Fiction Circular 7/25/20

A weekly dissemination of fiction writing from around the web by Kaiter Enless

From Little Tales For Busy Folks: The Corridor by Vic Smith. A subterranean adventure takes a unnerving turn. Would be aided by more character development.

I was convinced there was something down here with me. I could hear breathing. I couldn’t tell how far away it was, or where the sound was coming from, but I was sure it was there

– V. Smith, The Corridor

From New Pop Lit: Zeenith, a fiction and poetry collection featuring Brian Eckert, Mark Marchenko, Holly Day, Chrissi Sepe, Kathleen M. Crane, Robert Kaercher, Erin Knowles Chapman, and James Croal Jackson. The volume is available for purchase for $25 via Paypal, or credit-card.

Full color. State of the art. Hand crafted. Sleek and stylish.

– Promotional tag-line for Zeenith

From Scraps & Scribblings: Goodnight, Sweet Prince by Richard Tearle. Macabre historical fiction. Seems a fragment of a larger work.

 George has gone too far. You can see that, surely? He has taken the law into his own hands – my law, let it be noted.

– R. Tearle, Goodnight, Sweet Prince

From Short Stories Online: Progressive Jackpot by Shane Lambert. A raffle takes place at a bowling league. Instead of telling by showing action the author simply lists off what occurs, week by week, which makes the story read, unfortunately, like a news article.

Almost all of the other Beer Leaguers had their own minor-league fantasies about what they would do if they won the money. One lady wanted to be a bar star for a weekend at a local country club. Another guy wanted to place a bet on the Edmonton Oilers winning the Stanley Cup. Another simply would have bought a new RCA television.

– Shane Lambert, Progressive Jackpot

From T. W. Iain: Ghost. A chronicle of a daring thief’s plan. At first, I assumed it was going to be one of those insufferably drippy slice-of-life flash-shorts which forms the great bulk of what is redundantly referred to as ‘literary fiction;’ thankfully, my assumption was incorrect. The piece develops its two principal characters impressively well with so few words and builds to a surprising, bittersweet crescendo.

The casket was closed, of course. She’d refused any suggestion of surgery.

– T. W. Iain, Ghost

From Vastness: Discount Baby by H. W. Taylor. A speculative sci-fi tale concerning a future wherein certain classes are prohibited from childbirth, a situation which prompts a enterprising and childless couple to attempt to trick the system. A superb work, which, in the most positive of ways, reminded me, faintly, of Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca.

Best of the week.

She was protecting him, by letting him give her hope.

– H. W. Taylor, Discount Baby


Online Writing Resources (December Recommendations)

In the selection of dictionaries, thesauruses, word processors and other writing-related software, my primary criteria is simplicity, task-specificity and reliability. Below is a list of sites that fit this criteria, paired with notes pertinent to the distinctive attributes of each. All sites and programs listed are free (or have a free version).

Writing Programs:

Apache Open Office Writer (v. 4.1.7). Feature-intensive word-processor. Comparable to Microsoft Word. Download required. Offline functionality w/ regular updates. Whilst the program allows for font integration, exercise caution in uploading highly ornate fonts, which will cause AOOW to run extremely slowly.

Writer: The Internet Typewriter. Minimalistic typewriter emulator (email address is required for account creation). No download required. Offers both online and offline functionality and unlimited document creation. A feature that bares highlighting is its online-offline sychronization, which allows for a offline document to be synched to a online counterpart (for example, if you were writing a novel and experienced a connectivity issue, the program would proceed in offline mode and, when connectivity was restored, upload all new segments of the novel online) and thus, obviates the need for constant file downloading and uploading, so as to secure your progress.


Power Thesaurus. Crowdsourced, fast-loading, user-rated, regularly updated and easily navigable, online thesaurus. The site’s best feature (outside of its massive database of 77 million synonyms and nearly as many antonyms) is its side-menus, which allow the user, after searching a desired word or phrase, to move seamlessly between synonyms, antonyms, definitions and examples.

Art & Ancestral Decision

§.00 Artistry is nothing without technicity, for the artist is nothing without his tools. Given that all tools are, at the first, conceptual, the ontological enterprise necessarily subtends both. Philosophy (as mental technicity) determines by way of an analysis of the haecceity of one’s muse(s) and subjects(s), which thus determines the technical venue(s) by which pertinent qualia may be internally refined and externally expressed (in art).

