The story goes a little something like this: once upon a time, in the era before I started writing novels, I spent a lot of time in fandom, writing fanfiction. My production rate — the speed at which I could churn out a few thousand-word piece of fiction — was astonishing by my standard today. I wrote a lot of varied pieces because it was fun. Not because I wanted to turn a profit. Not because I wanted to get published. Not because I had something to prove to myself.
I wrote because I liked the process, I liked to experiment, and I loved words. I loved the surprise of emerging from the fugue of creation to find a line, maybe a sentence or two that hummed because they hung together in such a way that, while I knew I’d written them, felt like something that came from an out of body experience; there was a magic to them.
That’s how I fell in love, by the way. It’s how I eventually branched off from writing about other people’s characters to creating my own.
So what happened? I reinvested myself in novel writing and forgot about the short format totally.
Short formats are my weakest link. It’s the one discipline that should be easy, but I find really difficult — partially for the time management required, partially for how aggressive you need to be: you get into the story, and you get out. Writing a novel gives you more freedom to meander, to world build, to wind the tension up before it explodes — that’s not the case with short stories. You need to smash reader sympathy early and screw everything up pretty quickly, then wrap it all up and package it with a tidy little bow.
I started a new daily practice not so long ago to generate ideas, just to see if I could do it: I started writing down ten ideas a day into my journal app. They didn’t have to be story ideas, but that’s the direction they started leaning pretty quick. At the end of the week, I’d amassed a collection of plot bunnies in a spreadsheet, and some of them were beginning to nibble.
Some of these ideas would become horror stories, but others were more ephemeral: melancholic, shadow-painted creatures that seemed a little sad or a little wistful. Some were deeply imbued with the fantastic, and others didn’t seem to fit anywhere. They all had one thing in common, though: they all wanted to be given life.
And thus, Short Fictions & Curiosities was born.
Announcing “The Curiosities Collection”
Short Fictions & Curiosities are monthly offerings: a sample of short stories, wonders, terrors, and experiments in speculative fiction: small slivers of dark fiction and horror from the vault for your enjoyment. They are free to read, with the hopes that you’ll share with others on the social media platform of your choosing. Each story has been penned and designed by Kira Butler. They are formatted for ePub, Mobi, and PDF, and it’s at your discretion how you’d like to receive them.
The first offering will be made available, appropriately, on Halloween.
It is a story about the things we leave behind, that often return and linger in the most curious ways.
“Nicolas paced from room to room, occasionally bumping into furniture, trying the doors as he found them. Some remained locked, but the jumble of keys required more patience to sort through than he had to offer, and the skeleton key intended to open every door proved elusive, just as Mary had said. Tomorrow, he promised, touching the locks that wouldn’t reveal their secrets.”
– Kira Butler, Chasing Ghosts
You can get the official announcement delivered directly to your inbox on Saturday, October 31, 2015 by signing up to the mailing list.
About Kira Butler:
Kira Butler is a speculative fiction writer and creative professional from Montreal. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, and a member of the Quebec Writers Federation. She has been writing fiction for over ten years, having produced over twenty short stories, and three novels. She haunts KiraButler.com, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.