefinger, and cut it carefully in two. They sat in the library cafe. He placed the symmetrical halves side by side on the plate, two halves of egg in two half balls of sausage, centred on yellow yolks.

‘The Dogon people, in Mali,’ said Bruno, eying Petr’s lunch, ‘were visited by aliens from the Sirius star system.’

‘And you find somewhere scenic for the presenter to stand while they say this,’ said Petr, ‘so nobody notices how absurd it is.’

Read: The search for another intelligence, by me, at Upsideclown.


I’m rusty at writing fiction so I’m loving being part of this rebooted writing group. But I’m also particularly pleased at how this story came out for a couple of reasons:

  • I’m using characters and dialogue – it’s been a personal challenge to make full use of both, and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it
  • I’m beginning to write deliberately. For fiction I’ve always written intuitively before: hold an idea in my head and then just bang it out. Which is great but is very mood-dependent. This time I had a process: I sketched out a summary, turned it into an bigger summary, and then wrote out the story over a few sessions, finally making revisions. This process is not a breakthrough to anyone except me! But what it means is I can now handle stories longer than 1,200 words, and I can also work on them incrementally such as on the tube and in the evenings

So yeah. Learning the craft. It’s not my best story by any means, but right now it’s the one I’m pleased with most.