Monday, December 19, 2011

Worth A Second Look

In a previous post, I told you about the eStorybooks that were selling well. Today, I'd like to shine the spotlight on three of my favorite short stories that have been neglected by Kindle purchasers.

The plot: Reporter Sylvia Bartow has only one hour to make sense of the patchwork quilt of interviews that has consumed the past three months of her life, as she waits to interview condemned killer Max Crenshaw - one hour before the hangman's noose silences his lips forever. Is it time enough to unravel the truth, and to learn the secret of the Butterfly Lady? 

Why I like it: I used a unique storytelling technique. As the reporter waits to meet the condemned prisoner, her mind flashes back through a series of interviews she conducted with different individuals about the case. The flashbacks are presented  as vignettes told by the interviewee from their point of view. There is some foreshadowing that portends the surprise ending.

Next, is Kil-ger.

The plot: If you're a SF post-apocalyptic fan, this one will be a treat for you. By day, Kyle Marsden leads an idyllic life in the suburbs with his wife and daughter. But at night, Kyle slips into a post-apocalyptic world gone mad - populated by animalistic ravers who rape and plunder at will; joyriders, scion of society's elite who kill for sport to relieve their boredom; and rogue cybernetic mercenaries called Kil-gers. But what happens when Kyle's nightmares merge with his idyllic existence?

Why I like it: Again, the storytelling technique stands out. Kil-ger was a challenge to write because the story transitions multiple times between two time periods with two very different moods. The trick was to maintain a smooth flowing story while the reader -- through the protagonist -- undergoes a jarring change in surroundings from idyllic suburbia to post-apocalyptic madness and back. The surprise ending leaves the reader pondering how far man's humanity can be stretched before it is lost.

The last one for today is The Encounter.

The plot: An elderly man, armed only with his wits, confronts an gun-wielding young man burglarizing his home.

Why I like it: The plot is what makes The Encounter exceptional. It's plotted like a two-man play. The Encounter is an intellectual thriller. An old man is trapped in his home by an armed punk a third his age. He can't expect outside help and he cannot physically overpower the thug. His only hope for survival is to outwit his younger, stronger opponent. With only two characters and one setting (a kitchen), the dialogue and interaction form the basis of this riveting thriller.

I like to think each of my stories is unique in some way. These three tales stand out because of the level of writing styles employed. I hope you'll give them a try. 

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