§.01 What is interesting to me, in light of this realization, is the way in which the artist (and not merely the designer) as a general matter, takes ontologic assertions (the real purpose of art is X but not Y), as givens, without consideration. The horror writer considers the nature of his work, but does not consider the collective, inter-generational enterprise which brought the entire genre into being and so must fail to apprehend its previous purpose(s), and thus what previously worked in the genre (what linguistic tactics to deploy) even if he has a solid grasp of its present purposes[s]). The painter does not generally realize, or, at the least, does not generally remark upon, the fact that his art is based upon the primacy of a particular privileging of objects (i.e. Futurism’s privileging of speed and the machine), if the issue is raised, such a consideration is likely to be considered trivial, when it is anything but, as the ordering of objects in a fine painting is of central importance to the purpose (whether it is clear or opaque, even to one’s self) of, not just a fine painting, but fine painting as a distinct artistic practice. And so it is with the author, the sculptor, the illustrator, the actor, the dancer and any other type of artist. Implicit internalization and affirmation of this kind should, if recognized, be given to critical reconsideration, for failure to do so can result in a concretized implicit conceptual frame, born of unspoken ontological decision (decision is not, of necessity, the truth and most ‘ontology’ is merely psychological gratification and defense)—what we might call the ancestral decision—which vitiates the very pathways by which one’s desired or considered art would, in their absence, profligate.

Fiction Recap 2019 [#2]

Selection of fiction works we’ve published this year.








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Fiction Circular 2/22/19

§00. Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. ‘Independent individual authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘independent publishing organizations’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques.

§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: a publication is considered ‘independent’ if it is self-contained and sustaining, that is to say, if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess or financial backing of large corporations, academies, governments or other large entrenched organizations. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will not be included on the list, not due to the quality or lack thereof of their work, but rather, because they are supported by Utah State University (and thus, are not independent).


From Byron F. McBride, A Long Night. Reminded me of the first episode of the tv series The Hunger.

The night was over, and I was heading home. Bennett Vandermeer had invited me for dinner, on account of his being featured at the art gallery Pluto-Neon, and his need to shove my face in it.


— A Long Night

From The Dark Netizen, a brisk but amusing fractal, Sinking.

The mermaids smile back at the sailors, unaware of the radioactive nature of the submarine’s doomed contents…


— Sinking


From Defiant Scribe, Grope, by Ian Simons, a surreal comedy concerning the monumental consequences of small happenings.

“The deer gave her a curious grunt as she flew by, and then she continued moving out into a fold in space, a maelstrom amongst the stars that was spinning, smearing old light in the darkness.”


— Grope

From Fictive Dream, Solitaire, by Travis Cravey. A flash fiction about mental illness.

“She didn’t say goodnight, or kiss my forehead, or tuck me in. She just kept playing solitaire. Sometimes I could hear her crying. But she never stopped playing.”


— Solitaire

From Flash Back Fiction, The Fur-puller, by Peter Burns, a dour, historical fiction concerning a poor, afflicted family struggling in England. Whilst it is somewhat maudlin in a begging-Mr. Bumble-for-gruel kind of way, its also deftly written. The tonally resonant audio-reading accompanying the story further adds to the Dickensian experience.

Mr. Matthews lays the sack on the scales. Rose doesn’t blink, for fear of missing the tilt of it, doesn’t breathe, for fear of losing more than she already has. Billy coughs like he always does, dry and brittle.



— The Fur-puller

From Reflex Fiction, White Line, by John Brantingham, a brisk flash fiction piece which follows a man’s reflection on violence, basketball, scars and stoicism.

From Storgy, The Perfect Family, by Susan Bloch, a sorrowful tale of a seemingly wonderful family that hides a dark secret. A study of inaction and its consequences.

That was the last time I saw Holly before sirens went off at midnight. Before medics carried out a black bag on a stretcher.


— The Perfect Family

From Surfaces, Not Me, by the inimitable Manuel Marrero. A impressive, soaring, dizzyingly baroque debut for the Paul Allen business card of literary websites. * best of the week

American life had subsided into an almost zen-like complacency, the Hegelian end, anathema for the Judeochristian disciples, ripe agency for the monolatrists. But vatic forces were gathering now to disrupt their binary equilibrium.


