My flash story “The Negotiation” emailed to Daily Science Fiction subscribers today. Regular readers of my site know I like to write a little about the inspiration for each of my published stories, so I thought today might be a good time to do that. Sometimes a story’s inspiration is clear and strong, and I can pinpoint it with ease. Other times it’s not so easy.
For the “The Negotiation,” it was easy. This story was inspired by a writing prompt through the Codex writing group. Each year the group does a series of weekend writing prompts, where a handful of prompts are given on Friday and a finished story is submitted (anonymously) on Monday. The submitted stories are then read and ranked by group members, and weekly “winner” is crowned (but really everyone who finishes a story is a winner). Unfortunately I don’t write stories that quickly, so I’ve never managed to submit a weekend story.
“The Negotiation” was inspired by this weekend writing prompt: write about someone who failed in a previous profession, but now has some success in a new one. I brainstormed possible jobs, starting much too mundane and getting progressively more interesting until I finally hit one I liked (I won’t give it away for those who have yet to read the story yet). From there, the pieces began to fall into place: a failed bank robbery, a whimpering hostage, a tense negotiation, and the story was born. I wrote this one in a single sitting, with a wordy first draft that came in at nearly twice its final length. Two revisions later, I had the final story, clocking in at a fairly tight and respectable 850 words.
If you aren’t a DSF subscriber (shame on you), you’ll have wait another week to read it free online. If you’ve read it already, I hope you enjoyed it, and will check out some of my other fiction.