A drabble is a 100-word short story with a beginning, middle, and end. I write drabbles mostly as exercises, hoping to spark longer, more interesting stories. However, there is a market for drabbles. In fact, my first published piece of fiction was a drabble titled “Garden, Bloody Garden” in an anthology from DailyNightmare.com called “22 More Quick Shivers.” My original title was “Maple Hill Road,” but the publisher suggested the change. “Garden, Bloody Garden” was a bit too literal for my tastes (foreshadow much?) but I do love that little drabble.
Last week, I received the exciting news that my drabble titled “The Snowman” was selected for publication by one of my favorite websites, Horror Tree. “The Snowman” will be published on Sunday, January 14, on horrortree.com. The site has a section called Trembling with Fear, where it publishes original short stories and drabbles every Sunday. The drabbles are located below the short stories in a section called Enter the Drabble (thus the title of this blog entry). The editor of Trembling with Fear emailed me with the good news and wrote “The Snowman” was the first drabble she read in 2018, which hopefully means a happy new year for me and Horror Tree.
“The Snowman” is a creepy little tale set in winter (surprise). The weather turned cold here in north Alabama around the New Year, which inspired me to write about something that represents the cold to me. Enter “The Snowman.” Frosty, he’s not, and that’s all I’ll say for now.
By the way, Horror Tree is a wonderful resource for writers of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. The site provides a calendar of publishing deadlines for a broad range of genres. I highly encourage writers, poets, artists, and even comic book writers/artists to check out the website for opportunities to submit their works.
I also highly encourage writers (and creative people in general) to explore the drabble. It’s taught me to write better. One hundred words are not a lot, so if nothing else, the drabble makes me pay attention to each word and each sentence like never before. After all, that’s what I’m doing anyway … just stringing words and sentences together to hopefully tell an entertaining story.
The drabble forces me to make every single word count down to the title. I have to think … really think … about the perfect word to use by delving into the tools of a writer … tools like alliteration and assonance, allegory and symbolism.
My favorite sentence in my first published drabble “Garden, Bloody Garden” includes this phrase:
“… before the fickle flames flit away to flirt …”
I remember taking forever to work on the alliteration to make that sentence as descriptive as possible. It was much harder than I thought it would be and more satisfying, too. By the way, the “fickle flames” are actually butterflies with crimson wings. As always, you can check out my work on my Amazon Author Page.
Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to read my drabble on Sunday and tell me what you thought about it. The good news: It only takes a few seconds to read. The bad news: It could haunt you for the rest of your life!