— Not Me

From The Rational Argumentator, The Wales Technique, by Gennady Stolyarov II. The story of a actuary who grapples with the problem of a blank spot in his predictive models. Mr. Stolyarov’s story is quite refreshing, as it is the only scifi story I can remember reading this year that isn’t a grim dystopia.

“The Black Hole… I can see it clearly in the region with fewer data points.”

— The Wales Technique

From X-R-A-Y, Spores, by Lukasz Drobnik. A surrealistic and metaphorical take on the superhero genre. Superb prose.

The monkeys can see her from afar with their laser eyes, their shark-like teeth glistening in the dark.


— Spores


From Adam Lock, Is The Talented Writer A Myth? The short answer is “no,” it is a reduction. For those without preternatural receptivity to literary ends, practice avails. Mr. Lock writers: “Good writing is a talent. This idea has always frustrated me because it is indiscriminate and takes no heed of the hours of hard work a writer puts in to improve their craft.” I would contend that good writing IS a talent (the baseline for all human behavior is genotypic), but it is not only arrived at by way of individual genetic proclivity (ie. where sociality comes into play). Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the premise which Mr. Lock attempts to untangle, his piece is well worth a read (especially if one happens to be a author or would-be author).

-is there is a distinction between mindless repetition and deliberate practice.


— Is The Talented Writer A Myth

From The Arcanist, It Cost Ray Bradbury $9.80 in Dime To Write ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ by Josh Hrala, a historical-philosophical piece concerning how it was that Ray Bradbury came to write his well-known science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451 (originally titled, The Fireman) on a dime-rented typewriter. One of the reasons the piece stands out is its focus on work ethic (and the lack thereof amongst the writerly class); a topic which the author notes in the opening,

“There’s this false notion among non-writer folk that in order to sit down and write a novel, conditions must be perfect. As if writers have to perform a series of rituals designed for channeling an elusive, just-out-of-touch muse. Writing only by candlelight after sipping Colombian espresso on Thursday mornings while wearing a smoking jacket and facing true north, for example.”

A excellent piece. Highly recommended reading, especially for would-be authors.

I got a bag of dimes and settled into the room, and in nine days I spent $9.80 and wrote my story; in other words, it was a dime novel.”

— Ray Bradbury

Thanks for reading.

If you wish to support our work, you may do so here.

Fiction Circular 2/15/19

Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. ‘Independent authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘independent publishers’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques.


From Mr. Vic Smith, Dead Calm. A sonorously bleak tale about self-sacrifice.

He was free to be just as idle because without the wind, the runner stone does not turn.


— Dead Calm


From Defiant Scribe, The Eggshell Floor, by Maddie Adams. A story about family loss and dysfunction.

Imogen Beatty. Loving wife, mother, and grandmother. RIP.

Three lines weren’t enough for someone’s life.


— The Eggshell Floor

From Drunken Pen Writing, The Red Crown, by Mikhail Bulgarov. The story of the mental breakdown of a man confined to a sanitarium after the death of his brother. Gripping and highly recommended.

Most of all I hate the sun, loud human voices, and pounding. Rapid, rapid pounding.


— The Red Crown

From Ellipsis Zine, A Marriage to the Earth, by Simeon Ralph. A meditation on Nature’s savage increase.

The man turns his head and spits and his thick saliva lands in a clump of wild grass on the verge by the side of the road. It glues two blades together as it slides the length of them before pooling at the roots and seeping into the damp soil. The warmth of the man evaporates as the ground envelopes his discarded enzymes and electrolytes and absorbs his DNA. The earth accepts this gift but remains hungry.


— A marriage to the Earth

From Fictive Dream, Mountain Lake by Leonard Kress. On the idyll of youth.

She wades into the lake, moving slowly, using her toes to feel for sharp rocks and plants, so slowly that her movement barely disturbs the water’s surface. Three young men sit on a flat boulder at the edge of the lake. Their legs dip into the water and they watch her. One is the girl’s boyfriend, another her ex-boyfriend, and the third trembles imperceptibly in her presence. Before stepping into the lake, she removes her jeans and lets her white tunic fall to her thighs. Now the bottom of the tunic brushes against the surface of the water giving it a dark border that gradually broadens as she moves farther from the shore.


