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MOODBOARD: “Phantom Pains”

May 23, 2019 in Moodboard, Writing

So I’m working on a new story. I teased it a little in my last post and I’m wary about saying much more. It’s kind of unwritten first rule as a writer to not talk about your WIP, the working title of which is “Phantom Pains”.

It’s gonna be dark and sexy. Like always. Most of my stories adhere to a “formula”. I’m okay with that. I do like to infuse genre elements to my stories too, and this one has some hardboiled crime fiction grit that I’ve been having a lot of fun embracing.

Do you know what’s hard, though? Moving from the novel back down to writing short fiction. For a while, I was in my short story PRIME. I could cram any plot into a 2500 word limit. Then I had to write a novel and every scene needed to be expanded in order to produce a book worth paying $25 dollars in hardcover for.

Well, now I’m back to minimalism. I’ve written my first draft and it’s over the 3500 words the submission call is asking for. So now I’m down to slashing. I’m rewriting scenes. I’m slashing, cutting dialogue, saying more by saying less.

I love the pressure.

I feel like creativity thrives in limitations.

That being said, most creatives only thrive this way for so long. I dream of churning out fiction like L. Ron Hubbard before his Scientology days. That’s like legit full-time writer realness right there. I want the sweat over the keyboard part, but obviously not the Scientology.

I wanna churn out new 2500 words stories for publishing and the occasional 1500 words story exclusive for Patreon followers. Legit writer goals right?

Like this post? With your support, I will have the opportunity to write more fiction, plus more creative blogs like this one. Support my work on Patreon and get yourself some nifty perks.

Rebecca is a neo-noir author from Kamloops, British Columbia. Her first collection of gritty short fiction, Vile Men was published by Dark House Press in 2015. She also writes about her writer lifestyle on her blog at

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  • Emily Slaney May 24, 2019 at 2:01 am

    What do you use to make your mood boards? And if you don’t mind me asking, how easy did you find it expanding from minimalism in to novel length? That always seams like it’s going to be hard to me, when you are so used to paring everything back. Stephen Graham Jones is like a machine when it comes to creative out put, definitely inspiring, although really I’d like to be a Chelsea Cain or Gillian Flynn.

    • Rebecca May 24, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      I just use free templates I find through Pinterest in Photoshop. 🙂

      Going from minimalism to novel length was honestly BRUTAL. I’d done short stories for so many years, it was like relearning how to write. That said, I’m sure it would heve been a lot easier if I wasn’t so absurdly hard on myself.

      I really hope Gillian Flynn puts out another novel son. She’s doing mostly TV writing and stuff, I think.

      • Emily Slaney May 28, 2019 at 4:16 am

        Thanks, I will check out Pinterest. Did you find you wrote the entire thing minimalist and then went back over it and added more, or was it more a chapter by chapter thing? And yes! I want the next Gillian Flynn novel – especially since I read some article where she is teasing that it’s super dark and has the best opening. Have you watched her TV series, (Widows I think it’s called) I haven’t.

        • Rebecca May 28, 2019 at 2:10 pm

          The process was kind of all over the place. The novel has two main characters so I found myself holding my minimalist tone with one and experimenting more with the other, which helped me keep the train running.

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