— Mountain Lake

From Flash Fiction Magazine, Lot, by Mary Li. A story about a self-conscious vehicle. One of this weeks stranger and more original additions.

The strange thing about the new models is that they don’t talk back. I’d like to tell them about the acoustic guitar that sales guy Dan left in my trunk on his way back from a gig.


— Lot

From Forge Lit Mag, Alfie, by John Saul. A deftly penned piece of literary experimentation.

A woman not a fellow plaster-watcher by the sound of her is discussing artists on her phone.


— Alfie

From Idle Ink, Angel Wing, by BF Jones, a tale of marriage, heartbreak and the specter of loss. As sorrowful as it is moving (and exceptionally well-written).

She likes the angel wing shadow downstairs, the warm feeling it gives her when she touches it.


— Angel Wing

From Literally Stories 2014, Paper Skins, by L’Erin Ogle, a harrowing tale of a vindictive sorceress and the man she loves. The author’s prose is exceptionally good.

-hunks of bread I baked turned sharp as the blade of my rage, cutting the mouths of my family-


— Paper Skins

From The Molotov CocktailThe Kitsune, by Candace Hartsuyker. Concerning the grim and conflicted adventures of a fox-girl.

Days go by. In the hollow of another cliff she finds newborns, eyes closed shut. Pink bodies twitch, hairless and warm. She licks her lips. Swallows them whole.


— The Kitsune

From Red Fez, On Death Row by Jared Blakely. Many people think of themselves as heroic, until the moment to act as such occurs, whereupon they are paralyzed by fear and indecision; this, Mr. Blakely’s story capture’s beautifully.

Nick’s eyes shot up and scanned the room. Nobody cared. They were staring out of the window or on their cell phones or looking down at their own feet.


— On Death Row

From Reflex Fiction, Terror Attack, by Nina Pandey. A cautionary tale about the dangers of living “like there’s no tomorrow” (even if there really is none).

The minute she was told she had cancer she realised she’d never felt happiness before.

— Terror Attack

From Spelk, The Forgotten Man, by Jason Beech. A gripping portrait of one man who has lost everything.

I exit the prison with a pogo stick in my step. Five years in that cold, green-tiled Victorian relic has dulled something inside. I scratch my cauliflower ears and shake some recognition of the outside into my concussed brain.


— The Forgotten Man

From Terror House, Sweethearts, by Robert Ragan. A horrifying tale of lust, obsession and revenge.

 For the first time, he saw common houseflies buzzing around instead of butterflies when he thought of her.


— Sweethearts

From The Arcanist, Nannybot by Ophelia Leong, wherein a mother’s idea to purchase a robotic caretaker for her child goes somewhat awry.

It’s eyes glowed with a malevolent red light and for a moment Priscilla was paralyzed with fear. — Nannybot

From The Story Shack, Rex, by Jonathan VanDyke. A slick, over-the-top, action-thriller parody. Funniest piece I read all week.

Several bullets punctured the grill of the car and shattered window glass as newspaper stands passing by exploded into clouds of shredded paper, but Rex didn’t mind, this was a slow Tuesday.


— Rex


From Channillo, On The Outside, Looking In (1), by David Estringel. On indolence, inspiration and becoming a writer (part one of a series). Highly recommended.

My intrigue with the written word came about in a rather non-traditional way: Charlie Rose. Apart from the rather strange May-December, platonic bromance vibe between us (well, my TV), the main appeal of staying up until 3 AM to watch his show centered around the writers he often had on as guests. My first glimpse into the lives of the literati, I knew right there and then that I had a place in that world. Quick-witted and wickedly smart, they saw life in ways I never dreamed possible. I wanted to be them.


— On The Outside, Looking In (1)

From New Pop Lit, Thinking Beyond The Flat Narrative. On news, information dissemination, one-sidedness and (re-)thinking narrative interrogation so as to better navigate hyperreality; part one of a series.

The three-dimensional thinker is ahead of the curve.


— Thinking Beyond The Flat Narrative

From The New Republic, a fantastic piece on of the greats of the western canon, The Significance of Herman Melville.

“-life becomes intensified and purposive when the battle with the forces of Nature, like Ahab’s battle, is a deliberate pursuit and challenge-”


— The Significance of Herman Melville

From Tim Miller, Daedalus & Icarus (poem), originally published via Poethead. A beautiful, if mournful, ode to the mythic craftsman.

he strikes them away and leaves them on the wall,
all of them, as well as the envy and
revenge his talents inspired, all hammered
forgotten. But not his son. Twice he’s tried

to let him go, as the sky did before
the sea took him; twice he’s tried to fashion
his face or his descent or his youthful limbs
or just his eyes, and twice he’s stopped in tears.


— Daedalus & Icarus

Thanks for reading.

If you wish to support our work, you may do so here.

Fiction Circular 2/5/19

Editor’s note: Links affixed to author/publisher names will redirect to author/publisher social media; links affixed to story/article names will redirect to the named story/article.


First up, Andrea Nicosia published a untitled short story concerning a dream.

A dire battle, and I was fighting. — A. Nicosia

Jason Simon published, On Returning, a fever dream rumination on social isolation and personal transformation.

-my heart no longer felt affection for these alien people and their barbaric rituals, their trivial matters of fleeting importance or their malevolent, false gods. — On Returning

Noah J. Wayne published the long-form short story, Convict. A story of one woman struggling within a partially automated prison. Highly recommended.

“Five minutes have been added to your sentence due to disobedience,” the guard said. — Convict

Sara Codair published Are We Like The Phoenix? A steampunk flash-fiction concerning volcanoes and time-travel. Whilst the plot and characters were interesting, it suffered from the perennial problem which afflicts nearly all flash fiction: being too short.

Even over the rhythmic growl of the ships engine, Lisbeth heard thousands of micro gears churning away. Of all the arcane devices she possessed, this one was the most powerful. — Are We Like The Phoenix

Stumbled across Vic Smith‘s 2018 short story, Caged, a gritty crime thriller.

He’d got Frank out of Dartmoor, and had to stand guard over him in this dingy flat and wait for orders.

They hadn’t come. Whatever the plan had been, it had failed. — Caged


From Cheap Pop, Sanctus Spiritus, 1512 by Sarah Arantza Amador.

The camp cried and prayed, and she sat in her cage, focused on the smell of sea brine and the cook’s meaty neck. — Sanctus Spiritus, 1512

Also from Cheap Pop, Still Life With Prairie, 1860, by Natalie Teal McCallister.

Little girls be brave, brave as your mother. Little boys be meant for the earth, let your blood water the prairie and come alive again in the red of sunset. — Still Life With Prairie

From Coin Man Stories, Puzzles, Part 1, by José Alves de Castro.

– And now, for 200 points: Find the difference!

The audience stared excitedly as the contestants probed into the two universes looking for anything that might be different, each of the contenders searching differently for the tiniest changes. — Puzzles, Part 1

From Flash Fiction Magazine, Dead by Joe Cappello.

Martin Aurely was dead inside. It wasn’t physical, but a persistent feeling that there was no feeling. Where there is no feeling, there can be no life. — Dead

From Hagstone Publishing, Let Me In by Michelle Simpkins.

She can deal with the fingertips scuttling over the glass window of her front door. She can pretend they are tree branches scraping the house. She doesn’t mind the muddy footprints on the porch. If she doesn’t look too closely in the morning, she can tell herself an animal visited during the night.

It’s the voice that sends her diving under the blankets with crawling skin and clenched teeth. — Let Me In

From Jokes Review, Tropicana On Steroids by Sean Trolinder.

“You don’t drink juice from a needle.” — Tropicana On Steroids

From New York Tyrant Magazine, I Called Shotgun When You Died by Christopher Kennedy.

I come to understand eventually: There is no sun. There are no stars. The coast is never clear. — I Called…

From Reflex Press, Night Swimming by Susan Carol.

She could not swim but we still swim for her. Search the ocean for her and find her only at night. — Night Swimming

From Spelk Fiction, Roachburn, 1908 by Neil Campbell.

In the village of Roachburn, all blinds are drawn. The pregnant woman cries night and day. Another woman cries. A mother and an aunt cry too, behind walls buffeted by winds across the moorland. — Roachburn, 1908

From Terror House, Moments, Part 1 by Chika Echebiri.

I feel my shoulders slump as I begin to weep softly, thinking that Richard could be lying helplessly somewhere, seriously wounded or even dead. — Moments, Part 1

From X-R-A-Y, Blood! by Oliver Zarandi.

I remember, he says. Your life is one filled with tragedies. I may order another soup. — Blood!


From Ghost City Press, Bird Bereavement by Alisa Velaj.

Morning was slow to come,
with a lonely canary in the other cage,
now facing the empty one in front.
Oh, how long we waited for our canary to sing!

Thanks for reading.

If you have recommendations for inclusions in the next LOGOS fiction circular, or wish to submit work to LOGOS, feel free to contact our administrator.

If you wish to support our work, you can do so here.

Fiction Circular 1/21/19

Circular Notes: Fiction Circular is focused on unearthing, presenting, congratulating and critiquing the best in new, independent fiction. By independent, we mean small presses, litmags and e-zines (with a particular, though not exclusive, focus on American works). Work is separated into three categories: Independent Authors (which covers self-published prose-works), Independent Publishers (which covers work from self-sufficient sites that feature the work of independent authors) and Literary Ephemera (which covers everything that isn’t prose-fiction, ie. poetry, experimental works, literary reviews, news, etc). If you know a piece, author or site of literature that you think we should include in our circular, do let us know, either through our email ( or via the social media account of our admin (Kaiter Enless).


Nothing to report.


X-R-A-Y published LAND SPEED by Alex Evans.

“On October 24th, 2011, Oscar Valentine broke the land speed record riding his Schwinn through a suburb outside of Madison, Wisconsin. People said that this was impossible, that Oscar Valentine, being neither a professional high-speed driver nor a legal adult at the time of the achievement, could not have exceeded 760 miles per hour.” — LAND SPEED, A. Evans.

From Terror House Magazine, Cannae (2019) by Proteus Juvenalis, a gripping and emotional tale of an unhappy and unfulfilled life and a fantastical flight from it. Mr. Juvenalis displays a unique prose style which mixes crisp minimalism with biting social commentary. He follows one of the best rules for short stories: omit needless words, as a consequence, we’d highly recommend his work.

“College-degreed, underemployed, on the wrong side of thirty. The scorn of my fellow American. Yeah, fuck you too.” — Cannae, P. Juvenalis.

North-Californian literary journal, Jokes Review has released Issue 5, featuring both prose-fiction and poetry.

“It’s my ritual,” he told Kurt the night he set fire to his first Applebee’s. “It helps me really hear the record.” — Thomas Burned Down The Applebees But The New Record Sounds Amazing, Kevin Sterne.


Avani Singh of Blogggedit published a collection of her horror stories in the Kindle-available volume, Existence: They Do Exist (2019). I’m not really sure what to make of the name. Those who wish to support independent horror authors you can pick up a copy of her book through Amazon Kindle.

Alina Hansen announces work has begun on her first novel and promises future updates on the process.

Seasoned horror writer Laird Barron announces the definitive release date of book two of the Coleridge Series, Black Mountain.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoy our work you can support us here.

If there are any authors or publications you think should be included in the next circular, feel free to let us know in the comments.

On Dialogic Consistency In Fiction

If, in your fiction writing, you can describe something in but a single word, sentence or paragraph, but choose instead to write in excess of the requisite amount for the task-to-hand, pause to consider precisely why. There are, sometimes, good reasons for writing in excess of the amount for the task-to-hand, but if due consideration of the reason(s) for the length of one’s writing is not paid, one places oneself in danger of waxing unduly wordy and this, in turn, can entail a whole host of additional problems (such as the inducement of bordem to the reader through repition, given that the more you describe a single, discrete thing, the more likely you are to repeat yourself and at a certain point this becomes superfluous; for instance, there are only so many ways to describe the roundness of a ball and, generally speaking, a limited need to do so).

One example of such a exception would be what I term dialogic consistency, by which I mean: writing in keeping with the verbal style of a particular character (such as a loquacious individual). The principal of dialogic consistency can best be described by an illustration; let us turn our attention to the cover image, which contains two figures, from left to right: a chic woman and a suave man, respectively. Let us call them Stacy and Sven and let us further flesh out the characters by attributing to Stacy a extremely loquacious, easily-distracted and gossipy turn and to Sven, let us attribute the faculties of precision and focus in combination with an extreme stoicism. In this example, when writing both of these characters in conversation, from the above descriptions alone, one would write Stacy in a far more wordy and talkative way (because Sven is by nature, reserved).

The best test of a writer’s dialogic consistency can be found in whether or not the reader can differentiate characters in conversation by their dialogue alone (without the writer telling the reader who is speaking, either directly or indirectly). Let us use Stacy and Sven to illustrate.

“Oh, hey, hey, come here – I almost forgot to tell you. Kelly is pregnant. I know right. Totally out of the blue. But Joey doesn’t know so… don’t tell him or anything. Ok?”

“My lips are sealed.”

“Ok, good, so anyways… Why do you look so glum?”

“I don’t like keeping secrets.”

Now from this brisk exchange alone, after some comparative study, we must determine whether or not the most average of readers would be able to pick out which speaker is Stacy and which is Sven. As you likely were able to tell, the first speaker is Stacy and the second is Sven; this process will, of course, be made easier on less discerning readers in a lengthier text where the speakers are referred to (at least once) before speaking, in some variation of the form: Stacy, whirled around around the corner, squealing with glee, “Oh, hey, hey… etc”.

Fiction Circular 9/26/18


From The Dark Netizen, the supernatural revenge story, Highway To Hell.

“Now, he was bringing hell to the demon…” —Highway To Hell.

From And Miles Before I Go To Sleep… Daughter’s Surprise by Ramya Tantry.

“You sacrificed your wishes so that you can fulfill mine.” —Daughter’s Surprise

From Heart In Print By Jaya, Where’s My Master?

“Has the master been abducted?” — Where’s My Master?

From Iain Kelly, ROXY.

“Glitz and glamour away from the gaudy Strip and the drug-riddled suburb slums.

The waitresses. All young, slim, white. Wearing just enough.” — ROXY.

From X-R-A-Y Magazine, Theme Park Suicide by Teddy Duncan. A grim tale which shows how even those who seem to have given up on life haven’t given up on human connectivity. Duncan’s work was excerpted from a as-yet unpublished chapbook.

“I just really didn’t want to feel alone when I died, no matter how fucked up it is if I was going to do it I needed an audience.” — Theme Park Suicide.

Also from X-R-A-Y Mag, The Broken Teeth Diaries by Joe Bielecki.

“We used to be in a mouth but were evicted by a fist in the winter outside of a bar by a bouncer.” —The Broken Teeth Diaries.

From Gone Lawn (issue 30), Bird Bones by Texan author, Tara Isabel Zambrano.

“One day, at work, he died of electrocution from a faulty device— his limbs twisted like the blades of a fan.” —Bird Bones.

The Story Hive is back in business with Med Bay Snippet #6. An interesting sci-fi, though you may want to catch up on parts 1 through 5 before reading part 6.

“There it is, that dirty humor that keeps us all alive. That and the air, the pressure, the heat, and the food.” —Med Bay Snippet #6.


From hidden gem, Gn0me, Under Forests of Futility by Rasu-Yong Tugen, Baroness de Tristeombre. A collection of poems by the author of A Natural History of Seaweed Dreams and Songs from the Black Moon.

“Vast lattices of black shale engulf us while we sleep. Primordial roots hunch over, as if in prayer. Arching acacia and star pine whisper spectral apprehensions. Black opal rains submerge everything permanent.” — Under Forests of Futility.


From The Rational Arumentator, Victory Against The Formican Hordes by Gennady Stolyarov II, a poem.

“Deep in the crevices where there is scantly light,
Formican hordes amassed, antitheses of right:
The tyrant queen, attendant sycophantic knaves,
Vast quantities of servants – or compliant slaves –
Not even one savant among them to protest
Antagonistic ploys to rouse their dormant nest.
In wanton disregard of property and tact alike
At my abode they militantly sought to strike,
Past every antechamber to the kitchen went,
Detected every speck pursuant to its scent,
In swarms outrageous antics perpetrated,
Blatantly coveted the food refrigerated!”

—Victory Against The Formican Hordes, first stanza.

Lastly, from Cristian Mihai has a short guide to writing in the form of The Definitive, Increadibly Short, Easy-To-Follow, No-Bullshit Guide To Blogging.

“-stop complaining and punch those damn keys.” — The Definitive etc Guide To Blogging.

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